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Iron Golem Guide by Gamer_am_I

Version: 1.1 | Updated: 12/14/2020

Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow
Iron Golem Guide
By Gamer_am_I

**** Table of Contents ****

1. Introduction

2. Standard Guide
2.1. Locations
2.2. Iron Golem Attacks
2.3. Fighting the Iron Golem
2.4. The Iron Golem Soul

3. Causing More than One Point of Damage
3.1. Weapons
3.2. Souls
3.3. Hard Difficulty
3.3.1. Weapons
3.3.2. Souls
3.4. In Conclusion

4. History

5. Miscellaneous

**** 1. Introduction ****

The Iron Golem is an enemy in Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow that is tall enough to
nearly fill a room and moves slowly back and forth, occasionally stopping to
attack.  What makes them special among enemies in this game is their high
defense, which causes most attacks to cause only one point of damage against
them.  This requires you to change your strategy when fighting an Iron Golem,
from causing as much damage as possible, to simply attacking as quickly as
possible, regardless of how much damage the attack usually causes.

But there are exceptions.  The Skull Archer soul, in particular, is known as a
way to cause more than one point of damage to an Iron Golem.  Yet when people
mention this fact, they rarely mention other ways to accomplish such a feat.  So
that's what I set out to do with this guide:  chronicle all the ways to cause
more than one point of damage to an Iron Golem at a time.  Turns out, there's a
lot of them!

**** 2. Standard Guide ****

But maybe you're a normal person and just want to kill the Iron Golem for its
soul.  Or perhaps you're killing it for experience, because that's less
mind-numbing than killing the Mermen in the bottom-most part of the Wizardry
Lab.  If that's you, this part of the guide will instruct you on the best ways
to kill an Iron Golem.

** 2.1. Locations **

There are three locations where an Iron Golem can be found:

1. In the lower-right part of The Abyss, in the third proper room (third after
the first 1x1 room in this part).  This one shares its room with a Black
Panther, so be aware of that if you decide to fight the Iron Golem here.

2. In the upper-most part of the Demon Guest House, in the room on the left. 
Reaching this room requires starting in The Pinnacle.  From the lower save room
in The Pinnacle, head left on the map until you're in the upper room with all
the chandeliers.  Go to the top of this room, and the room on the left will
contain the Iron Golem.

3. In the lower part of the Wizardry Lab.  If you buy the Castle Map 1, this is
the part of the Wizardry Lab that, at the game's start, doesn't look connected
to The Lost Village.  To reach this part, you must start in Subterranean Hell. 
Start in the lower-most save room of Subterranean Hell, then go left until
you're in the tall room with all the Medusa Heads.  Reach the bottom of the room
and head left, then up through the next room.  You'll know you're in the right
place when you enter a room full of spikes submerged in water.  There are two
ways to cross these spikes:

A. Use the Bone Ark soul.  This is the easiest way to cross.
B. First traverse the water.  This can be done with Bat Company, or by switching
off the Rahab soul in the Ability menu.  Then equip the Skeleton Ape enchant
soul and the Puppet Master bullet soul.  Throw a puppet and you should end up on
the other side of the rock wall.  Now traverse the other side.

Once you reach the other side, continue through the Wizardry Lab.  After the
second underwater room with Homonculi, you'll go through a room with two
candelabra, then find yourself in a tall room that spawns Ghosts.

Above you is an invisible maze you must traverse to continue.  You can traverse
it with Bat Company, but hitting a Ghost will snap you out of bat form, making
that difficult.  That is, unless you equip the Draghignazzo enchant soul, which
will make traversing this maze a lot easier.  You can also use the Hippogryph
soul if you have it.  Start on the left-most part of the thin floor you can fall
through, and go up.  From there, when you find yourself unable to move up, move
left or right until you find the next opening.  If enough ghosts spawn, they'll
help you see the maze, though they'll also block your path unless you have
Draghignazzo.

Once you reach the top of the room, head left and you'll find the Iron Golem. 
For the sake of ease, continue past him to the hidden part of The Lost Village. 
At the top of the tall, thin room, you can open up an entrance to this hidden
area.  In addition, in this tall room, about half way between the top and the
tunnel to the main part of the Wizardry Lab, the left wall has a breakable wall.
 Break the wall and follow the path from there to unlock another entrance to
this hidden area, which leads right to the area with Yoko's and Hammer's Shops. 
This will make getting back to this Iron Golem less of a headache.

Of all these locations, my preferred spot for grinding golems is #3.  Though it
may be the hardest to get to initially, it has the safest path to a save room
out of all three locations (in my opinion), that being the lower save room in
the Forgotten Village.  Moreover, you can use the Persephone soul on the ghosts
in the room to the right of #3 as an easy way to restore health while grinding. 
Which is important, because the Iron Golem can cause a lot of damage.

** 2.2. Iron Golem Attacks **

Once you've found your golem, it's time to fight it.  So let's learn a bit about
the beast before we do.

The Iron Golem will take slow, wide steps back and forth across the room.  Just
touching the golem can cause heavy damage, so this alone is something to be
careful of.  In between steps, as long as you're in front of it, it'll sometimes
stop to do an attack.  This happens about every three steps, but the number
varies, and sometimes the Iron Golem won't even take another step before
attacking again.  These attacks also cause a lot of damage, so it's important to
learn to look out for them.

Flame breath:  The Iron Golem will bring its hands up to its head, before
breathing out fire.  This actually causes slightly less damage than touching the
golem itself, but it's still no fun to get hit by.  This fire can be sucked up
by the Persephone soul, but will still damage you if it touches you on its way
to the vacuum's head, e.g. if you're facing away from the golem.  It can also be
avoided by crouching right in front of the golem, if you're feeling daring. 
Otherwise, move away from the golem until you're out of range.

Lunge:  The Iron Golem pulls its arms back at torso level, then shoves them
forward.  This causes a lot more damage than just touching the Iron Golem, so
when you see the golem wind up, make sure you get out of range.

Kick:  The Iron Golem brings its leg up, winds it back behind itself, and then
swings it forward.  This causes just as much damage as the Lunge, so when you
see the golem wind up, make sure you get out of range.

** 2.3. Fighting the Iron Golem **

If you're reading this section of the guide, chances are most of your attacks
will cause one point of damage to the golem.  In which case, your goal is to
attack it as quickly as possible.

Without the Chaos Ring, your weapon is going to be your main method here. 
Bullet souls can certainly help you bring the golem down faster, but they cost
MP that'll take a while to regenerate.

If you want to keep your distance, a thrown weapon like the Throwing Sickle or a
gun is the way to go.  Combine a thrown weapon with the Skelerang soul so you
can toss them twice as often.  This will take some time, but also keep you out
of range of the Iron Golem's attacks.

If you want to get closer, this is where things get tricky.  The weapons with
the fastest attacks, like daggers and fists, often have the shortest range,
which puts you in harm's way of the golem.  Larger weapons, like spears and
hammers, will allow you to keep a safer distance, but are slower to attack, and
will take longer to bring the golem down.  In my opinion, the spear family of
weapons gives you the best combination of range and speed, so that's my
recommendation for fighting the Iron Golem up close.  And the best spear,
Gungner, will hit the Iron Golem twice with one attack, taking only half the
time to bring him down.

If you want to attack the Iron Golem more closely, I strongly recommend getting
behind it.  This will prevent it from using any attacks against you except
trying to walk into you.  Since all the Iron Golems have a limited range of
where they can walk, you can plop yourself just out of that range and stay safe
as you attack.  Plus, if you have the Dead Pirate enchant soul equipped, all
your damage against the golem is doubled.  This will make it take a lot less
time to get it down.  Once you get a feel for the golem's movements, it's a lot
easier to use fast weapons like daggers or fists to bring the golem down from
behind.

You might be wondering, how do you get behind the Iron Golem?  All the golems
will face the side of the room you enter from.  The most MP-efficient way is
with Bat Company; activate it and fly over the golem.  You can also use the Bone
Ark, Barbariccia, Valkyrie, or Iron Golem (lol) souls to move through him, but
most of these cost more MP than Bat Company, especially with their warm-up
period.  You can also use Puppet Master to throw yourself to the other side of
the golem, but even with the Skeleton Ape soul, I find it's hard to do this
without either 1. Touching the Iron Golem and damaging yourself, or 2.
Overshooting the puppet so it goes off screen and you don't switch with it.

If you DO have the Chaos Ring, taking down the Iron Golem becomes a lot simpler.
 Combine a bullet soul and a guardian soul that causes damage quickly and go to
town.  I like to combine the Abaddon and Death souls, with Valmanway as my
weapon.  This does require beating the game on new game+ at least once, so you
can use one Abaddon soul to synthesize Valmanway and equip the other, but it's
very worth it, IMO.  Without Valmanway, I would probably use Gungner to bring
the Iron Golem down.  You can still go behind the Iron Golem, for safety and to
double your damage with Dead Pirate.  But if you use Abandon, Death, and a
weapon together, you'll bring the golem down so quickly that you might find it's
not worth the effort to get behind it.

** 2.4. The Iron Golem Soul **

So what's all this for?

The Iron Golem soul is a guardian soul.  It has one level, so you only need one
soul to get its full effect.  It's a switch soul, which means you tap R to
activate it and tap R again to turn it off, as opposed to the guardian souls
where you hold down R to keep them active.  After a brief warmup period, it will
turn you into an Iron Golem, making you invincible while it's active and
allowing you to walk around while invincible.

Is the Iron Golem soul worth it?  I would say it's worth it for two purposes: 1.
Getting the Chaos Ring, and 2. Synthesizing the sword Burtgang, which also
allows you to synthesize Kaladbolg and, my favorite, Valmanway.

Truth is, I would not say this soul is worth farming to actually use.  In terms
of traversing a room while invincible, Bone Ark costs fewer MP, and Barbariccia
and Valkyrie move much faster AND will damage any enemies you hit to boot.  The
only benefit Iron Golem has on these souls is that you control your movements,
rather than constantly traveling forward.  And in all my many hours playing this
game, I have yet to find a time that I wished to traverse a room while
invincible and be able to control my movements.  I'm quite happy to just plow
ahead as a Barbariccia or Valkyrie.

**** 3. Causing More than One Point of Damage ****

Now we get to this guide's raison d'etre:  documenting all the ways to cause 2
or more damage to the Iron Golem in one hit.  We will cover both weapons and
souls in this guide, as they both give us quite a few ways to accomplish this
goal.

NOTE:  In this guide, we will only concern ourselves with causing at least 2
damage to the Iron Golem in a single hit.  Quite a few weapons and souls can
cause more than one point of damage to the iron golem in a single attack, but
they do so by hitting it multiple times for one point of damage each.  Our goal
is to make a number other than 1 appear when we attack the golem.

Also note that we will not be experimenting with the Dead Pirate soul in this
section, as it merely doubles the damage you cause after everything else is
considered.  Take the damage listed below, double it, and you get the damage
that weapon or soul would do with Dead Pirate.

** 3.1. Weapons **

For the purposes of these tests, I went to all lengths possible to increase my
strength.  I reached level 99 and equipped Dracula's Tunic, Megingiord, and the
Golem soul at level 9/9.  All told, this gives me a total of 93+18 strength, or
111.

One complicated variable in this experiment is the Devil soul, which greatly
increases your strength, at the cost of reducing your constitution to 0 and
causing constant damage.  For me, at level 99 with the above equipment, it
increases my strength to 93+179, or 272 total.  I did want to know how much
damage one could cause to the Iron Golem with this soul, but it's not as
straightforward to use as simply equipping the equipment with the highest
strength boost.  As such, this guide will give the damage a weapon does to the
golem both with and without the Devil soul active.

Weapons will be listed with the following format:
Weapon name: A / B / C / D
Where A is the damage caused by a regular attack, B is the damage caused by a
super attack (A button by default), C is the damage caused by a regular attack
with the Devil soul active, and D is the damage caused by a super attack with
the Devil soul active.

Any weapon that causes 1 point of damage in all four circumstances will not be
listed, to save space.

Garian Sword: 1 / 1 / 1 / 2
Nebula: 1 / 1 / 2 / 2

Joyeuse: 1 / 1 / 1 / 2
Ice Brand: 1 / 1 / 2 / 1
Burtgang: 1 / 1 / 2 / 2
Kaladbolg: 1 / 1 / 3 / 3

Great Sword: 1 / 1 / 2 / 2
Durandal: 1 / 1 / 3 / 3
Dainslef: 1 / 1 / 4 / 4
Ascalon: 1 / 1 / 4 / 4
Balmung: 1 / 1 / 5 / 5
Final Sword: 1 / 1 / 6 / 7
Claimh Solais: 1 / 2 / 7 / 8

Halberd: 1 / 1 / 1 / 2
Lance: 1 / 1 / 2 / 2
Trident: 1 / 1 / 3 / 3
Brionac: 1 / 1 / 3 / 4
Geiborg: 1 / 1 / 4 / 4
Longinus: 1 / 1 / 5 / 5
Gungner: 1 / 1 / 3 / 3

Axe: 1 / 1 / 2 / 3
Battle Axe: 1 / 1 / 3 / 4
Bhuj: 1 / 1 / 5 / 6
Great Axe: 1 / 2 / 7 / 7
Golden Axe: 2 / 3 / 9 / 10
Death Scythe: 3 / 6 / 10 / 17

Osafune: 1 / 1 / 2 / 2
Kunitsuna: 1 / 1 / 3 / 3
Yasutsuna: 1 / 1 / 3 / 3
Muramasa: 1 / 1 / 5 / 5

A note on thrown weapons:  while testing them, I used the Skelerang soul rather
than Golem, since it increases thrown weapon damage by 50% (and since strength
doesn't seem to increase thrown weapon damage).  Even then, they still did only
one point of damage in all cases.

** 3.2. Souls **

For the purposes of these tests, I went to all lengths possible to increase my
intelligence.  I reached level 99 and equipped Kaladbolg, Death's Robe, Rosary,
and the Stolas soul at level 9/9.  All told, this gives me a total of 105+36
intelligence, or 141.

One complicated variable in this experiment is the Flying Humanoid soul, which
greatly increases your intelligence after a long warm-up period.  For me, at
level 99 with the above equipment, it increases my intelligence to 105+111, or
216 total.  I did want to know how much damage one could cause to the Iron Golem
with this soul, but it's not as straightforward to use as simply equipping the
equipment with the highest intelligence boost.  As such, this guide will give
the damage a soul does to the golem both with and without the Flying Humanoid
soul active.

Souls will be listed with the following format:
Soul name: A / B
Where A is the damage caused by the soul in standard conditions, and B is the
damage caused by the soul with Flying Humanoid active.

All souls with more than one level were tested at max level, with 9 souls
acquired.  Any soul that causes 1 point of damage in both circumstances will not
be listed, to save space.

Axe Armor: 1 / 2
Warg: 1 / 4
Bomber Armor: 10 / 16
Amalaric Sniper: 5 / 9
Slime: 1 / 2
Yorick (kicking the skull): 16 / 26
Mandragora: 4 / 8
Guillotiner: 6 / 11
Killer Clown: 2 / 5
Disc Armor: 1 / 2
Great Axe Armor: 5 / 9
Slaughterer: 6 / 10
Hell Boar: 8 / 14
Frozen Shade: 1 / 2
Merman: 1 / 3
Larva: 2 / 4
Ukoback: 3 / 5
Succubus: 6 / 10
Slogra: 2 / 5
Eriyns: 1 / 3
Witch: 1 / 3
Fish Head: 1 / 2
Mollusca: 1 / 2
Dead Mate: 1 / 2
Malacoda: 6 / 11
Flame Demon: 3 / 6
Aguni: 4 / 8
Hell Fire: 1 / 4

For guardian souls, only one damage value is listed, as they cannot be used
concurrently with Flying Humanoid, itself a guardian soul.
Skull Archer: 38
White Dragon: 2
Gorgon: 2
Alure Une: 4*
Barbariccia: 2
Gaibon: 2
*For the Alure Une soul, I used the Skeleton Farmer enchant soul rather than
Stolis, as it does more damage that way.  I did the same while testing the Une
soul, but that still only did one point of damage.

** 3.3. Hard Difficulty **

One of the ways the Hard difficulty makes the game harder is that you cause less
damage to enemies.  For the Iron Golem, this translates to fewer options for
causing more than one point of damage in one attack.  The weapons and souls that
will still allow you to do it are listed below, with the same parameters as
listed above.

* 3.3.1. Weapons *

Balmung: 1 / 1 / 2 / 2
Final Sword: 1 / 1 / 2 / 3
Claimh Solais: 1 / 1 / 3 / 4

Longinus: 1 / 1 / 2 / 2

Bhuj: 1 / 1 / 2 / 2
Great Axe: 1 / 1 / 3 / 3
Golden Axe: 1 / 1 / 4 / 4
Death Scythe: 1 / 2 / 5 / 9

Muramasa: 1 / 1 / 1 / 2

* 3.3.2. Souls *

Bomber Armor: 5 / 9
Amalaric Sniper: 2 / 4
Yorick (kicking the skull): 8 / 14
Mandragora: 1 / 3
Guillotiner: 2 / 5
Great Axe Armor: 2 / 4
Slaughterer: 2 / 5
Hell Boar: 3 / 7
Ukoback: 1 / 2
Succubus: 2 / 5
Slogra: 1 / 2
Malacoda: 2 / 5
Flame Demon: 1 / 2
Aguni: 1 / 3

Skull Archer: 22

** 3.4. In Conclusion **

At the start of this guide, I posed a motivating question:  when people mention
the Skull Archer soul as a way to cause more than one point of damage to the
Iron Golem in a single hit, what other weapons and souls should be mentioned? 
If you want to be technical, the answer to that question is:  every weapon and
soul mentioned in this guide.  But I'd like to propose a more narrowed-down,
useful list of answers.  The cream of the crop, if you will.  The best ways to
cause more than one point of damage to an Iron Golem in a single hit.

To make that list of answers, I narrowed down the weapons and souls mentioned to
those that:
1. Can cause more than one point of damage to the Iron Golem on both normal and
hard difficulties, and,
2. Can do so without the benefit of the Devil or Flying Humanoid souls.  As
spectacular as the damage one can cause using these souls is, their downsides
make them impractical for actual combat, in my humble opinion. (If you think
this isn't a fair rule, then the answer for you is, every weapon and soul
mentioned in the Hard Difficulty section.)

With these qualifications, we have the following attacks that can cause more
than one point of damage to an Iron Golem:
Skull Archer
Yorick (kicking the skull)
Bomber Armor
Hell Boar
Death Scythe super attack
Guillotiner
Malacoda
Slaughterer
Succubus
Amalaric Sniper
Great Axe Armor

**** 4. History ****

1.0: -Initial version.
1.1: -Updated Alure Une number to use Skeleton Farmer instead of Stolas.
     -Added a table of contents and history section.
     -Numbered the sections.

**** 5. Miscellaneous ****

If you've read this far, thanks for humoring my strange curiosity.  I hope you
got something from reading this guide.

Please send any comments and/or corrections to gamer_am_i (at) yahoo (dot) com.

Be good.

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