Combat Mechanics And Weapons Guide PSP

The 3rd Birthday combat mechanics, OE skills, DNA board and weapons guide
with Genocide tips.
 Version meido shiropan with pink ribbon.




   CONTENTS
========================================================



01. Introduction & primer
02. Basics ( .bas )
      EXP, BP & Weapon EXP
03. Advanced techniques  ( .adv )
04. OE skills   ( .oes )
      Skill descriptions
      Recommended Skills
05. DNA board setups  ( .dna )
06. Weapons  ( .wpn )
      Handguns
      Assault rifles
      Shotguns
      Sniper rifles
      Launchers
      Machine guns
07. Genocide mode primer ( .gen )

 Contact
 Credits
 Legal crap



========================================================


  Welcome to The 3rd Birthday combat mechanics, OE Skills, DNA board setups
and weapons guide with Genocide mode tips.

  In the contents section the text in the brackets after the section title is
the quicknavi code.  This allows jumping to sections quickly without the need
to manually scroll through the guide.
For most web browsers and text readers simply engage the search function by
pressing CTRL + F and typing the quicknavi code. e.g to quicknavi to basics,
press CTRL + F and then type .bas

  A quick primer about the language used in this guide; certain things such
as weapons and skills will be ranked / scored / graded, but as it's rather
difficult to use an objective quantitative measure such as a scale of 1 to 10
instead the following words will be used :

terrible => very bad => bad => subpar => okay => good => very good => great

  Should this scale be difficult to follow then consider substituting it with
a different (perhaps numerical based) scale.


--------------------------------------------------------
========================================================


                   Detailed  basics
   .bas

========================================================
--------------------------------------------------------


     LIFE regeneration
============================================

  LIFE will stop regenerating if;
Aya moves
Aya aims, shoots or throws a grenade.


  LIFE will NOT stop regenerating if;
Aya reloads or changes weapons.



     Crossfire
============================================

  Crossfire gauge will reset if;
Aya shoots, changes weapons, reloads or stops aiming.
A soldier leaves cover (not applicable if the Cross Fire cheat is activated).

  Crossfire gauge will NOT reset if;
Aya moves or dodges.



     Invincibility
============================================

  Aya is invincible when;
A brief moment at the beginning of each dodge roll.
When she waves her hand to initiate Cross Fire.

  Aya is pseudo-invincible when; (very few of certain attacks are still fatal)
When she is laying on the ground after being knocked down by attacks.  This
can somewhat be exploited by knocking Aya down with a grenade.
OE skill Barrier activates.
Soldiers are pseudo-invincible during Cross Fire.

  Aya is NOT invincible when in liberation mode, she can still take damage but
cannot be killed even when her LIFE is reduced to zero.  However if Aya ODs
out of a body with 0 LIFE, they will immediately die.



     Bullets vs Overdive Kill
============================================

  A key consideration of battles is choosing how best to kill twisted in
various situations.

Shooting them is usually the better choice, however most powerful guns have
very limited magazine and ammunition reserves.  Additionally their corpses
will explode, while it doesn't do much damage it does stun Aya and allies,
leaving them open to much more deadly attacks.

Overdive Kill has the advantage not being restricted by limited usage amounts
and it also leaves no corpse behind, as well as the added bonus of having a
chance to receive OE chips.
Disadvantages of ODK are that it leaves Aya vulnerable for a few seconds.
Another small disadvantage is that during haste, ODKs do very little damage.


     EXP, BP and Weapon EXP
============================================

   EXP
-------------------

 As Aya levels up, EXP she earns from enemies will decrease, however EXP
gained from kills will always be at least 1 EXP.  To reach higher levels
quickly play harder difficulties as EXP awarded is higher and the EXP decline
will begin later at higher levels.

  With increased levels Aya gets a variety of benefits ;
* Aya has more LIFE
* Can raise individual OE skill slots on the DNA board to higher levels
* It becomes slightly easier to get desirable outcomes with OE chips on the
DNA board.
* Gets a VERY slight improvement in quality of OE chips earned.


   BP
-------------------

 BP awarded is static, the same enemy on the same difficulty will always
award the same BP. this also applies to BP earned from achievements.


   Weapon EXP
-------------------

 The complete intricate details of weapon EXP are not known, however it
functions similar to regular EXP.  After weapons reach a certain level the
amount of weapon EXP received will drop off considerably (possibly to 0).
The level cap is different for each difficulty and as usual, to get to high
levels quickly higher difficulties need to be challenged.
It is possible to reach Weapon level 9 on Deadly difficulty, however it is
incredibly slow as when at level 8, the amount of weapon EXP gained in Deadly
is only about 25% of the amount gained when playing on Genocide.

Contrary to popular belief, using the level hold challenge code makes
absolutely no difference to Weapon EXP gain.




--------------------------------------------------------
========================================================


                  Advanced techniques
   .adv

========================================================
--------------------------------------------------------


     Moving faster
============================================

  Although one is probably most inclined to thoroughly relish Aya's mutant
hips when she runs and ESPECIALLY when she walks, the fact is she does not
move around very quickly.  Some ways to move around quicker are;

   Liberation mode ;
  Aya will move around much faster, however this is a waste of liberation as
Liberation should be used more for attack rather than defense.


   Dodge roll twice, run 1 step, dodge twice (repeat) ;
  Probably the most common way to move around quicker.  Aya moves faster while
dodging but the third dodge has a significant delay before Aya can move again,
so without the delay of the third dodge Aya moves around quicker than running.


   Dodge roll three times, failed Liberation mode, run around or
dodge roll (repeat) ;
  The fastest way to move around, however it does have significant
disadvantages.  First of all it only works if Liberation gauge is not full.
Secondly it can be hard to control her direction of movement, especially
the third dodge roll.
Failed Liberation activation is unique in that it is the only thing which can
be cancelled simply by moving.



     Reload cancel
============================================

  Weapons actually refill their magazine before the reload animation
finishes.  The difference between refill and reload animation depends on
weapon type, it's fairly insignificant for pistols but there's a large gap
between when magazine is replenishment and the end of the reload animation
in sniper rifles and launchers.
To capitalize on this difference, watch the ammo counter or the ammo bar, and
as soon as the magazine has been replenished either dodge, change weapon or
failed Liberation to null the rest of the reload animation while keeping
the full magazine.




     Life assist / rescue
============================================

  Depending on how an ally dies, there is a brief opportunity to perform a
'life assist'.  This must be done after his LIFE reaches zero but before he
begins his death animation.  Be careful after a rescue, as the allies' LIFE
will still be zero, and if Aya immediately ODs out of the ally they will die.
  Some attacks do not allow for rescues to be performed if a soldier is
killed by it, the most obvious being most of the instant Game Over attacks.

*Note : this cannot be done at all on Genocide difficulty as it is disabled.

As a small side note, if a ally is rescued it will not be counted as a
death at the end of episode ranking.




--------------------------------------------------------
========================================================


                  Over Energy Skills
   .oes

========================================================
--------------------------------------------------------

  This section covers various aspects of the OE skills.  First brief
descriptions of the skills and then recommendations on skill setups.

  The level cap for OE skills is level 25.  Skills can be linked together the
DNA board to improve their levels, early on this is the only way to get lv25
skills.
Individual skill slots can only be raised to lv25 when Aya reaches Lv53.
It's possible to reach level 53 on Normal difficulty, but the EXP gained is
quite low at lv50 so it can take quite a long time, Hard mode is recommended.

  It would be a good idea to keep a few DNA boards, each with different
purposes.  e.g  It's not a good idea to have an OE chip farming DNA board
when going through difficult areas, nor is it a good idea to have a DNA board
filled with Cross Fire & Overdive skills when Aya has to go through difficult
areas alone and these skills become completely useless.




============================================

          Skill descriptions

============================================

  This section is a brief description and rating of each skill.
The following 'skills recommendations' section  will go into more detail on
individual skill's advantages & disadvantages.

  A few combinations to get mutations of certain skills will also be listed,
this list is far from exhaustive as there are many more possible combinations
aside from the ones listed, just the combinations which make use of OE chips
that appear with decent frequency will be listed.

  Combinations that involve negative OE skills should be avoided, much like
the negative skills themselves.  Many combinations involving negative OE
skills can have multiple mutation outcomes, which can result more time spent
re-rolling trying to get the specific mutation desired.



     Passive skills
==================================


  Energy Defense
-------------------

  Appears in : Rare DNA

Less LIFE is lost when Aya is hit by attacks.
 >>> Rating : good


  Barrier
-------------------

  Appears in : Evolved DNA

Very small chance of gaining about 10 seconds of invincibility whenever Aya
receives damage.
 >>> Rating : great

  Combinations : Pre-raise + Energy shot, Pre-raise + Restock
Critical Shot + Escape down, Antibody + Slow, Illness + Disease, 
Illness + Illness


  Pre-raise
-------------------

  Appears in : Normal DNA

When killed by any non instant Game Over attack, will revive with some LIFE.
Valid only once per episode.
 >>> Rating : very good

  Combinations : Cross healing + Healing
Antibody + Slow Recharge


  Power surge
-------------------

  Appears in : Normal DNA

When Aya kills any twisted with bullets or ODK, chance of receiving a
large damage boost as well as a small impact power boost for about 10 seconds.
 >>> Rating : very good


  Critical shot
-------------------

  Appears in : Normal DNA

While using handguns, there is a chance Aya will fire an energy shot
like her Liberation mode shots instead of a normal bullet.
 >>> Rating : good


  Odds up
-------------------

  Appears in : Normal DNA

Improve the quality (NOT QUANTITY) of OE chips earned when ODKing twisted and
OD into allies.

It doesn't improve chances of getting OE chips, just get better ones.
Once more, improves QUALITY not quantity of OE chips.
 >>> Rating : good



     Liberation skills
==================================


  Energy Shot
-------------------

  Appears in : Rare DNA

Significantly improves damage of shots while in Liberation Mode.
 >>> Rating : great

  Combinations : Healing + Pre-raise, Cross healing + Energy Defense
Healing + Slow, Healing + Odds down, Antibody + Slow, Cross healing + Slow


  Regeneration
-------------------

Regenerate about 30% of LIFE while in Liberation Mode.
 >>> Rating : very bad


  Inferno
-------------------

Sacrifice current body to deal damage to a large area.
 >>> Rating : terrible



     Crossfire skills
==================================


  Boost Fire
-------------------

  Appears in : Rare DNA

Improves damage and slightly improves impact power of Cross Fire.
 >>> Rating : very good

  Combinations : 
Healing + Odds down, Antibody + Odds down, Cross healing + Odds down  


  Cross Healing
-------------------

  Appears in : Normal DNA

Chance of healing Aya and all soldiers involved in Cross Fire for about
30% LIFE.
 >>> Rating : okay


  Rapid Link
-------------------

  Appears in : Evolved DNA

Significantly increases the speed in which Cross Fire gauge fills.
 >>> Rating : great

  Combinations : Antibody + Cross healing
Antibody + Disease



     Overdive skills
==================================


  Healing
-------------------

  Appears in : Normal DNA

Chance of healing about 30% LIFE when ODing into another ally.
 >>> Rating : subpar


  Antibody
-------------------

  Appears in : Normal DNA

Chance of getting about 10 seconds improved defense (less LIFE lost when
receiving damage) when ODing into another ally.
 >>> Rating : very bad


  Restock
-------------------

  Appears in : Rare DNA

Chance of refilling magazine and restoring 33% of total ammo when ODing into
another ally.
 >>> Rating : great

  Combinations : Healing + Power Surge
Healing + Slow recharge, Antibody + Slow recharge,
Cross healing + Slow recharge, Cross healing + Odds down


  Impact wave
-------------------

  Appears in : Evolved DNA

Small chance of creating a small high impact shockwave when ODing into
another ally.
 >>> Rating : terrible



     Overdive Kill skills
==================================

  Kill Boost
-------------------

  Appears in : Rare DNA

Significantly improves damage dealt by ODKs.
 >>> Rating : great

  Combinations : Healing + Antibody, 
Healing + Disease, Antibody + Disease, Cross healing + Disease


  Haste
-------------------

  Appears in : Evolved DNA

Small chance of receiving 10 seconds of slow motion time after every ODK.
 >>> Rating : great

  Combinations : 
Cross healing + Slow



     Negative skills
==================================

  They can make access to certain OE skills easier with mutations when
combined.

 >>> Rating for all of them: very bad.


  Illness
-------------------

  Appears in : Normal DNA

LIFE recovers slower.


  Odds down
-------------------

  Appears in : Normal DNA

Lower chance of getting OE chips.


  Slow recharge
-------------------

  Appears in : Normal DNA

Reload slower.


  Slow
-------------------

  Appears in : Rare DNA

Slower movement.


  Disease
-------------------

  Appears in : Rare DNA

Liberation gauge gradually decreases.


  Escape down
-------------------

  Appears in : Evolved DNA

Fewer evasive dodges can be linked together.





==========================================

        skill recommendations

==========================================


     Essential skills
==================================

  These are skills which should be on almost every DNA board, they are great
skills that have little or no drawbacks.


  Kill Boost
-------------------

  One of the few skills that always works, even against bosses.  Always useful
no matter what difficulty.
  Another great thing about this skill is how easy it is to get, it can be 
produced by a mutation when combining Healing and Antibody OE chips, which
appear quite often in Normal DNA OE chips.

The only time this skill isn't completely desirable is when farming OE chips,
as more ODK means more chances to get OE chips if one wasn't awarded the
first time.  It is also possible to earn multiple OE chips from the same
enemy however, it is important to note that after getting one OE chip,
chances of getting a second OE chip from the same enemy is extremely low and
is infrequent enough to not be worth the effort.


  Energy Shot
-------------------

  Always active, very important on higher difficulties and incredibly powerful
on lower difficulties.
Very few instances when this skill is not useful.

  On higher difficulties, chance based skills activate at a lower frequency
than easier difficulties, making skills that work all the time such like Kill
Boost and Energy Shot even more valuable.


  Restock
-------------------

  On higher difficulties, weapons with high reserve ammo usually aren't very
good as they are usually fairly weak, barely able to overcome enemies' very
rapid regeneration and too much time is spent reloading leaving Aya
vulnerable as well as leaving enemies to regain health unimpeded.
Normally to go through areas only the initial ammo reserves and very few
reloads from ammo caches are provided and with powerful weapons this is
usually not enough to last before completely running out.
Powerful weapons usually either burn through ammo quickly or don't have much
ammo at all and these weapons are key to making surviving higher difficulties
much easier.
Being able to fire powerful weapons more often than normally allowed by the
initial reserve and few ammo caches is vitally important since the default
handgun or the soldier's default weapon are usually inadequate.
  Another small thing to note is that while it restores 33% of ammo, the
amount is rounded up.  This is great for sniper rifles and especially
for launchers as just 1 extra shot makes a big difference.
  It also has the added benefit of being by far the most common skill
that appears with Rare DNA OE chips.

  Usefulness of this skill is somewhat limited on lower difficulties, as 
using high reserve ammo weapons (which tend to have low damage and small
magazines) has a relatively small impact on battles.
  Similarly if using the special machine guns or the unlimited ammo cheat
this skill is also of limited utility.



     Highly recommended skills
==================================

  Barrier
-------------------

  Many consider this to be an essential skill, as it is extremely useful when
it activates.  However the extremely low activation rate does mean one might
consider replacing it with something more certain.

  On Genocide difficulty, activation chance is extremely low, even less than
usual, it's possible to go several hours without activating.  Although almost
always a real life saver when it does happen.


  Haste
-------------------

  Slows down time for everyone (including allies) except Aya.  Especially
great for sniping weak points.  Activates even after non-fatal ODKs.

  Some disadvantages are the Cross Fire gauge is also affected by the slow
down, a somewhat low activation rate and that during haste, ODKs do
significantly less damage.


  Power Surge
-------------------

  Activates with fairly decent regularity, helps conserve ammo and helps out
during difficult battles.

  A key weakness is that a kill must occur for this to activate, which means
this skill has a penchant for activating right after the final enemy in the
area is killed, letting the skill go to waste.  It also means that against
single, very difficult enemies this cannot activate.
It can also throw off pacing when trying to kill a strong enemy by fatal ODK.




     Recommended raid skills
==================================

  These skills are good during battles where there are a lot of ally soldiers
around, but are of little use when Aya is alone.  Best to keep separate DNA
boards for both occasions when number of DNA boards allows.


  Rapid Link
-------------------

  A great skill that always works.
 Combines offense and defense since soldiers are invincible during Cross
Fire, helping keep them alive which also means more bodies to OD into.
Aya is also invincible during the brief moment when she waves her hand to
initiate the Cross Fire attack.
At lv 25 the gauge fill time is slightly less than half of normal.

  A small downside is that the mandatory cooldown between Cross Fire is not
affected by this skill.
  There is a way to work around this in that if a soldier did not participate
in Cross Fire, if Aya enters his attack range whilst locked on to an enemy,
the Cross Fire gauge will immediately start filling after the current Cross
Fire finishes and a few moments after the Cross Fire gauge starts filling
the soldiers who participated the first time will be ready again well before
the gauge is full.


  Boost Fire
-------------------

  Boosts the damage and slightly increases the impact power of Cross Fire.
On lower difficulties the damage is noticeable, on higher difficulties the
impact power is helpful.

  Always works.

  Downside is on higher difficulties even at lv25, the damage isn't very good
but at least there's a boost to impact power.



     Good general skills
==================================

   These skills are decent but have somewhat limited application, usually can
be replaced without any dire consequences.


  Critical Shot
-------------------

  Activates at pretty a good frequency, greatly increasing the damage and
impact power of one shot.  Also it might be possible that these shots splash
damage to enemies REALLY close together, this is unconfirmed.

  The downsides are that it only works on one shot, though this is alleviated
by the high activation frequency.
  A very important disadvantage is that when the magnum revolvers, critical
shot will actually significantly DECREASE the damage done (albeit improving
the impact power) wasting their already very limited ammo.
  Handguns aren't very good on higher difficulties unless used solely for the
purpose of Liberation spam, in which case having this skill and not having it
makes very little difference.
  The projectiles are also travel slightly slower than regular bullets, though
this is mostly irrelevant.


  Pre-Raise
-------------------

  Higher levels means more LIFE restored and at lv25 all LIFE is restored, a
fairly useful skill however there are very few occasions when it would be
considered essential.  Skillful playing usually eliminates deaths which
would make this skill somewhat useless.  When this skill activates it does
not count as a death at the end of episode rank.

  It only works once per episode, so it can be difficult to decide when to
let the skill work and when to just retry.  It also does not work if Aya is
killed by the various instant Game Over attacks.


  Energy Defense
-------------------

  Less LIFE is lost when receiving damage.  Pretty good on lower difficulties
but the effect is barely noticeable on higher difficulties even at lv25.
Better than nothing but probably a good idea to replace it with something
more useful.



     Skills to avoid
==================================

  These skills are either really crap or totally useless.  Best not leave
them around after seeing what they do a few times.


  Antibody
-------------------

  A skill which sometimes gives a few seconds of extra protection when taking
damage.  Aya can usually OD away from danger anyway, there's no need for a
skill that only works sometimes if ODing directly into danger.
  On the plus side, this skill can be used to mutate into much better skills
and it does appear with decent frequency in Normal DNA.


  Impact Wave
-------------------

  Creates a wave along the ground which does moderate damage and fairly high
impact power.  Cannot hit flying enemies.  Range of wave is very bad.
Useless skill made even worse by the low activation rate.

  Regeneration
-------------------

  Would be a decent skill if not for the fact that if Aya shoots or takes
damage, the regeneration effect stops and will not restart again until the
next Liberation activation.
  So for this skill to be useful, Aya must enter Liberation and do nothing
but move and dodge to recover just 30% LIFE.  Not the best use of Liberation.

  Inferno  
-------------------

  Liberation ends immediately after this skill is activated.
Damage is based on how full the Liberation gauge is when activated, so in
order to do decent damage it must be performed soon after entering Liberation.
Using a combination of Energy Shot + Kill Boost does far more damage than
Inferno, the only instance in which Inferno would be better would be if Aya
was absolutely surrounded by hordes of enemies, which NEVER happens.
Aya is killed afterwards and the ally cannot be revived except with Pre-raise.
  A terrible skill that's only several times worse when considering that
it costs 1 death.



--------------------------------------------------------
========================================================


                  DNA board setups
   .dna

========================================================
--------------------------------------------------------

  Fiddling around with the DNA board and OE chips is by far the worst part of
this game.  Hopefully this section will alleviate much of the frustration
involved in feeling out the system independently.

  Some things to note:
* the max level for OE skills is 25, even linked they cannot exceed lv25.

* single OE slots can reach level 25 only after Aya reaches lv53.

* unless the DNA board has empty slots, do NOT use any 3-slot OE chips
getting desirable outcomes with these can take more than an hour of constant
re-rolling.

* the OE chip awarded after deleting 100 OE chips is always a single / 1-slot
OE chip,  This chip is also always random, so it's not a bad idea to save at
99 / 100 analyze chip and reload if something unsatisfactory appears.

* higher level OE chips can raise OE skill levels higher than amounts stated.
e.g if a lv3 OE chip is applied over a slot with a lv7 OE skill, the slot
can improve to lv12 not just lv10.
The formula for the amount of levels an OE chip can improve a slotted skill
is as follows: 

   max improvement = ( (OE chip lv x 2) - 1) ) - CL
where CL = (OE chip lv - slotted skill lv) and where CL is always greater than
or equal to 0.

* a total of 5 DNA boards are available, the second is awarded upon clearing
episode 3.  Third DNA board is given when the game is cleared once.  The
fourth DNA board is awarded for clearing the game twice and the final DNA
board is gained by clearing the game a third time, which also unlocks a
special machine gun.

* only a maximum of 30 OE chips can be held at once.  If more OE chips are
obtained when holding 30 OE chips, they will be purged and replaced starting
from the oldest (ones held for the longest), so any of those rare and
precious single-slot OE chips being saved for a rainy day will be lost.
Any chips lost in this manner will not count towards the Analyze Chip total.



  KEY:
 A# denotes primary slots, slots which should be focused on first and improved
to highest possible levels.

 B# denotes secondary slots, slots which should be improved after primary
slots are raised to satisfactory levels

 D# denotes dud slots, slots which are used to help raise other slots.  What
skills and levels these slots contain should be of little importance (although
it's best to avoid negative skills).  By not requiring a desirable outcome
on two or more slots when rolling OE chip combinations it becomes a far
less tedious and time consuming process.
D slots can be improved later but only after all other slots are raised to
satisfactory levels, as raising D# slots usually involves single DNA chips
which are quite rare.


 
      DNA board setups
==========================================


  5 - 4 setup
-------------------

5 key skills ; 4 slots sacrificed


 ----------------------------------------
 |            |            |            |
 |            |            |            |
 |     A1     |     D1     |     A2     |
 |            |            |            |
 |            |            |            |
 ----------------------------------------
 |            |            |            |
 |            |            |            |
 |     D2     |     A3     |     D3     |
 |            |            |            |
 |            |            |            |
 ----------------------------------------
 |            |            |            |
 |            |            |            |
 |     A4     |     D4     |    A5      |
 |            |            |            |
 |            |            |            |
 ----------------------------------------

  Pros
+ easy to set up and improve skills
+ few restrictions on OE chip use
+ less painful when using 3-slot OE chips

  Cons
- not very good for higher difficulties
- difficult to make use of those D slots once Aya reaches higher levels

  Usage : Simply choose 5 skills and set them in the A slots, and use 2-slot
OE chips to improve them.
After A slots are raised to a satisfactory level use single-slot OE chips
to improve the D slots.

It's also possible to reverse the A and D slots to get 4 skill slots that are
slightly easier to improve than 5.



  6 - 3 setup
-------------------

6 key skills ; 3 slots sacrificed

 ----------------------------------------
 |            |            |            |
 |            |            |            |
 |     A1     |     A2     |     A3     |
 |            |            |            |
 |            |            |            |
 ----------------------------------------
 |            |            |            |
 |            |            |            |
 |     D1     |     D2     |     D3     |
 |            |            |            |
 |            |            |            |
 ----------------------------------------
 |            |            |            |
 |            |            |            |
 |     A4     |     A5     |     A6     |
 |            |            |            |
 |            |            |            |
 ----------------------------------------



  OR



 ----------------------------------------
 |            |            |            |
 |            |            |            |
 |     A1     |     D1     |     A4     |
 |            |            |            |
 |            |            |            |
 ----------------------------------------
 |            |            |            |
 |            |            |            |
 |     A2     |     D2     |     A5     |
 |            |            |            |
 |            |            |            |
 ----------------------------------------
 |            |            |            |
 |            |            |            |
 |     A3     |     D3     |     A6     |
 |            |            |            |
 |            |            |            |
 ----------------------------------------

  Pros
+ get one skill more than the 5 - 4 setup
+ can use the middle slot (D2) to level the other 2 D-slots once Aya reaches
high levels

  Cons
- entirely restricted to 2-slot OE chips that are either 2 wide or 2 high
when making improvements

  Usage : Select 6 skills and place them on either the top and bottom row or
left and right columns leaving the middle free.  Use 2-slot OE chips to
improve skills.
After A slots are satisfactory, use the middle D slot to raise the outer D
slots and finally when those are done, use single-slot OE chips to raise the
middle slot.



  4 - 4 - 1 setup
-------------------

4 secondary skills, 4 key skills ; 1 slot sacrificed

 ----------------------------------------
 |            |            |            |
 |            |            |            |
 |     B1     |     A1     |     B2     |
 |            |            |            |
 |            |            |            |
 ----------------------------------------
 |            |            |            |
 |            |            |            |
 |     A2     |     D1     |     A3     |
 |            |            |            |
 |            |            |            |
 ----------------------------------------
 |            |            |            |
 |            |            |            |
 |     B3     |     A4     |     B4     |
 |            |            |            |
 |            |            |            |
 ----------------------------------------

  Pros
+ fairly robust way of building a strong DNA board.
+ only 1 slot wasted

  Cons
- not practical until higher levels
- takes a long time to build up
- performs poorly until slots are raised to decent levels, thus not a good
setup to use if a DNA board cannot be spared to be left inactive for a long
period whilst improvements are being made.
- can require high usage of single OE chips.

  Usage : Select 4 secondary skills on B slots and use the A slots to improve
them.  After secondary skills reach a satisfactory level, abandon them and use
the D slot to begin developing 4 primary skills.  After those reach a high
enough level (should be able to reach lv25 if using this setup) use 
single-slot OE chips to raise the B slots and D slots.
  If at lv53 or higher when beginning, the A and B slots can be swapped
around, so the process would begin with using A slots to raise B slots to lv25
then using D slot to raise A slots to lv25 and finally using single-slot
OE chips to raise the D slot.




--------------------------------------------------------
========================================================


                      Weapons
   .wpn

========================================================
--------------------------------------------------------


  Weapons are the most important part of battles.  Each type, subtype and
individual weapon has fairly unique characteristics.  
Most weapons also have upgrade parts available which allow some degree of
customization as well as a part that must be unlocked via achievements.

  Important to note that while the next-step-up weapons (same row, 1 column
to the right e.g RK 47 1 step up would be RK 101) are always capable of
doing more damage and having higher impact power than their previous types,
this does not always make them automatically 'better' than their weaker types.
This can be due a variety of factors such as having upgrades locked off or
the weaker types having much more effective upgrades available.

   An explanation on some of the terms used in this section.

* DPB : damage per bullet (or slug / shell, in case of shotguns)
This is basically the amount of damage dealt from a single bullet.

* 3SD : 3 second damage
The amount of damage a weapon can deal in 3 seconds.  This is important because
a weapon that has a very high DPB might actually deal less damage in 3 seconds
due to having a small magazine and / or a very long reload time.
Important to consider when up against 2 or more strong enemies.

* DOT : damage over time
The average amount of damage a weapon deals over time.  A high damage weapon
may do less DOT than a weaker weapon due to factors such as having a faster
rate of fire, higher magazine, faster reload and so on.
Important to consider during long slugs against many weak to average enemies.

* Total damage
Total damage refers to DPB multiplied by total ammo, basically meaning
potential damage of a weapon if the entire reserve was expended.

* Special upgrade
A part for a weapon which must be unlocked via an achievement.  These are
usually important defining characteristics for a weapon.
It's possible to receive special upgrades for weapons which haven't
been unlocked.
All special upgrades are bullets unless noted otherwise.

* Power
To avoid confusion, 'damage' will refer to how much LIFE it depletes (B-POW
in the game's terminology) whilst 'power' will refer to how strong the impact
power is or how quickly it can induce stun (B-IMPACT in the game's
terminology).

* Reserve
Similarly to avoid confusion, 'magazine' will refer to the amount of ammo
which can be fired before reloading becomes necessary (even if the weapon
does not use magazines), whilst 'reserve' will be in reference to how much
ammo can be fired before completely running out AKA total ammo.




============================================

     Handguns

============================================

+ fairly high total damage (except revolvers)
+ fastest Liberation gain
+ fast reload

- shortest range
- low DPB and low 3SD (except revolvers)
- annoying to level up


  92M
-------------------
+ unlimited ammo

- small magazine
- very poor impact power
- too many upgrades
- many useful upgrades locked off until high levels and are expensive

 >>> Rating: okay

  The default handgun, unlimited ammo, performs adequately on low difficulties
and in desperate situations but best avoid using it.



     M series
==================================
+ decent all rounders
+ fairly nice impact power

- lack of specialized application means they can mostly be forgotten

  These weapons are decent all-rounders, but it's best to replace them with
something more specialized for different situations.  


  M17GC
-------------------
+ available very early
+ 'anti wad' wide shot upgrade also gained fairly early.

- weak damage
- fairly small reserves

 > Special upgrade: 

 >>> Rating: very good

  First weapon which enables Liberation spam, performs well but small reserve
will prove inadequate for higher difficulties.


  M22GC
-------------------
+ decent all round with good impact power

- terrible special upgrade

 > Special upgrade: 800 reserve

 >>> Rating: very bad

  There's little reason to use this weapon unless there is some kind of
strong hatred of the Restock OE skill involved.  For impact power there's
much better weapons available, even when only considering other handguns.
The special upgrade will almost make certain that running out of ammo never
happens, but the weapon is woefully weak and far too much time will be spent
reloading which will result in unnecessary hardship on higher difficulties.


  M22G G4
-------------------
+ interesting special upgrade

- acquired fairly late
- special upgrade has extremely limited utility

 > Special upgrade: 200 magazine

 >>> Rating: subpar

  Not a bad choice, but there's usually always a better weapon in most
situations.  Special upgrade makes reloading completely unnecessary as
magazine size and reserves are the same.  However for impact damage
it is outclassed by many other weapons and very rarely will 200 continuous
shots be necessary.
  Also made highly redundant by the special machine guns.




     .45 series
==================================
+ decent damage

- small magazines

  Handguns focused on damage.  Not bad but generally nothing special.
Somewhat useful if going for high scores.  The higher than usual damage
usually isn't enough to justify using them considering their disadvantages
compared to other damage focused weapons.
  Really not much else to say about this series.


  .45 auto A1
-------------------
+ sort of available early

 > Special upgrade: increase damage

 >>> Rating: okay


  .45 auto sfa
-------------------

 > Special upgrade: increase damage

 >>> Rating: okay

  Better in every way to the .45 auto A1.


  SBI4.3 cmp	
-------------------
+ largest magazine & reserves in series

- available fairly late

 > Special upgrade: increase damage

 >>> Rating: okay

  Once all the upgrades are unlocked this weapon is superior in every way to
all the previous types.  However one might choose the previous types for
nostalgia or maybe aesthetics (even though handguns are barely visible
compared to other weapons)



     SZ series
==================================
+ high impact power
+ longer range than other handguns

- low power

  Impact power focused series of handguns.  Also doubles up as potent
Liberation spam enablers.  Unspectacular but quite good.


  SZ239
-------------------
+ wide shot special upgrade
+ available somewhat early

- magazine is smaller than M17GC

 > Special upgrade: wide shot

 >>> Rating: very good

  A potent Liberation spam enabling weapon.  Magazine is only 40 shots
compared to M17GC's 50 shots but 40 shots is more than enough to completely
fill a Liberation gauge from scratch and the extra reserves are much more
important for the lengthy slugs in higher difficulties.


  SZ229
-------------------
+ wide shot special upgrade

- available somewhat late

 > Special upgrade: wide shot

 >>> Rating: great

  Completely outclasses the SZ239.  Same minor weakness of a 40 round
magazine but this is THE definitive Liberation spam weapon.


  SZ220 SAO
-------------------
+ high impact power
+ largest magazine size and reserves in series.

- available late

 > Special upgrade: increase impact power

 >>> Rating: good

  Very high impact power, but only made available quite late.  Useful for
high score chasing but usually better to use shotguns for impact power in most
situations.



     Revolvers
==================================
+ vitally important to increasing handgun Weapon level
+ high DPB
+ can pierce bean's armor

- small magazine
- extremely low reserves
- terrible accuracy
- useless special upgrades

  High DPB focused series.
  These weapons are of little use other than using them to rapidly increase
handgun W-EXP to access better upgrade parts and using them in conjunction
with the unlimited ammo cheat to burn through the game very quickly to unlock
various rewards associated with clearing the game in various manners.



  MP10 3IN
-------------------
+ available very early

 > Special upgrade: increase Liberation gain

 >>> Rating: subpar

  686Seals
-------------------

 > Special upgrade: increase Liberation gain

 >>> Rating: bad

  Hunter500
-------------------

- available very late

 > Special upgrade: increase Liberation gain

 >>> Rating: good



============================================

     Assault Rifles

============================================

+ all round easy to use
+ fairly generous magazine sizes
+ high rate of fire
+ fairly quick reload
+ good range

- no special bonus available at end of episode rank.
- slowest and most tedious to level up
- tend to burn through ammo quickly.
- only weapon type that suffers recoil

  Assault rifles are unique in that recoil must be accounted for.  Recoil
causes the crosshair to kick up during continuous firing, which can
eventually cause bullets to completely miss their targets.  Weapons with high
recoil need to be fired in bursts against targets at distances, thus
lowering DOT.
As a side note, the unlimited ammo cheat eliminates recoil.

  Regarding how upgrades work, upgrading barrels improves accuracy, upgrading
the stock stock reduces recoil.


     AR series
==================================
+ decent all round performance

- no specialized applications

  All round American assault rifles, pretty decent performance but
not specialized like the Russian or German / Swiss rifles but actually pretty
decent.


  CR 15 C.
-------------------
+ always available

- smaller than usual default magazine

 > Special upgrade: increased damage, decreased impact power

 >>> Rating: subpar

  Pretty unspectacular weapon, best save BP and not to work on it too much.
A better weapon is available fairly soon anyway.


  MfA1
-------------------
+ available fairly early
+ nice special upgrade

 > Special upgrade: 60 magazine 480 reserve

 >>> Rating: good

  A personal favourite, with a combination of early availability and quite a 
nice special upgrade that's also available somewhat early.  Great all round
performance.


  Mf SOPMOD
-------------------

- poor special upgrade

 > Special upgrade: increase damage, decrease impact power

 >>> Rating: okay

  While the base power is higher than the MfA1, the special upgrade introduces
some bad recoil which makes using full-auto less useful.



     RK series
==================================
+ high damage

- very bad accuracy
- very bad recoil

  This damage focused series suffers from two serious drawbacks.  It has both
very bad recoil and very bad accuracy, meaning this series is only useful at
very close range, in which case it's almost always better to use shotguns
anyway.  The advantage they have over shotguns is that they won't run out of
ammo as quickly, but shotguns have much higher DPB and 3SD as well as
significantly higher impact power.



  RK-47
-------------------
+ available early

- very small magazine

 > Special upgrade: increase damage

 >>> Rating: terrible

  The first and worst in the series.  This weapon is terrible to begin with
and upgrades do little to alleviate most of the drawbacks.


  RK 101
-------------------
+ good magazine size
+ slick silver finish

 > Special upgrade: increase damage

 >>> Rating: bad

  Better than the RK-47 but it's a while before it becomes available.  Also
looks a bit slick with its silver finish.


  RK SOPMOD
-------------------
+ good magazine size

- available a bit late
- good upgrades are locked off until high levels

 > Special upgrade: increase damage

 >>> Rating: okay

  The best in the series, but again it's quite a while before it's available.



     S55 Series
==================================
+ high impact power
+ perfect accuracy during full-auto, unrealistic but awesome
+ decent reserves
+ no recoil when upgraded

- low damage
- somewhat small magazine

  Impact power focused series.  A great feature of this series is when
upgraded they shoot with perfect accuracy even on full-auto.  Every round in
the magazine will hit the exact same spot.

  A slight tangent, let's consider Aya's capabilities for a moment.
* she is a master of ukemi
* she can operate complicated military vehicles such as tanks and helicopters
completely ON HER OWN
* can fire at full-auto with perfect accuracy, something which even the most
highly trained super soldiers in the world will never be able to do
* even mortally wounded, she can hold a sniper rifle perfectly steady while
standing up, again impossible for even the most seasoned warriors.
* has mutant hips that supermodels can only dream of having and most women
would commit multiple genocide to have.
* a perpetually flawless youthful appearance with zero maintenance, another
multiple genocide worthy trait.
* slender feminine frame with strength on par with men more than twice her
bodyweight.

  All at the tender age of 30-something.  Setting the bar a bit high for
everyone else... then when taking into account the events of the ending...
mind = blown.  Anyway on with the guide.


  S556SWAT
-------------------
+ available early

- useless special upgrade

 > Special upgrade: increase reserve

 >>> Rating: good

  A good weapon that should see quite a lot of use considering how early it
can be obtained.  High impact damage and generous reserves usually allows
this weapon to be used without much restraint between rest areas.  All those
stunned enemies are probably going to be leaving behind lots of OE chips too.

  S552
-------------------

- strangely uncharacteristic special upgrade

 > Special upgrade: increase damage barrel

 >>> Rating: okay

  The special upgrade for this weapon increases damage at the cost of some
range and accuracy.  It's still quite accurate even at distances, just won't
hit the EXACT same spot every time.  The improved damage is still incredibly
weak compared to other weapons so this is a really strange upgrade and not
really worth it.


  S550
-------------------
+ nice special upgrade

 > Special upgrade: increase impact power barrel

 >>> Rating: very good

  What the special upgrade for the S552 should have been, this enhances the
impact power instead of damage and makes this weapon very good for an ODK
focus build.
  Again the special upgrade involves a slight loss of range and accuracy,
still performs great even at distances though.
  



     Liberation series
==================================
+ usually superior to their counterparts in most if not all aspects

- available very late
- good upgrades are locked off until higher levels

  This series is unique in that each weapon is completely different to the
others in same series.  They are more like extensions or a 4th column weapon
to the other assault rifle series with the FNHC being the 4th AR series, the
MK.16 being the 4th in the S55 series and the MK.17 being the 4th in the RK
series.


  FNHC
-------------------
+ excellent performance
+ perfect accuracy
+ good damage
+ no recoil when upgraded

- low reserves

 > Special upgrade: increase damage

 >>> Rating: great


  The best assault rifle, which it should be since it is also the most
expensive.  More damage than the Mf SOPMOD, perfect accuracy and decent
impact power, the only thing holding this back from being perfect rather than
merely the best is that the reserves are quite low (which is moot because
leaving home without Restock OE skill is never a good idea) and magazine
could be larger.
  Available earlier than the MK.16 and MK.17 but still quite late.


  MK.16
-------------------
+ significantly higher impact power than S550
+ almost perfect accuracy (perfect with default barrel upgrade)
+ no recoil when upgraded

 > Special upgrade: increase impact barrel

 >>> Rating: great

  Superior to the S55 series in everyway.
A small note, though it appears the S55 series has a VERY slightly higher 
B-IMPACT rating in the weapons screen, rest assured the MK.16 does far more
impact damage due to having a much higher W-POW rating.


  MK.17
-------------------
+ highest DPB, significantly higher than 2nd highest of the RK SOPMOD

- terrible accuracy ; aim at the elephant to shoot the flying duck
- terrible recoil

 > Special upgrade: increase damage barrel

 >>> Rating: very bad

  The highest DPB by quite a margin.
Even when fully upgraded the recoil and accuracy is utterly horrendous.
Full-auto is only possible at extremely close range, in which case shotguns
are still a better option.




============================================

     Shotguns

============================================

+ high impact power
+ high DPB & easy to level up
+ can pierce Bean's armor

- low reserve ammunition
- very low muzzle velocity / bullet speed
- short barrel upgrades are useless
- performs poorly with distance, especially if Aya is moving.

  Great weapons other than the frequent reloading and completely running out
of ammo.  Restock OE skill is a must.  Sorry PE2 fans, no AS12 this time.

  A rather strange downside of shotguns are their very low muzzle velocity.
Even at medium distances there is a significant delay between when the weapon
is fired and when the bullets hit their target.  This delay is significant
enough that it can sometimes cause shots to miss very large enemies such as
Rovers.



     R series
==================================
+ good balance between damage and impact power

- small default magazine
- small reserve

  Decent balance between impact and power.  Fairly good performance with 2nd
long barrel upgrade.  Best to use the other 2 series for specific situations
especially since they have higher reserves.


  R1100P
-------------------
+ available very early

 > Special upgrade: increase magazine and increase reserve

 >>> Rating: okay


  R11-96P
-------------------
+ available early

 > Special upgrade: increase magazine and increase reserve

 >>> Rating: okay


  RSP10
-------------------

- available late

 > Special upgrade: increase magazine and increase reserve

 >>> Rating: okay

  Considering how late this is available, it's not very good.



     M10 series
==================================
+ very high impact power
+ higher than usual magazine

- comparatively low damage
- available late

  This series is a great if multiple enemies need to be stunned in a short
period of time.  The best way to induce stun in enemies and also one of the
quickest; faster than handguns or assault rifles but slower than going crazy
with grenade launchers.
With both long barrel upgrades they perform quite well over distances and are
quite accurate (as long as Aya standing still).
Impact power doesn't diminish over distance so this series is great for many
situations.


  M102T
-------------------

 > Special upgrade: increase magazine and increase reserve

 >>> Rating: good

  M103T
-------------------

 > Special upgrade: increase magazine and increase reserve

 >>> Rating: good

  M1014
-------------------

- available late

 > Special upgrade: increase magazine and increase reserve

 >>> Rating: very good

  The final and best in the series, incredibly high impact power.  Useful in
many situations.



     FSA series
==================================
+ slugs have very high DPB
+ slightly more reserves

- available quite late
- no 2nd long barrel upgrade
- thus terrible accuracy (even fully upgraded they can miss at point blank)
- slug damage significantly decreases with distance
- static 4 shot magazine 

  Slugs do damage comparable to the weaker sniper rifles and shotguns have the
benefit of having larger magazines, hefty impact power and usually better
reserves.  A great choice if for high damage setups.


  FSA12
-------------------

 > Special upgrade: 'anti twisted slug' significantly increase damage

 >>> Rating: good

  FSA15
-------------------

 > Special upgrade: 'anti twisted slug' significantly increase damage

 >>> Rating: good


  FSA15 IC
-------------------

- available very late
- must be unlocked via achievement
- high damage slugs upgrades are locked off until higher levels

 > Special upgrade: none

 >>> Rating: very good

  Unlocking this weapon can be rather difficult, but the damage is quite
impressive.  Makes short work of even powerful enemies.




============================================

     Sniper Rifles

============================================

  All sniper rifles use manual aiming.

+ can snipe weak points
+ high DPB & easy to level up
+ excellent range
+ can snipe weak points
+ great accuracy
+ damage not affected by distance
+ CAN
+ SNIPE
+ WEAK
+ POINTS!

- no impact power (except against very few bosses)
- small magazines
- aside from weak point sniping, manual aim is less effective.
- fairly expensive
- long reload
- inexplicably CANNOT pierce Bean's armor

  Sniper rifles have a unique trait in that whilst aiming the scope tends to
move around simulating the unsteadiness of holding such large weapons.

  They are also the only weapon which can attack weak points.  This is
incredibly useful because of the bonus effects of shooting weakpoints.
Firstly it does extra damage, nothing huge like double damage but considering
the already high damage of even the weakest rifles, the extra damage is quite
significant.  Second and best of all, if equipped with the appropriate
upgraded scopes, if an enemy survives a weak point shot, they are instantly
stunned, not even launchers can stun every enemy in 1 shot.
  With good aim, sniper rifles are highly potent weapons.

  Upgrading the stock improves how steady the weapon is when aiming,
upgrading the barrel improves accuracy.



     High magazine series
==================================
+ high magazine option
+ good balance between damage, magazine size and reserve

- slightly unsteady aim
- slightly less than perfect accuracy
- useless special upgrades

  Similar to the M22G G4, they can be upgraded so that magazine size is the
same as total ammo (no need reload as there's no spare ammo)


  HK3SPR1
-------------------
+ available early

 > Special upgrade: increase Liberation scope

 >>> Rating: subpar


  PSPR-1
-------------------

 > Special upgrade: increase Liberation scope

 >>> Rating: okay


  PSPR-1GB
-------------------
+ damage comparable to 50 cal series
+ 8 round magazine upgrade option, 2 shots more than the others in the series

- difficult to unlock
- available very late

 > Special upgrade: none

 >>> Rating: very good

  With its high damage and large magazine, this means a much higher 3SD
than the 50 cal series.  To explain it in a more mathematical form : 
it has 800% the magazine size and about 60% of the DPB of the XM109.



     High reserve series
==================================
+ perfectly steady aim when upgraded, unrealistic but highly useful.
+ high reserve
+ great for weak point sniping

- weak damage
- static 2 shot magazine
- special upgrade is of limited utility

  Despite being the weakest sniper rifles, they still raise Weapon EXP by
pretty good amounts.  Probably can gain more Weapon EXP more shots will be
fired without constantly needing to ration ammo.
  Perfectly steady aim and high reserve make this series ideal for weak
point sniping, this is even better if combined with a high level Restock OE
skill.

  The special upgrade makes each shot fire a split bullet, that is two
bullets instead of one (only consumes 1 ammo).  The intended function is
probably to help hit weak points and it does help very slightly most of the
time.  However very rarely, at very long distances the split bullet effect
can actually cause a perfectly aimed shot to miss entirely.
Better to just practice aiming using regular bullets which do much better
damage.



  CR10SASS
-------------------
+ available fairly early

- DPB is less than some shotguns or revolvers

 > Special upgrade: split bullet

 >>> Rating: good

  A personal favourite.  Acquired early and a pretty reliable weapon for a
while.  The next-step-up MK.11 Mod0 is superior, but it's entirely possible
to save BP not bothering with buying and upgrading it instead continue on the
CR10SASS which still performs well all the way to the end of Deadly
difficulty.


  MK.11 Mod0
-------------------

 > Special upgrade: split bullet

 >>> Rating: good

  Exactly the same as the CR10SASS except with better damage output.  With
good aim and tactics this can be skipped over


  SR110
-------------------
+ 28 reserve when fully upgraded, 4 more than the rest of the series

- available late

 > Special upgrade: split bullet

 >>> Rating: great

  Personal all time favourite.  More damage and more ammo than the rest of
the series.  Given good weak point hitting ability, this is probably the best
weapon in the game.  Even on Genocide difficulty not many enemies can survive
2 shots.  A weak point shot + a lv25 Kill Boost ODK leaves most strong
enemies very close to death if not outright killing them.
  


     50 cal series
==================================
+ very high DPB

- only one shot before reloading
- very long reload
- max of only total 8 shots available
- least steady aim
- lowest accuracy of all sniper rifles, but only a significant issues against
away targets very far away.

  Contrary to what their very limited reserve might suggest, those extra few
shots they have over grenade launchers actually makes them viable in many
more situations if combined with a decent level Restock OE skill.
Does a great job of doing huge damage in a very short amount of time to a
single target without having to worry about friendly fire from explosions.
A good way of softening up a strong enemy, shoot them once with a 50 cal
weapon then swap out to another weapon to finish the job.


  B82A1
-------------------

 > Special upgrade: increase damage

 >>> Rating: okay

  AIS50
-------------------

 > Special upgrade: increase damage

 >>> Rating: good


  XM109
-------------------

- available very late
- good upgrades are locked of until higher levels

 > Special upgrade: increase damage

 >>> Rating: very good

  Truly incredible damage, however on Genocide difficulty there are still a
few enemies which can survive after a shot.
How Aya can carry this around with those pencil arms and fire without
dislocating her shoulder or get knocked on her butt is a mystery.




============================================

     Launchers

============================================

  All launchers use manual aiming.

+ high DPB & easy to level up
+ high impact power
+ explosions can damage multiple enemies
+ damage not affected by distance
+ can pierce Bean's armor

- aiming and reloading are extremely slow if not behind cover
- trajectory of grenades is difficult to adjust to
- explosions can damage and knock down Aya and as well as allies
- explosions can destroy cover
- very expensive
- tiny magazines
- tiny reserve ammunition


  The special upgrades cause the projectiles to travel further and faster,
altering the trajectory from the normal shots.
It should be noted that clearing Episode 5 Chapter 3 quickly is borderline
impossible with the faster grenades as their trajectory makes it extremely
difficult to attack the orb buried in the ground.

  Finally to pre-empt any questions, no, the 3 magazine 6 reserve launcher is
not available outside the first battle with Helix.


  AG320
-------------------
+ available early

 > Special upgrade: higher velocity grenade

 >>> Rating: good

  AG-C
-------------------

 > Special upgrade:  higher velocity grenade

 >>> Rating: good

  RG140
-------------------

- might confuse some firearm enthusiasts with it's appearance vs function

 > Special upgrade:  higher velocity grenade

 >>> Rating: very good

  Probably worth noting while the other two have the appearance of a
single-shot grenade launcher such as the M79 or M320, this has the appearance
of a multi-shot cylinder fed grenade launcher such as the MGL.  It has a
funky orange & black finish to boot.




============================================

     Machine guns

============================================
+ high damage
+ large magazine
+ large reserves
+ good range
+ no recoil, yes very unrealistic.

- unlocking can be a hassle
- manual aim
- no impact power at all
- no special bonus at end of episode rank.
- very expensive
- bad accuracy


  These weapons make the game significantly easier with their high damage,
very generous magazines and reserves.  They're also not too difficult to aim
however they are competing ferociously with the MK.17 for the award of worst
accuracy.  Expect less than one in ten shots to actually hit targets at
distances, at least with the amount of ammo allocated spray & pray is a
viable tactic.

  Perform best when behind cover against enemies that are fairly close but
still pretty decent in other situations.

  There are no upgrades available to any of these weapons.


  M249
-------------------
+ fairly easy to acquire

 >>> Rating: very good


  Mk.46 Mod0
-------------------

 >>> Rating: good

  Does more damage, has a slightly larger magazine and slightly higher
reserves than the M249, but takes a while longer to unlock.


  M240B
-------------------

- very expensive

 >>> Rating: very good

  Does even more damage than the Mk.46, has a larger 200 round magazine and
999 reserves.  Does take a while to unlock though and key weaknesses are not
ameliorated at all.



     Blaze Edge
============================================
+ Imouto beam! pew pew pew!

- no upgrades

 >>> Rating: bad

  Not bad at the beginning, but no upgrades and fairly vanilla performance
makes it much less useful as the difficulty goes up.



     Pile Bunker
============================================
+ seriously insane damage
+ have to make a serious effort in order to run out of ammo

- very difficult to unlock
- no range
- have to reload after every shot

 >>> Rating: okay

  The gunblade in PE2 was better, but the damage of this is magnitudes greater
than it's closest rival the XM109.





--------------------------------------------------------
========================================================


                 Genocide mode primer
   .gen

========================================================
--------------------------------------------------------

  Congratulations upon clearing Deadly difficulty.  Thoughts are now probably
drifting to the challenge of Genocide mode and / or salivating in
anticipation of having the Titanium Bunny costume.
  Genocide mode is quite challenging and also introduces some gameplay
changes that make it different from the other difficulty modes.
  Here are some basic pointers to take in before embarking on this endeavor ;



     Use a seperate save
==================================
  If the unlimited amo cheat is available, this section is not be pertinent.

  First and foremost, if the unlimited ammo cheat is not available, it would
be prudent to start Genocide on a seperate save just in a seemingly
impossible situation to beat is encountered.
  If this DOES happens and there is only 1 save file, not all is lost.  Start
another save file game and clear the game a few times, this will unlock the
unlimited ammo cheat across all saves as cheats are tied to the game's
system data and not save data.

  Though Genocide is quite difficult, it's possible for a player of only
slightly above average skill to clear genocide difficulty without needing
unlimited ammo or the special machine guns.



     New Genocide mode gameplay features
==================================


   Life hold
-------------------

Aya's current LIFE will transfer into anybody she ODs into, rather than
Aya's LIFE becoming the amount of her new host body.  This affects gameplay
in two different ways.

 1 ) If Aya is low on LIFE, she will weaken every soldier she ODs into and
then ODs out of.  If Aya is at 0 LIFE, ODs into a new body and ODs out of
that body while still at 0 LIFE that soldier will immediately die.

 2 ) This can also be advantageous in that if Aya has more LIFE than
the soldier she is ODing into will in effect get a quick heal.  By
keeping Aya at full or near-full LIFE she can effectively keep all soldiers
at full health by ODing in and out of them when their LIFE Is low.


   No clock up
-------------------

Normally when searching for a body to OD into the game slows down, but now time
continues at normal speed when selecting a target to OD into.  This can be
problematic in very tough battles so it's best to either have the camera face
the desired OD target beforehand or just practice until OD target selection
process becomes more familiar.


   No rescue
-------------------

Aya cannot rescue / life assist soldiers under any circumstances, once
they die they're gone.


   Aya dies faster than soldiers
-------------------

Unlike other difficulties, in Genocide Aya loses much more LIFE per hit than
other soldiers, even with A grade armor and lv25 Energy Defense OE skill.
  Given all these changes, keeping everyone alive will work quite differently.
Aya will have to OD out of a soldier if taking damage is inevitable and OD
back into them to replenish their health.



     Have proper DNA boards prepared
==================================

  Even though skill activation rate is drastically lower on Genocide, having
the proper skills available is still vitally important.  Rapid Link will
be more useful than ever before due to the lengthy invincibility it provides.
  It would be prudent to have at least 2 different DNA boards, 1 for when
Aya is mostly alone and another for when Aya will be fighting alongside
other soldiers.  It would also be a good idea not to include Odds up in
any setups anymore, while it is a good skill it does not help in surviving
battles which is what's important on Genocide.



     Preserve Aya's modesty
==================================

  Even though Aya will not have the sort of poise and elegance of characters
such as Ada Wong, Yakushiji Ryouko and Mitsuru Kirijo, in this mode it is
very important to keep Aya's clothes in top condition.  Although Aya does die
very quickly, having armor in top condition can be the difference between
death in 2 hits and death in 3 hits.
  At the rate BP is awarded in Genocide mode, 300 BP to maintain Aya's decency
is not a big ask.



    Using appropriate weapons for each situation.
==================================

  Very few weapons are truly useful in every situation, the SR110 being one of
them (provided good weak point sniping ability), so it's important to consider
what sort of Twisted will appear in the next chapter and bringing the
appropriate equipment to deal with the situation.
  Bringing an launcher or other low reserve high damage weapons into a battle
against several waves of Wads is not a good idea.  Neither is bringing an
impact-focused handgun to deal with Rovers.  For areas that feature
weak to medium enemies such as Wads & Snatchers, weapons such as the FNHC &
M1014 do well.  Against strong enemies such as Rollers & Worms high damage
becomes much more important, especially since enemies regen LIFE at a very
rapid rate on Genocide, so bring along an XM109 or FSA15 IC to mow them down.

  If too lazy to bother constantly changing configurations, a combination of
SR110 + FSA15 IC is probably the way to go.  This setup can competently deal
with most situations.  Alternatively SZ239 + SZ229 both with spread-shot
bullet equipped will also work for most situations, as there's only a few
situations that constant spamming of Liberation won't overcome.




============================================

          Genocide mode FAQ : 

============================================


  Q : Help! reaper hard!
-------------------

  The reaper is a source of trouble for most players.  Something useful to
know is that ODKing the reaper (even though it takes no damage) will
disengage all special abilities.  This will cause any current blood barriers
to disappear and if the reaper has entered rage mode (charges up, turns red
and even more sinister looking) this will cause it to revert back to normal.
  A small sidenote, when the reaper uses it's kidnapping attack on Aya (or
Aya ODs into the soldier being kidnapped), entering Liberation will cause the
repear to immediately be stunned.  A bit of a waste since the reaper cannot
be damaged but at least it will disengage any special abilities it has on.


  Q : Help! can't kill the Rover before the helicopter arrives in Episode 2!
-------------------

  Possibly the most difficult thing to do in the game is this Episode 2
Chapter 1 achievement on Genocide, which unlocks Gabrielle's sniper rifle.
The best weapon for this achievement is no doubt Gabrielle's sniper rifle. so
there's a bit of a catch 22 situation.  Launchers & impact shotguns will not
be able to do the job, so it's up to the player to decide on which sniper
rifle type they would prefer to use.

  Most recommend using the high magazine type with increased magazine upgrades
as they have a good balance between damage, ammo and accuracy.  Tthe ammo
cache nearby this in effect grants 12 continuous shots without needing to
reload.
  This series also has the advantange in that with the correct positioning,
after getting 1 weak point shot, the rest of the shots need very little
adjustment in aim.  Simply ODK, and afterward the Rover should be in the
same position, when aiming again the crosshair should be very close to the
weakpoint.
It can also be possible (albeit with highly fortuitous positioning) not to
have to aim at all if adjusting the zoom enables ODK.  In this case, zoom in
to hit the weakpoint, zoom out to ODK, then when aiming again zoom in an the
crosshair will be exactly over the weakpoint.

  The high reserve type is probably the most difficult, due to the low damage.
Up to the player as to choose between more damage or the split bullet, either
will work.

  The 50 cals have a different set of challenges due to their 1 shot magazine
and comparatively poor aim steadiness and accuracy.  Some would say the 50cals
are more difficult than the high reserve type, however with good aim (or good
luck) it can get the job done a few shots less than the high magazine type.


  Q : Help! worm hard!
-------------------

  The basics of dealing with worms are to shoot the weakpoint (in the
'mouth') with a sniper rifle, instantly stunning it and then ODK it.  After
this it'll shed its shell and have no weak point as well as very rapid
regeneration but also be much easier to damage.
  Consider bringing strong weapons to help finish the worm off quickly after
it sheds its skin, some suggestions would be the FSA15 IC or XM109 or just
resort to Liberation spam.

  An interesting note on dealing with worms, after they're stunned their
weak point can still be attacked, potentially allowing a lot of damage to be
dealt before the worm transforms, however lining up the shot is quite
difficult.  Even without ODK, after losing a certain amount of LIFE worms
will still shed their shell.


  Q : Help! mudflap hard!
-------------------

  No real extra tactics available, just try to defeat it with a fatal ODK.
If killed by other means this can be difficult to deal with.  First try to
move all the soldiers away into one area as far away from the mudflap as
possible, then take control of one soldier and try to lead the mudflap's
phantom in circles until it disappears.  If the mudflap's phantom touches
Aya or any other soldier the mudflap will respawn with 2 bars of LIFE and
always launch 3 transformation attacks after the recovery animation is
finished.

  It IS possible to outrun it's transformation attack (if it only launches
one), but it's quite difficult to perform consistently and generally
requires being quite far away from the mudflap to begin with.


  Q : Help! How to mine for fish ?
-------------------

  Use pile bunker to defeat a Wad while it is still flying.





     Contact
============================================


If this guide contains unsatisfactory content, errors, or could do with some
pointers on styling and layout improvements, feel free to leave a message
on the GameFAQS or Gamespot message boards of this game.


     Credits
============================================

  I'd like to thank the academy...

  Thanks to Square-Enix for finally having another go at Parasite Eve,
albeit with a significant disappointment to many.

  Thanks to Hexadrive for doing a pretty good job at development, and all the
auxiliary staff, especially Maaya Sakamoto, as I can imagine doing all those
goofy voices would have become tiresom after a while.

  Many thanks to the various GameFAQS & Gamespot board regulars who try to
contribute in their own ways.  Sorry but there are too many to remember and
specifically name, they know who they are and are much appreciated for their
contuing efforts.

  Composing this guide would have been very difficult without the constant
banter of the Japanese gaming community and their inputs on various sites,
boards and Wikis various Japanese boards and Wiki sites.  Again far too many
to individually list, a cursory internet search will produce most of them.

  At the time of writing this guide, many natural disasters and other strife
have stricken several countries on the Earth.  Japan has suffered through one
of the worst natural disasters in history and the wost in living memory.
Many of you reading this guide probably enjoy many things made possible by
the Japanese and their ingenuity.  Please spare a thought, some time and give
generously to disaster relief, local and international charities and help
those less fortunate.


     Legal
============================================

  'The 3rd Birthday' and all associated trademarks and copyrights are
property of Hexadrive, Square-Enix and any other respective owners.

  This guide is exclusively @ GameFAQS.com.  Not to be rented, sold or
exchanged for any personal gain or commercial purposes.
  This document is copyright and the intellectual property of it's author
Bukimi, 2011.
Any sort of quoting or research purposes are welcome, so are criticisms but
please keep it civil.

  Please do not misappropriate this guide for other intentions.

*Disclaimer: the contents of this guide are not official and are not
sanctioned by the developers, publishers or distributors of The 3rd Birthday.
Contents of this guide are based on the Japanese release.