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Cupil FAQ by STam

Version: 1.4 | Updated: 12/13/00

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
                             Skies of Arcadia
                                Cupil Guide
                                version 1.4
                 written by Sherwin Tam (sct8@cornell.edu)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

--------------
---CONTENTS---
--------------
Introduction
Version Changes
Cupil
Chams
Finding Chams
Cham Locations
Cupil Evolution
Form Statistics
Disclaimer
Credits



------------------
---INTRODUCTION---
------------------
This is a guide to one of the more unique aspects of the Skies of Arcadia
Dreamcast console game, the evolution of the Cupil creature.  Herein is
information about how to make Cupil grow, where to find the items to make
it grow, and the different forms it can take.



---------------------
---VERSION CHANGES---
---------------------
1.4 (12/13/00): Couple of changes based on input.  Fixed some Abirik
instructions, modified the Cham location count, got confirmations for the
bazaar and one of the form statistics.

1.31 (12/11/00): Revised the title headers to stand out more, something
that had been bothering me in terms of readability.  Some spelling
corrections.

1.3 (12/8/00): Revised the evolution section and replaced the table with a
chart, which I think is much easier to understand.

1.2 (12/5/00): Revised the introduction text, which didn't make that much
sense, and cleaned up some areas. See what happens when you copy things
from your other FAQs?

1.1 (12/5/00): Whoops, missed a Cham location in my list.  Thanks to Red
XIV for pointing that out.  Also revised the section on Final Cupil, as my
theory about how it worked was blown out of the water upon further testing.
Currently I'm unable to confirm the secondary properties of any forms,
unfortunately; as strange as it is to say, I'm too powerful for my own
good.  Fina ends up killing enemies, and you can't test whether status
changes happen when the enemy's dead...  If you can confirm or know of any
other special effects any of the forms have, please e-mail me.

1.0 (12/4/00): Completed version, submitted to GameFAQs.

0.1 (10/16/00): First version.



-----------
---CUPIL---
-----------
Cupil is Fina's pet... um, morphing thing that she brought with her from
the Silvite lands.  Once you obtain Fina in your party, Cupil will take up
residence on your VMU screen (if you have one) and generally do cutesy
things.  Besides serving as the game's requisite cute mascot, it also
doubles as Fina's primary (and only) weapon in combat.  Cupil can morph
into a variety of forms, depending on how many "Chams" (see below) it eats.
Fina by nature will never be an attack powerhouse in battle (with one
glaring exception), but with an appropriately evolved Cupil she can hold
her ground.  Thus, players who want to keep evolving Cupil will have to
search high and low for more Chams to feed its insatiable hunger...



-----------
---CHAMS---
-----------
Chams are small shards of moon stone that Cupil's species apparently feeds
on.  The more Chams you feed to Cupil, the more powerful of a form it can
morph into in combat.  There are 3 types of Cham available: normal Cham, a
special Abirik Cham, and contaminated Chom.

Normal Cham, or just Cham, will make Cupil grow at its normal rate.  Note
that more than one Cham is needed to make Cupil evolve into his next form.
Cupil's growth is measured by the total number of Chams it has eaten.

Abirik Chams (hereafter referred to as "Abiriks") are a special, powerful
form of Cham that can immediately make Cupil evolve into another, higher
form, without any need to use the normal number of Chams to evolve.
Abiriks Chams can also sometimes change Cupil's evolutionary path.  The
rules about using Abiriks will be detailed later on.

Choms are a contaminated form of Cham that will cause Cupil to regurgitate
all the Chams and Abiriks it has consumed and reverting it to its original
form.  While it may seem strange to make the little guy cough up all the
Chams, making it much less powerful, it does serve a purpose in the game:
since the order Cupil eats Chams and Abiriks is important and can determine
what form it morphs into, Choms provide a way to start over and rearrange
the order that Cupil is fed and thus its growth.



-------------------
---FINDING CHAMS---
-------------------

--Chams--
Chams can normally be found lying on the ground in certain places, serving
as an ingenious method to ensure players that want to make Fina more
powerful will extensively explore dungeons and towns, looking for the
elusive tidbit.  As Chams are invisible to the naked eye, there are three
ways that the game indicates that a Cham is nearby:

1) If you have a VMU, Cupil will become more and more excited on the VMU
screen as you get closer to a Cham, and will indicate with an arrow when
you're close enough to start searching for a Cham (by pressing A).

2) The VMU will also start beeping when you're near a Cham, with the
beeping increasing in speed as you get closer.

3) If you have a rumble device, the controller will start to shake, with
the controller shaking harder as you get closer.

So, what do you do if you don't have a VMU, some form of a memory card with
a speaker, or a rumble device?  Honestly, I don't know.  You might just be
stuck with Fina being totally ineffective in combat for the entire game.
This is one of the few cases where a VMU is somewhat necessary to a game,
and not just a glorified memory card.  Note that you don't necessarily need
to save on the VMU; so long as the VMU is in the first slot, you can use a
memory card in the second slot and still be able to use the VMU to find
Chams.

Chams in general aren't that hard to find if you have the means to detect
them.  The majority of them are in places that you can't miss.  The hardest
ones to find are in the dungeons, since some of them are placed in empty
rooms or places that are a little out of the way, but none of them are too
hard to find.


--Abirik Chams--
Abiriks are much less common than Chams and are not found lying on the
ground.  These can only be gained in special events, as gifts from other
characters.  There are three Abirik Chams in the game.


--Choms--
Choms can be found in the same way as Chams are, lying on the ground.  They
can also be found on rare occasions as spoils after random battles. Only a
few are available in this fashion, but you won't need to use them all that
often.  However, the bazaar in Nasrad and eventually Sailor's Island will sell
Choms for a whopping 3000 gold, in case you need another one.



--------------------
---CHAM LOCATIONS---
--------------------
I put these in a separate location from the "Finding Chams" section, for
those that want to find Chams on their own.

--Chams--
Here's a quick checklist of where you can find Chams (30 total):

Pirate Isle (1)                     ruined Nasrad (2)
Sailor's Island (1)                 Gordo's Bistro (1)
Shrine Island (1)                   Esperanza (1)
Maramba (1)                         Yafutoma (1)
Temple of Pyrnn (1)                 Mount Kazai (1)
Horteka (1)                         Tenkou Island (1)
King's Hideout (1)                  Crescent Isle (2)
Moon Stone Mountain (2)             Ruins of Ice (2)
Rixis (2)                           Ilchymis' Island (1)
fight with Gordo (1)                Sortis (2)
Daccat's Island (2)                 Hamachou Island (1)*
Delphinus (1)

* Hamachou Island is only available as a download from the Skies of Arcadia
homepage (1st download).  Yes, this does mean that the last Cham may be
available only to those that have their Dreamcast online, except for
perhaps those won in Pinta's Quest.

To the best of my knowledge, these are the only Chams available in the
game.  Playing Pinta's Quest on the VMU (again with the hardware
requirements) *may* give you additional Chams (not sure), but 30 is all you
need, so it's just a matter of how fast you want them, unless you're unable
to unlock Hamachou Island.


--Abirik Chams--
The three Abiriks are located in three different cities:

Horteka -- If you talk to a fishing ship traveling around southern Ixa'taka
and give the fisherman the 10 Sky Sardis he wants, he will give you an
Abirik.

Nasrad -- If you talk to the Nasr merchant you escorted while you're in the
Nasrad weapons shop, he'll give you a second Abirik.

Esperanza -- This one's a doozy.  First, talk to the barkeep after coming
back from Yafutoma.  You'll do a few courier trips back and forth between
Esperanza and Maramba.  Eventually you'll be asked to gather three food
ingredients: Gentum, Kabal, and Khale.  Gentum can be found in Nasrad.
Kabal can be found in Gordo's Bistro.  Khale, unfortunately, requires you
to find the Spice Island discovery, which is southwest of Yafutoma.  It's
invisible, so good luck...  After finding all three ingredients and doing a
few more courier trips, you'll finally lay your grubby hands on the last
Abirik.


--Choms--
The three choms I found on the ground were around the Maw of Tartas.  I've
also found a few as spoils after random battles.  Choms may also be sold at
the Nasrad bazaar and are available at Sailor's Island after the bazaar is
closed.



---------------------
---CUPIL EVOLUTION---
---------------------
When fed Chams and Abiriks, Cupil will evolve (and the VMU will beep and
indicate it).  This evolution follows a specific pattern down a number of
evolution "paths," as shown in the chart below.  The format for the chart
is as follows:

Form name (number of Chams needed to evolve / minimum number of Abiriks)

The chart is organized in order of attack power, such that the further down
a form is, the more power it has.  Arrows indicate a change in path.


    Path #1

  Cupil(0/0)          Path #2
       |
  Blade(2/0)-------------|
       |                 |
   Cone(4/0)             |
       |                 V
       |            Cannon(2/1)
       |                 |
  Sword(8/0)             |         Path #3
       |                 |
       |             Club(8/1)--------|
       |                 |            |
  Star(12/0)---|         |            |         Path #4
       |       |         |            |
       |       |    Lance(12/1)------ | -----------|
       |       |         |            V            |
       |       |         |       Hammer(8/2)       |
       |       |         |            |            |
 Cutlass(16/0) |         |            |            |
       |       |         |            |            |
       |       |--> Spike(16/1) <-----|            |
       |                 |                         V
       |                 |                     Pan(12/2)
       |                 |                         |
  Spear(20/0) <----------|                         |
       |                                           |
Claymore(24/0)-----------------|                   |         Path #5
                               |                   |
                               |             Weight(24/2)-------|
                               |                                |
                               |                                |
                               |                                V
                               |------------------------> Final(30/3)*

* The last form doesn't follow the normal rules for evolution.  See the
  "Final Cupil" section below.


The standard method of evolution using just Chams will evolve Cupil down
one path, straight down on the chart, i.e. Blade to Cone to Sword, and so
on. At certain points, however, the chart branches off from one path into
another.  If an Abirik is used at these points, Cupil will go immediately
from the current path to the next path on the right.  For instance, when
Cupil is in Club form, feeding it an Abirik will cause it to evolve into a
Hammer.  Another indication of when to use Abiriks to change paths comes
from the VMU: when you evolve into a new form, Cupil will sometimes open
wide and point at its mouth, indicating that feeding it an Abirik will
change its evolutionary path.  It's clear from the chart that feeding
Abiriks to Cupil at the correct branching points will accelerate its attack
power growth, as the paths further to the right on the chart have more
attack power in the forms for any given number of Chams.

If you feed an Abirik to Cupil at a form with no branching point, however,
Cupil will instead evolve down the same path as before, without needing to
use the required number of Chams.  Feeding an Abirik to Cupil while in Star
form, for instance, will immediately turn it into the Spear form.  The
exception to this is the Final form, which can't be reached using this
method; using your remaining Abirik(s) after you reach Claymore or Weight
form won't do anything (unless you used 30 Chams, too).  Note that the cost
in Chams doesn't change when using the Abiriks to advance to the next form
in a path; using Abiriks in this fashion will simply get Cupil to more
powerful forms more quickly, at the cost of waiting longer for the next
form while you collect the needed Chams (not that that's really a problem).
For instance, if Cupil is in Cone form after 4 Chams, feeding it 2 Abiriks
would evolve it into Star form.  To get to Cutlass form, Cupil would need
to eat another 12 Chams, for the required 16 total.

But wait, what if you want to try a different path on the evolution tree,
but you already fed Cupil too many Chams?  That's where Choms come in.
Feeding Cupil a Chom causes the little guy to throw up all the Chams and
Abiriks it's eaten back into your inventory (with an accompanying VMU
animation to boot).  You can then feed it Chams and Abiriks in precisely
the order you want.  Just make sure to re-feed it before heading off into
battle...


--Final Cupil--
The Final form deserves a special mention, because the rules for the Final
form are different than the rest of the forms.  To get the Final form, you
need to feed Cupil all 30 Chams and 3 Abirik Chams.  You can't use Abiriks
to skip past the Claymore or Weight form to the Final form; unlike the
other forms, you need everything before you can reach Final Cupil.  Note
that you will need to obtain one of the Chams from either the downloaded
island or from Pinta's Quest, since only 29 are available in the standard
game.  Also, if you don't want to do a lot of backtracking, make sure you
have 28 Chams before you enter Soltis.

You'll know when you hit the Final form when the VMU screen proclaims
"Fainal Pet!" (whoops, spelling error there) and shows Cupil flexing a
bicep it suddenly acquired.  Final Cupil not only has a cooler attack
(sucking in enemies and spitting them out), but it will most likely
catapult Fina from the end of the combat pack to the status of attack
goddess, since Cupil's last form is easily the most powerful weapon in the
game.  Of course, if you're using Fina as an offensive tool, you're
probably doing something wrong, but it's still a nice upgrade.  Note that
it's not necessary to obtain Final Cupil to have Fina do decent damage; the
Weight form is sufficiently powerful compared to the other final weapons in
the game, and you can always boost Fina's strength by buying seeds from
Ilchymis.  The Claymore form has a status effect associated with it, so
it's not that bad either.  If, however, you have all the chams and want
some overkill, Final Cupil's the way to go.



---------------------
---FORM STATISTICS---
---------------------
(By power)
Path #  Name              Attack   Hit%    Other
------  ----              ------   ----    -----
1       Cupil             58       120
1       Cupil Blade       67       115     Silence
1       Cupicone          73       120
2       Cupil Cannon      86       105
1       Cupil Sword       90       115
2       Cupil Club        99       110
1       Cupil Star        103      120
2       Cupil Lance       110      120
3       Cupil Hammer      122      110
1       Cupil Cutlass     127      115     Silence
2       Cupil Spike       141      105
4       Cupil Pan         145      110
1       Cupil Spear       147      120
1       Cupil Claymore    157      115     Confusion(?)
4       Cupil Weight      172      105     +15 Dodge
5       Final Cupil       500(!)   100


(By path)
Path #  Name              Attack   Hit%    Other
------  ----              ------   ----    -----
1       Cupil             58       120
1       Cupil Blade       67       115     Silence
1       Cupicone          73       120
1       Cupil Sword       90       115
1       Cupil Star        103      120
1       Cupil Cutlass     127      115     Silence
1       Cupil Spear       147      120
1       Cupil Claymore    157      115     Confusion(?)

2       Cupil Cannon      86       105
2       Cupil Club        99       110
2       Cupil Lance       110      120
2       Cupil Spike       141      105

3       Cupil Hammer      122      110

4       Cupil Pan         145      110
4       Cupil Weight      172      105     +15 Dodge

5       Final Cupil       500(!)   100



----------------
---DISCLAIMER---
----------------
(c)2000 Sherwin Tam
This is my personal handiwork, and I took a lot of effort to write it.
Please do not use this commercially or alter it in any way.  Also, please
ask me if you plan to feature it on a web site or something of that nature,
as I'd rather not come across it one day and go, "Hey, how did that get
there?"



-------------
---CREDITS---
-------------
GameFAQs (www.gamefaqs.com) for providing such a large database of game
  guides.  Also all you on the boards, especially Red XIV and Darqstalker,
  thanks for the tips!
Sega for making a great console system.
Overworks for making a wonderful game.
Thanks to Dimetric Houston, Dharkshade, and Cass Bisping for their input.


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