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Boss FAQ by bluberry

Version: 2.0 | Updated: 08/25/03

"Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow" for GameBoy Advance
Boss FAQ
By: bluberry
Version 2.0
Content Last Updated: 08/25/03

If anybody knows how the Hp is divded between the various forms of some of the
 bosses, could you drop me a line?

|Bidet of Contents                                                      #table|
To find a section, press Ctrl+F. Type in the thingy, like #fatman or #fortune,
and hit Find or whatever, it should come up.

       00.Introduction/Contact Info                                      #intro
       01.Creaking Skull                                                 #skull
       02.Manticore                                                      #manti
       03.Great Armor                                                    #armor 
       04.Big Golem                                                        #big
       05.Headhunter                                                    #hunter
       06.Death                                                          #death
       07.Legion                                                        #legion
       08.Balore                                                        #balore
       09.Top Floor Boss                                                 #floor
       10.Black Door Boss                                                #bdoor
       11.Final Boss                                                     #final
       12.Legal Info/Version History*                                 #whocares

*Convieniently placed at the bottom so you can ignore it.

|00.Introduction                                                        #intro|
This is a FAQ containing strategies for beating all of the bosses in Aria of
Sorrow. For the most part, I'll try my best not to recommend specific souls or
equipment, but there are a few situations where you really do need something.
If you want to contact me, please just don't speak with terrible grammar. More
than anything I hate that. You can use one of these methods:

AIM: almighty Fatness
MSN: bluberryteripper@aol.com
YIM: bluberrygonepostal
ICQ: 171684403

E-mail: plastic_lunchbox AT earthlink DOT net

|01.Creaking Skull                                                      #skull|

Recommended: BACKDASH! You  only kinda need it now, but if for some reason you
   didn't get it.... Winged Skeleton is kinda useful too.

Soul: You'll meet him again as a later enemy, but it's useful, so you may
   wanna restart until you get it. You turn it on with the R button, and every
   time you attack, a massive skeleton arm with bone club attacks with you.

Your level: Doesn't Matter

Stats: 240 Hp      110 Xp
       Tolerances: Darkness
       Weaknesses: Holy

Tactics: Wow. This guy is easy. He drags himself forward and backward every
   now and then, and tries to smash you with his club; backdash away. The
   rocks formed don't do any damage to you, just his bone. Or touching him
   himself. His heart, inside his rib cage, may start to glow at some point;
   he's about to shoot a fireball. Duck under it, jump over it, or attack it.
   Other than that, his whole body is his weak spot, but his head is the only
   place you can easily attack. The winged skeleton soul you got in the
   opening events is good, as if it's aimed right it'll hit him 2 or 3 times.

|02.Manticore                                                           #manti|

Recommended: Backdash, Flying Armor.

Soul: Useful much later in the game to access Forbidden Area, but so are a
   couple of other souls. You meet him again later, so if he doesn't cough it
   up after the battle, don't worry. Drive happy. It's a transformation, by
   the way, you hold R and you transform into some... thingy... that gains
   speed as it goes along.

Your level: Around 6

Stats: 440 Hp      250 Xp
       Tolerances: None
       Weaknesses: Sword, Curse, Stone

Tactics: Not too bad, although not quite the pushover Creaker was. He only has
   two attacks. His first is signaled by his lifting his tail and shaking it
   slightly; he then whips it down in front of him, poisoning you if it hits.
   He tends to do this when you're close, so just dash away a couple times and
   you should be cool. If he starts to shake his head with sparks coming out,
   get ready to jump over or strike down 1 to 3 fireballs. If he starts to
   back you into a corner, use the platforms to get above him and then use the
   Flying Armor's ability to help you fly over him. And watch out for the
   spinny things on the platforms. He should fall pretty quickly if you have a
   decent sword.

|03.Great Armor                                                         #armor|

Recommended: Whip Sword - Get it in the room two rooms right from the boss
   room. That head blocking the way opens if you face away, so just backdash.
   Allows further range attacks and has good attack power.

Soul: Increases STR by 120%. Nice idea, but it's an R button thing, and it
   saps your MP like a bitch. It's kinda useful when you're doing an already
   big attack, like the Red Minotaur soul, and you turn it on the split second
   the thing connects.

Your level: Around 10

Stats: 650 Hp      300 Xp
       Tolerances: None
       Weaknesses: Lightning

Tactics: First thing to watch out for as you approach him, is to not do it
   fast. When he activates, he swings his sword upwards kinda, so don't be
   close. His shield guards most attacks to his body that aren't at a weird
   angle, like the Bamboo Sword, so just crouch and attack him below the
   shield. He has two things he might try to hit you with. If he raises his
   sword way above his noggin, he's going to slam his sword into the ground.
   If you're right up against him and you crouch, you'll be in a safe spot and
   you can get in a lot of hits, but it's safer to backdash/run away. If he
   raises his sword to about chest level, he's about to do a stabbing-type
   attack. It's pretty long in range, so just crouch near him (there'll be a
   massive space) and whip away. Don't worry about him backing you into a
   corner like Manticore, but do worry about getting hit by his erratic and
   unpredictable forward and backward stepping. He should die fast, though.

|04.Big Golem                                                             #big|

Recommended: Lance - It's incredibly useful here. Pick it up in the area in
   the Castle Corridor outside the entrance to Dance Hall. Also, go to Hammer
   and buy a Katana, it'll come in handy later. And of course, the backdash.

Soul: Kinda cool, but a novelty. You hold R, and then every time you attack, a
   mini-Big Golem ("...") punches behind you. Does good damage.

Your level: Around 14

Stats: 1,200 Hp    1,000 Xp
       Tolerances: None
       Weaknesses: None

Tactics: Don't worry, this guy isn't nearly as bad as he may look. Although he
   looks menacing thanks to his size. He has two moves he might use on you.
   One, he might bend over and then move his arm up to about stomach level. If
   he does this, he's about to swing it in front of him. Just backdash away
   and you'll be fine. He also might raise his arm to about chest level and
   cover his face with his hand. If he does this, a few pebbles will fall from
   his hand, and then he'll fire 5 or 6 from his mouth towards you. Just get
   close, get far, or jump a bit to avoid them. He also walks back and forth,
   but makes no attempt to trap you like Manticore. Just attack him whenever
   it's not risky and you'll do good. You can try to get behind him and attack
   him a lot if you're willing to take a little damage, but beware of him
   backing up and trapping you.

|05.Headhunter                                                         #hunter|

Recommended: Lance for form 1, Katana for forms 2&3. The Lance is in Castle
   Corridor, outside the Dance Hall entrance, and you can buy a Katana from
   Hammer. Lastly, you may want the Zombie soul.

Soul: Very good. For every 12 souls you collect, you get +1 on everything but
   luck. And it's +12 souls, not different ones. You could get 36 Bat souls and
   be +3. Also, it's a +33 max. Once you're about +5, this should become your
   default yellow soul.

Your level: Around 17

Stats: 700 x3 Hp   3,000 Xp
       Tolerances: Dark
       Weaknesses: Weapon

Tactics: The first form is pretty easy. She'll move back and forth,
   occasionally stopping to stab at you. You can duck under it, but with the
   Lance, you should be far enough away to smack her around outside her attack

      The second form is rather easy if you have the Katana, and kinda tough
   without it. The moment he's attackable, get in a few hits. Now, when he
   flies around the room, you can hit him from below thanks to the Katana's
   total awesomeness. Without, you have to wait for a safe spot to attack from
   the side. He has two attacks. One, he summons these two little fireballs,
   which turn into massive fire snakes. They go downwards figure 8 style, and
   spread farther in each direction. Run. Also, he may summon these three
   little balls of lightning near him, with spaces in between. They'll start
   to shoot a bit of lightning straight downwards. You can hide in between the
   spaces and smack him up, or you can just run. Eventually, he goes kaboom.

      The third form can be real easy with the Katana, or real tricky without
   it. He jumps up to the ceiling, falls to the ground, and jumps to the walls
   a lot. He might stick his tounge towards you, or shoot poison clouds at
   you. Jump around (or duck under) his tounge, and just don't get anywhere
   near what he spews at you. If you do get hit, and have the Zombie soul, use
   it to become stronger. With the Katana, it should be easy enough to hit him
   wherever he is, but some of the crappier weapons can only hit from a
   double-jump or only when he's on the ground. Either way, just smack him
   with your weapon a lot and he'll die.

|06.Death                                                               #death|

Recommended: Hrunting, which is found opposite the Undine way back in Inner
   Quarters. Also, the Flying Armor, which you should already have. Lastly, if
   you're having a hard time with him, pick up the Lightning Doll soul, and
   even if you beat him without it, get it afterwards. If you find the little
   sickles to be a problem, Giant Ghost's soul may be good. You, again, also
   need the backdash.

Soul: You press the R button, and little scythes start appearing and homing in
   on your enemies - very useful in areas with little guys like Medusa Heads.

Your level: Around 25

Stats: 4,444 Hp    4,444 Xp
       Tolerances: Dark
       Weaknesses: None

Tactics: Death's first form is rather simple, and is easy to get through
   without damage after a little practice. The first thing you have to note,
   is that he's constantly summoning these little sickles to attack you. You
   can destory them, but they're easy to avoid; they aim at you when they
   form, but don't fire for a few seconds, so you're usually out of the way.
   His first main attack goes on for the first half of this form, and
   occasionally in the second half. He swoops towards you to damage you with
   his sickle. Just backdash away. He starts doing his second attack about
   halfway through his first form. Little bits of blue magic appear at his
   fingertips, and shortly thereafter, five massive blue pillars of magic
   appear where Soma is standing. Keep moving, though and you won't get hit.
   They only damage the second they appear, though, so you can even turn
   around through them if you need to. You gotta time it well. To hurt him,
   attack his sickle. At this point, Death is kinda not there, so you can't
   hurt him and touching him doesn't hurt you.

      After getting his life down to about half, Death's sickle evaporates in
   a burst of flames and he phases into "somethingness", and spawns a double
   sided scythe while he's at it. He has three attacks in this form. His first
   is to swing his scythe at you, seemingly covering the whole screen. Just
   duck. You can also slide towards him to attack. His second is dashing
   towards you. Double jump away from him and activate the Flying Armor, and
   you should be able to dodge it. Lastly, he may throw the scythe in a
   clockwise motion around the room. Standing to the right, you'll be able to
   double jump over it. On the left, quickly slide under him to the right, and
   double jump over. The problem with double jumping on the left is that it'll
   give you a quick slap on the ass on it's way back. Just attack Death
   whenever it's safe (the opportunities are many, as many times his attacks
   take a while but are dodged early) and you'll prevail.

      Also, if you're really having problems with either form, go grab the
   soul from Lightning Doll. It's powerful enough to take a crapload of damage
   from one of his forms, although it uses 46 Mp per shot, so it probably
   won't out and out kill it. Either way, pick it up after battle, since it's
   useful later on.

|07.Legion                                                             #legion|

Recommended: Any weapon with decent power will do, but if you're having
   problems, pick up the Claimh Solais. I'm not even gonna try to explain,
   check the Forbidden Area FAQ by FBI Porker. It really is worth it. Also,
   the Lightning Doll soul is still nice for using a buncha times.

Soul: You have to break off every part (4) before destroying the core to get
   it. Pressing Up+B fires lasers kinda like Legion, but Lightning Doll is so
   much more Mp conservative. That said, this has it's uses, so get it.

Your level: Around 32

Stats: 5,000 Hp    12,000 Xp
       Tolerances: Dark
       Weaknesses: Holy

Tactics: Nice lead up to the boss, huh? The bodies plodding along... Anyhoo,
   I'd like to point out now that you can ONLY get Legion's soul if you break
   off ALL FOUR outer shells of bodies first. Otherwise, your only chance will
   be in a New Game+. Also, an overhead swinging sword like the Osafune is
   good, but if you're good or have enough levels, you'll be fine with
   something like the Hrunting or that sword found in the left side of the
   bottom of the Clock Tower. Mystelain, or something. The Lightning Doll,
   again, is a great soul to use.

      Anyways, this guy isn't all that tough. Especially after Death. He
   floats around the outer square of the room, starting clockwise, but if you
   go all the way around him he'll reverse. Or should that be, "Reverce"?
   Anyhoo, each part of the shell has 5,000 Hp, as well as the core (25,000
   total - EEP!), but all you have to do is smack away at some of the outer
   sections until the core is exposed, and then kill him dead. The best time
   to attack is when he gets to the top or bottom of the square, you should be
   able to get in many hits. The Osafune, Claimh, and other overhead swords
   can hit multiple parts of Legion easier than a forwards sword or spear. As
   you do damage to the body shells, bodies fall off and plod towards you.
   Watch out for them. They take around 200 damage to kill, but it's worth it
   to clear the way. Once even one body shell falls off, the core will start
   to fire lasers from its' tentacles. Usually only one tentacle is exposed
   until all 4 shells are gone, when all 3 appear. The tentacles usually flail
   around wildly, like in a hentai movie, so when they stop, it's a dead
   giveaway it'll fire; get out of the way. After the central core takes
   enough damage, Legion will fall.

|08.Balore                                                             #balore|

Recommended: The Balmung, found at the end of the middle challenge room (use
   Death's soul to help against the Medusa Heads) should work. Again,
   Lightning Doll (see Death) and/or the Claimh Solais (see Legion) should be
   used if you have problems. Also, Medusa Head's soul makes form 2 SO MUCH

Soul: Up+B to do a really powerful punch. Short range, massive power, massive
   Mp cost.

Your level: Around 37

Stats: 4,000 Hp    16,000 Xp
       Tolerances: None
       Weaknesses: None

Tactics: Not quite as hard as he seems at first. When his left eye is open, he
   uses his fists to try and smash you. He usually does a side smash, then a
   top-down smash, then a side, then a top-down, etc. The side smash seems
   random where it hits, usually close to horizontal with where he pulls his
   hand back to. Crouch under his nose, though, and neither hand should touch
   you. For his top-down smash, run to the outside of his hands (like, to the
   left of the one on the left of your screen). Then, when they hit the
   ground, double jump back in. The best times to get hits are one hit when
   you jump back in after the top-down smash, and one or two (depending on
   your weapon's speed) after the top-down smash and before the side smash.

      After you deal enough damage, and after he finishes his current attack,
   he shuts his left eye and opens his right eye. Note that you can still hit
   him after you do enough damage, while he's still doing the attack he was
   doing; it's possible to kill him before he opens his right eye at high
   levels with a real strong sword and a +33 Headhunter. Anyhoo, all he does
   in this phase is shoot a laser from his eye either left-to-right or
   right-to-left. The laser itself doesn't damage you, but it creates a flame
   on the ground that does. Double jump over it. The more damage you deal, the
   faster he shoots lasers, but if your timing is good, you can jump over them
   all. Stay immediately to the right of the open eye, so you're in the middle.
   This gives you time to react either way the laser comes, and gives to a
   chance to attack every time you jump. Also note that it's possible to jump
   over the flames with a single jump, it's just easier with a double. Lastly,
   if you have the Medusa Head's soul, you can just jump up, and hold R once
   you're level with the eye. The lasers will pass right under you, and you
   can bonk the living snot out of him.

|09.Graham                                                              #floor|

Recommended: Claimh Solais, or any other overhead swinging sword of comparable
   power. (Final Sword, Death's Sickle) I also recommend the Handgun, found
   about 1 map square above and to the right of the waterfall room in the
   Underground Reservoir. Legion/Lightning Doll can be cool too. The ability
   to slide is also a must. And backdash.

Soul: No soul. Although what would it's power be, dress up in a dumb suit?

Your level: Around 40

Stats: 5,000 Hp    0 Xp
       Tolerances: Poison, Animal, Rock
       Weaknesses: None

Tactics: Easiest. Dracula-like boss. Ever. His first form has 3 attacks. You
   really wanna listen to the sound here. If he says something that sounds
   like "doors-in-a", he's about to shoot three fireballs. You can jump over
   or attack them. If he says something that sounds like "heeya!", he's about
   to shoot two big molten rocks, either a low one then a high one or vice
   versa. If he says something that sounds something like "Keys in my
   doorchain!", then he's about to shoot a wave (4 or 5) of those molten rocks
   at the high level. Dodge all these attacks, and counter-attack whenever you
   can. Note that with the Succubus soul, attacking the fireballs will give
   you the +5 health bonus. Once you damage him enough, he starts circling
   groups of 3 molten balls around the room. The only absolutely safe point is
   on the far right of the screen next to the door. Backdash into it so you
   face Graham. Now just keep firing the Handgun until he dies. If you don't
   have it, use your best ranged Up+B spell, preferably Legion or Lightning
   Doll. At level 40, you should have enough Mp to use Legion to take this
   form out. If not, get in close, do your best to dodge the molten rocks,
   and swing away.

      The second form is where that overhead swinging weapon comes in handy.
   He has two attacks. His first is swinging his hands at you, Balore style.
   Watch for a little green sparkle in either hand/both hands, and when it
   appears, duck. It'll go over your head. The second is a massive blue laser
   fired at you by the halo of skulls over his head. It usually moves; when it
   stops, it's about to fire straight down. GET AWAY. Massive damage. His
   weakness is the little pinkish thing in the center. Now, if you have one of
   the aforementioned overhead swords (Claimh Solais, Final Sword, Death's
   Sickle), or the Osafune (has the range, just low on power), you can just
   crouch, slide around to dodge the laser, and attack whenever you're close
   to under the weak spot! Beautiful! If you don't have one of the 4 mentioned
   swords, you have to jump up to hit him. Make sure to be very careful of his
   attacks; take your time. Eventually the battle will end.

Uber-Spoilers Below

|10.Julius Belmont                                                      #bdoor|

Recommended: Any elemental soul he doesn't resist (Vjaya, Laevatain, Rahab's
   Sword, Kaladbolg [Salad Bowl]) works well. You also practically must have
   the Black Panther soul, found in the room right after Graham. Lightning
   Doll, Legion, Red Minotaur, or Beam Skeleton are good to fall back on. In
   that order.

Soul: None. Although I bet it would be using those subweapons if it existed.

Your level: Around 40

Stats: 6,000 Hp
       Tolerances: Holy, Poison, Animal, Rock
       Weaknesses: None

Tactics: First off, isn't that music just bitching? It sounds like a remix of
   Vampire Killer with electric guitars, and yet it doesn't. Anyways, you do
   NOT want to be using your Claimh Solais or Ronginus' Spear here; he's
   resistant to Holy. I recommend one of the stronger elemental swords. Vjaya
   is nice, since it hits twice and is almost as powerful as the Laevatain.
   The Laevatain and Kaladbolg work nicely, and Rahab's Sword will do.
   The big key to this fight is using the Black Panther to get away from every
   attack. With it, you can easily avoid his whip, slide, double-jump bounce,
   and all that stuff. He has a bunch of different moves you have to watch out
   for. The first is his whip. You can duck under it, but if you duck too
   early, he'll duck, and then hit you. Or you can backdash, or dash, away. My
   favorite strategy is to get in kinda close to get him to attack, get away,
   get back in during the recoil for his attack, and hit him once or twice
   depending on the speed of the sword I'm using. He's also got a slide. Watch
   out for it. He jumps around a bunch, and frequently double jumps, then
   bounces down. Like with the Kicker Skeleton soul. So don't be real close
   when he's jumping. And always be prepared to use the Black Panther to avoid
   something. Also note that he may use his forward dash, which phases him out
   (like Death, can't hit him or vice versa), and after every four hits he
   gets a brief invincibility period. Like Nathan from CotM, except not after
   every hit.

      After about half of his Hp are gone, he'll move to the center of the
   room and start to do a pose very much like Richter's item crush poses. If
   you've ever played as Richter, you know to run like hell. If you start off
   far enough away, you could probably walk against it when it starts sucking
   you in, but I recommend Panthering away. Don't get close, though, or his
   massive Cross will hit you. After this, he'll start using three new
   attacks, straight out of, um, every other Castlevania ever. If his hand
   starts to glow green, he's about to chuck some Holy Water, which travels
   for about 1.5 to 2 times the range of his whip. If his hand glows red, he's
   about to throw an axe upwards. It goes up and falls at an angle. If his
   hand glows blue, he's about to throw a Crucifix at you, which travels about
   2 to 2.5 times the range of his whip, and then travels backwards to either
   where Julius catches it or the other edge of the screen. All of this in
   addition to the other attacks. I recommend using Lightning Doll or
   something to really soften this form up, but leave yourself at least 50
   or 60 Mp to use the Black Panther. Again, the best way to attack him is
   to Panther around like a flaming prostitute, and after he does an attack
   try to get in for a hit. Except after Holy Water, unless you can get behind
   him. The axe is easy to get around, and for the Crucifix, I jump in while
   it's away, slap him, and then jump out of the line of fire. Eventually, the
   battle will end.

|11.Chaos                                                               #final|

Recommended: A really good, non-dark sword like the Claimh Solais, Final Sword,
   or Ronginus' Spear. Also, if you're under level 65, buy a bunch of healing
   items from Hammer/find them around. Lastly, if you're really having
   problems, the Red Minotaur or Lightning Doll can get good damage in against
   the second form. Also, your first time trying, lose. Just trust me. Lose.

Soul: 404 Not Found.

Your level: 45+ if you have healing items, 60+ without

Stats: 9,999 Hp    0 Xp
       Tolerances: Dark
       Weaknesses: None
       http://blitz.phpwebhosting.com/roms/castleaos/ <---Thanks for Hp stat.

Tactics: Alright, I have yet to make up a good strategy for everything here.
   Your level doesn't really matter that much, but I recommend 45+ presuming
   you at least have a few High Life Ups or whatever. I like using the Claimh
   Solais, but any powerful, non-Dark sword will work alright. In the first
   form, I take out the blue thingy first, then the red, then the yellow. The
   blue occasionally turns into some beast thingy and rushes at you, the red
   forms little crystal things (which can be shot down), and the yellow saps
   your Mp. You don't have the use of your souls, so just whack the things
   around for approx. 2,000 damage each. In the second form, taking out the
   eyes around the room weakens the defense of the core. I feel the magic
   number is 2, the bottom 2. The top 2 take more time to take out than they
   save. Never let the little green balls hit you, or suddenly some red thing
   will hit you for like 150 damage. 2 or 3 times. Also watch out for spikes
   that form around the core and then radiate outwards. I recommend moving to
   the side where the last ones form, and after the first ones shoot out, go
   to that side. Also be careful not to touch the snake. Once you take out the
   bottom two eyes, hit the core with EVERYTHING you've got. Don't worry if
   you end up popping every usable item you have (although you likely won't).
   I tend to fill my Mp, unleash my best souls until I'm out, and repeat as
   much as I can. If you need to, you can finish off the core with weapons,
   too. Just no Dark swords. Eventually, Chaos dies. Although, you REALLY want
   to lose your first time. Just trust me.

|12.Legal Info/Version History                                       #whocares|

Version History:

 June 26th, 2003 - Started FAQ, formatted, added table of contents. V0.1
 June 27th, 2003 - Added strategies for Creaking Skull, Manticore. V0.3
 July 10th, 2003 - Added strategies for Great Armor, Big Golem. V0.5
 July 31st, 2003 - Added strategies for Headhunter, Death, Legion, Balore,
                    Graham. V0.9
 August 1st, 2003 - Added strategy for Julius Belmont. Added placeholder
                     strategy (read: crappy strategy) for Chaos. Spellchecked,
                     tweaking format. V1.0
 August 4th, 2003 - Minor tweaks. Never submitted. V1.1
 August 25th, 2003 - Realized guide was 81 characters thanks to Crazyreyn;
                      reformatted to 79. Tweaked Legion stretegy. V2.0
 Future - Finish some formatting, add Chaos stategy, proofread guide. Done,
           except Julius' game. V3.0
 Future - Add tactics for Julius' game. V4.0
 Future - Proofread everything for Julius' game. V4.1
 Future - Make sure guide is as perfect as possible. V5.0 (final)

Legal Info:

 If you wish to put this FAQ on your website, please, just ask me. My e-mail is
 above. (#intro) Unless you're http://cheatcc.com, who I hate for plagiarizing
 everybody's stuff, I WILL let you. I just wanna know who has it up so that I
 can let people know of updates. That said, keep it current. I'll send you any
 new versions. Also, DO NOT copy-paste any of this information into your own
 FAQ or site. That said, it's not like I own the information or anything, just
 the wording. Feel free to mention anything I have in here, with or without
 crediting the source.

Sites allowed to host FAQ:

 -My site, or webspace.
                  This document ©2003 John "bluberry" Lynch
                            ~Laugh, and grow fat~

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