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Note from Joch:

DMD regular enemies have about 20% less health than their Normal/Hard mode counterparts – this presumably is to compensate for the massive offense and/or defense boost they get when they DT. Most of the time you won’t notice the difference, but in certain cases you might.


Marionettes & Bloody Mari

They are low-class evil spirits that borrow the bodies of puppets in order to exist in a physical state. The Bloody Mari's red outfit dyed with human blood somehow increases their evil powers.

First appearance: Mission 1
Joch's strategy: At the beginning of the game, you will only have Force Edge and E&I to take on these puppets. Use either the 4-Hit combo with High Time finisher or the Multi-Stab combo. Use High Time to knock Maris up into the air, and Stinger or the last thrust of a Multi-Stab combo to knock them down – this makes them defenseless, leaving them open to comboing. When concentrating on a single Mari, don’t ignore the others – evade with a jump/roll if you hear the telltale twirling sound of projectiles about to be thrown. Get rid of the shotgun Maris first, as they are the most dangerous. Later on, the puppets go down almost ridiculously easily to grenade gun shots, Air Raid, Vortex, Meteors, Infernoes – you get the idea.

As per Marionettes. Due to their superior blocking abilities, however, you may need to High Time them more frequently than the other Marionettes in order to overcome their parries. If you hold down R1 whilst slashing a blocking Bloody Mari, it will enable you to slash again more quickly, thus avoiding being hit on the counterattack.


Sin Scissors

They are low-class evil spirits that can only exist by taking a shape of physical objects. These evil spirits have chosen a deadly scissors as their shape. These evil spirits are dependent on the masks they wear. They cannot exist without them.

First appearance: Mission 2
Joch's strategy: Use DTed downward slashes, doing wall-jumps to gain greater height. The shotgun also works reasonably well: just keep blasting away to stun, and eventually kill, the Sin Scissors. The most effective method, though, is a critical hit. Slash once (in non-DT mode) at the Sin’s open pair of scissors to send it into a stunned pose, then quickly run forwards, swivel left, and take a single shot with E&I, the shotgun, or (later on) even the grenade gun. If done correctly, a few small red orbs will instantly appear, before the body disintegrates and the bulk of the red orbs appears. It’s well worth trying to master this method of killing Sin Scissors – also, you can’t complete Secret Mission 1 without it.


Sin Scythe

These evil spirits are dependent on the masks they wear. They have scythes instead of scissors. Like the Sin Scissors, they are dependent on their masks. They cannot exist without them.

First appearance: Mission 8
Joch's strategy: Use Air Raid or the shotgun. The Sin Scythes go down ridiculously easy to both. You can get critical hits against them in the same way as you can against Sin Scissors, but their scythes are far harder to deflect close-up than the scissors – it isn’t worth going to the effort of killing Sin Scythes with critical hits, when they are so easy to kill by other means. Watch out for their irritating scythe throws – the Sins’ sycthes are quite hard to evade.


Death Scissors

The part that looks like a cow’s bone is their main body. Their evil is much stronger and tougher when compared to the Sin’s. They use many staffs made from bones of animals and humans to create an evil barrier. This barrier is impenetrable. You must defeat the enemy within it.

First appearance: Mission 6
Joch's strategy: The best method of dealing with the Death Scissors – DTed Air-Hiked slashes on its head – probably won’t be available to you this early on. An effective substitute is to stand in front of the Death Scissors, jump straight up, kick-jump off its head, and do a DTed downward slash. You can also do wall-jumps, but the Death Scissors has a frustrating habit of blocking nearly every single wall-jumped slash – so you will need to be persistent and patient. If you have Ifrit, then Infernoes are also excellent against the Death Scissors – and you can DT-cancel them to gain back DT! Just input the command for an Inferno, then immediately press L1 to cancel – the Inferno will still come out, but in non-DT mode. If done correctly, you will refill your DT gauge. Finally, it is almost impossible to kill the Death Scissors without it going into corkscrew dive mode at least once. Its skull will turn bright pink, it will become invulnerable to all of your attacks (so don’t attack it – it’s better to taunt for DT or wait during this period), and then finally rise up out of sight and do 4-5 corkscrew dives in a row. As the Death Scissors approaches, it will make a distinctive “whooshing” sound – when you hear that sound, evade. You can either run a couple of steps then jump away from the Death Scissors, or you can target it by holding R1 and do a roll to the side as it approaches. Wait for the Death Scissors to fully recover first before attacking it again after the corkscrew dives are over.

Although I don’t recommend items in general, a single Holy Water will kill a Death Scissors in one fell swoop.


Death Scythe

These are the evilest, the strong strongest, and the highest ranking of all the “Sins”.

First appearance: Mission 11
Joch's strategy: Use DTed Air-Hiked slashes against the Death Scythe – wait until it swoops down and raises its scythe to take a swipe at you, then Air Hike straight up and do a downward slash on its head. The Death Scythe will quite often swoop down several times in a row, leading to a very quick demise – however, it does have a rarer attack where it does a long, gliding swoop along the ground, trying to skewer you like a kebab. If it does that type of swoop, then your Air-Hiked slash will miss the Death Scythe - but at least you won’t get hit. Another method is to Inferno the Death Scythe’s scythes which are embedded in the ground – press L1 to DT-cancel the Infernoes (refer to Death Scissors section), and gain several DT runes back with each Inferno. Not only can you maintain a permanently full gauge, but Infernoing the Death Scythe’s scythes will kill the Death Scythe itself surprisingly quickly – try it.

The Death Scythe will lay annoying whirlpool traps all over the area. Try to avoid stepping in one of those altogether, but if you do get caught up in one, just keep on jumping forwards in the air until it’s over – the Death Scythe’s swipes will miss you.


Shadow

It has evil spells covering its body, thus allowing it to deflect all sword attacks. It’s an evil spirit that takes form from its own shadows. But they can also take on other forms by changing the spells on its body.

First appearance: Mission 4
Joch's strategy: Fire (preferably DTed) E&I or shotgun bullets at the Shadow until it exposes its core – do not try to slash it during this time, as you will trigger its almost-impossible-to-evade white/purple needles. Shooting at the Shadow will enrage it, so be prepared to run/jump/roll a lot to avoid its many grab attempts. If it sends spikes coming out of the ground, run round in circles without doubling back on yourself to evade. Its spinning throw attack is deadly accurate – when you see the Shadow rise up into the air out of sight, run and then jump to evade its spinning lunge! Once the core is exposed, use 2-3 DTed Stingers to turn the Shadow red. If you have Ifrit, Kick-13s are also very powerful against the core. As soon as the Shadow has turned red, you can either squeeze in a double-handed taunt first or just run for your life. Air Hike helps enormously in evading a red Shadow. Alternatively, jump over the Shadow as it lunges at you – this may sound like leaping into the lion’s jaws, but it actually works much better than trying to jump away rom a lunging Shadow. Finally, you can jump and fire E&I to suspend yourself in mid-air, letting the Shadow’s lunge pass harmlessly by.

It’s possible to turn the Shadow red without ever exposing its core – this is what’s known as the “critical hit.” To achieve this, you must not shoot at the Shadow – you need to calm it down to the point where it will only do its two long-range attacks: the horizontal spike or the spinning throw. Instead, walk around at mid-distance from the Shadow, waiting for it to stop and its face to start dissolving – once it does so, quickly get in front of the Shadow and jump straight up – if your timing was right, you will land on the horizontal spike the Shadow shoots out. On the spike, stand still and fire E&I for all you’re worth! (DTing isn’t a necessity.) If enough bullets go in, the Shadow will turn red then and there – evade, as described above. The achievability of a critical hit depends on what mode you are in: on Normal mode, you can turn nearly every Shadow red in one go; on Hard mode, you will sometimes have to stand on the spike several times to turn a Shadow red; on DMD mode, the critical hit simply isn’t available at all – but you can still stand on the spike and fire E&I to greatly weaken the health of the Shadow. Critical hits are also a very good method of fighting multiple Shadows, since it calms them down and makes it a much less frantic encounter overall.


Beezelbub

This evil spirit inhibits the body of a fly. Their hideousness is not too difficult to imagine from its appearance and movements.

First appearance: Mission 6
Joch's strategy: Pah. Go to town with either Air Raid or the shotgun. Easy.


Kyklops

Although they appear similar to the Phantom, they are still one of the low-class evil spirits. However, since they take on earth and rocks as host elements, they have substantial durability. Contrary to their appearance, they have superb leaping abilities.

First appearance: Mission 10
Joch's strategy: Two words: Air Raid! On Normal mode, Kyklops are very susceptible to Air Raid; once one Kyklop has been finished off, drop back down and run around until your DT refills, then Air Raid the second Kyklop. On Hard/DMD modes, Kyklops can still be Air Raided, but they have about twice the resistance to it – nevertheless, they’ll still go down with 9-10 runes of DT. An alternative to Air Raid is DTed Air-Hiked slashes on the centre of the Kyklop’s bulb – this will do absolutely massive damage, since it is their weak spot. Kyklops can also damage each other, by hitting each other with the rock-spewing attack. As you’ll know, though, if you do Secret Mission 5, this is a slooow way of killing a Kyklop.


Blade

They are soldiers created by the Dark Emperor to take control of the surface. They use a kind of reptile as host bodies, thus having much lizard like characteristics.

First appearance: Mission 9
Joch's strategy: Use grenade-rolling (i.e. cancel the lag of the grenade shot with a roll to shoot again much more quickly), or, better still, a combination of grenade-rolling and Vortex Lvl 2, to tear through packs of Blades. Nothing is more powerful against them, particularly when you reach the Blades in the well in Mission 11! (This is even more true of Hard/DMD modes, where you get far more Blades in the well.) The Nightmare Beta is a nice weapon to use against Blades when you get it – just keep rolling and shooting to rack up easy Stylish combo ratings.

Blades’ weak spot is their back – if you hit this, it’s a one-hit kill, no matter how much health or armour they have. To set up the critical hit, you need to put them belly-side down. With the shotgun, shoot the Blade point blank in the face to stun it, then quickly run around behind it and shoot it in the back – this will send it tumbling through the air to land on its stomach. Quickly jump forwards and slash downwards (no need to be in DT mode). If your hit connected, the Blade will spurt out lots more blood than normal =P Stinger will work in the same way as the shotgun. You can use the grenade gun, but don’t shoot the Blade in the face first – instead, get right behind it and shoot it in the back – this will often send it flying to land belly-side down. Again, jump and slash downwards. You can use Ifrit’s flame-kick to get the critical hit, too, but it tends to go askew.

For the underwater Blades, you can only use the Needlegun against them. Get at mid-range distance from a single Blade, and maintain a steady, rhythmic firing pattern against it until it dies. If it starts to swim too close to you, press R1 + analogue stick back + Triangle to swim away backwards from it. The only attack underwater Blades have is shooting blood from their claws, which your needlegun fire can deflect – so just keep on shooting continuously.


Sargasso

They hide between the edges of the sea and the Underworld. They wait on stray wanderers and feast on them. The spirits of the victims are destined to wander the endless sea of the Underworld.

First appearance: Mission 3
Joch's strategy: Use two shotgun shots each against a single Sargasso. (Or one shotgun shot against a DMD Sargasso!) The grenade gun works brilliantly at taking out several Sargassoes in one go, if you have it – just trigger the Sargassoes into following you, then fire at them. Otherwise, normal Alastor combos will suffice – 4-Hit combos with rising High Times followed by a downward slash, that kind of thing. Sargassoes don’t actually have much health, and even the large ones pose little real threat.


Nobody

Their level of intelligence is low. Hence their kind wasn’t given a name. But their skill to survive is a force to be reckoned with. After all, they have survived this extreme world of survival of the fittest.

First appearance: Mission 19
Joch's strategy: Inferno them, and then finish off with grenade-rolling. They are a pain to kill any other way; although repeated DTed Stingers up their rear ends work quite well. In general, though, the size, jerky movements, and the explosive large eye which they lay down make the large Nobodies, at least, very difficult to melée effectively. Shotgun blasts will stun both the small and large Nobodies – it takes a while, but shotgun-twitching will finish them off. Also, be wary of the Nobodies’ infernal dance – it will drain your DT rapidly. When a Nobody dies, keep away from the spattering remains.


Fetish

Although they appear similar to the Marionettes, they have much greater evil powers. They are not the works of a man, but they appear to have been created by an evil entity.

First appearance: Mission 9
Joch's strategy: To deal with a single Fetish, I recommend comboing it from the back, as it can’t block a single hit that way – just knock it up in the air with a High Time or Magma Drive, then run round behind it. If you are comboing it from the front and it raises up its shurikens to block you, do a quick roll to the side, as it will counterattack with its fiery breath. To deal with groups of Fetishes (these are more commonly found on Hard/DMD modes), grenade-rolling combined with Vortex Lvl 2 lays them to absolute waste. Uncharged Meteors also work nicely in taking out groups of Fetishes, but be careful not to get hit by an attack from offscreen. On DMD mode, try not to let a group of Fetishes DT, but if they do, then use Vortex Lvl 2 or charged Meteor Lvl 2s against them – the grenade gun will earn DT back in a hurry.


Frost

They are soldiers created by the Dark Emperor to take control of the surface. Enveloped in cold air, they are the elites of their kind. Their quickness is a definite advantage in cornering their prey. The cold honed claws are none other than an ice blade. The air around the blades is beyond absolute zero temperature and the victims who are slashed will die without feeling any pain.

First appearance: Mission 9
Joch's strategy: Inferno. Oh, you want more? =P Well, two Infernoes will normally kill a pair of Frosts, if you catch both of them full-on in the blasts. A fully-charged Meteor Lvl 2 will greatly weaken a Normal/Hard Frost, and outright kill a DMD Frost. Not only that, but if you line up two Frosts, you can hit both of them for full damage with a single Meteor. (Lining up two Frosts is possible in Mission 7 (Hard/DMD mode) and Mission 17 (all modes) – for Mission 7, run a few steps to the right after entering; for Mission 17, get in front of the Frost furthest away from the door. Start charging up a Meteor, and one of the Frosts should hop back to join its mate ;p) To kill a single Frost, do an Inferno followed by an Auto-Combo (you can DT-cancel the AC to gain back some DT). Alternatively, just wail upon it with non-DTed Kick-13s, punches, and Magma Drives – Frosts are so weak to Ifrit, it will soon go down XD … Don’t use the sword, though. Not unless you like a challenge!

Note: In Mission 17, one of the Frosts will always do a cheap lunge immediately after the cutscene. To evade it, cancel the cutscene; and then, while the screen is still black, hold R1 + analogue stick back and jam on the Triangle button. Depending on the force of your jump you’ll either end up in between the Frosts or in front of both of them, but you won't have been hit.


Plasma

They are electrical evil spirits transformed into the shape of bats.

First appearance: Mission 16
Joch's strategy: The quickest way to kill a group of Plasmas is with an Inferno blast – that will kill them off in one fell swoop, but be careful not to land too near a human Plasma, as it can take a counterattack swipe at you as the Inferno comes out. An uncharged Meteor will kill a human or bat Plasma instantly, so feel free to fire off uncharged Meteors from a distance. Human Plasmas are very prone to creating copies of themselves upon death – however, you will never get more than three Plasmas in a group, so fortunately their ability to make copies is restricted. Bat Plasmas are generally easier to deal with – use grenade-rolling, Roundtrips, or uncharged Meteors to kill them. Bat Plasmas also only have two attacks – a vertical beam and a curved blade – both of which can be evaded with a jump/roll to the side. Finally, DTed shotgun shots work quite nicely against Plasmas – just keep blasting away, using the shotgun-twitching technique if possible.


Credits:
Thanks to Joch for the almighty strategies and Krizy for screencapturing the pictures for me!


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