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Bowman FAQ by WonderLlama
Bowman FAQ October 8, 1999 Updates Oct. 8, 1999 - This is the first version. Contents 1) Why you should use Bowman 2) Bowman's killer moves 3) Equipping Bowman 4) Solo-Bowman walkthrough 5) Copyright notice ======================Why you should use Bowman======================== From reading other FAQ's, I have gathered that most people don't like Bowman very much. I can't understand this. I believe he is easily the most powerful fighting character in the game. I don't expect everyone to like him, but I urge you to give him a chance before you just agree with everyone else. Reasons why I think Bowman is the best: 1) I managed to play through the entire game using either just Bowman, or just Bowman and Rena. (That is, once I got Bowman, and not counting the fight with shin where you can't choose your character. Also not a few parts of the bonus dungeon.) 2) Bowman can do more multiple hits more easily than any other character. Poison pills and explosion pills are excellent. Explosion pills hit very easily for 4 hits with standard attack damage, and you can throw them over and over again faster than most normal attacks. Poison pills are slightly harder to hit with, but do just as much damage, affect enemies that are immune to fire, and are very cheap (5 mp). Hit once with either, and you can most likely hit again. This technique does damage even faster than Claude with two slayer rings. And it is easier to use and cheaper than tear gas. 3) Bowman can heal himself, and heal himself well. Secret medicine starts out weak, but fully powered up heals 2008 hp. It only costs 8 mp, and can be used extremely fast, so it should be no trouble to practice. This ability is crucial if you want to go through the game with just one character, and it also helps a lot in arena battles. 4) When I beat the game with just Bowman and Rena, after the boss's long death speech, Bowman said, "Well, that was a good workout." I will admit there are some drawbacks to Bowman, but they are not very big: 1) Bowman's normal attack is terrible. But you should almost never use his normal attack anyway, so who cares. 2) You can't get Precis. In my opinion Precis is a somewhat weak character, but not terrible. However, she has one of the best personalities in the game, and that counts for a lot in my book. ======================================================================= ========================Bowman's killer moves========================== I am not going to cover all of Bowman's moves, just which ones are best, and where you should use them. 1) Secret Medicine This is the most important move until you get to the bonus dungeon. You should start leveling it ASAP. It starts out not doing much, but it gets better in a hurry. It increases its hp restored every 5 uses or so. At 999 proficiency it heals 2008 hp, costs 8 mp, and is very fast. Even if you get hit while using it, Bowman still catches the pill. I recommend using it until you run out of mp, then going to an in and doing it again. Do this until it heals 600 or so per use. Keep it as one of your killer moves and use it throughout the game, and it should reach 999 proficiency very quickly without you having to practice it any more. 2) Poison Pills This is Bowman's most powerful move. It won't be too useful when you first get it, but stick with it. It eventually gets 4 hits for normal attack strength, and no enemies are immune. It costs 5 mp and fires very quickly. It even hits airborne enemies. Its major problem is with fast enemies. Sometimes you will throw the pills, and the enemy runs past before they explode. Here's how you fix that. Fire several pills, you will keep backing up while the enemy runs towards you. Then, immediately after throwing pills, do a normal attack. The enemy will stop to attack you in the poison area, and will get hit out of its attack. Then just throw lots more pills, and whatever the enemy is, it should die pretty soon. 3) Death Siege This move is very useful on Expel, but once you get to Nede, forget it. Its main advantage is that you are nearly invincible while using it. You even avoid most spells while you use it. It can do up to 4 hits. However, fast enemies can avoid it very easily, and there is really no way to hit them with it. Use it in the Hoffman ruins, and maybe in the Sorcery Globe area. It works great on the lizards with the paralysis/stone breath. 4) Whirlwind Fist This move isn't very good. It takes too long to start, so it never works in difficult fights. It's a shame, because it is very cool looking. I recommend you level it up it the Hoffman ruins, just so you can see how big it gets. Still, never use it in an area you have trouble with. 5) Burst Fist At first I thought this move wasn't very good. It only gets one hit, costs a lot of mp (28), and is very hard to hit with at first. Once I powered it up, I still didn't like it. It gets much bigger, and gets very easy to hit with. It also starts doing more than twice normal damage. But it still only gets one hit. Then I learned what it is for. Use it against air enemies. It is the easiest move to hit with against air enemies that Bowman has. It will kill those Phoenix clones in the survival fight in no time. Use it once you get to Nede, until you get explosion pills. Continue to use either it or poison pills in the arena fights. 6) Explosion Pills This move is just like poison pills except it is easier to hit with, it is fire-elemental, and it costs 20 mp. It is a very useful move once you have enough mp to support it, but you have to be careful of fire resistant enemies. The normal enemies that resist fire can be easily killed by normal attacks, but be sure to equip something else for bosses. Use it in the planes and Fineal if you can afford it, otherwise use poison pills or sakura attack. 7) Sakura Attack At first I loved this move as it gets 6 hits, 12 fully powered up. It is useful against enemies that you can stun enough to hit with it over and over. However, it has some problems. Some enemies are knocked too high by the first two hits, and you go under them. They then hit you in the back. Other enemies just get out of the way. And with multiple enemies, you spend way too much time in the attack, and another enemy will come up from behind. It is useful in the planes of power and courage, and on some bosses, but be careful with it. ======================================================================= ===========================Equipping Bowman============================ You don't have much choice in equipment in the early stages of the game. Really, the first choices you get come from using item creation. 1) Weapons The first weapon you need is the giant fist. It is a perfectly good weapon in its own right, and can be made several ways near the beginning. Or you can find them on the third continent of Expel. Once you get a rainbow diamond, you can customize the giant fist into the titan fist. You should use the titan fist for quite a while. It has lower attack power than a couple other weapons you can get pretty soon, but not by much. It also raises your mp by 30%, and Bowman sorely needs all the mp he can get until later in the game. Once you have enough mp to ditch the titan fist, buy the rune full moon in Armlock. Customize it (with crystal I think) to get the moon fist. This is Bowman's best weapon. I think he might have a slightly more powerful fire elemental weapon, but trust me, you don't want elemental weapons. 2) Armor The most important piece of armor for Bowman (and everyone else who can use it) is the reflective armor. I believe you make it with orichalcum with the magical rasp. It gives fairly good AC and many magic resistances. The best part is it lets you regenerate mp over time in battle. Even once I get the seraphic garb and the valiant armor, I still use reflective armor for the mp regeneration. The helm is somewhat of a no-brainer. Bowman can't use any of the good helms except for the duel helm. So use it. The shield is also an easy choice. The star guard is one of the few Bowman can use, but it's excellent. Great avoid, plus it shoots out stars whenever you get hit. Eventually, in the bonus dungeon, you get the valiant guard, which is just like the star guard, only better. Greaves are more of a question. Most people are in love with the bunny shoes. I consider them the most worthless leggings in the game. They let you run fast, but they add no armor whatsoever. You don't need to run fast. You can still avoid any enemies you want to avoid, and you can still kill spellcasters before they cast spells. The star greaves give you 60 AC. That can make a big difference in how much damage you take. If you take damage slowly, you can just heal it back with secret medicine, so AC is a very important stat. Later, you get the valiant boots, which have good AC and give you bunny shoes speed. Accessories are the trickiest equipment. There are so many to choose from that I can't say one is always the best. But some tend to be very useful. The might chain is fairly good early on, both for attack power and stamina. Get the berserk ring ASAP. It will approximately double your damage. I think it might boost other stats as well*, but none of its effects are listed, so I don't know. Bowman can make it from a ruby. Never use the Atlas ring. It is weaker than the berserk ring and has serious drawbacks. The blue talisman is also good; it raises AC by a lot. Rena can make it with a saphire. I generally use a blue talisman and a berserk ring, but I change to a reverse doll if a particular enemy has a spell that does too much damage. Later, in the secret dungeon, Tri-emblems are a great accessory, as are the angel armbands. They boost everything, and best of all resist all elements. You probably still want to keep the berserk ring for most fights, as it's still by far the best way to boost attack. *My own theory on how the berserk ring works is this. It automatically makes your character angry, as if another character died. I believe this is supposed to raise all stats. However, if this is how it works, then you won't get any benefit if another character dies, a small drawback, but still a drawback. ======================================================================= =============================Solo-Bowman=============================== As I mentioned earlier, I have played through nearly the whole game with just Bowman and Rena. I'm still working on taking Rena out of the equation completely, but there are some parts where I get paralyzed way too much. At first I did this because I thought it would be more difficult, but the truth is, most parts of the game are easier with just 2 characters. You get twice as much experience with 2 characters, and 4 times as much with only one. This means you will be much higher level than if you put more characters in. For much of the game, most enemies will be completely unable to hurt you, as your con and skills will be so high. Spells will be very ineffective, as most of them hit your whole party for medium damage, but you will have fewer characters and too many hp to care. However, in order to put just 1 character in the battle party, you can only have 5 characters. That means you won't get to see as much plot, hear as many voices, etc. It's a tradeoff. Also, stoning and paralysis are big problems. Max out body-control ASAP to avoid this. Also AC and avoid help, as some enemies never seem to stone you if they do 0 damage (unfortunately, some still do), and no enemy stones you if you parry. I prefer to use just one character except in areas where I get stoned/paralyzed a lot, and then I stick Rena in to dispel. I suppose you could use paralysis checks (until the boss of the bonus dungeon, I never got stoned anyway) but I really value my accessory slots. Whenever you use Rena, set her to Recover Friends Only. You probably could get by with another setting, but each spell she uses slows the battle down. That is why I never use any spellcaster but Rena. What follows is not strictly a walkthrough. The plot is much the same no matter which characters you use in the fights. If you want plot or solutions to the puzzles, look somewhere else. It will give you advice on how to get through the fights in specific parts of the game, specifically using Bowman. 1) Get Bowman To get Bowman, you must have completed the Lacour Arms Tournament. Go to Linga. Go to Professor Keith's house and you will get kicked out. Go to the pharmacy in the north part of town; Bowman is the shopkeeper. He wants you to prove you are strong, so he sends you to a cave to get rare herbs. Find the Clarisage (I have heard the Dillwhip works too, but I never tested it) in the nearby cave, and come back. Watch some story, then you can choose whether you want Bowman or not. 2) Catch Bowman up Generally, whenever you get a new character, they are behind the rest of your party. Since you are going to be using Bowman alone, you actually need him more powerful than the rest. Later, the extra experience he receives will keep him ahead, but for now, he doesn't have any extra experience. First, teach him everything you can with authoring. You don't have to do this, but it does save some valuable skill points. I know it can take a while, so only do how much you want. Second, unlock every talent you can. You will want to do this sooner or later, might as well be now. Play songs to learn pitch and rhythm, do metalwork to learn dexterity and sense of design, cook for sense of taste, do art for sense of beauty, author for writing talent, and summon familiars for love of animals. You can very easily learn the talents with only a skill of 1. Very few took me more than 10 tries. Third, equip him. I recommend making the giant fist immediately, I have made it with a customize of 4 with very few failures. The armor and accessories you can buy and find are good enough at this point. If you want to make even better ones, you can do that too. I used the might chain and general's ring, but you can make much better stuff. Fourth, level. I normally hate leveling, but it's unavoidable at the beginning. Make sure you practice secret medicine up to at least the point where it heals 600 hp. Practice poison pills as well as it becomes very valuable. You should be using up nearly all your mp, as practicing your killer moves is more important than leveling. You might level a couple times on the overworld map, but Bowman is strong enough to take the Linga sanctuary for a few fights pretty early, especially if you use Rena for the first couple levels. Level for an hour and a half or so, less if your equipment is better. This is about the only time you'll need to level in the whole game. My friends don't all agree on how good the super specialty comprehension is. I got it up to 8 immediately, and raised it whenever I could. Sometimes it costs you skill points, but usually you get extras. Well worth it in my book. If you really wanted to, you could reset every time you get a bad skill roll, but it would slow things down. The most important skill is body control. This will prevent paralysis, which is the biggest danger in the Hoffman Ruins and many other parts of the game. Next I prefer skills that raise defense, con, and stamina. Once you've been in the Hoffman Ruins for a while, you'll see why. 3) The Hoffman Ruins This part is tough at first, but gets easier as you will be leveling quickly. I would start with Rena in the party, unless you have very good equipment or have leveled a lot. Equip Bowman with secret medicine and death siege. I have used whirlwind fist to decent effect in the Ruins, but it really isn't very good. Use it only for fun. Poison pills also work well, but you'll have plenty of time to use them later, and death siege is just as good for now. At first you may be getting paralyzed a lot, so take the proper items, and hope Rena learns dispel soon. As Bowman goes up, he will soon be taking no damage from most attacks, especially the lizard's breath attack. Although this is not true for all attacks, the breath does not seem to paralyze you if it does zero damage. So at this point, you should be fine taking Rena out of the party. Explore the entire ruins and get all the stuff, going back to the save point once or twice. You should now be powerful enough to stomp all over the boss, with or without Rena. 4) The Front Lines After the Hoffman Ruins, Shin is a joke. Just try to practice burst fist as much as you can. Every time he hits you, use secret medicine to heal. You could last much longer than 1 minute if it gave you the choice. The second meeting with shin you have no chance to take your characters out, so you will most likely have 4 characters, like it or not. Plus, you have to lose. Pity, I was kicking him around and it took him a really long time to kill me. Having Claude and Ashton distract the boss so I can beat on him is kinda fun though. 5) Eluria Tower Most of the enemies here are spellcasters. That makes it very easy, especially if you equip a reverse doll. If you need to, use Rena at first, but you probably won't need her for long. You may well need her for the bosses, however. Shin is actually somewhat tough for Bowman to beat alone, unless you have burst fist powered up. That move just destroys him. Shin should hardly ever get close enough to hurt you, and you can use secret medicine to heal after he uses spells. The final boss is one of the ten wise men. Put Rena in the party, as you get no experience, so you may as well. You have to stay alive for a minute, which isn't tough, but it's not so easy you can just attack him all you want. Secret medicine is, as always, a must. 6) Get a Synard You now get the violin, which means you can probably make nearly every item in the game. Make the titan fist, star guard, and whatever other armor and accessories you want. The fight with the Synard is very easy. Use explosion pills, or long-range burst fist. Either way, you out-range his breath attack. He goes down in no time. The red crystal cave isn't tough either. Some of the enemies could stone you, but if your body control is 10, they probably won't. If you want to be safe, take Rena, but you don't really need to. The boss is a complete joke. 7) The Battle Arena First, fly to Armlock and buy the rune full moon. You can make the moon fist with it. Depending on how many mp you get between fights, you could equip it now or save it for later. The attack jump isn't that big anyway. You can fly to the secret shop and buy the magical rasp if you want; then you can blacksmith some more good armors; be sure to make the reflective armor. Make sure to make everything that doesn't require the rasp first. Once you get the rasp you can't make star greaves and gards. Next go to Fun City, and the battle arena. You don't really want the item you get for winning the A rank duel, but I would do it anyway just for fun and a couple levels. Do some A rank bullying battles though, as the 100 skill points you get for winning is a big help. You probably want explosion pills and secret medicine. Two of the last enemies are immune to fire, so just punch them to death after you take the rest out. You should probably take a stab at the survival battle as well. You probably won't win, but it is fun and you can level 10 times easily on one try. Burst fist is probably your best bet, as fight 31 against a giant bird is one of the hardest. Poison pills also works fine, and is the way to go if you can get past this fight with them. 8) The fields How difficult these are depends a little on how long you spent at fun city. I didn't find them hard at all. One key though is start with the field of love. That's right, love. I found it the easiest one by far, and it gives excellent experience for the others. Bowman should be able to solo the field of love. I use Sakura attack, even though it's not the best, to level it up. If you have trouble, switch to poison pills. This boss is a piece of cake. Next you should probably do the field of courage. I found it even easier than love, but then, I had a few more levels under my belt. There's no trick here; it's very easy. Use poison pills on the boss and he will die in no time. The field of power should come next. This was actually the most difficult of the fields for me, and the only one I bring in Rena on. None of the fights individually are too tough, but some of the monsters paralyze you, and you have to do a lot of fights. You will need Rena soon anyway, so you may as well get her a few levels. There are also fights where you must defend a switch or part of the map gets blocked off. As long as you don't use sakura attack, you will be fine. You could even just punch them. Even if you fail, don't worry. None of the items here are as good as the ones you can make. The field of intelligence is last. Partly because it's fun to do them backwards, but mostly because after the field of power, Bowman can do it alone. Use poison pills. The boss is as usual, the easiest part. Use poison pills on each of the spheres that the boss uses to change attacks. They should each take 3 hits or so. Then do the same for the boss. He usually can't do anything, but even his strongest attack should do very little if he gets it off. I remember watching him take out someone's whole party with one shot, but when got hit with Bowman he took 0 damage. 9) Mine Cave The game keeps getting easier. You could easily solo this dungeon with poison or explosion pills. Bring Rena along just because you will probably want her for Fineal, and she can level fast here. The boss could do a lot of damage if it attacked, but with poison pills, it dies in about 5 seconds. Explosion pills would work just as well if you have the mp for them. 10) Kill some Wise Men Use Rena for the rest of the game, unless you feel the need to prove something. The reason is that most of the bosses from here out are so fast that if you attack with Bowman, they sometimes run from you forever. It's kind of comical. You will see the enemy run from one side of the screen to the other, with Bowman close behind. But, it's usually an infinite loop, so you'll have to reset. Rena can get you out, or you could use a skanda ointment or compress to speed Bowman up at the beginning of the fight. I use burst fist against the first 3 wise men for a change of pace, but poison pills probably work fine too. They might have trouble hitting the second wise man. 11) Fineal The game gets somewhat challenging again here. You might experiment to find which moves work best against the bosses, but I've found sakura attack and explosion pills work very well. One of the wise men in the second fight is immune to fire, so either don't use explosion pills, or finish off the other guy and punch him to death. For the normal enemies, explosion pills are your best bet. The final boss can be somewhat tough with just Bowman and Rena. His spells actually do enough damage to Bowman to be a problem, but Rena can easily be immune through equipment. The mirage robe is a big help. Unless you have the tri-emblem or angel armband, Bowman needs a reverse doll. I use sakura attack, but poison/explosion pills probably work just as well. You can pin him in place long enough to do big damage, but you usually can't keep him from escaping to use magic sooner or later. Make sure you have the star guard, as he has an attack with about 15 hits. Just parry them all, and the stars you generate will do pretty good damage. When you get hurt, which will be often, rely on Rena more than secret medicine. Otherwise you won't get many chances to attack. Now if you want to beat him without Rena, you will probably need some items from the bonus dungeon. 12) The Bonus Dungeon (AKA Secret Dungeon) The bonus dungeon has hard parts and easy parts. Often you will lots of trouble with one floor, only to find the next floor a piece of cake. Some of the floors were so dangerous that I put Ashton and Chisato in. They were set on avoid enemies and I used them to resurrect me when I died and to distract enemies when there are too many. I suppose if you are a perfectionist, you could use skandas to escape from the fights that are too difficult. In general, the strategy here is to play defensive. Take out an enemy or two, then heal up with secret medicine. Any time too many enemies come together, and you risk getting surrounded, run off and wait for them to spread out. I recommend taking out the spellcasters early, not because they are dangerous, but because they cast very high level spells with 20-30 second animations, and I don't have the patience to watch those over and over. Some fights bear special attention. The succubus, boss of floor 1: She is one of the hardest bosses in the whole dungeon. She has too many hit points, is very fast, and stones you. The fight may take a while, but you shouldn't lose as long as you protect Rena. She should have the rune buckler, so she won't get stoned. Try to keep the boss busy. Any time you die or get stoned, you can wait for raise dead, but if the boss is anywhere near Rena, use an item instead, so you can get back in the action faster. Use burst fist, poison pills, or sakura attack and she'll go down eventually. The hourglasses: At first these are bosses, but then you fight them all the time in normal fights. They can stop time for about 1.5 seconds. This usually isn't too bad, but if several do it over and over, they could stop time forever. Try to kill them as fast as possible, even if you risk having to resurrect Bowman. You can manage to survive, but any time they stop time for 9 seconds at a time, it's going to be close. Explosion pills are the best bet. The Weirdbeast: He isn't actually hard. You just have to make sure you equip the weirdslayer. And then make sure you unequip it afterwards. I would stick Chisato in to use the weirdslayer, and just set her on stay away until you get to the weidbeast. Multiple FunnyThief lv99's: This may be the hardest fight in the whole dungeon. You could equip the funnyslayer, but then you'd have trouble with everyone else. I would stick in the other characters just to be safe. Or you could use a skanda every time you see 6 funnythieves fall from the sky. In fact, this battle is tough with 4 characters, so keep skandas on hand just in case. In fact, from this point on, I would put two other characters in to level. (I prefer Ashton and Chisato, but take whoever you like.) They may only be level 40 or so, but set them on stay away from the enemy, and they will survive to get 2 or 3 levels per fight. They are a good safety net, and you will need them if you want to beat the evil angel after the bonus dungeon. The robot dogs that drain mp: These guys show up on the floor "Decision Point." They fire missiles in a spread pattern that is very difficult to avoid. And if a missile hits you, you lose all you mp in one shot. Go after these enemies fast, but make sure not to turn your back to them. Dart in, fire some explosion pills, then run back if another robot is starting to get behind you. As long as you stay facing them as much as you can their missiles are easy to parry. Do it again with two characters: This should be a piece of cake since Bowman is by now the only character you really need. You get to drop straight to level 9, skipping the really hard FunnyThief floor. If Rena is your main character, this is just like before. If it's Claude, set him on avoid enemies, and use items. Just pretend like he's a healer that you have to control. The Phoenix goes down fast to poison pills. Give the holy sword to someone, in my opinion it's even better than the Levantine sword. The bottom floor: There are two large enemies here. One is a stronger version of Phoenix, the other is a stronger version of the boss of the Mihne Cave. Make sure you have poison pills, as it will take either down with no difficulty, but nothing else will. Well, explosion pills is ok on this floor, but the enemies have so many hp that running out of mp is a problem. The boss is not that difficult, though she is tough enough that you should use four characters. 13) Play the Evil Melody: You get an angel armband each time you kill this boss. Still, the real reason to fight her is just for the challenge. I don't think I will ever be able to beat her without all 4 characters. Stone checks, or some equipment to protect against stone are required, as are tri-emblems or angel armbands to protect against all spells. If you have the very best equipment, decent levels, and enough items, it will still take a while, but you will win. The key is to control Rena most of the time. Cast anti, and any other support magic you feel like, then cast fairy light every time anyone gets hurt. Even if someone is missing 50 hp, once this boss starts doing damage she keeps doing more. By the time the spell gets cast, you usually need it. This boss seems to get stronger as she loses hp, but I'm not sure. Also, for some reason, the AI doesn't like to use many killer moves here. Oh well. Just keep all your characters alive, and she will die eventually. ======================================================================= ==============================Copyright================================ As usual, feel free to do whatever with this FAQ as long as you don't change it, make money off it, or delete this notice. And it is, of course, Copyright 1999 Justin Lyon. I can be contacted with any questions at WonderLlama_@hotmail.com.