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FAQ/Walkthrough by TheSpelunker

Version: 1.1 | Updated: 04/22/08

		
			(::o::)=||==============>

		Sword of Sodan (Sega Genesis) FAQ/Walkthrough

			      Version: 1.0
                          Author: The Spelunker
			Email: lance3335@gmail.com
		    Copyright 2006 - 2008. All rights reserved.

(This guide may not be used for any purpose other than personal use without the
written consent of the author, and the only e-mail address that may give this
consent is lance3335@gmail.com. Those who violate this should know that
they are breaking copyright law. If you see this guide being hosted on a
site besides http://www.gamefaqs.com/ it is being done so against my wishes.
Please contact me if this is the case.)


VERSION INFO

v. 1.1 (04/22/08)
	- e-mail corrected
	- introduction edited
	- fixed spelling errors

v. 1.0 (12/02/06)
	- walkthrough complete
	- introduction added
	- swordplay tactics added
	- removed some erroneous info
	- added suggested potion combos to 'potions' section

V. 0.7 (11/30/06)
	- Walkthrough done up to level four
	- Most sections except introduction and swordplay complete
	- Finished guide coming soon


========================>
Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Characters
3. Difficulty
4. Controls
5. Swordplay *Important*
6. Attributes
7. Potions	
8. Walkthrough
9. Poetry 
10. Enemies
========================>



1. Introduction
---------------||

Sword of Sodan is a side-scrolling action game with big characters, in this way
similar to the Genesis' Altered Beast, which was its launch title; but the
comparisons end there, because Sword of Sodan is different from Altered Beast;
it focuses on semi-complex swordplay, traps, and a potion system instead of
straightforward action. No one would consider Sword of Sodan for a launch
title, either.

You must pass seven stages, the last of which is a boss stage, under
'easy' or 'normal' difficulty, with 3, 5, or 7 lives--and you can pick either a
male or female character; both wield swords. You fight some cool medieval-stock
enemies, often overlooked in fantasy games, including axemen, pikemen, and even
giant/barbarians, which fit because all but one of the levels are in a castle
or city.

The game has fantastical problems along with a fantastical world. Levels
usually are either some combination of slow or unyielding. The later levels are
the painful ones, and the earlier levels are the sleepy ones; the result is
that you can't practice enough to care. The game's formula of fighting, in
which enemies come from the left and right sides of the screen, and you must
beat them and wait for their friends, is not accelerated as it is the genre's
successful games; it is very slow. You may enjoy the first runs through, but
you won't enjoy the subsequent ones; and you won't beat the game at any rate
for a while. It is not a very good game.


2. Characters
-------------||

Pick the girl by pressing the right arrow. The guy is slower and clunkier,
which is a large disadvantage, but the girl only causes slightly less damage,
making her the better character.


3. Difficulty
-------------||

You have a choice of:

3, 5, or 7 lives

Normal or Easy Difficulty

Easy difficult is a fair bit easier than normal difficulty, and normal
difficulty is simply nasty. You can probably swing 3, 5, or 7 lives on Easy,
but choosing less than 7 lives on normal is a death-wish unless you are better
than I am (not that I'm great or anything, but I did at least write this and
take the time of figuring how things work.)


4. Controls
-----------||

Start	            =    Pause
A                   =    Drink Potion; Select potion while paused
B                   =    Jump
C                   =    Cut	

	Right + B           =    Turn Right
	Left + B            =    Turn Left
	Forward + B         =    Short Jump
	Forward + hold B    =    Long Jump
	Down + C            =    Low thrust
	Forward + C         =    Thrust
	Up + C              =    Chop


5. Swordplay *Important*
------------------------||

				ATTACK CHART
_____________________________________________________________________________
Type      | short range | medium range | long range | damage  | effect      |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chop 	  |     yes     |      yes     |     no     | medium  | hits fliers |
Cut       |     no      |      yes     |     no     | medium  |             |
Thrust    |     no      |      yes     |     no     | medium  | knockback   |
Low Thrust|     yes     |      yes     |     yes    | low     |             |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

ANALYSIS: Judging by the skills on this list, we can make the safe assumption
that 'Cut' as an attack is the odd-man out. It is the attack that accidentally
happens when thrusting was your intention. 'Chop', however, is a good one for
hacking down pikemen, and 'Thrust' doesn't give Axemen a chance of
retalliation. You should also note that 'Chop' can hit fliers (winged demons).

Low thrust is perhaps the most interesting of the attacks. Although the chart
has no room for listing speed, low thrust is the fastest of all of the attacks.
It deals low damage, but it also has long-range capabilities, which none of
the other attacks have, giving it at least a partial stun ability. Enemies move
slower when they are being low-thrusted repeatedly (in theory, all attacks do
this, but low thrust, being the fastest, is the most notable).


			    BASIC FIGHTING THEORY

Only two theoretical things need to be said before proceeding to the basic
tactics. First, the game will try to catch you in pincers (an old military term
for being surrounded in a certain way). Being caught in one of these is not
ideal. You are supplied with a useful sort of invulnerability while jumping,
which the game gives you for escaping from pincers and putting all enemies on
the right side of you. The best jump for escaping from pincers is of course the
long jump, which may be the best jump overall. You can reach the other side of
the screen pretty quickly.

Finally, you have a limited bar of stamina (life). Sword of Sodan is not a game
of hack-and-slash but rather a game of tactics. Dying has two consequences:
first, you obviously lose a life. Second, your hit strength, which you boost
with Vitalium Potions, drops to 25. Even if you haven't used a Vitalium Potion
yet, you begin the game with 37 hit strength, making your first death bad on
both levels. If you die again before using a Vitalium Potion, though you don't
lose hit strength, you have died too soon and won't be finishing the game
regardless. Not to be condescending--but remember, tactics over hack-and-slash.


		     		BASIC TACTICS


TACTIC #1: BACKPEDALING AND THRUSTING

Imagine yourself as a fencer, stepping back and forth, and use only the thrust
attack. Strike ideally when you see an opening. This is effective against large
groups of pikemen (well, to a point) and axemen. It is ineffective against
zombies or giants.


TACTIC #2: OFFENSIVE JUMPING AND CHOPPING

This is a bit of an advanced technique. It is most successful against small
groups of pikemen (if you use it correctly), zombies purely for its aggressive
and pushing benefits in the graveyard, and giants, whom you must play
aggressively against. The idea is that you close the range between you and the
enemy, use your short-range, high-damage attack (chop), and jump against the
enemy when they are knocked back slightly, repeating the process. Standing
still suffices when fighting giants; you shouldn't worry about pushing
them backwards.

TACTIC #3: LOW THRUST ONLY

This is jokingly 'the coward's technique', but it is useful against pikemen,
who can't beat its range (although they can close in) and axemen if for some
reason you are being extremely cautious. Duck down and low thrust. Ensure that
you stand and backpedal when necessary against pikemen; otherwise you traded a
bunch of low-damage shots for a few wallops from them, which isn't worth while.


6.Attributes
------------||

Hit Strength =   the damage that you cause (starts at 37; drops to 25 on
	   	 subsequent lives; maximum is 99)

Stamina      =   your health 


7.Potions
---------||


RULES:

1) You can only hold four potions at once. If you already have four potions,
enemies won't drop any more. 

2) You can't have greater than 9 lives.

3) You can't skip levels 6 or 7. No bypassing enjoyable content!


Vitalium Potion   =    Increases Hit Strength (+15)
Etherium Potion   =    Combines with other potions
Solarium Potion   =    Magic Zapper (severely damages one enemy on screen)
Hydruim Potion    =    Restores Stamina
	Etherium + Vitalium          =    Extra Life
	Etherium + Solarium          =    Fire Brand (briefly increases damage)
	Ehterium + Hydruim           =    Shield (20 second invulnerability)
	Etherium x 4                 =    Skip the current level


Mostly useless effects
----------------------
Vitalium + Hydruim                 =    No Effect
Vitalium + Solarium      	   =    Flame Brand
Hydruim + Solarium                 =    Poison! (causes minor damage to you)


COMMENTS: In Sword of Sodan potions play an important role, but the
specific potions that drop from enemies are randomized. Succeeding in the game
is sometimes as simple as finding the right potions, but other times you will
find all of the wrong potions; and your game will suffer. This variability
makes some aspects of the game a gamble, and it can seriously stuff things up.

You may, for example, quaff all of your potions in level one except Etherium
Potions, hoping for a level skip combo (four Etherium Potions), so that you can
skip level two. You don't get four Etherium Potions in level one. You are now
in level two, and you must either resign that you can't skip it and return to
preparing for later levels (for instance, two Solarium potions for the bosses
of level three, and two Etherium potions so that you can find two more Etherium
Potions in level four and skip the fifth level) or continue trying for a level
skip.

As you can imagine, quaffing potions simply to rid yourself of them and make
room for others (remember, you have a four potion limit) isn't efficient. You
may find yourself behind in lives and health. Besides, if you are stockpiling
Etherium Potions you aren't combining them with Vitalium Potions, denying
yourself extra lives. The consistently good player won't gamble in this way. He
will plan ahead--just farther than one level ahead. It's unambitious and small-
time, but you encounter a lesser margin of error; and that's what this guide is
more concerned with than rolling the dice for dream combinations of potions.
Here is a rough outline of some dependable goals for potion combinations:

Level 1 - Extra Lives (get as many extra lives as possible.)
Level 2 - Get and maintain 2 Solarium and 2 Etherium Potions
Level 3 - " " (use your 2 Solarium Potions on the bosses)
Level 4 - Get two more Etherium potions (for a total of 4 Etherium Potions)
Level 5 - Skip this level (use 4 Etherium Potions)
Level 6 - Two Shield potions (for passing the fire)
Level 7 - Two Shield Potions (Hydruim + Etherium) for the boss' second form.


8.Walkthrough
-------------||

Three things:

1) This walkthrough assumes that you are playing on the 'Normal' difficulty
setting.

2) This walkthrough doesn't dicuss basic tactics. A full section of the guide,
'Swordplay', is dedicated to that. This walkthrough tells you how the levels
work and notes pecularities and new enemies.

3) The amount of enemies that appear in a level, and sometimes even the type of
enemies that appear in a level (for instance, sometimes a stray pikeman appears
in the third level) varies.


<==============================>
<Level 1 | AT THE CITY'S GATE  >
<------------------------------>
<Garrison: Pikemen             >
<==============================>

Walk over the Vitalium and Etherium potions. As you walk further, a pair of
pikemen cross the screen, one from the right and one from the left side. These
are the only enemies in the game that don't immediately attack you. The one
that crosses from the right, however, will turn when he reaches the left side
and enter melee with you. Before he can you want to stop this by harassing and
killing him with thrusts, so that he can't pass to the left side due to the
knockback effect of the thrusts. You probably can't kill the other pikeman
before he escapes.

The remainder of the level deals with fighting more pikemen, though you will
find that only the first two were peaceful.  Despite the monotony you should
regard some parts of the level as more dangerous than others. The bridge
outside of the city gates teems with pikemen, and there you have the best
change of dying to a pincer. Remember, you want all of the enemies to be on one
side of you, which means you must jump over any that come from the left.

Use the 'low thrust' maneuver against large groups of pikemen (3 or more)
because that many pikemen are capable of juggling and pretty  much killing you
outright. The level ends as you walk through the city door. For more general
tips on fighting pikemen (and other stuff), refer to the 'swordplay' section of
this guide.


<====================================>
<Level 2 | BETWEEN THE CITY'S WALLS  >
<------------------------------------>
<Garrison: Pikemen                   >
<====================================>

This levels introduces spikes but little else. In it you face two distinct
sections of spikes, one section early on and lengthier than the other, and the
other later on and much shorter (although this last set has a trap in the
middle that is an insta-kill if you idly stand on it.) To boot, you must fight
pikemen, who are the same guys from the first level, but this time you don't
have the option of moving freely about.

With the first set of spikes, the odd-numbered spikes will rise, followed by
the even-numbered spikes. You must constantly pay attention and move one hole
(you can see the holes on the ground)  to the left or right so that you are
always standing on an empty hole. As you don't have the mobility for taking
pikemen in close quarters, you must settle for thrusts from a distance. Low
thrusts are best, but if they close in you should drop a big thrust on them.
Most importantly stay on your toes.

The second set of spikes is only three holes long. The left and right sets of
spikes rise at the same time, but the middle hole appears empty. If you stand
on it for long enough, spikes will rise and take one of your lives. Obviously
this is not ideal.

The best place to fight is by the last three spikes in the first set. These do
not spring up. A large empty area is also right of that, and you can take out
all of the pikemen relatively safely here. Stick to thrusting tactics unless
you are confident.


<===============================>
<Level 3 | IN THE CITY STREETS  >
<------------------------------->
<Garrison: Axemen               >
< 	   Winged Demons        >
<	   Giants               >
<===============================>

** NOTE: Solarium Potions can trivialize the bosses of this level. Having two
potions is optimal, but having only one is still very useful. **

Level three is similar to level one, except you fight axemen across a
straightaway rather than pikemen. For differences you must also deal with
Winged Demons, who are pesky but not lethal, and your first bosses, which are
two Giants that you must 'execute' when they are low on health.

All of these are new enemies for you, meaning an explanation is in order:

Axemen - Use the traditional back-up and thrust technique. They can't hit you
at this range, and you can emerge unscathed from large groups of axemen. The
worry is when one comes from behind you, and traditional jumping tactics aren't
as effective as they are against pikemen. Axemen will whack you if you get too
close; they have no dead-zone at that range and will chain-hit you like
pikemen. You must ensure that the axemen that appeared behind you is closing
in, so that you can clear him when you jump to the left of him and not become
stuck.

Winged Demons - These are minor pests. They latch onto you and cause damage,
but you can backpedal and chop them if they are high in the air or simply hit
them if they aren't. They don't appear in large numbers either.

Giants - You want to use Solarium potions against these. They will kneel down,
and you can approach and chop till their head falls off. If you are slow the
giants will revive at full-health after being brought to their knees. If you
don't have Solarium potions you must fight these legitimately, which is
annoying because they hit you regardless of what you do. Your best bet is
playing aggressively, and starting the fight by killing the giant on the right
before both giants cluster together. Even if you aren't using potions, you
still must chop their heads off.


<===================================>
<Level 4 | IN THE LAND OF THE DEAD  >
<----------------------------------->
<Garrison: Zombies                  >
<===================================>

To beat this level you must rush through it. Zombies, which do not stop coming,
haunt it and your progression, contrary to previous levels, is a measure not of
the enemies that you kill but of how far you have gone. The level is only of
average difficulty when you get down to it. I have beat it losing only one life
when I entered with 99 hit strength, but it may initially seem impenetrable to
beginning players.

Three things regarding zombies:

1) You can't jump over zombies when they are on the right side of you. In fact,
zombies cause persistent damage when they are beside you. However, this damage
is lessened by repeatedly jumping when a zombie is beside you, and after being
briefly stuck on you, a zombie on your right side passes to your left side and
eventually off-screen.

2) Zombies spit projectiles that span a screen's length. You can negate the
projectiles by ducking. You can also and probably will ignore the projectiles,
because progressing right is more important than ducking the projectiles, which
cause very marginal damage.

3) Zombies explode into stars when they die. Very definitely you should be
killing zombies, which means that you must avoid these stars that will come at
you after the zombie dies. Jumping is the most effective way; jumping right
even more effective, because you are progressing.

I jump through this whole level and only stop for killing zombies that are in
my way, but I ignore zombies that become stuck 'inside' or barely to the right
of me. These zombies eventually pass to the left side of me; the whole time I
am jumping, lessening the damage. When I do stop to kill zombies, I use only
chops, which are great at short range and knock the zombies back.

Jump right over the stars when a zombie dies. The stars cause hideous damage if
they hit you. When you see a 'gargoyle'-like statue in the background, you are
near the exit, and you can leave the level to the right when the screen is
clear. Remember, progressing quickly through the level is much more important
than messing with zombies. The reasoning for killing the zombies is the
hastening of the process of leaving the level.


<===============================================>
<Level 5 | IN THE FOYER OF THE CASTLE CRAGMOOR  >
<----------------------------------------------->
<Garrison: Giants				>
<	   Winged Demons                        >
<===============================================>

**NOTE: Skip this level if at all possible. As a last ditch method, bring a lot
of Solarium Potions and a lot of lives.**

This level is simply ridiculous, because you die in pits that you can't see,
and the giants in the level are an exact foil for someone that would rather
avoid falling in the pits. I can't condone ever trying this level. You can
waste all of the time spent up till now and quickly find yourself at the game
over screen.

To kill the giants, you must play aggressively. Jump in their faces and start
chopping, and as in level three, chop their heads off from a slight distance
when they kneel (otherwise they recover all of their health). You must kill
about 10 giants in this level and jump over who knows how many pits. It may not
be as bad the fire in level 6, but at least you can learn that pattern. The
giants in this level will knock you into the pits, patrol the edges of them, or
just outright kill you. Skip it.


<=============================>
<Level 6 | IN A PASSAGE DEEP  >
<----------------------------->
<Garrison: Magician	      >
<	   Winged Demons      >
<=============================>

**NOTE: Get two Shield Potions for the lava section of this level**

Finally, after having fought onslaughts of every other enemy in the past
levels, you fight an onslaught of Winged Demons at the beginning of this level.
Because a lot of winged demons appear this is great opportunity of amassing
Shield potions (Hydruim + Etherium potions) for a later challenge. Because you
can't skip this level (a great downside that you will see more of in the fire
segment) don't bother going for 4x Etherium potions.

Long-jump back and forth as you kill the Winged Demons, forcing the ones that
come from the sides into forming a line with the rest. They are lambs to the
slaughter if they approach you in a line. A magician appears (who I swear
resembles some movie actor whose name I can't remember) after you kill all of
the winged demons that will come. Killing the magician is easy, because he
can't shoot you while you duck, and you can repeatedly Low Thrust his knees.
Don't stand, however, or he will quickly kill you.

The level becomes hectic after the magician dies, because a statue is planted
at the end, which shoots fireballs along the ground till you kill it. You must
run right, avoiding the hammers (minor damage), spikes (insta-death), and
fireballs (medium damage) till you reach a lava pool.

This lava pool, and the second and especially third pools following it, is why
your inability of skipping this level really stinks. You must board tiny wooden
planks that cross the lava, and if you fall (missing the plank) or are hit by
even one fireball, you instantly die. You must jump and board the planks in the
very middle--not on the left or right sides of them, although if you must
choose veer right. Be ready to jump the fireballs (jump straight up and you
stay on the plank) at all times. 

If you have shield potions, use them to cross the fire. Of all of the planks,
the third plank is the worst, because it speeds up when you mount it, forcing
blind jumping while you are on the right edge of the screen waiting for it to
scroll. The statue that you must kill is directly past the third lava pool and
doesn't fight back.


<=================================>
<Level 7 | AT THE WIZARD'S TOWER  >
<--------------------------------->
<Garrison: Zoras (Monster Form)   >
<	   Zoras (Human Form)     >
<	   Winged Demons          >
<=================================>

**NOTE: Get two shield potions for Zoras' human form**

There's not much level here, so to cut to the chase:


Zoras (Monster Form)

Both of Zoras' forms have ungodly health. The first form is the easier of the
two forms, which isn't saying much because both forms are nearly impossible.
You can only hurt Zoras' monster form when its belly is reddened -and- it isn't
firing projectiles. Its belly's being still and not firing is the exception
rather than the rule, because Zoras' monster form normally shoots variable
waves of damage at you, composed of one, two, or three crescents.

After shooting seven to eight waves of damage, Zoras the monster's belly
reddens briefly, during which time you can unload into it. Use only thrust
attacks, for the reason that you must push Zoras back or lose a key advantage
that you hold. This advantage, which necessitates Zoras being at least a
screen's length away, is that Zoras produces Winged Demons with his reddened
belly. These winged demons persist till you kill them; however, if you jump
left and can distance yourself from Zoras by a screen, Zoras won't approach,
and you can bait and kill the winged demons without intervention by Zoras.

However, this is merely one detail in fighting Zoras. You must also jump over
his waves of damage and judge when his belly will be vulnerable, which are the
crucial and most time-consuming elements (Zoras' monster form is a long fight,
the longer of the two fights). Secondly, you absolutely must gather the
components for two Shield Potions (Hydruim + Etherium) in this fight. If this
is not possible, you must have at least one Shield Potion and something else,
such as a Fire Brand, which you can use at the same time as your shield potion,
because these are necessary for Zoras' human form. Finally, you should avoid
the killing of winged demons in the left wall, because due to a bug items will
become stuck, really stinking things up for you.

Zora's monster form is dead when it slinks backward, Exorcist-like (or at least
somewhat; the designer(s) wouldn't spare that many frames of animation--the
human form of Zora has one frame only) to the right.


Zoras (human form)

This is a slug-fest. Pop your shield potion (you do have one don't you?) and
start swinging. If you have two shield potions, you can win without being hit.
If you have one, you may not win at all, because Zoras can lock you in
successive barrages of magic and suck away life after life.


Congratulations! You win! (or not)


9. Poetry
---------||


AT THE CITY'S GATE
------------------

AS SO FORETOLD IN ANCIENT LORE
HERE STANDS THE OPENING TEST
ENTER THIS DEATHS DOOR
AND THUS BEGIN THE QUEST

BETWEEN THE CITY'S WALLS
------------------------

ENTER NOW, AND BREAK THE SEAL
CROSS THE GUARDED SPAN
BREACH THE WALL OF MEN AND STEEL
INTO THE WIZARD'S HAND.

IN THE CITY STREETS
-------------------
HELD FAST IN ZORA'S EVIL THRALL
THOUGH MEN AND GIANTS BAR THE WAY
WITH SWORD, ANSWER BATTLE'S CALL
IN THE FADING LIGHT OF DAY

IN THE LAND OF THE DEAD
-----------------------
HERE WINDS THE HERO'S PATH
WHERE GHOULS AND SPECTRES FORM
TO SCREAM AND HOWL THEIR WRATH
ABOVE THE RISING STORM

IN THE FOYER OF THE CASTLE CRAGAMOOR
------------------------------------
AMONG SHADOWS CAST
BY VAULTED TOWERS
WHERE NAMELESS HORRORS DWELL
THERE TO CHALLENGE ZORAS' POWERS
AND SEND HIM BACK TO HELL

IN A PASSAGE DEEP
-----------------
AND DARK WITHIN MOTHER EARTH
THERE COMES THE RISING FLOOD
AND WITH HER THUNDERING
CRIES OF BIRTH
THERE FLOWS HER MOLTEN BLOOD

AT THE WIZARD'S TOWER
---------------------
THRU THE ARCH AND CLIMB THE STAIR
TO FIGHT TILL FINAL BREATH
THE MAGICIAN ZORAS IN HIS LAIR
ON TO VICTORY, OR TO DEATH


10. Enemies
-----------||

=------=
Pikeman: - can't attack at short range
=------=

=------=
 Axeman: - Can't attack at long range
=------=

=-----------=
Winged Demon: - Latch on to you and cause damage; only chops can hit them
=-----------=	sometimes


=----=
Giant: - Only chops can hit; must chop their heads off at half-health or they
=----=   revive at full health

=-----=
Zombie: - Cause persistent damage at close range; spit projectiles; explode
=-----=	  into damaging stars when killed.

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