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Nightmare 1 (M16)

Boss Attacks

I'll divide this section into three parts. If the terms "gloopy",  "solidified", and "Underworld" are a mystery, don't worry about it for now: I'll explain later what they all mean. 

[Gloopy - when Nightmare is a green puddle]

Ice Slugs - Nightmare sends out 2-3 large black slugs from his gloop on an almost non-stop basis. They turn into a crystal of ice when they explode, hence their name. To evade, just keep on running around Nightmare - if one latches onto you keep on running and jumping to shake it off. You can also roll to the side, or jump over them, as they rear up prior to leaping up and latching onto you. 

Swirl - If you step into Nightmare's gloop, a portion of it will rise up and try to grab you. The first time you get grabbed, you will be sent, unharmed, to the Underworld. Any time you get grabbed after that, though, you will just get hurt.  

Body Swirl - The same as the swirl, except this time Nightmare's whole puddle will rise up and swirl, not just a section of it. It takes Nightmare a while to prepare this one, so you have far more time to get away from it than you do the normal swirl attack. 

[Solid - When Nightmare looks like a giant silver phallus... >_>] 

Machine Gunfire - You'd better get used to this attack, as Nightmare does it straight after being solidified and in between all of his major attacks. Several small silver orbs pop out from its body and start firing needle-thin fire at short-range. It's easy to throw off the tracking with a jump in the opposite direction to the one you want to go in, then run or even walk back on yourself around Nightmare. If you begin running and feel you're being forced further than you want to go, you can safely switch to a walk mid-run by holding R1.  

Triple Stab - Shortly after the machine gunfire ends, Nightmare will sharply rotate so that his side faces you and send out three tentacles one after the other. Just jump away from them to evade. Alternatively, you can parry any one of the tentacles with either a short, Rolling-Blazed, jump forwards or a regular sword slash or Stinger - if you successfully parry a tentacle, the remainder won't come out and you'll get a free attacking opportunity at Nightmare's back core. Time the parry almost immediately after Nightmare has rotated - even if Nightmare's side is already facing you, he'll still do a telltale movement.  

Ice Beam - A few thin white rays slink along the ground first of all, which are easy to avoid by making sure you are anywhere except directly in front of Nightmare. The thin rays are then followed by a stonking huge ice beam which swivels around trying to hit Dante. It's best to jump on top of Nightmare whilst this attack is going on. 

Guided Missiles - A hatch opens up at the 'back' (the thinnest part) of Nightmare and several waves of guided black missiles come surging towards Dante. Jump or roll to the side to evade each wave as it approaches. More riskily, you can fire non-stop E&I to deflect them back to Nightmare. 

DT-Siphon - This is actually a part of the Ice Beam/Guided Missiles attacks, but I thought I would "siphon" (ho ho... ho... >_>) it off into its own category. At the end of said attacks, Nightmare's exposed core will try to siphon off some of your DT to the total of 3 runes. To cancel the DT-stealing attempts, attack the core with melee attacks. To gain DT, taunt - just double taunt. You need to be next to the core for this to work, though. 

Core Rays - Every time a core emerges from Nightmare, white rays will emanate from it for about 2 seconds. They don't look like much, but they have quite a long reach and will hurt and stun you if they touch you. Therefore you shouldn't be too close to the core as it emerges - this is particularly true of the Ice Beam attack. 

[Underworld - When Nightmare grabs you in gloopy form]

This is a spectral realm - probably a version of Hell - that Dante gets sent to after being grabbed by Nightmare. A visit to the Underworld is optional (unless you get grabbed by accident >_>); if you decide to go, then you will have to face a total of six Sargassoes and one weakened "Shadow" boss - which boss you get depends on which Nightmare you fight. In the Nightmare 1 fight, you will always always get Phantom.  

The rewards are excellent. You get 500 red orbs for defeating the Shadow boss, a full DT gauge restored, plus nearly 30% taken off Nightmare's lifebar upon re-entry to the upper world. There's also the possibility of either a Sargasso or a Shadow boss dropping a green orb which fully restores health, although, it has to be said, this doesn't happen very often.  

Dante always begins in the same position when he first enters the Underworld, though he can be facing in any direction. If you can't see the Sargassoes, hold R1 until the camera pans behind you and they come into view. If you move forwards to take out the first two Sargassoes ahead of you, then go left and continue in a clockwise direction, you can't really go wrong. Well, you can :p ... But once you get familiar with the layout then you won't, since the Sargassoes themselves are always in the same position. 

Take out the Sargassoes by almost any means, but don't waste DT on them - save it for the Phantom fight. (Or, alternatively, taunt the inactive Phantom for DT - the only Shadow boss you can do this with. You can even slowly heal yourself to full health, if you like.) A grenade gun shot -> Stinger or Kick-13 -> grenade gun shot is a good combo for dealing with Sargassoes.  

Shadow Phantom has all the attacks that Phantom 1 and 2 do, but he is also much weaker. (Except on DMD mode.) On Normal/Hard mode just use Air Raid to zap him to death. On DMD mode, he's been made extremely resistant to Air Raid, so you're better off with DTed Helm Breakers instead - of course, these will work on Normal/Hard Phantom too. In fact, they'll destroy him if you hit the right spots. 

By the way, just a warning: Shadow Phantom is almost invisible as he comes to life after the last Sargasso has been defeated. Even when he is fully rescusitated, he blends pretty well into the murky surroundings without his fires, so keep your eyes peeled. 

I'll deal with Shadow Griffon and Nelo in the Nightmare 2 and 3 battles. 

Nightmare's Patterns/Mechanics: 

Before I go onto the battle, it makes sense to outline some of Nightmare's patterns/mechanics first. Nightmare is an extremely patterned boss and if you understand how it works, it makes the fight a lot faster/easier. 

- Basics: 

This is for total beginners who are playing the game for the first time. You have four (or two) dials in the arena. You light up any one of those dials (it doesn't matter which one). Once it's fully lit, Nightmare will change from being a green puddle with bits and pieces floating around in it to a solid bio-mechanical creature, who is a gigantic version of the Nightmare-Beta weapon.

Nightmare is invulnerable as a gloopy puddle, but once he is solid he will begin to expose his "breathing" core (which looks a bit like a disco ball) during his attacks - damage the core to damage Nightmare. Meanwhile, the dials won't stay lit forever, but will start to wind down. Once they have finished winding down, Nightmare will revert to his gloopy state and you'll need to light them again to make Nightmare re-solidify. When you return from the Underworld, the runes on the dials change to being yellow, and the dial takes twice as long to wind down - meaning Nightmare stays solid for much longer.  

- Substituting Attacks:  

Some of Nightmare's attacks can be substituted. This applies to the Ice Beam and Guided Missiles, both of which can be substituted for the other. This is done during the Machine Gunfire attack as it starts coming to an end - where you are standing in relation to Nightmare during that time determines which attack he does. If you are in front of Nightmare, he will do the Ice Beam. If you are at the sides or to the back of him, he will do the Guided Missiles. It's possible during a Nightmare fight to make it so that you never even see the Ice Beam or the Guided Missiles. 

- Attack Patterns: 

Nightmare will do his attacks in a particular order. He will always begin with an Ice Beam or Guided Missiles attack after being made solid for the first time at the beginning of battle or after your return from the Underworld. This is how the order goes: 

Ice Beam/Guided Missiles -> Triple Stab -> Ice Beam/Guided Missles -> Triple Stab, and so on 

Yeah, it is really that simple. The order can change as time goes on, but that will do you for a while. If, by the way, you get too far away from Nightmare, he will only do his Ice Beam attack - you can use this to your advantage to Air Raid him, if you like. It's a somewhat cheap way of getting through the Nightmare 1 fight, but does work.  

- Cores: 

Nightmare has 3 cores which serve him for 3 fights, but his third and final core you won't see in this fight or the next. You'll see his two other cores, though. The top core comes out during his Ice Beam and Boomerang (not something which appears in the Nightmare 1 fight) attacks and the back core comes out during his Triple Stab and Guided Missiles attacks.  

That's not really too important to know. You might possibly notice that his cores shatter and change colour over the course of the 3 fights, however. The two cores start off blue and unbroken, then change to green and broken, and finally red and broken. 

The blue and green cores have equal defense; the red core gains a 2.5x defense boost. This sounds drastic, but on Normal/Hard modes, DTed attacks do so much damage, it's less noticeable than it sounds. It's possible to avoid turning the cores red or even green, but only through using fully-charged Meteor Lvl 2s or charged PPKK combos - everything else will break the core, in some cases very quickly. 

There's one other thing to note about the colour of the cores (or, rather, the top core - the colour of the back one doesn't apply here). And that is, they influence the behaviour of the Ice Beam. If the core is blue,  the Ice Beam will stay out for a very short period of time - 3 seconds - and hardly swivel around. If the core is green, the Ice Beam will stay out for longer and swivel around wildly at least once. If it's red, the Ice Beam will stay out for the longest period of time of all, and swing round wildly a couple of times. 

So there you go. From a tactical point of view, it makes sense to shatter the top core green, but no further. Air Raid, DTed Stingers, Infernoes will all shatter a core really quickly. And, as the core can't be turned red in the Nightmare 1 fight, you can do anything you like to the core after that for the remainder of the fight :D  

The Battle

At long last :p 

To begin the battle, light up any one of the dials, then go and examine the frozen blue puddle. You should skip the subsequent cutscene, as the dials wind down during it - by the time it's over, they will have just about fully wound down. Meh, it's not like it's exactly an interesting scene anyway. 

Assuming you skipped the cutscene, you'll begin in front of a solidifying Nightmare - you can safely taunt him before needing to evade the machine gunfire. You can trigger either the Guided Missiles or the Ice Beam, but I recommend triggering the Ice Beam - if you do trigger the Guided Missiles, then the only way you can safely attack the core through the missiles is with Vortex Lvl 2.  

If you trigger the Ice Beam, make sure not to run down too far Nightmare's side - and stand at a distance from him while the core emerges to avoid the rays. Once they have died away, you can jump on Nightmare's back next to the top core.  

If you have trouble landing on Nightmare's back (and it is tricky until you eventually learn how to do it every time), then Ifrit's flame-kick is of great help here. Jump up so that you're hovering directly above the core, then press the attack button to home in on it. Don't jump from too far back or from too low a position. 

Almost anything besides the Nightmare-Beta can be used to damage the cores, but I advise using Inferno or Air Raid to turn it green (see the "Cores" section for more details). You get very little time at the core when it's blue, but when it's been turned green, you'll get longer.  

Once the core has been turned green, then a fully-charged DTed PPKK is the single most damaging thing you can do to it by miles. For Alastor a repeat DTed Stinger -> grenade combo is also hugely damaging. Once the core enters its DT-siphoning phase, you might want to stop attacking to double taunt - and regain DT. When the core retracts, you should get enough time to squeeze in another taunt before needing to jump off Nighty.    

For the remainder of battle, try to correctly anticipate what Nightmare's next attack will be. If you know it's the Triple Stab coming up next, for example, then you can aim to be running or walking down Nightmare's side just as the machine gun fire is ending - that is, if you want to go for parrying the tentacles. If you don't, then keep at a distance from Nighty, and wait for him to go into his next attack.  

It's up to you if you pay a visit to the Underworld, but if you do go, then make sure you go with at least 35% of Nightmare's life still remaining - you cannot kill him with a return from the Underworld, not even if he only has a tiny sliver of life left. Therefore, to get the maximum benefit, you should make sure that Nightmare is capable of receiving the maximum damage.  

Also, when you return from the Underworld, you will have to face 4-5 attacks back-to-back when Nightmare is in solid form, instead of the usual 1-2. If you don't like the idea of this, then it makes sense to go to the Underworld as late as possible. 

Before I end this section, it's worth making a special note about the camera. It's pretty dire in this fight. I get around it by only using the two dials on either side of the central blue door, then running down towards Nightmare - I still get a jarring camera angle change, but at least it's only one, as opposed to several. In other words, I avoid going into the low-lying corridors at all. But obviously, it's up to you, the player, to find the best way of fighting Nightmare which suits you. It won't come after 10 minutes of play, but only after lots of experience... :-/ 

DMD mode
- Joch's 0-damage video demo

Difficulty ratings

First timer: ****
DMD mode: *****
Camera angle: *****

DMC1 bosses

» Mission 3 - Phantom 1
» Mission 4 - Nelo Angelo 1
» Mission 8 - Phantom 2
» Mission 9 - Griffon 1
» Mission 11 - Nelo Angelo 2
» Mission 12 - Griffon 2
» Mission 15 - Griffon 3
» Mission 16 - Nightmare 1
» Mission 17 - Nelo Angelo 3
» Mission 18 - Nightmare 2
» Mission 20 - Nightmare 3
» Mission 22 - Mundus 1
» Mission 22 - Mundus 2
» Mission 23 - Mundus 3

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