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Sol Divide FAQ v1.0 For Sony Playstation and Sega Saturn By Dion Fung <email@example.com> Last Updated: 9 August, 1998 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A html version of this FAQ can be found at http://www.oe.net.au/~legend Contents: 1. Legal Notice 2. Introduction 3. Basic Game Play 4. Advanced Strategies 5. Arcade Mode 6. Original Mode 7. Item List 8. Spell List 9. Bosses 10. Secrets =============== 1. Legal Notice =============== This FAQ may not be redistributed in any form without my permission and may only be redistributed in its original and unaltered form. Permission will not be granted for profitable or promotional purposes without my written approval including but not restricted to magazines, guide books and game retailers. Sol Divide and all characters in this game are registered trademarks and copyrights of Psikyo. =============== 2. Introduction =============== Sol Divide is a 2D shooting game. It is an arcade port for the Sony Playstation and Sega Saturn. Since I don't own a Sega Saturn, this FAQ will be concentrating on the PS version. I believe both versions are identical, but I could be wrong. This game is developed by Psikyo, the company that brought us the famous Raiden Fighter, among other big hits, and published by Atlus. Psikyo has introduced some new elements into this game, which proved once again the 2D shooter genre still has a lot of potential and is not quite dead yet. ================== 3. Basic Game Play ================== There are two modes for this game: Arcade and Original. The arcade mode is identical to the arcade version of this game. One or two players may participate in this mode. The original mode is an "RPG"-ish mode in which you can gain experience and improve your weapon and defense levels by destroying enemies and collecting items they left behind. The original mode is for one player only. There are three ways to attack the enemies. You can fire a long range shot, perform a close range attack or cast a spell. You can learn spells by picking up the spell items left by the enemies. The basic control for both modes are more or less the same. The following is a list of the basic functions of each button (you can change them at the menu): X button: Long range shot Square button: Close range attack Triangle button: Cast chosen spell O button: Choose next spell L1, R1 button: Choose spell R2 button: Auto-fire Start button: Pause (arcade mode) Menu (original mode, more on that later) In the arcade mode, there are three bars on top of the screen. The first one is your hp. When the bar becomes empty, you are dead. On the left hand side of the second and third bar is the name of the selected spell. The second bar represents your magic points and the third one indicates how many magic points is required to cast the selected spell. Below the third bar is a list of spells that you have learned. You can gain magic points by getting hit, hitting your enemies or picking up magic potions. In the original mode, the format is very different. There is a much longer health bar on top of the screen. Below that is your current level and name of the selected spell. On the right hand side is your weapon and defense level and the current stage. The list of spells now have a number besides each icon to represent the number of times you can cast that particular spell. Yes, you don't spend magic points to cast spell in the original mode, you just pick the spells up and cast them. You can pause the game and bring up the menu by pressing the start button. The menu has the following options: 1. Item menu 2. Spell book 3. Stats screen 4. Save (only appears at the end of every stage) Choosing 1 will bring up the item submenu, which has the following choices: 1. Use an item 2. Dump an item 3. Explain the usage of an item The spell book command allows you to arrange your spell books. You can only have at most eight spells ready at a time. The stats screen gives you the following information: Status --- only two conditions, normal or poisoned Level --- your current level Health --- your current and maximum hp Weapon --- your weapon level Shot --- your long range attack level (you can only power up twice) Defense --- your defense level Exp --- your current experience Next Exp --- experience needed for next level ====================== 4. Advanced Strategies ====================== In addition to the basic attacks, each character has one combo attack. Kashon: square, square, square, right, square Vorg: square, square, square, up, square Tyora: square, square, square, down, square Basically you can press the direction after the second hit connected. As long as you don't get hit and keep attacking, you should be able to pull off the combo. This feature makes Kashon the easiest character to play, due to the fact that pressing up or down may move you away from the enemies and you want to push the enemies as far back as possible. Kashon also has the biggest attack range, making him the best character for close range combats. Tyora, on the other hand, has the most powerful shots and the most powerful magic. Vorg seems to be a balance between the two. If you hit an enemy with a close range attack, it will stop attacking for a short while. This is very important when fighting a group of enemies. If you decide to stay back and shoot at the enemies, eventually one or more of them will close in on you. When this happens, use the close range attack immediately or you'll get hit. Some enemies can do a lot of damage close up. The most effective way to get rid of the enemies, aside from using a high-level spell, is the combo attack. It can kill most enemies in one hit and can kill off a group of them at once. Try to save your precious spells and magic points for the bosses. When things get ugly, however, don't hesitate to cast a spell. Fire is usually good enough to get you out of trouble. Learning when to use a spell and what spell to use is the way to master this game. ============== 5. Arcade mode ============== First of all, you can skip the character choosing screen by pressing L1+start instead of just the start button like usual. There are seven difficulties in this mode. Aside from inflicting more damage, the difficulty level doesn't seem to have any effect on the behaviours or frequencies of the enemies. However, the harder the game is, the harder it is to gain life or magic points (very important). At the easiest level, you can nearly solely rely on your spells to finish the game. The first stage is different for each character. There are two paths that you can choose after the first stage. It's not really important since all it does is swap the order of the next two stages. If you beat the game without continuing or if you do not continue when you died, you will get to the ranking and high score screens. You may get ranked only if you are playing as a single player. If you are playing solo and you died, you will have to start over from the beginning of that stage. This makes it pretty hard to finish the later stages all by yourself. To get around this, you can join in as player two when you are about to die. There are six different endings in this mode. One ending for each character in one player games, and one for each pair of characters in two player games. ================ 6. Original Mode ================ There are 17 stages in this mode. At the end of each stage you have the choice of going down to the next stage or stay at the current one. You are also allowed to save your game. Since it is next to impossible to complete the whole quest in one try so it is necessary to have an understanding of how this mode works. You begin the quest with 4 items: A small health potion, a magic gem, a power up book and a herb. The menu gives you the following choices: 1. Begin the quest 2. Move items into or out of the storage 3. Save/Quit game Initially, you will be able to carry 24 items. When you make it back to the throne room for the 6th time, your inventory will be expanded to hold up to 32 items. When you return for the 11th time, it will be once again expanded to hold up to 40 items. Hints and Tips: 1. Once you started the quest, there's no turning back. The only times that you can get back to the throneroom is when you died or when you use the magical gem. Whenever you die, however, you will lose all your inventory items and your weapon and defense levels will be halved (rounded down). While you still get to keep your level and the items in the storage, it is really undesirable to die, especially when your attack and defense level is very high. This also makes the magical gem the most important item to keep. Since all treasures are random, I suggest avoid saving the game until you have at least one gem in your possession. 2. You can wear one of the three amulets: The ring that protects you from poison, the necklace that prevents the enemies from stealing your stuff, and the bracelet that increases your defense by 10. It's entirely up to you which amulet you wear, but I'd suggest using the necklace. There's nothing worse than losing a magical gem or a health potion and it's fairly easy to get the cure poison herb anyway. 3. Sometimes when you stay at the same stage instead of than going down, you may end up not getting any treasure at all. There's a glitch to fix this, however. Just load the game again and you will start getting treasures again. 4. When you get to stage 13 and 14, you will be facing a lot of mages. At times you will be bombarded by the purple ball that when hit will power down your long range attack. Instead of using the power up book to restore your shots, you might want to suffer a bit and wait until you make it to stage 15. If you use a book chances are you will be hit again so you will end up wasting a power up book. 5. You will not get any treasure at the final stage, so make sure you have everything you need when you get there. You have to fight through the usual horde of enemies followed by 8(!) bosses. It isn't as bad as it sounds since if you can make it this far most of the earlier bosses should be just a piece of cake. ============ 7. Item List ============ Arcade mode: Power Up: Increase the power of your long range attack. You can only power up twice I think. This item looks like a card with the letter 'P' on it. Health Potion: A green potion that restore your hp. There are two sizes. Magic Potion: An orange potion that restore your magic points. Herb: A small green leaf that increases your maximum hp as well as your current hp by a small amount. Spell Book: Learn the spell shown on the icon. Original mode: Bronze Chest: May contain any items. Copper Chest: Carries spellbooks. Silver Chest: Requires a silver key to open, usually contains better stuff than the unlocked chests. Gold Chest: Requires a gold key to open. Contains the best stuff. Silver Key: Use it to open a silver chest. Gold Key: Use it to open a gold chest. Projectile Book: Increase your shot power. Looks like an arrow. Weapon Book: Increase your weaopn level. Looks like a sword. Defense Book: Increase your defense level. Looks like a shield. Health Potion: Green potion that comes with two sizes. The small one restores 30 hp and the big one restores 90 hp. Cure Poison Herb: Looks like a little grass. Life Herb: Increase your current and maximum hp by 2. Looks like a red and green leaf. Leaf: A big leaf. It has a random effect. Most of the time it does nothing, but occassionally it will increase your maximum hp, your weapon level, or your defense level. Magical Gem: Teleport you back to the throne room. Ring: Prevents you from getting poisoned. Necklace: Prvents your items from being stolen. Bracelet: Increase your defense by 10. Spell Book: Allows you to cast that spell 1 to 3 times. ============= 8. Spell List ============= In the arcade mode, there are two types of spells: one-use spells which only allows you to cast the spell once and unlimited spells that you can use repeatedly provided you have the magic points. Some spells are available to a certain character only and are indicated below. Fire: Fire is the cheapest spell and you always have the fire spell learnt in the arcade mode. Even though it is the weakest spell, it's also one of the most useful spells in the game. When you cast fire your hand will produce a small flame, hitting anything in its path. You can use it to push back enemies as well as cancel their attacks. Thunder: Thunder hits everything on screen but the damage is so small that I won't recommend you using it in the arcade mode. It does cancel the attacks of the enemies but I'd rather use fire instead which costs less. Freeze: When you cast this spell, everything on screen will be frozen for a short period of time. You can attack freely while the enemies are frozen. Some enemies have some resistance so they will only be frozen very briefly. Slow: Slow produces a small bubble. Any enemy hit by the bubble will be slowed down, effectively paralyzing it. If you are lucky you might hit more than one enemy but most of the time it's just an expensive version of freeze that does less. Don't use it except when fighting bosses. Certain enemies are immune to slow as well. Wind: This spell brings a strong wind that cancels most attacks of the enemies on screen. The wind lasts quite some time so it's very handy if you want something that allows you to kill two group of enemies. One-use spell. Phoenix: High damage spell that hits everything on screen. Kashon only, one-use spell. Nightmare: This spell is like slow except more powerful. I really won't recommend using this in the arcade mode except when fighting a boss since it costs a lot and only affects one enemy. Vorg only, one-use spell. Summons: Well it's kinda hard to decide whether this is a good spell or not. This spell chooses *randomly* one of the three possible forms of attack. So if you are unlucky you might get something you don't want. Tyora only, one-use spell. Meteor: Inflicts lots of damage to everything on screen. One-use spell. Heatbody: When you cast this spell, your body will be surrounded by fire and you become invincible for as long as the spell lasts. The spell is especially powerful in the arcade mode since you can gain back magic points very rapidly by hitting enemies when you are invincible. One-use spell. Death: The ultimate spell, kills everything on screen or cause huge damage to bosses. Undead creatures are immune to this spell, however. One-use spell. ========= 9. Bosses ========= Here I am concentrating mainly on the arcade bosses since most of the bosses in the original mode are similar or identical to those in the aracde mode anyway. Wyvern: The easiest and wimpiest boss. Just close in to do a combo attack, then move back to dodge its attack and repeat. If you have trouble against it just use fire to cancel its attacks. There is also a black and a gold wyvern in the original mode. Those are upgrades from the one in the arcade mode with more powerful attacks and more hp but shouldn't be too difficult with the help of spells. Hydra: Depending on the path you choose, it might be the first boss you encounter in the arcade mode. I consider it a bit harder than wyvern since you have less room to move around. If you have trouble dodging its attacks, just cast freeze and you should be able to get in at least two combos before its free again. Evil God: This guy can be a bit tricky since some of its attacks do quite a bit of damage. You can do the following to kill it quickly. First do a combo as fast as you can, then move back while it start charging at you, twice. If you stay at the left hand side of the screen it won't hit you. After that do a combo followed by slow. If it's still alive when it's free you can always cast slow again or just kill it normally. Sand Worm: This boss is pretty tough. It shoots big fireballs that deal lots of damage. Add to this the spikes which hovers around for a while before flying towards you. It's simply impossible to dodge both the spikes and the fireballs all together. The best way to kill it is a combo followed by the death spell immediately. If you don't have death, heatbody is the next best choice. Minotaur: The minotaur is tough if you don't know what to expect. Once you are familiar with its attack pattern, however, you can kill it without any problem. When it walks forward, it will either swing at you with the axe or shoot something at you. In the first case you can simple move behind it or cast lightning to cancel. In the second case, you can react according to what it shoots. If it's a row of ice that kinda follows you, move up a bit then quickly move down (or vice versa). If it's two rows of ice just stay put (or adjust your position a little) and they should go past you. If it's a bunch of fireballs then simply move up. Close in to do a quick combo when it walks back, or stay back with long range attacks if you are playing Tyora. Stone Grifon: This guy is *hard*, and I mean it. There's simply too many things around the screen to have any reasonable strategy. Let's see, it summons a big bird and two turrets that attacks you. The stone grifon itself have various ways of attacks too. The best way to kill it: combo, meteor, then combo again. Efter, 1st Form (Arcade mode only): Efter in its original form is probably the hardest among the final stage bosses. It can fire a row of really big fireballs, charge and slash at you at the same time (the most dangerous attack btw) and summon a sword that swings around. There will be two swordsman at the beginning of the fight. Get rid of them and you should get a health potion and a magic potion. If you can afford it, use heatbody to kill Efter. Otherwise, just use the slow spell which should allow you to kick in two combos. Efter, 2nd Form (Arcade mode only): This one is easy. Every time you kill it with a combo it will retaliate with a beam attack. So just do a combo, move down a bit and wait for its beam, then move back and do a combo and so on. Heradious (Arcade mode only): This guy is not tough by itself, but you probably won't have much hp left by the time you are fighting him, so be careful. This guy is very vulnerable to phoenix, so if you are playing Kashon and have the magic point cast it as soon as it attacks. If not, just do a combo, cast fire to cancel its attacks, then repeat a combo again. You probably won't have time to finish the combo though, so pull back to avoid taking extra damage. Final Boss (Arcade mode only): This one is also easy. Just slash at it with the combo and occasionally cast fire to kill its helpers. Finish him and you beat the game. Final Boss (Original mode only): Well, this guy is simply harsh. It's swing can take off a big portion of your hp and the frequency of its attack is ridiculous. Thankfully you are not fighting him in the arcade mode, so just dump every spell you have on him. Meteor, heatbody and death are all very effective against him. =========== 10. Secrets =========== If you beat the arcade mode at easy level or harder without continue, you will be able to play the extra round. Basically you get to play the game again from the beginning but this time you will be facing much tougher oppositions. I am not sure whether anything special will happen if you beat the extra round without continue (is this even possible??).