Version 2.0. Updated 5-22-2023 – Originally written by Rick Hall. Recompiled and expanded by Jason Dvorak.
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons – Iron & Blood: Warriors of Ravenloft had a rough life from the start of its development to the end of its sales. Often criticized for its poor framerate, confusing controls, and other more D&D-specific issues, it quietly fell into the bargain bins of game stores.
In going through it for Project Up1 I find it does have a charm to it. It requires a bit of forgiveness and the ability to not want something shinier like Street Fighter or Soul Blade. I felt it necessary to see this game get its fair share of being enjoyed by gamers decades later.
This guide started with the director Rick Hall’s original personal website version (located here for provenance). Created as a response to the lacking manual included with the game, the web page provided a ton of reference material. However, the notes appear to be from earlier in the development cycle as some moves and descriptions are incorrect or slightly off.
What’s changed from Rick Hall’s original notes?
- Separate pages of content have been reorganized into a more cohesive flow of information.
- Every move command confirmed, corrected, or adjusted
- Move lists have been revamped with descriptions where available
- All four bosses now have their full move lists with the exception of Strahd’s possible single missing move.
- Additional supplemental information discovered in researching and confirming moves
- FAQ section worked into the appropriate areas removing the need for it
- All information is now sectioned and tabbed for more straightforward navigation.
What’s left to do?
- Strahd’s potential missing move (a different lightning beam?)
- Eventually, add the regular characters’ standard move descriptions
Moves – Basic Controls
Assuming you’re on Player 1’s side; the left side of the screen facing right.
- Up: Use with the Attack Buttons to Perform High Attacks
- Up, Up Quickly: Jump straight up. Press a direction right after to leap in that direction
- Down: Crouch / Used with Attack buttons creates a Low Attack
- Right: Walk, or double tap and hold to Run to the Right
- Left: Back up, or double tap and hold to retreat to the Left
- Triangle: Strong Attack
- Square: Normal Attack
- Cross: Fast Attack
- Circle: Misc. Attack (Combo Starter)
- L1 Button: High Block (Blocks Medium and High Attacks)
- L2 Button: Low Block (Blocks Low and Medium attacks)
- R1 Button: Dodge sidesteps toward the screen
- R2 Button: Dodge sidesteps away from the screen. It should be pointed out that if you sidestep enough to reach the mid-point behind or in front of the opponent, the orientation flips. It is possible to ‘spin and walk’ the character by holding the Left or Right button and then holding or tapping the Dodge buttons. It’s a weird addition and aside from baby-stepping away from the Aura Wall, I didn’t use it much.
- Start: Pauses the Game mid-fight.
- Select: Hold with Start to soft reset back to the title screen
Moves – Standard Controls
If the player gets turned around or stands up facing the wrong direction, don’t press anything. The game will automatically turn you to properly face the opponent. Any button press before this animation happens will further delay them turning around.
There are 12 basic attacks. These are separated into three groups of four. The three groups are:
- High attacks
Achieved by pressing one of the four attack buttons plus the Up button
- Medium Attacks
Achieved by just pressing one of the four basic attack buttons by itself.
- Low Attacks
Achieved by pressing one of the four basic attack buttons plus the Down button.
Due to the two block buttons, blocking depends on the type of attack that is being used against you. A high block will deflect the effects of both high and medium attacks. It will not stop a low attack.
Likewise, a low block will stop medium and low attacks, but will not halt a high attack. Thus it is always possible to hit your opponent when he is blocking, provided you choose the right type of attack.
- Triangle – Heavy Attack
This button is used for heavy damage attacks. Whether pressed individually or in combination with the up or down button (to produce high and low versions of the heavy attack), the result is an attack that is slow to develop (relative to the character’s speed) but inflicts heavy damage.
- Square – Normal Attacks
As with the Triangle button, there are three basic attacks that spring from the Square button. High, medium, and low versions of the ‘Normal’ attack will inflict less damage than the ‘Heavy’ attack but are faster to develop.
- Cross – Fast Attack
This button gives your character access to their fastest attacks. Fast attacks inflict little damage, being akin to a jab in boxing, but can be used to keep the opponent off balance and set him up for combinations. Also, know that the Low + Cross button is always a ‘sweep’ that will knock the opponent down 90% of the time.
- Circle – Combo Button
This button gives the player access to the first move in a potential ‘combo’ move if they can figure out the added button sequence needed to activate the multi-hit combo attack. These are pre-determined button combinations and if successfully performed will cause the announcer to yell, “Combination!”. This audio cue plays even if you don’t connect, so if you practice solo in a 2-player game, it’s a great way to confirm you’re doing them correctly.
- Rune Wall
The arena is surrounded by an invisible Rune Wall. If walked into, bumped into, or knocked into will both cause damage to the character and cause them to be knocked down. If the affected character bounces into the other player, they too will be knocked over but will receive no damage.
Artifacts are found after a player inputs a specific button sequence timed to a unique background audio event. Artifacts are tied to character stages with each stage having a specific button input and audio clue. For the sake of organization, you can find artifacts under each character’s tab. A player may possess any number of artifacts – up to 16 total and may choose any artifact to take with any of the characters into a match.
Artifacts may be used consecutively in Campaign fights so long as it wasn’t lost (due to losing the match) or sacrificed through use, like the Gauntlets of Thievery. Remember that if you take an artifact into a match and subsequently lose the match, you will permanently lose the artifact. So if you want to go into the match without an artifact, use one of the shoulder buttons (L1, L2, R1, R2) when the artifact selection screen comes up. This will bypass the artifact selection screen. All artifacts can be categorized into one of 3 types:
- Continuous Effect
Requires no button presses for its functionality. Lasts for the entire match.
- Active Effect
Can be activated at any time during the match by pressing: Triangle + Square.
- External Effect
Must be used during the character selection, after the artifact is chosen.
- Continuous Effect
- Head-to-Head Mode
Players choose a single entity to go up against the entire opposing force’s squad. You have good guys in blue on the left, and bad guys in red on the right. So if you choose a blue ‘good character’, you’ll fend off all the bad guys and vice versa. If playing on Fighter difficulty or higher, surviving the 8 team members will bring the player up against the four bosses. Strahd the Vampire is the final boss of the game. There are only two endings for the game; good guys and bad guys.
- Campaign Mode
King of Fighters fans will get a kick out of this mode. Each side chooses a faction – it will always be good versus evil, so choose quickly if playing against a friend. From there they will pick the required number of fighters to fill their roster, from 3 up to 6 fighters based on the settings.
From there, they can pick an artifact if they want and head to battle. Once in battle, there are two parts to winning the campaign. First, to win overall the player must defeat their opponent’s team by whittling their lives down to zero. Second, they must properly manage their own team’s health and lives. Each character will have a life bar and a set number of lives set from the Options screen. If the Timer is set to a specific time and runs out, the current match is a draw and both fighters used to maintain their current health. If these characters aren’t selected for the next fight, they will regain 1/3rd of their health while other teammates fight. This regeneration feature means campaigns can last longer than usual and introduces a level of resource management not seen in fighting games.
In Campaign Mode, Objectives are called out before each battle. These relate to your magic levels, ability to continue, and a chance to gain an extra teammate. For a deeper explanation of these, see further down.
With the artifacts and leveling added to it, it really is like a game of Dungeons & Dragons.
- Training Mode
This allows the player a single round of practice against a CPU opponent. You will not be punished for losing a round.
Objectives are won by defeating opponents. Once a round is won, the winner is assigned the object. This can come in the form of permanent Magical abilities or Arcane Powers depending on the announced objective. Note that the acquired ability is only permanent as long as the character lives. If they are killed in battle, the skill or item is removed and must be re-earned. There are three possible objectives to win:
- Ring of Resurrection
A Ring of Resurrection will allow you to keep your fighter in the campaign match, although they will lose any advancements they made in Magic Abilities, Arcane Powers, and Levels of Experience. Once your character dies, the Ring will automatically expend its power, and bring your character back to life at their base level of 1. The ring is then removed from inventory.
Rings are assigned per character, so each player can have 1 ring in their inventory. If successfully won in battle, they’ll appear on the left side of the character portrait for Player 1 and on the right side for Player 2.
- Additional Teammate
This allows you to pick an additional character on top of your original team count. This is a permanent new ability for the current campaign.
- Magic Power and Arcane Power
Each time your warrior wins a match in which the objective was a “Magic Power”, they advance their magic ability or arcane power. For instance, if your warrior has no magic ability, and wins such a match, then they will now be able to access their magic move once per match thereafter. This is represented by a ‘sparkle’ effect to the left of their character portrait. If that same warrior wins another match where the objective was the “Magic Power”, they will increase the casting power by 1, and have the power become more powerful. A third “Magic Power” will increase the Magic ability to its maximum potential, where it can be used three times per match.
After this, if the warrior wins yet another “Magic Power”, they will gain their Arcane Power. This powerful skill can only be used once per match. It starts off at its maximum potential and never gets any more powerful than that. This is represented by a lightning bolt under the 3 magic sparkles left of the character portrait.
There are two ways to gain experience in the game. First, every 5 characters defeated grants players a new level of experience. This happens in both Head-to-Head and Campaign Mode. Second, in Campaign Mode players will have ‘3 Wins’ added to their level counter if they successfully win a “Magic Power” objective but already have 3 Magic Slots and their Arcane Power. Once a character has reached Level 2, it will appear next to their life bar in the character portrait. Characters can reach a maximum level of 9.
Note that you can not gain levels on the lower Apprentice and Novice difficulties – keep the difficulty set to Fighter or higher.
Gaining Levels will improve your character’s defenses. Every new level grants a bonus of 1/3rd of your original base health. So by Level 3, you’ll earn double the life bar. The animation for the health flame won’t be affected until about the middle of its height. Then you’ll start seeing the effects of the new health bonuses.
Characters will also gain small bonuses for their armor and offensive physical damage.
Characters (Listed Alphabetically)
- Red Cloud
Ardrus the Skeletal Warrior
- Life Drain: Half Circle Counter Clockwise from top + Square
Ardrus will grab his opponent by the throat and lift them off the ground with one hand. A blood-red splatter effect will herald the magical life force drain as the victim loses hit points. After the attack is complete, Ardrus will cast the victim aside and laugh. If successful, Ardrus’ Life Drain attack will siphon off hit points from his opponent, and transfer them to Ardrus.
- Bludgeon of Doom (Magic Mace Attack): Up + Circle + Cross
When Ardrus calls upon the dark powers, he can temporarily enchant his mace. Once enchanted, it will remain enchanted until he strikes with it. Whether the next strike is blocked or not, the attack will cause the magic to dissipate. If the strike hits, though, it will inflict twice the normal amount of damage.
- Stone Fist: Forward + Triangle, Cross
Ardrus’ Stone Fist attack is slow to develop, but if he hits with it, it will inflict thrice the normal amount of damage of one of Ardrus’ heavy attacks.
- High: Up + Circle, Up + Cross
Not to be confused with his Bludgeon of Doom. He’ll take two swings with his mace.
- Med: Circle, Cross, Cross
He takes 4 wild swings at his opponent. (Blue spark appears)
- Low: Down + Circle, Circle, Circle
He’ll roll and swing 3 times.
- Magic Ability (Aura of Fear): Forward + Circle, Forward + Square
Ardus will put his hand in front of this mouth and speak, “Fear me”. This disables the opponent’s 4 attack buttons. When Ardrus employs this ability, his opponents will find themselves completely unable to attack him for the next 15 to 20 seconds. Although opponents may block, run, and dodge as normal, they may not execute any basic attacks, special attacks, or manually activated magic abilities or arcane powers against Ardrus. When Ardrus casts a spell of Fear on his opponents, they will find themselves unable to attack for a period of fifteen seconds. During this time, they will be able to run, block, and dodge, but not attack in any way.
- Arcane Power (Vampirism): Continuous, gains life each time he hits
Automatically active once earned. With this continuous effect power, each time Ardrus strikes an opponent for damage, he will absorb a fraction of their life force, increasing his own number of hit points. Ardrus cannot use this ability to achieve a hit point total above his normal maximum.
- Altar of Sacrifice (External Effect)
The background for Ardus sits in the valley of a darkened cemetery. During the combat, a ghostly cymbal will sound. Press Forward + Triangle, Forward + Cross within five seconds of the sound playing, and the player will win the Altar of Sacrifice Artifact.
What does it do: Must be used during character/artifact selection. When used, the owning player must select one of his other characters to kill. Upon killing one of his other characters, the current fighter will have increased abilities of 3rd level magic ability and an arcane power automatically. Can be used by the four boss characters.
Story and Stats
Ardrus the Skeletal Warrior
Height: 5′ 11″
Weight: 150 lbs
Armor Class: 4
In his former life, the skeletal warrior known as Ardrus once served as the trusted captain of the guard to King Goodwyn of Aragon. Ardrus held his post gallantly for many years and was instrumental in saving the good king’s life on several occasions. Jealousy set in, however, when the king’s son was allowed to promote his own champion, a blowhard named Rolph, to the position of Protectorate of the King’s Armies — a position Ardrus coveted. Rolph and Ardrus were constantly at odds, and it became obvious to the captain of the guard that he would soon be relieved of his duties.
At this time, Duke Alec, a distant cousin of Goodwyn’s, approached Ardrus with an offer: In exchange for Ardrus’ help in overthrowing the king, Alec would promote the captain to the rank he coveted. With little hesitation, Ardrus acted, slaying the rightful king and his son. At that time, the schemer’s full plan was revealed. Alec showed mock outrage at the traitorous Ardrus even as he claimed the throne as his own. His first order was to set Rolph and his troops after Ardrus. Ardrus killed many of his attackers, but he was hopelessly outnumbered. Cut down by Rolph’s soldiers and discredited by his people as a traitor to the throne, Ardrus’ final living act was to vow vengeance against those who had wronged him.
Within a fortnight he was reborn as a skeletal warrior. Given new life, the undead captain of the guard exacted his vengeance, first severing Rolph’s head with one swift stroke, and then crushing the very life out of Alec. To this day, the skeletal warrior despises mortal kind and seeks to send as many men as possible to their deaths.
Ardrus is undead. His flesh has long since rotted away, and he is now little more than a skeleton in heavy armor. He wields a wicked, spiked mace in combat. His movements are smooth and human-like, despite his magically animated appearance.
- Headsman’s Chop: Half Circle Clockwise from top + Circle
This magical attack will inflict an amount of damage equal to roughly half of a first-level character’s hit points. It is slow to build up but is the third most powerful attack in the game, behind Erland’s Arrow of Slaying and Luthor’s +5 Holy Avenger Attack.
- Crushing Heel: Square + Cross, Square + Cross
This attack is non-magical, but notable in that it is so strong that it cannot be blocked. The 2 button presses must be down quickly, or he will instead do his Square + Cross move; a lunging handle push.
- 360 Spin High Chop: Hold Forward + Press Triangle + Triangle
A nice tribute to Zangief. He’ll extend his arms and spin as Street Fighter’s bear fighter does. The double press must be done quickly, or he’ll do his standard Forward + Triangle of a double axe swing.
- High: Hold Up and press Circle, Cross, Cross
Balthy will swing his axe and then head butt.
- Med: Circle, Square, Square
He’ll do his normal Circle (low handle poke) in three consecutive attacks
- Low: Hold Down + Circle, Circle, Circle
Balthazaar will take a mini leap to swing into a second swing
- Magic Ability (Axe of Dancing): Triangle + Circle, Triangle + Circle, Square + Cross
Axe of Dancing – When Balthazaar acquires this ability, he will be able to hurl his axe at his opponent, where it can strike and then return to his hand. Damage inflicted by this attack is dependent on the level of magical ability but is always considerable. He does have a long wind-up. If you’re close to the enemy, the axe will hit them both on the forward throw and on the return.
- Arcane Power (Blood Fever): Forward + Triangle, Forward + Cross
When Balthazaar calls upon the power of the blood fever, he cannot be killed for 30 seconds. For the duration of the effect, he will absorb damage as normal, but cannot be reduced to less than 1 hit point, by any attack or effect in the game, including colliding with the Rune Wall.
- Aura of Misfortune (Continuous Effect)
The level is a town square with hangman’s nooses in the background. Eventually, you will hear a person scream out in terror. When this happens, quickly press Square + Cross, Square + Cross.
What it does: The opponent’s artifacts, arcane powers, and magic abilities will misfire 60% of the time. 10% of the time, they will be lost permanently. Such powers and artifacts will work 30% of the time, however. Bosses can use this artifact.
Story and Stats
Height: 6′ 8″
Weight: 290 lbs
Armor Class: 10
Out of all the warriors of chaos, none is more infamous for his cruelty than Balthazaar the Headsman. While still a youth, he was apprenticed to the Headsman’s Guild. There he showed terrific strength and technique, but his teachers grew worried about his uncommon zeal for his tasks. Despite their concerns, Balthazaar was allowed to take oath as a member of the guild. The young headsman quickly displayed his trademark cruelty when he severed all of the limbs of a condemned man before finally putting the poor man out of his misery.
Balthazaar was soon cast out of the guild for breaking their code of honor, whose tenets called for a swift, clean, merciful death. Balthazaar was infuriated by his dismissal, and soon he had the heads of the guild for his very own. Balthazaar now roams the world, plying his trade where possible, inflicting punishment on both the just and the wicked with equal pleasure.
Balthazaar is the largest of the combatants, standing a full head taller than most others. His size and bulk compare favorably to the Hulk. He wears a black leather headman’s hood. Although he wears no armor, he is still not terribly fast or agile. He does, however, do tremendous damage with his ax.
- Life Drain: While holding Forward press Triangle + Circle, Square + Cross, Triangle + Circle
Like Ardrus’ Life Drain attack, this maneuver will damage the opponent at the same time as it increases Balok’s life point total (although it can never bring Balok’s life point total above 100%). Balok will raise his sword as it glows red and yell “Life Drain”.
- Shield Rush: Forward + Circle, Forward + Circle
Balok will yell, “I am your master!” and rush forward with his sword straight out. He’ll run about a third of the arena length.
- High: Up + Circle, Triangle, Triangle
Balok takes a leaping attack into a double swing.
- Med: Circle, Circle + Triangle
He takes a short swing, and then three successive lunging strikes
- Low: While Holding Down press Circle, Square + Cross
Balok turns himself into a ball and attacks.
- Magic Ability (Darkshield): Triangle + Circle, Triangle + Circle, Square + Cross
(Must input insanely quickly. If not, he’ll perform his Medium Combination). Balok is completely surrounded by a sphere of darkness for 5 seconds per level of ability. All hits from normal and special attacks are ignored, although magical attacks can still damage him. During this 5-15 seconds, Balok himself can still hit his opponent with any type of attack. This effect is the opposite of Luthor’s Aura of Invulnerability. When in use, each time Balok is struck for damage, he will gain life points, instead of losing them. Balok can withstand one hit per level of magical ability. Thus, it is strategic to hit Balok with your weakest attacks when his Darkshield is in effect. This will still benefit him, but not as much as the more substantial attacks might.
- Arcane Power (Curse): Continuous, opponent loses TWO lives when killed
This may well be the most devastating power of any character in the game. Although it causes the opponent no damage, if Balok kills the opponent once he achieves this skill, the opponent loses TWO of their lives. Once the opponent is defeated, you’ll hear the announcer say, “The curse of Balok is upon you!” to confirm.
- Ring of Invisibility (Active Effect)
Balok’s background is in the middle of a dark field, with his castle standing tall in the distance. During combat, hysterical laughter can be heard. To receive the artifact, Hold Forward + Circle, Circle within five seconds of this laughter, and win the Ring of Invisibility Artifact.
What it does: When this artifact is activated in the fight by pressing Square + Triangle, the wearer will become completely invisible until they execute some form of attack. Upon doing so, the wearer will revert to visibility again. They remain invisible even if attacked by the opponent. The artifact can be used as often as desired in any given match. Bosses can not use it.
- Balok is well-balanced but is only exceptional in his armor class. The proper approach to fighting him depends entirely on the opponent. Fast characters, like Nym Pymplee and Ignatius Max, should concentrate on their fastest attacks, and try to wear Balok down. Stronger, but slower opponents, like Balthazaar and Torgo, should stay on the move as much as possible. Stick and move, and get in your biggest shots when you can, one at a time.
Story and Stats
Occupation: Seeker of souls
Species: Human (once)
Height: 6′ 2″
Weight: 220 lbs
Armor Class: 0
Balok was once a great champion for good. The lord of a mountain keep, Balok was renowned as a just, fair leader of men. The good knight was born under a dark star, however. His downfall came upon a doomed expedition to the ruins of Blackspire Tower. There, it was rumored that many men had been sacrificed in a black magic ritual before an order of knights razed the tower. Hidden deep within the catacombs of the tower was an unholy sword of great power. The sword was both sentient and evil, and sensing Balok’s presence, it called out to the great champion. Balok heard the sword’s siren call and seduced by the glory it promised him, quickly claimed it as his own and carried it back to his home. That very night, Balok was beset with nightmares of blood. Later that week, Balok struck savagely at one of his men in a sparring session. The unholy blade tasted blood for the first time. In a moment, its thirst overwhelmed Balok, and he slew his sparring partner.
One victim was all the vampire sword needed before it was able to exert its complete will over Balok. The knight’s mind became warped, and soon the admired lord of the keep became a feared and hated man. Adorning black armor and a massive helm, Balok’s outward appearance became as twisted and dark as his mind. His lust for evil grew until, in a fit of madness, he slaughtered every living being in his keep. He now travels the world, guided by his vampire blade, seeking more blood for the blade’s unquenchable thirst.
Balok is the arch-nemesis of Luthor the Paladin and is very much like him in many respects. Balok is extremely well-armored, strong, and has the acceptable speed for a man encased in steel. An excellent mix of speed and power, Balok is a formidable opponent, and not to be taken lightly.
Darius the Gladiator
- Long Strike: Circle + Triangle, Cross
Darius throws his trident and it returns to him. Goes the entire distance of the arena.
- Spinning Slash Jump: Half Circle Clockwise from top + Triangle
Takes a double-flip leap and whacks the opponent with his trident.
- High: Hold Up and press Circle, Triangle, Cross
Darius swings high, low, then high.
- Med: Circle, Triangle, Cross
He’ll take two swings and then throw out a kick.
- Low: Hold Down and press Circle, Circle, Circle
He’ll uppercut, leap with his trident, and then ankle punch.
- Magic Ability (Magic Trident): Hold Forward + Circle, Circle, Circle
Magic Trident – In times of need, Darius can summon the power of his trident. When he does so, the damage inflicted by his weapon is doubled, tripled, or even quadrupled, depending on his level of magic ability. He’ll shout out, “Feel the power!” as he swipes.
- Arcane Power (Heroic Stance): Continuous Power
Heroic Stance – This continuous effect power protects Darius from any sort of knockdown from any non-magical attack. Once Darius achieves this power, he can no longer be knocked down by any attack. Only the Rune wall can knock him down once he achieves Heroic Stance.
- Trial of Champions Artifact.
Darius’ background consists of the ruins of an ancient gladiatorial arena. At some point during the combat, the players will hear the roar of a bloodthirsty crowd in the distance. If the artifact has not been won yet, and either player press Triangle then Cross within five seconds after hearing this sound, they’ll win the Trial of Champions Artifact.
How it works: This artifact must be used during the character/artifact selection sequence. After choosing to use this artifact, the owning player may then override their opponent’s choice of fighter. A great item to force their weakest character back into the ring before they have had time to recharge. This can be used by the boss characters.
Stats and Story
Height: 5′ 11″
Weight: 205 lbs
Armor Class: 4
Born a slave in the city-state of Atticus, Darius was sold as an infant to one of the gladiator schools that flourished in the region. From the time he could walk, his masters trained him in the fighting arts. There was no weapon or tactic that Darius did not quickly master. As the young boy’s skills grew, the challenges his masters threw his way became ever greater. While still a youth he was battling full-grown hill giants and battle-hardened combat veterans hoping to make their riches in the arena. Darius conquered them all, and by the time he reached adulthood, he was the reigning gladiator champion of Atticus.
If all of Atticus had had his strength of spirit and iron will, the city-state would never have fallen, but the free people of the land had grown soft and corrupt. When barbarian hordes poured forth out of the wastelands, they found only token resistance, and the city-state was soon overrun. With Atticus thrown into chaos and his masters dead or dying, Darius fought his way through the barbarian hordes and won his freedom.
Ever since that time, he has sought to uphold his reputation and honor as a gladiator by seeking the toughest challenges he can find. An adherent of the gladiator’s strict code of honor, Darius has fulfilled his masters’ teachings by becoming the consummate warrior.
Darius is decked out in piecemeal, gladiatorial armor, thus he is fairly slow and cumbersome in his movements. He wields a trident.
Erland, The Elven Archer
- Tornado Slash: Half Circle Clockwise From Right + Circle
He spins, holding his bow out to slash several times.
- Flame Arrow: Triangle + Circle, Square + Cross
Flame Arrow, bow stab attack while down. This attack inflicts 250% of the damage that a normal arrow attack will inflict. Shouts “Fire Arrow of Justice!”
- High: Up + Circle, Square, Square
Takes two overhead swings and then a flip kick.
- Med: Circle, Forward + Circle
Punch, bow strike, punch.
- Low: Down + Circle, Down + Triangle
360 spin kick into a 360 bow strike.
- Magic Ability (Fireshield): Forward + Triangle, Backward + Cross
Does 50% Damage. Fires a blue glowing arrow. By spinning his bow in front of him and speaking the command words, Erland can create a shield of flame that cannot be penetrated and will inflict severe damage upon any creature that comes in contact with it. This move serves as both an attack and a defense at the same time. While executing it, Erland cannot be damaged by his opponent. In addition, if his flaming bow comes in contact with his opponent, it will inflict powerful damage.
- Arcane Power (Arrow of Slaying): Full Circle Clockwise from top + Triangle
Although this incredible attack is difficult to implement and very slow to develop, it inflicts terrible damage on the opponent. Note that this attack can be dodged, but not blocked. The arrow of slaying can penetrate any normal shield (although Luthor’s Aura of Invulnerability, and Torgo’s Anti-magic Aura are both effective defenses against it.)
- +4 Ring of Protection (Continuous Effect)
Erland’s background consists of a nighttime scene within the walls of a castle area with gates and rounded roofs. At one point during the combat, a metal UFO-like sound will chime. The player that executes the correct button sequence first by pressing Triangle + Circle, Square + Cross within five seconds will receive the +4 Ring of Protection Artifact.
How it works: The user of this artifact has a greatly increased armor class. This blunts the amount of damage that he receives from being struck by any damaging attack. Boss characters can not use it.
Stats and Story
Weight: 120 lbs.
Armor Class: 6
Erland spent his youth in the wilds of the Silverwood Forest. A loner by nature, Erland shunned even his fellow elves and instead devoted himself to learning the ways of nature and mastering the art of archery. In this latter respect, he has succeeded, for no man is his superior with a bow.
Erland would have been content to live out his life roaming the forests that he called home, but a blight fell upon the land. Kharon, a dark sorcerer of great evil, bespoiled the sacred oak grove that was the forest’s heart. In a short time, he managed to pervert the mighty oaks and bend the forest to his twisted will, draining the vital life essences from nature herself and feeding his own growing power. Erland joined a select band of druids and rangers who sought to end the blight on the land. Many perished as the woods themselves animated and turned on the band of adventurers, but Erland managed to fight his way through to the now-dead heart of the sacred grove. He was caught by the warped oak terrors, but even as their limbs sought to crush the life out of him, he managed to unleash one of his arrows. The arrow found its mark and pierced Kharon’s heart. Although the wizard died, the druids could do little to restore the damage he had already wrought on the lands. With his beloved Silverwood Forest dying, Erland took to the road, where his mastery of the bow has brought him fame and fortune.
Erland is thin and fragile. He wears leather armor and is faster than all of the more heavily armored combatants. His weapon is the long bow. When he is at close range, he attacks by kicking or clubbing opponents with his bow. In addition, he never runs out of arrows and has a reasonably fast rate of fire.
Ignatius Max, the Thief
- Dagger Throw: Half Circle Counter Clockwise from right + Triangle
He’ll throw a dagger using the same animation as his normal Triangle. Sneaky!
- Quick Spin Attack: Half Circle Clockwise from right + Square
Takes a running start and does a leaping swing. He can’t hit himself.
- Dagger Leap: Up + Square + Cross
Takes a pretty high leap and comes down swinging
- High: Hold Up and press Circle, Triangle
Does four consecutive swings
- Med: Circle, Square, Square
Does a dash into an upper thrust
- Low: Hold Down and press Circle, Square
Takes a rolling charge into an attack
- Magic Ability (Dagger of Venom): Square + Cross, Circle + Triangle, Square + Cross
Iggy will take a step forward and heavily swipe with a glowing dagger. When Ignatius uses this power, his dagger inflicts quadruple normal damage when it injects a large dose of poison into the target.
The dagger holds a number of doses equal to Ignatius Max’s level of magical ability. It will automatically be refilled between matches.
- Arcane Power (Stealth Backstab): Half Circle Clockwise from right + Cross
Stealth Backstab – Ignatius has the power to teleport behind his opponent and stab him in the back. This attack cannot be blocked, but it can be dodged. Iggy must be careful though, as he may find himself teleporting directly into the Rune wall if his opponent is standing with his back too close to it.
- Ring of Teleportation (Active Effect)
Ignatius Max’s background shows a village that appears at sunrise. Sometimes during combat, the sound of a victim yelling “Stop, thief!” will be heard. If the artifact has not been won yet, the player that executes Up + Square + Cross within five seconds of this sound will receive the Teleportation Ring Artifact.
What it does: This artifact can be used just like Red Cloud’s Teleportation spell. It will transport its user to a random location in the arena by pressing Square + Triangle. There is no chance that it will transport the user outside the arena. The Ring can be used 3 times per match. Bosses can not use it.
- Ignatius is a defensive fighter. He prefers to dodge, rather than block. His favored attack form is to try to maneuver behind an opponent and strike at them from behind. Use your quickest attacks against him, and don’t use the high attacks if you’re using a big fighter… they’ll go right over his head. Don’t waste too much time trying to hit him with a really big shot, unless it’s a good opportunity. Whittle him down. His low armor will eventually be his undoing.
Stats and Story
Name: Ignatius Max
Height: 4′ 1″
Weight: 80 lbs
Armor Class: 8
Ignatius Max is a thief with few peers. The halfling has learned to compensate for his lack of stature and strength with unnerving speed and mischievous cunning. As a young halfling, Ignatius Max quickly grew bored with the staid country life of his village and ran away to the city of Waterdeep. There, he was forced to survive by his wits. He not only survived but thrived as well, quickly mastering such thieving arts as pickpocketing and lockpicking. What started out as acts born out of necessity grew into more and more brazen acts of highly skilled thievery.
Ignatius Max gained notoriety for his theft of the crown of Montavia, which he stole directly from the head of the sleeping monarch even as a phalanx of guards stood watch over his chambers. He’s gained the enmity of the priests of the Black Hand for his heist of the Tome of Ulroth during the middle of their black ritual. The hill giant Angor has pledged a king’s ransom for the head of Ignatius Max, who robbed the hill giant blind and sliced off Angor’s ponytail for a trophy before escaping his chambers completely unscathed. Ignatius Max now steals only when a challenge to his great skills is presented to him. Cocky, stealthy, and lightning-fast, Ignatius Max is a deceptively dangerous foe.
Despite his diminutive size, Iggy can more than hold his own in the Ironblood arena. In fact, he uses his 4-foot height to his advantage, as the taller opponents will tend to miss him when they utilize high attacks. Although Iggy isn’t capable of inflicting (or absorbing) as much damage as most other characters, he is the fastest of the fighters in Ironblood. In addition, he has more than enough surprises up his sleeve to keep his opponents off balance.
Kaurik the Warlord
- Dervish Attack: Half Circle Counter Clockwise from top + Triangle
Summoning magic into his mace as it spins, it begins to glow and imploys tremendous damage upon his opponent.
- Magic Flail: Triangle + Circle Triangle + Circle
This is a standard magic weapon attack, which inflicts double the normal damage when it hits successfully. He shouts “Prepare yourself for pain!” as he takes a double swing with blue effects on the mace.
- Power Strike: Up + Triangle
Overhead mace swing
- High: Hold Up while pressing Circle, Triangle
Takes a leaping swing into a rolling swing.
- Med: Circle, Cross
Spins his mace 2 full 360s and then whacks you.
- Low: Hold Down while pressing Circle, Cross
Does a crazy ground-spinning leg sweep into an attack
- Magic Ability (Explosive Flail): Half Circle Clockwise from top + Triangle
Karurik will lean back and spin his mace, and then bash the ground in front of him. With this ability, Kaurik can pound his weapon against the ground, causing an explosion. Opponents within range of the blast who are not blocking or dodging will receive damage that is dependent on Kaurik’s level of ability.
The blast radius is also dependent on Kaurik’s level. When Kaurik smashes his enchanted flail to the ground, it causes an explosion that will knock his opponents down from any range, unless they are blocking it. The explosion will also inflict serious damage, which is dependent on Kaurik’s level of Magical Ability.
- Arcane Power (Force Chock): Hold Backward and press Square, Cross
He lifts his hand and says, “Your breathing offends me.” This ability allows Kaurik to choke his opponent with a mere gesture. The attack is not limited by range, nor can it be dodged. When activated, the opponent will be driven to his knees and will suffer damage from the attack.
This attack is difficult to activate and slow to develop. Thus, it must be used carefully. This attack can be blocked, but not dodged. It can affect Kaurik’s opponent from any range, causing substantial choking damage, which is dependent on Kaurik’s level of ability.
- Tempest Artifact (Continuous Effect)
Kaurik’s background is a hazy-green-colored swamp. Once per combat, you’ll hear a high-pitched buzzing sound of a will-o-wisp. If the artifact has not been won yet, and either player executes the correct button sequence by pressing Half Circle Counter Clockwise from top + Triangle within five seconds of hearing this sound, they will receive the Tempest Artifact.
This artifact causes a permanent lightning storm to erupt in a radius around the opponent. Lightning bolts will strike near the opponent’s character at random. Such bolts can affect the fighter that owns the Tempest artifact. It’s also usable by bosses.
Stats and Story
Height: 6′ 0″
Weight: 195 lbs
Armor Class: 10
Kaurik the warlord was the youngest child of the house of Ush, a small duchy outside the Blood Swamps. For many years, Kaurik’s ancestors ruled the duchy justly. Kaurik’s great-grandfather, however, angered the gods when he supplanted their idols with his own graven image and brought down a curse upon the family. The other nobles shunned Kaurik’s family, and each succeeding generation became more inbred and rife with disease and madness.
A teenage Kaurik, his mind already betraying signs of his family’s degenerate ways, fell in love with his sister Agath. The young woman, however, became obsessed with a knight of the castle guard and drowned herself in the swamp when the soldier rejected her. Grief-stricken, young Kaurik retrieved her body and preserved her remains. Kaurik’s older brother, Magnor, claimed vengeance by slaying every fifth man in the duchy.
Weary of Kaurik’s family’s tyranny, the people of the land and the few remaining soldiers of the garrison rose up in anger and burned the castle down. Every family member died in the fire except for young Kaurik, who escaped into the swamps. Surviving in the wilds of the swamp, Kaurik quickly grew more and more feral.
His fetish for the dead grew stronger and stronger, and soon he began to claim his first victims and fashion their skin into masks for him to wear. In a matter of months, the villagers spoke in whispers of the Curse of the Swamp. As he matured, he grew into a tough, cunning fighter even as his mind became more and more warped. A true madman, Kaurik attacks with a berserk and manic rage unseen in most warriors.
Kaurik is a strange warrior. He wields a long, heavy chain with a huge, spiked mace ball on its end. Kaurik wears little armor except for a pair of lethal iron gauntlets, so he is quick and agile. He usually keeps his mace ball spinning and can flail his opponents with great speed and accuracy. When necessary, he can block opponents’ blows by catching their weapons with his chain.
Luthor the Paladin
- Holy Avenger Attack: Forward + Triangle
Raises his sword, glows blue, and attacks. This is clearly one of the most powerful attacks in the game. When Luthor calls upon the power of his deity, his sword can inflict terrible damage upon his opponents. Although slow to start, once the attack begins, Luthor swings his sword wildly as he runs across the ring. While running, Luthor can use the steering buttons to track his opponents and keep from running into the rune wall. Can be killed in 2 to 3 hits!
- One-Armed Throw: Forward + Square + Cross
Luthor picks up his opponent by the throat and slams them into the ground behind him.
- Impale Attack: Forward, Forward + Triangle
Luthor forgoes the element charge and just runs headlong impaling the enemy. This move is non-magical but is mentioned in this section only to make note of the fact that it is ‘steerable’ like the +5 Holy Avenger attack above.
- High: Hold Up and press Circle, Cross
Luthor takes 2 swings and then a little handle jab.
- Med: Circle, Circle, Circle
Spins his sword a full 360 degrees on both sides of him.
- Low: Down + Circle, Down + Circle
Does a low kick into a sword swing.
- Magic Ability (Aura of Invulnerability): Forward + Circle, Forward + Square
Orangish Red Aura appears around him. Depending on Luthor’s level of ability here, the next one to three hits that he receives for damage will have no effect.
- Arcane Power (Heal): Half Circle Clockwise from Top + Triangle
Heal – This power can only be used once per combat, but it allows Luthor to completely heal himself back up to maximum hit points.
When Luthor executes this move, he will kneel for a moment, and then be healed back to his maximum hit point total, no matter how low his current hit point total is. Best used as you knock down someone.
- Spirit of The Martyr (Continuous Effect)
Luthor’s background surrounds the players with tall blue buildings at night. Once per combat, the church bells ring. When they do so, the first combatant to execute Forward + Circle, Forward + Square within five seconds after the bells ring, will win the Spirit of the Martyr Artifact.
What it does: Whenever the user of this artifact is struck, the damage is inflicted, but an equal amount of damaging energy is stored in the Spirit of the Martyr. Whenever the enchanted character strikes back, all energy that has been accumulated into the Spirit of the Martyr is released with the attack. If the attack is not blocked, all of this extra damage will be inflicted on the target. If successfully blocked, the Spirit is drained of energy and must begin accumulating energy anew. Boss characters can use it.
Stats and Story
Height: 6′ 1″
Weight: 215 lbs
Armor Class: 0
His birth has been called by some a sign of the gods’ pleasure with mankind. At the tender age of four, priests chose Luthor for the Order of the Golden Cross. By the age of thirteen, he was already the finest warrior the Order had ever produced. At nineteen, Luthor set out on the road to adventure – determined to convert as many heathens as he could to the Order’s cause.
His daring deeds have swayed many. He healed the bleeding prince of Ruetra, rid the world of the ancient wyrm Red Fang, and recovered the Order’s most sacred relic, the cross of St. Kristoff, from the lich king Wodron’s legions. Many wonder what he has yet to accomplish. Blessed by the gods and devoted to their righteous cause, Luthor is the Order’s greatest champion. He fights vigilantly in his eternal mission to bring order and good to the world and to smite down evil wherever it may be found.
Before each combat begins, Luthor kneels and bows his head in prayer, while being bathed in a shaft of golden light from above. In combat, he wields a huge, two-handed sword. Luthor had heavy, field plate armor, so he is rather slow and ponderous when attacking. His special attack is a berserk rage. The opponent will know that Luthor is about to enter the rage, as he will be momentarily bathed in the heavenly glow from above. After this, his speed will increase and he will charge his opponent, slashing savagely with his sword. The opponent may dodge, but blocks will be ineffective. Also, even though Luthor may be hit and absorb damage while in this state unless he is killed, the maneuver will not be halted until it is completed.
Nym Pymplee the Goblin
- Scare Attack: 3/4 Circle Clockwise from top + Cross + Square
When Nym uses this maneuver, it will scare his opponent off their feet. It inflicts no actual damage but will knock the opponent down if they are not blocking or dodging it. A funny move to stop a charging opponent.
- Lunatic Charge: Hold Circle and Quickly Press Forward Three Times
Nym will giggle and run forward swinging his swords.
- Lightning Rod: Up + Square + Cross
Nym holds his swords in an L shape and summons lighting to attack the opponent.
- High: Hold Up and quickly press Circle, Triangle
Takes a 360-spin sword swing with two little hop swings.
- Med: Circle, Square, Square
Throws a few kicks out.
- Low: Hold Down and press Circle, Cross
Takes a mini leap to swing into a low swing.
- Magic Ability (Demonic Whirlwind): Half Circle Counter Clockwise from left + Square + Cross
While Nym spins in place, opponents are pulled toward him. Nym can terminate this attack at any time by simply pushing any action button. This attack will also be terminated if he is hit. The maximum duration of the whirlwind will depend on Nym’s level of ability – 2 seconds per level.
- Arcane Power (Fire Belch): Half Circle Counter Clockwise from left + Triangle + Circle
Once he acquires this power, Nym can emit a loud belch, shooting fire from his mouth. The fire is not limited by range, and if it strikes an opponent, whether they are blocking or not, they receive significant damage. Can be blocked or dodged.
- Gauntlets of Thievery (Active Effect)
Nym Pymplee’s background is the inside of a dark cave, with stalactites and stalagmites everywhere. Once during each round, a goblin will start giggling. If the artifact hasn’t been won yet, and either player executes the correct button sequence of Triangle + Circle, Square + Cross, Triangle + Circle, they will win the Gloves of Thievery Artifact.
What it does: When the owning player attempts to use this artifact, there will be a 10% chance per their level that they will be able to steal the artifact that the opponent is using. If successful, the Gauntlets of Thievery will be permanently removed from the owning player’s inventory. Bosses can not use this.
- In the right hands, Nym can be extremely difficult to defeat. The best strategy against him is to stand your ground. Hold your blocks, dodge a lot, and pick your shots. If you hit with a quick strike, try to follow up with a strong attack. Nym’s weak armor is something you should take advantage of. Also, Nym’s very light body weight tends to make him fall backward farther than other combatants, so when you have his back near the rune wall, use your knockdown moves on him. Drive him into the runes as often as possible. And after he falls, be sure to strike at him while he’s down.
Stats and Story
Name: Nym Pymplee
Occupation: Pain in the Neck
Height: 4′ 8″
Weight: 110 lbs
Armor Class: 8
Nym Pymplee is a rare and exceptional goblin feared throughout the lands. Known as the Mad Goblin, Nym attacks with his two wicked cutlasses, which he keeps jagged to inflict more pain on his enemies. Although Nym Pymplee quickly demonstrated that he was the finest warrior of a race of war-like people, he had no desire to be a war chieftain. His exceptional talents caused great jealousy amongst the other clansmen, particularly his rival Mor Og.
As he returned from a hunt one evening, a squad of goblins sent by Mor Og ambushed him in a narrow pass. Nym Pymplee returned to the goblin caves with a sack of heads, which he rolled at Mor Og’s feet. The goblin quivered in fear. Then, making sport of his terrified rival, Nym Pymplee uttered for the first time his infamous, guttural war cry, which caused the cowardly goblin to wet himself. A moment later, Nym Pymplee added Mor Og’s head to the pile and turned his back on his village forever.
Now he roams the wilds terrorizing those unfortunate enough to encounter him. Even the bravest warrior can be forgiven for losing his nerve at the sight of Nym Pymplee.
Nym Pymplee stands shorter than the average combatant and is not particularly strong. However, Nym’s speed is surpassed by none and he wields a pair of battered, saw-tooth cutlasses. Nym uses his great speed to his advantage, by executing multiple attack moves in blazing succession. He also has a peculiar tendency to giggle and jeer at his opponents continuously during combat. He wears no armor, but his tough hide provides moderate protection from his opponent’s weapons.
- Earthquake: Triangle + Circle, Triangle + Circle
This attack inflicts no damage but will knock the opponent off his feet, and allow Red Cloud to close with him. The effects of this move can be countered by the opponent if he is crouching. While executing any crouch maneuver (including blocks and all attacks), a character cannot be knocked over by an Earthquake attack.
- Teleport: Square + Cross, Square + Cross
When Red Cloud uses this ability, he will be teleported to a random location, somewhere in the arena.
- Dispel Magic: Forward + Circle + Cross:
This spell will cancel any previously cast spell (such as Ray of Enfeeblement or Bless) and will prevent any further magic (even such effects as Urgo’s fireballs) for the next 15 seconds. This includes the dispel magic! Hands glow blue for a second.
- Staff of Thunder Medium (Lightning): Cross
This attack throws a low-power lightning bolt at the opponent’s high-target area. This spell causes a small bolt of lightning to erupt from Red Cloud’s staff, and race in a straight line outwards.
- Staff of Thunder High (Lightning): Up + Cross
This attack throws a low-power lightning bolt at the opponent’s middle target area. This spell causes a small bolt of lightning to erupt from Red Cloud’s staff, and race in a straight line outwards. The only difference between this attack and the previous one is that this one counts as a high attack.
- Explosive Touch: Triangle
Though slow to develop, if Red Cloud succeeds with this attack, it will cause an explosion that will automatically knock the opponent down and inflict excellent damage. If Red Cloud can tap his opponent with the explosive touch, it will cause a huge explosion, inflicting tremendous damage, and almost always knocking the opponent down.
- Levitation: Down + Triangle
This spell will cause the opponent to be lifted up off the ground and then dropped. The spell has a limited range, can be blocked, or dodged, and will not hit an opponent who is running. This spell can be blocked or dodged. In fact, it will not hit an opponent who is running. However, if it is successful, it will hurl the opponent in the air, and dump him unceremoniously back onto the ground.
- Bless: Square
When Red Cloud casts this spell on himself, all of his physical attacks will inflict extra damage for the next 15 seconds. When Red Cloud uses this spell, he will glow with power for the next 15 seconds. While so blessed, his physical attacks will inflict double their normal damage.
- High: Hold Up and press Circle, Circle, Circle
Red will run forward swinging his staff.
- Med: Circle, Circle, Circle
Red will cartwheel and slam his staff into the opponent.
- Low: Hold Down + Circle Circle, Circle
Cloud will kneel and quickly swipe his staff.
- Magic Ability (Vortex Spell): Full Circle Clockwise from top + Triangle + Circle
This spell will cause an opponent to be lifted from the ground and spun for a number of seconds equal to Red Cloud’s level of magical ability. While spinning, Red Cloud can strike at the opponent as often as he likes. At the conclusion of the spell, the victim will be thrown to the ground.
- Arcane Power (Weight of the world): Continuous
Once this continuous effect power is gained, any time Red Cloud is knocked down in combat, his enhanced weight will cause the arena to shake, and the opponent will be knocked down as well.
- Signet of Holy Wrath (Active Effect)
Red Cloud’s background shows a primitive, tribal village. At some point during the combat, the sound of a tribal drum can be heard. If the artifact has not yet been won, and either player completes the correct button sequence of Triangle + Circle, Triangle + Circle within five seconds they will win the Signet of Holy Wrath Artifact.
What it does: Once activated by pressing Square + Triangle, for the next 30 seconds all damage done by the wielder’s non-magical attacks is doubled, but they may not block or dodge. This is especially effective when used in combination with Balthazaar’s Blood Rage. This can not be used by bosses.
- When fighting against Red Cloud, you will have to stay on the move. Watch for when he conducts lightning into his staff and be sure to dodge the oncoming bolts.
Stats and Story
Name: Red Cloud
Height: 5′ 10″
Weight: 175 lbs
Armor Class: 8
Red Cloud was the respected tribal shaman of the Grey Wolf Clan. Red Cloud spent most of his adult life living off the plains and providing healing and counsel to his people. He was a respected friend and advisor to the chief, Great Elk. One spring day, Great Elk led a hunting party out into the plains. Only Howling Wolf, the chief’s son, returned, claiming that the neighboring Bear Claw Clan had ambushed them. The tribe sought to avenge their loss and slaughtered many members of the Bear Claw Clan. Howling Wolf claimed the mantle of leadership, and Red Cloud took on his role of shaman with a heavy heart.
That summer, a great drought struck the plains, and the tribe found food and water scarce. Red Cloud sought divine aid, but the gods no longer heeded his prayers. He suspected that his people were being punished, and went on a vision quest to try to regain the gods’ favor. After many days, he saw a vision of a grey wolf dying and vultures picking at its bones.
When he returned to his tribe, Red Cloud proclaimed that the son had killed the father in order to become chief. Howling Wolf angrily denied the charges, and ordered that Red Cloud be punished for his blasphemy. For seven days Red Cloud was tied to a stake and left out in the hot sun with only a cup of water to last him through the day. Not one tribe member came to his defense, and so it came to pass that the gods decided to punish the Grey Wolf Clan. A swarm of insects rose from out of the plains, devouring everything in its path. When they had passed, only Red Cloud remained alive amongst them, his ropes worn away. Red Cloud has been a shaman without a tribe ever since. He remains devoted to his gods, however, and carries out their will wherever he travels.
Red Cloud wields a staff, which he can use to strike opponents. He can also use it to summon magical abilities. He also uses the staff to erect a magical shield instead of blocking attacks.
- Forward Dodge (Leap Frog): Up + Triangle + Circle
She’ll take a giant leap over the opponent.
Rending: Hold Forward and press Circle, Circle
A crazy 7-hit combo barrage.
- High: Up + Circle, Cross, Cross
Sasha will take spinning, leaping attacks toward her enemy.
- Med: Circle, Cross, Cross
Dashes forward with three quick strikes.
- Low: Down + Circle, Cross, Cross
Low roll kicks.
- Magic Ability (Call of the wild): Full Circle Counter Clockwise + Circle
When Sasha howls with this power, she will inflict automatic damage equal to 5 points per level of magical ability. This attack will work from any range, and neither blocking nor dodging can prevent the damage (although Torgo’s Anti-Magic Aura will stop it, as well as Luthor’s Aura of Invulnerability).
- Arcane Power (Blood Lust): Circle + Cross
With this power, Sasha can ignore the effects of any attack. Although she will still absorb damage as normal, she will not react to being hit at all. No matter how often she is hit, it will not stop her from continuing her current move.
- Dark Essence Artifact (Continuous Effect)
Sasha’s Background is a series of hills in silhouette against a giant moon. During combat, the howling of several wolves in unison will occur. When the player completes the correct button sequence of Holding Forward + Circle, Circle first, they’ll receive the Dark Essence.
What it does: The wearer’s damage for all physical attacks is increased by 50%. Boss characters can use it.
- Sasha is very fast and very aggressive. She doesn’t waste much time on blocking. The best strategy against her is to pick your shots carefully. Use hit-and-run tactics. Stick and move. She’ll keep on coming after you, so hit her and move away. Make her bring the fight to you. Trust me, she will. (But don’t let her back you against the rune wall at the edge of the arena. She’ll try to knock you into it.) She’s perfect for beginners.
Stats and Story
Weight: 180 lbs
Armor Class: 6
Sasha served as a handmaiden to Gwyneth, the daughter of a rich nobleman in the province of Heathsland. Sasha coveted the life led by her noble companion. When a knight of some prestige passed through the town, Sasha saw an opportunity to attain a position above her station. The knight promised her the world, and soon she was with child. When the child’s birth was imminent, however, the knight foreswore Sasha and became betrothed to Gwyneth. Mad with jealousy and grief, Sasha gave birth to her child and then drowned the infant boy in a nearby lake. The people of Heathsland were outraged by her heinous acts and sought to stone her. Sasha escaped into the forests, where she scrounged for survival like an animal.
One evening, she stumbled upon a druidess praying in the middle of a sacred grove in the middle of the forest. Tortured by her guilty soul, Sasha approached the druidess and sought her guidance. The druidess told her that if she confessed to her crimes and sought redress from the gods, her suffering would be alleviated. As she sat down to prayer, however, her jealousy and rage took hold of her, and she lied to the gods in their grove. The druidess shook her head in sorrow and cursed Sasha for her crimes. For the rest of her life, she was doomed to spend her nights wandering the earth in the guise of a beast. Sasha’s jealousy and rage still burn deeply within her, and while in werewolf form, she is a ferociously savage fighter.
Sasha attacks with claw and fang and is equaled only by Ignatius Max the Thief for raw speed. Because she does not use weapons, she must fight closely.
- 6-Blow Combination: Forward + Triangle, Triangle
She’ll yell out “Kneel dog!” and throw out 6 attacks.
- Pole Vault Attack: Up + Circle + Triangle
A really cool move where she’ll plant her pole and then use it to do a double leg kick.
- Groin Shot (Works on males): Half Circle Clockwise from top + Circle
She’ll wind up her swing and then come around with it.
When Shinesta uses this attack, it will cause double damage and always knock down male opponents. Note: Like Xenobia’s Siren Call, this attack has no effect on female and undead characters.
- Strike Behind Back: Square + Cross
She’ll swing her pole around her head in one direction and then come back the same way. Depending on where the opponent is, the swing either connects on the way out, or on the way in.
- High: Up + Circle, Square + Cross
A leaping attack that turns into a double swing.
- Med: Circle, Circle + Triangle
A face swipe that then takes a step forward into two quick swings
- Low: Hold Down and then press Circle, Cross
Shinesta will do a low thrust into a standing swing.
- Magic Ability (Staff of Striking): Half Circle Counter Clockwise from top + Square
Shinesta will take a mighty back swing, and strike forward with it, causing an explosion. Like the object of the same name in AD&D, the staff of striking inflicts extra damage depending on the number of charges that are expended. Shinesta can expend one charge for each level of magical ability she possesses.
- Arcane Power (Natural Healing): Continuous
In a campaign game, each combatant must spend a number of turns between matches in order to heal. Characters can heal up to 1/3 of their hit points by resting between matches. However, after Shinesta acquires the ability of ‘Natural Healing’, she will always regain all of her lost hit points between matches, no matter how low she got in the previous fight. You will hear, “Shinesta is healed fully.” at the end of a match to confirm.
- Talisman of Health (Active Effect)
A desert-like arena with cacti and barren trees is her background. You will hear crows begin to caw. Press Half Circle Clockwise from top + Circle to earn the artifact.
What it does: This artifact can only be used once during a match. When used, for as long as the user is not hit, he/she will slowly increase in hit points, up to 100%. Once max hit points are achieved, or the user is hit for damage, the effects will be terminated. Bosses can not use this.
Stats and Story
Height: 5′ 0″
Weight: 100 lbs
Armor Class: 8
As a young maiden, Shinesta shunned her clan’s heritage and has spent her days wandering the world ever since. Shinesta’s people disavowed all magic after the catastrophic spells unleashed during the War of the Seven Clans nearly led to the destruction of the entire elven race. They relegated themselves to the roles of guardians of the ancient lore but refused to partake of this knowledge themselves. To Shinesta’s adventurous young mind, this seemed like the height of folly. Even as a young girl, she knew she was different from her clans people. She took to sneaking into the vast elven libraries at night and studying the arcane arts. Eventually, she was caught by her father, the king. Confronted with the choice of her clanspeople’s vows or her own love for magic, Shinesta chose to defy her people’s taboos. Her father had no other choice, and so Shinesta, his only child, was cast out into the wilderness.
Shinesta might have died alone in the wilds if she hadn’t been taken in by a band of travelers. At last, she was able to see a world full of wonders beyond her clan’s own dim view of life. After a quick study, she learned everything she could about magic. Now, she wanders the world in pursuit of knowledge. Haughty and independent, lethal with both her spells and her staff, Shinesta has never looked back.
Shinesta wears soft leather armor and wields a quarterstaff. She is fast and agile, but her lack of substantial armor makes her somewhat vulnerable. Although Shinesta has no range attack form, she is able to use her quarterstaff like a pole vault to quickly launch herself at opponents who are just out of reach. After launching herself at them, she attacks with a two-footed kick to the chest.
Stellerex the Wizard
- Circle of Protection: Up + Circle + Cross
This spell causes a ring of flames to circle Stellerex for 15 seconds. During this time, anything that comes in contact with the flames will be damaged every time the flames hit it. If Stellerex is knocked down, the flames will dissipate early. Red Cloud’s Dispel Magic Spell can also cause the flames to dissipate early.
- Explosive Runes: Square + Cross, Triangle + Circle
Stellerex can lay up to three on the floor at a time. The runes will stay until the opponent steps on them. If an opponent moves over the runes, even while dodging, they will detonate, causing substantial damage. Stellerex can lay as many of these down in a match as he wishes, but only three can be on the floor at any one time. Note: the runes can be eliminated by jumping up and landing on them in a crouch block (Hold L2 while you are in the air and until after the rune safely explodes). Landing on them will cause them to explode, but if the landing player is crouch-blocking at the time he lands, the damage will be deflected by the block.
- Gust of Wind: Square
This spell inflicts only a single point of damage, but it can blow opponents backward, and even knock them down occasionally. Larger, heavier characters (like Urgo or Balthazaar) will not be blown backward nearly as far as smaller or lighter characters like Ignatius Max or Stellerex (who is flying, thus affected much more than a standing character). This spell also causes Stellerex to lurch backward slightly, but it is a potent way to force your opponent into the Rune wall. Note: This spell cannot be blocked.
- Ray of Enfeeblement: Up + Square
If this spell hits its target, that combatant will be weakened for the next fifteen seconds. For as long as the opponent is affected (which is depicted graphically by a darkening effect), their physical attacks inflict reduced damage (about a 2/3 reduction). Thus when an enfeebled opponent strikes with an attack that would normally inflict 10 points of damage, his temporary weakness will reduce this to a mere 3 points of damage.
- Hot Foot Cantrip: Down + Square
When Stellerex touches his staff to the ground, it causes a trail of flame to race along the ground for a limited distance – about 1/3rd the screen distance. This flame can burn the target for moderate damage.
- Magic Missile: Cross
This spell causes a magical projectile to streak toward the target. If it hits, it inflicts a moderate amount of damage. Keep in mind that when Stellerex fires this missile, it causes him to lurch backward a little. Using it while Stellerex’s back is close to the Rune wall could be hazardous.
- •Melf’s Acid Arrow: Up + Cross
This spell causes a magical projectile to streak toward the target. If it hits, it inflicts a moderate amount of damage.
- Shocking Grasp: Triangle
This spell momentarily electrifies Stellerex’s hand. He will fly toward the opponent and attempt to touch them. If he can do so, he will inflict very respectable damage. Just like the AD&D spell of the same name, if Stellerex can touch his opponent, it will discharge, causing electrical damage. The move is an impact hit – it will only damage but not knock down or stun the opponent.
- High: Up + Circle, Circle + Triangle
Stelly will stab once, and then swing the staff around his head like a helicopter. Hits multiple times.
- Med: Circle, Circle, Circle
Takes a 2-legged forward kick and then drops to a low spinning kick.
- Low: Hold Down and then press Circle, Circle
Stellerex will hurl himself at the opponent and take an extra swipe.
- Magic Ability (Detonation): Forward, Forward + Square + Cross
With this ability, Stellerex can cause himself to explode. Opponents within range of the blast who are not blocking or dodging will receive damage that is dependent on Stellerex’s level of ability. The blast radius is also dependent on Stellerex’s level. It can be stopped by a High Block or by an Anti-Magic move.
- Arcane Power (Withdrawal): Backward, Backward, Backward, Backward + Square
Probably the coolest move in the game. Once performed, Stellerex with give a visual sign of, “Nope, I’m out of here,” and disappear into a cloud of smoke. This will end the round and give the opponent the win, award them the objective, and forfeit the Artifact Stellerex had to the opponent. Note that this will only work if you still have teammates left – if Stelly is your last character, the move doesn’t work.
Stellerex will retain any lives he still had remaining before the bout began.
- Voodoo Doll (External Effect)
Stellerex’s background is the flat top of a mesa. It is surrounded by ancient stone ruins that look something like Stonehenge. During the combat, a gong will sound. If the artifact has not been won yet, either player can execute the correct button sequence of Square + Cross, Triangle + Circle within five seconds of this sound to win the Voodoo Doll Artifact.
How it works: Must be used during character/artifact selection. The combatant can assign damage to a non-active member of his team. For instance, if Balthazaar is fighting this match, he can assign all damage that he takes to Kaurik. Even if Balthazaar dies, it is Kaurik who will lose a life, not Balthazaar.
- Stellerex is much more effective when fighting from a range. He will try to stay away from his opponents as much as possible. The best strategy against him is to dodge your way in close and use your best ‘infighting’ moves. Once you’re in range, attack relentlessly. Blocking is pointless while you’re up close since his ‘Shock Attack’ ignores the effects of blocks.
Stats and Story
Height: 5′ 10″
Weight: 160 lbs
Armor Class: 10
Stellerex’s dark genius guides him through his life. With an intellect far superior to that of most men, he was able to master the complexity of the black arts with surprising ease. As an apprentice to a greedy magician of moderate skill, Stellerex absorbed all the man could teach before turning on his master and burning him alive with a spell of his own making.
This has been Stellerex’s pattern ever since–training with magicians and then destroying them whenever they’ve taught him all they could. Now, he is hard-pressed to find any human master left who has anything new to teach him, so he travels through the planes searching out avatars and demons who can add to his dark knowledge.
His brilliance and discipline have saved him many times from beings far more powerful than he. Cold, calculating, and ruthless, Stellerex is a very dangerous foe.
Stellerex wears no armor and his primary weapon in combat is his magic, not brute strength. As such, he is not particularly fast or well-armored. However, the strength of his magical attacks is substantial. His specialty abilities include Pillar of Flame, Immolation, and Shield of Stone. Eventually, he will learn the skills of Warping Reality and Self Detonation.
- Head Butt Charge: Hold Forward and press Triangle
Torgo runs head-first into the opponent, stabbing him with his helmet spike.
- Dwarven Thrower Hammer: Half circle clockwise from top + Triangle
Torgo will take a running hop and throw his hammer, which will hit the opponent both on the way to and on the way back from him.
- Ground Roll: Down + Circle
Torgo does a tuck and rolls into a swipe.
- Med: Circle, Circle + Triangle
Takes a leaping swipe into another swipe.
- Low: Down + Circle, Cross
Tuck and roll into a leaping attack.
- Magic Ability (Earth Tremor): Triangle + Circle, Square + Cross
This attack inflicts no damage but will knock the opponent off his feet, and allow Torgo to close with them. The effects of this move can be countered by the opponent if he is crouching. While executing any crouch maneuver (including blocks and all attacks), a character cannot be knocked over by an Earth Tremor attack.
- Arcane Power (Anti Magic Aura): Continuous Effect
Anti-Magic Aura – This continuous effect power protects Torgo from receiving damage from ANY magical source. No magic ability, arcane power, artifact, or spell can cause him damage. Other effects may still apply, but magical damage is always reduced to 0 when Torgo is protected by his anti-magic aura.
- Ring of Equilibrium (Continuous Effect)
Torgo’s home background is underground. You’ll fight in front of giant stone doors, surrounded by caverns. Every so often, you will hear what sounds like an earthquake or landslide. The first player to execute the correct button sequence of Up + Circle, Up + Circle within 5 seconds after the earthquake subsides will receive the Ring of Equilibrium Artifact.
How it works: The wearer of this artifact is much more stable on the battlefield. The chances of being knocked down on any given attack are halved, while the chances of knocking the opponents down are doubled.
- Torgo is a pure power, an in-fighter. If you let him get within range to use his hammer, be prepared to receive tremendous punishment. The best bet against Torgo is to stay away, and use ranged attacks. If he gets in close, use fast attacks and dodge often.
Stats and Story
Height: 4′ 3″
Weight: 170 lbs
Armor Class: 2
Torgo is a veteran of the infamous Ironspur Wars that wrought havoc on the realms that called the Ironspur mountains their home. Torgo was the central figure in the legendary battle for Skull Rock Pass. Surrounded and hopelessly outnumbered by a battalion of 1000 orcs, the 100 warriors of the dwarven Spike Helm clan would surely have perished to their foes’ superior numbers if Torgo had not rallied his men with his mad rush on the ogre chieftain Grok. Smashing through Grok’s surprised guard of orcish warriors with hammer blow after hammer blow, Torgo engaged in a ferocious struggle with the ogre leader. An axe blow from the chieftain cost Torgo his arm, but the dwarf merely gritted his teeth and charged into the ogre with his spiked helm lowered. Before the dust had settled Grok lay underneath the far shorter Torgo, his skull crushed from a mighty hammer strike. The blood-crazed dwarf emitted the dwarven clan’s war cry before blood loss finally caused him to lose consciousness. Seized by a berserk rage, the contingent of Spike Helm dwarves soon routed the stunned orc battalion.
Never one to rest easy, Torgo has not let his injury slow him one bit. He has learned to compensate for the loss of his limb by developing a series of deadly strikes and counterstrikes with his one good arm. Torgo remains a fierce, proud opponent.
Though short of stature, his stout frame is not only durable but also formidably strong. Wielding a massive stone hammer, and sporting a vicious steel spike on his helmet, Torgo is a powerful combatant. His Dwarven armor is lightweight but highly functional.
Although missing his right arm, there are few who would be foolish enough to stand close enough to do battle with this stalwart hero.
Urgo the Margoyle
- Breathe Fire: Forward + Triangle + Circle
Leans forward and releases a huge breath of fire from his mouth. Can reach a fair bit across the screen.
- Leap Knockdown: Up + Square + Cross, Up + Square + Cross
Leaps at the opponent to knock them down.
- Fire Claws: Forward + Square + Cross
Takes a huge leap with his claws on fire and attacks.
- Fireball: Triangle
Urgo spits a fireball across the screen.
- Double Low Fireball: Down + Triangle
Urgo crouches and spits two low-flying fireballs.
- High Fireball: Up + Triangle
Urgo jumps and spits a fireball across the screen.
- High: Up + Circle, Triangle
Leaps at the opponent and finishes into a roll.
- Med: Circle, Triangle, Triangle
Walks and swings 3 times.
- Low: Down + Circle, Square + Cross, Square + Cross
Two swipes into a tailspin.
- Magic Ability (Stone Shield): Backward + Circle, Backward + Circle
When Urgo uses his Stone Shield power, he may not attack, dodge, or move in any other manner for a period of 2 seconds per level of ability. However, if he is struck while using this power, Urgo will receive no damage whatsoever. In fact, the shield is so powerful that the fighter that strikes it will receive 50% of the damage that they had intended for Urgo.
- Arcane Power (Petrify): Half Circle Counter Clockwise from Left + Circle
Petrify – With this ability, Urgo may cause his opponents to momentarily lose all ability to move. For a brief period of time, the target may not perform ANY actions whatsoever. This includes reacting to being hit, falling, or moving in any other way.
When Urgo petrifies his opponents, they will freeze immediately, regardless of what they were doing at the time. While frozen, Urgo can strike them for damage as often as he likes, until the spell expires.
- Bane Glyphs Artifact (Active Effect)
Urgo’s background sits high atop an ancient and desolate tower overlooking nothing but mountains. You will eventually hear a creature’s roar. The first player to execute the correct button sequence of Forward + Triangle + Circle will win the Bane Glyphs Artifact.
How it Works: This effect works just like Stellerex’s Runes. When activated by pressing Square + Triangle, a small green glyph will appear on the ground. If the opponent moves over this glyph, even while dodging, it will explode, inflicting damage on the character. Only one glyph at a time may be placed. The glyph will not affect the fighter who placed it. Not usable by bosses.
- Urgo is a dangerous opponent, with extremely thick stone armor, and terrifying strength. In addition, Urgo has a tail attack, so don’t be caught unprepared when facing Urgo’s back. The best strategy is to use repeated fast attacks and dodge them often. Don’t stand still long enough for this creature to get its claws on you, or it will tear you apart.
Stats and Story
Height: 4′ 3″
Weight: 400 lbs
Armor Class: 0
In the kingdom of Avent, the young prince Medwyn began dabbling in magic. The prince was spoiled and cruel, and despite the warnings of the court magician, he began to experiment with dark magic. His strange experiments resulted in many hideous if harmless, beasts: a sparrow with the eyes of a cat; a duck with the legs of a spider; and a fountain that bled. As he grew older, however, he grew bold.
When a thief sold him an ancient tome, he began to work with spells of even greater power. One ritual, in particular, caught Medwyn’s eye: a spell that would bind a demon into servitude. Medwyn followed the book’s instructions and managed to trap the soul of a minor demon named Urgo in a protective circle. Medwyn’s talent for dark magics betrayed him, however. He sought to use the demon’s soul to animate a stone gargoyle who would do his bidding. Medwyn fumbled with the intricacies of the spell, and while he managed to animate the gargoyle with the demon’s soul, he failed to bind it into his servitude.
Urgo quickly turned on Medwyn and crushed the life out of the spoiled prince, bone by bone. Urgo’s rage grew, however, when he realized that he was trapped in the gargoyle’s body. This rage fuels Urgo’s actions, and now he seeks to destroy all things made of flesh and bone.
Although small and ponderously slow, Urgo is inhumanly strong and sports a granite hide that is equal to the finest of armor. With its powerful talons and teeth, as well as its stone tail and few magical attacks, Urgo needs no weapons.
Xenobia the Warrior
- Impale: Forward, Forward + Triangle
Impale – When Xenobia calls upon this attack, she inflicts three times as much damage as her most powerful ‘normal’ attack. Additionally, Xenobia’s Impale attack cannot be blocked. Blue sparks flow as she winds up and deals a powerful sword strike.
- Double Jump Kick: Up + Triangle + Circle
Xen will jump while executing two kicks, one on the way up and one on the way down. One of the two will make contact depending on where the opponent is.
- Forward Dive/Dodge: Forward, Forward + Cross
Xen will take a long-running leap over the opponent, practically a full-screen move. Be wary if you’re close to the outer wall or you’ll faceplant into it. This move serves as a forward dodge. When executing this move, Xenobia cannot be hit. It is superior to a dodge, as dodges move the combatant sideways, while this move can advance her toward her opponent without risking damage.
- High: Hold Up and press Circle, Square
Xen does a sword strike with a sweet spin kick.
- Med: Circle, Forward + Square
Does a double spin attack.
- Low: Down + Circle, Triangle
From a crouch, Xen does a standing upward sword attack
- Magic Ability (Siren Call): 3/4 Circle Clockwise from top + Square
Siren Call – When Xenobia uses her ‘Siren Call’, all humanoid male opponents will stand slack-jawed, unable to react for a few seconds while she will have an opportunity to pummel them mercilessly. The higher Xenobia’s level of magic ability, the longer her opponents will remain ‘awed’.
Note: This power has no effect on female and undead opponents.
- Arcane Power (Shield of Reflection)
This power automatically infuses Xenobia’s shield with the ability to reflect missiles (normal or magic) back upon their caster, as long as she successfully blocks them. Even Missile-like effects such as Stellerex’s Gust of Wind spell will be hurled back upon the caster from the results of this ability.
- Fire of Retribution (Continuous Effect)
Xenobia’s background is set at sunset with simple rock formations behind the fighters. At a random point during combat in this background, a loud clap of thunder will be heard. If the artifact has not been won yet, and either player executes the correct button sequence of Forward+ Triangle, Forward + Triangle within five seconds after the sound, they will win the Fire of Retribution Artifact.
- How it works: If the opponent uses an artifact that was taken from an evil character’s background, the user of that chaos artifact receives damage whenever that artifact is used. Continuous effect artifacts will cause a slow drain of life from their possessors – up to 40% of their total health.
Stats and Story
Height: 5′ 8″
Weight: 130 lbs
Armor Class: 4
Xenobia the warrior was raised in the snow-covered hills of the Ardenides by a proud and hardy band of hillsmen. A woman in a man’s world, Xenobia has had to prove herself many times over. As a teenage girl, she became the first woman to carry out the tribe’s ritual of passage when she slew the White Bear that served as her clan’s totem. The nomad people’s respect for her grew, however, when she single-handedly killed a white dragon that had terrorized the hill tribes. At last, Xenobia found acceptance amongst her people as a woman warrior.
Her skill as a swordswoman has grown throughout the years. Known for her raw strength and courage, Xenobia is a battle-hardened warrior who will fight until she draws her last breath.
Xenobia wears a respectable amount of armor (although not enough to totally hide a good figure) and can absorb a reasonable amount of punishment. Despite her armor, Xenobia is still quite fast and agile. She fights with a long sword and medium shield and may strike opponents with either.
Boss Characters (Listed by Order of Appearance)
There are 4 bosses in the game: the Avatar of Order (Magog), the Minion of Chaos (Tantalus), the Lord of Chaos (Belial), and Lord Strahd himself. They can be used via the controller input cheats listed in the Secrets Tab of this game page. To reach them in Head-to-Head mode, you will need to play on a difficulty level of Fighter or higher (Warrior, Master).
It should be noted that the bosses are unlike their standard counterparts. Most of the bosses have no character-specific special moves, and if they do, it’s only a single move. Some artifacts can not be wielded by them but with a catch. The artifact can still be selected before the fight, but once in-game it’s useless or non-active. Please see the artifacts in their respective character’s move list to see which ones can and can not be used.
Also of importance is that there are no artifacts on the boss stages. According to the game’s director Rick Hall, they would have been almost unstoppable with them.
Bosses are presented in the order you fight them in Head-to-head mode.
Minion of Chaos (Tantalus)
- Triangle: Scythe Swipe
- Up + Triangle: Downward Scythe Swipe
A mighty downswing.
- Down + Triangle: Ankle Swipe
One scythe to the opponent’s ankles.
- Square: Opposite Horizontal Swing
Just like Triangle, but in the other direction.
- Up + Square: High Swipe
Scythe to the face.
- Down + Square: Ankle Kick
Tantalus plants his hands and does a double kick to the opponent’s legs.
- Cross: Poke
Tanty will poke his opponent’s face with his scythe.
- Up + Cross: Knee Bash
Tanty will thrust himself upwards leading with his knee. Hits about mid-range.
- Down + Cross: Knockdown
A low scythe swipe that knocks the opponent over.
- Circle: Flying Elbow
Tantulaus leaps forward with his elbow out.
- Up + Circle: Hop Kick
Tantulaus jumps with an upward kick, coming down with a kick again. Hits twice if close.
- Down + Circle: Spin Kick
Almost a nod to Chun-Li, Tanty will turn upside down and do a spin kick.
- Combo Medium: Circle, Square
Let’s out a mechanical wail and lunges at the opponent
Combo Low: Down + Circle, Cross
Let’s out a wail and does his spinning kick multiple times. This move is awkward to pull off – you need to press Cross before you’re done pressing Down + Circle, but you can’t press them at the same time. If you ‘roll’ your right thumb from Circle to Cross it usually comes out.
Avatar of Order (Magog)
- Triangle: Double Gut Punch
Hits medium level. Good old one-two.
- Up + Triangle: Hammer fist
Strong double-handed top-down attack.
- Down + Triangle: Tier Punch
Hits mid-level and then low.
- Square: Single Right Punch
Hits in the chest.
- Up + Square: Right uppercut
Right in the kisser!
- Down + Square: Low Leg Thrust
I think it’s his only leg attack.
- Cross: Jab
A quick punch to the chest.
- Up + Cross: Face Jab
Makes a nice shiner.
- Down + Cross: Dive
Dives and slides into the opponent. Knocks them down.
- Circle: Left Punch
Literally switches hands.
- Up + Circle: Haymaker
With his right hand.
- Down + Circle: Dash punch
Animation makes it look like two hits but lands once.
- Combo High: Up + Circle, Circle
Double punches into a forward jump kick.
- Combo Medium: Circle, Circle
Kicks into a double punch.
- Combo Medium Circle, Triangle
Punch, Low Kick, High Punch.
- Combo Low: Down + Circle, Circle
Leaps into a three-point attack.
Lord of Chaos (Belial)
- Triangle: Headbutt
Makes a leaping headbutt.
- Up + Triangle: High swing
Takes a leaping swing.
- Down + Triangle: Downward Slam
Belial acts like he’s pounding his fist on a table, and that table is you.
- Square: Kick
Simple one-legged kick to the chest.
- Up + Square: Uppercut
Like hurling a softball.
- Down + Square: Stomp
Makes a thunderous foot stomp.
- Cross: Swipe
Takes a quick forward swipe.
- Up + Cross: High Swipe
Right upside the head.
- Down + Cross: Low Swipe
Goes for the legs. Knocks’em down.
- Circle: Fireball
Ryu would be proud. Note that because of Belial’s height, he throws this mid-height, but will hit most characters in the face.
- Up + Circle: Hammer Swing
Takes a step forward and comes down with both hands locked.
- Down + Circle: Crouching Swipe
While crouched, he’ll step forward and swing down.
- Running Headbutt Charge: Up + Square + Cross
Bely lowers his head and just slams into the opponent with his horns. Depending on how far you are from the opponent, this will hit anywhere from one to three times.
- Combo High: Hold Up and Press Circle + Triangle, Circle + Triangle
Does two massive top-down attacks
- Combo Medium: Circle, Square, Square
Three fireballs are thrown in sequence.
- Combo Low: Down + Circle, Cross
Takes two crouching swings.
- Triangle: Dashing Elbow
He’ll go about half the distance of the arena with a flying elbow.
- Up + Triangle: Blood Lightning from Eye
A giant red lightning bolt shoots across the screen from his eyes. I’ve seen it knock opponents outside of the aura wall!
- Down + Triangle: Ground Pound
He’ll strike the ground causing the opponent to fall over. No damage is given.
- Square: Spin Kick
Spins in place.
- Up + Square: Magical Explosive Elbow
He’ll glow red, dash across the screen, and connect with an explosive hit.
- Down + Square: Hovering Knew Punch
He’ll crouch and punch while moving forward.
- Cross: Kick
- Up + Cross: Punch
A simple punch.
- Down + Cross: Sweep Kick
He’ll stick his leg out and sweep.
- Circle: Fireball
Throws a Fireball across the screen.
Note: If you press Circle (thus throwing the fireball) but then hold it, and pressing Left or Right will cause Strahd to throw it again. Meaning you can tap-walk in either direction while chucking fireballs.
- Up + Circle: Two-handed drop punch
From over his head down onto yours!
- Down + Circle: Double-Handed Uppercut
Comes from under the chin with both hands.
- Combo Low: Down + Circle, Cross
Does a double-handed attack into a kick.
The game’s backstory, as told by the development team.
Beneath the heat-blasted helmet, the charred flesh that was the death knight’s face stretched into a smile. A waft of fetid breath escaped as he opened his mouth, and from somewhere deep within his unholy body a hiss of air escaped as laughter. Throughout Nedragaard Keep, the ranks of the undead stopped and cringed in fright. Nothing they had ever heard, in life or unlife, was as haunting as their lord’s hollow laughter.
Lord Soth, his orange eyes glowing through the slits of his helm, took the measure of the decayed ruins of his throne room. Where once the room was decorated with ornate tapestries and intricate mahogany furniture, there now stood tattered rags and rotten husks. The sounds of the court minstrels and revelers had long since faded, only to be replaced by the keening wail of banshees. His honor guard, once a band of fierce and noble knights of Solamnia, were now mindless skeletal warriors.
Soth’s smile faded. Nedragaard bore little resemblance to the keeps and castles of his days as the fiercest warrior in the knighthood of Solamnia, or even, for that matter, to Dargaard, his old keep in the land of Krynn, where the death knight committed unspeakable horrors. Now, he ruled a duchy of shadows in the Realm of Ravenloft. How long had he been trapped in this infernal land of mists? How long had he hoped for release?
And all because of the accursed Strahd von Zarovich. How long had he waited for the opportunity to drive a stake into the dark heart of the vampire king? He wished he could drive it deep with his own gauntleted hands, but the curse that trapped him within the realm of Ravenloft also prevented him from leaving the borders of his own domain. Ever since Strahd had used his old seneschal, the ghost Caradoc, to lure him into the Misty Borders, where Soth became trapped within his own domain, the death knight had longed to kill the preening vampire king.
No matter. At last, he had found the means to avenge himself on that count. Strahd had known one weakness, his love for the human girl Tatyana. She was his eternal folly. Some said that it was over his love for this girl that the vampire made a pact with unknown devils, a pact for which he slew his own brother, that caused the rift to open between the worlds and form the realm of Ravenloft. And now, Soth’s spies reported that the girl’s latest incarnation had once again returned to the lands. With that, Strahd von Zarovich would be his at last.
At the mere thought, the smile returned to Soth’s face. His orange eyes glowed like burning embers. With a voice as cold as his undead heart, Soth spoke: “Bring them.”
Azrael, the dwarven werebeast who served as Soth’s new seneschal, scurried from the room. In a moment, the dwarf returned, leading a force of evil warriors the likes of which the world of Ravenloft, teeming with nightmarish creatures, had never seen.
Even Soth, once the favorite of the dark goddess Takhisis, had to admire the collection of fiends his agents had turned up. Eight warriors of chaos, unique and remarkable in their abilities, stood before him: Urgo, the powerful gargoyle with the hide of stone; Ardrus, the skeletal warrior, who was far more dangerous and cunning than the undead knights who guarded Soth; Sasha, the ferocious werewolf, Nym Pymplee, the goblin warrior with the deadly flashing blades; Balthazaar, the merciless headsman who could sever heads with one clean stroke; Kaurik, the warlord who hid behind a mask made from the skins of his victims; Balok, the vicious black knight; and Stellerex, the dark wizard whose arcane might be rivaled by only a select few within the realm of Ravenloft.
“My minions,” Soth began. He could see the warriors bristle at this reminder of the power that Soth held over them. He smiled beneath his helmet. “I have a simple task for you to perform. Succeed, and I shall grant you your freedom.”
Stellerex answered for the assembled warriors. “A simple task for our freedom, Lord Soth? Surely you do not believe us to be fooled.”
“No,” the death knight replied. “I have no need for fools in my service.” He folded his armed behind him and turned his back on the assemblage for just a moment–long enough for them to think of treachery, but not nearly long enough for them to carry through with it. “However, the task I set before you is simple enough. Its execution, however, is another matter. I want you to kill Strahd von Zarovich.”
“The vampire lord?” Stellerex remarked. His voice was cool, but Soth could detect a note of apprehension hidden underneath the surface. “Many have tried. All have failed.”
“Ah, but never has a band of assassins such as yourselves been assembled. Attack in force and one–perhaps several–of you will surely be able to rid Ravenloft of such a being. Once again, your reward is simple–freedom.”
The band of evil warriors stirred, looking into each others’ faces. Some relished the challenge, while others wrestled with the question of Soth’s trustworthiness. It did not matter. They would comply. They had little choice in the matter.
“We shall kill the vampire,” Stellerex swore. “We shall gain release from the yoke of your servitude.”
Soth watched as his minions exited his throne room. In the coming hours, they would prepare for battle, and then they would be gone, free to cross the borders of Soth’s domain and into Barovia. They had little chance of succeeding, of course. Strahd was too powerful–too cunning–to allow them to do so. Perhaps at this time, with his attention diverted by the return of the girl, Strahd would prove to be vulnerable. Should the eight warriors prove incapable of defeating Strahd, he held in reserve two even greater opponents for the vampire. In a masterpiece of trickery, he had been able to bind into his servitude two vicious demons who had been foolish enough to travel to Soth’s domain. He was reluctant to use these demons without cause, as his spies had reported that Strahd had actually managed to acquire oaths of protection from two powerful avatars. However, should his warriors fail, the demons would prove necessary in ensuring Strahd’s destruction.
No matter. While Strahd was busy fighting off his assassins, Soth would be busy tracking down the girl, Tatyana. Her incarnations appeared only once every few centuries. Soth would make sure he got to her first. Strahd would lose his beloved once again–in the cold embrace of a death knight.
“The mists are getting bad,” Erland muttered. The elven archer tightened his grip on his bow. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”
He turned to face his companions. Through the cursed fog, he could barely distinguish the outlines of his seven fellows: Torgo, the one-armed dwarf; Luthor, the paladin; Darius, the gladiator; Xenobia, the woman warrior; Ignatius Max, the halfling thief; Shinesta, the outcast elven princess; and Red Cloud, the tribal Shaman. The eight of them had been traveling the road to Waterdeep after successfully slaying the ancient dragon Blackheart and plundering its treasure. The night had been clear and the road well lit by a full moon when the mists sprung up seemingly from the very ground itself. Soon thereafter, they had lost all trace of the road to Waterdeep.
“We’d better link ourselves together,” Shinesta suggested. “Before long, we won’t be able to see our hands at the ends of our arms, let alone each other.”
“Strap ourselves together?” the one-armed dwarf cautioned in a gruff voice. “More like trap ourselves together. This mist, it isn’t natural. Something’s behind it, and we’re bound to find out what before too long.”
“Would you rather we wandered off away from each other?” Luthor argued. “If there is something out there, it could pick us off one by one. I’d rather take our chances as a group.”
The thief, Ignatius Max, pulled a rope from his pack. The eight looped the rope through their belts and tied themselves together. The fog grew thick and dense as wood smoke. For minutes, maybe hours, they wandered, losing all track of time and the world around them. When it seemed as if they had surely entered the Abyss itself, the fog began to abate.
“It’s lifting,” Erland spoke. It was the first sound they had heard since they had entered the fog. The silence did not last long. As the mists parted, revealing an old forest at the base of craggy hills, a wolf’s howl shattered the stillness of the night. Another howl followed, and soon the sounds of a chorus of wolves filled the air.
Quickly, the band of heroes untied the rope that linked them together. With flawless precision attained through years of experience fighting side by side, the group formed a tight-knit defensive circle. The wolves surrounded them. The heroes waited for the attack, but it never came. After a time, they slowly began to explore the land around them. The wolves followed, always keeping at a steady distance, neither coming nearer nor drifting farther away.
“Why don’t they attack,” Xenobia asked.
“They watch us,” Red Cloud said simply. “For what, or whom, I do not know.”
The forest gave way to a clearing. Where grass should have grown, there were only weeds. The soil was rocky and barren, not a fit place for life to bloom. The group marched on, the wolves constantly trailing.
“Where are we?” Darius asked.
“Far from Waterdeep, of that I am sure,” Luthor answered.
“I shall attempt to divine that information,” Red Cloud remarked. The shaman grasped the totem around his neck, the symbol of his deity Manitou, the great spirit, and attempted to commune with his god. A look of befuddlement crossed his face, followed by an expression of greater concern. “I… I am unable to make contact… I do not sense Manitou’s presence anywhere in this land.”
“Aye, I feel the absence too,” Luthor added. “We have been cut off from the gods themselves.”
Xenobia pointed at the night sky. Where before they had walked under the light of a full moon, they now stood staring at a sliver of the crescent moon. The stars in the sky were unrecognizable to any of the band of eight.
“I don’t believe we are on Faerun anymore,” Xenobia voiced aloud the thoughts of all eight.
The group of heroes moved forward cautiously, ever conscious of the pack of wolves that circled them at a distance. From time to time one of the wolves would bay at the moon and set the whole lot of them into a baleful chorus.
After a time they stumbled across a fork in what appeared to be a well-traveled road. One branch led higher into the craggy hills. Far in the distance, they could see a bleak castle perched on the side of a mountain. The other branch wove its way into a valley below.
The party stopped at the crossroad. A grisly sight stood before them. Two sharpened stakes, six feet in height, flanked the road. Impaled on each spike was a human body.
Luthor examined the corpses. Peasants, in all likelihood, from the looks of them. Curiously, there was no sign of blood around the wounds. It was as if they had been drained entirely before being impaled on the spikes.
“What devilry is at work here?” Luthor whispered. “How could we have come to such a world?”
“It’s the mists, I’m afraid.”
The voice took them all by surprise. Immediately, the eight heroes adopted their fighting stances. They searched the woods around them. The red eyes of the wolves glowered at them in the dark, nothing more.
“What manner of evil spirit are you?” Red Cloud whispered. “Show yourself.”
“Forgive me,” the voice answered. Where once there was seemingly nothing but a shadow, a well-dressed man stepped forward. With gloved hands, leather boots, a starched white shirt, black pants and jacket, and a flowing black cape with red lining, his attire bespoke a man of impeccable taste. “I have forgotten my manners.”
Luthor felt the evil radiating from the man like a blow to the head. The paladin stepped forward, a double-handed sword held before him. “Come no closer, devil.”
The man ignored the threat, gliding slowly into the clearing. In the pale moonlight, his skin had the cast of ivory. “Put down your sword, paladin. I have no desire to harm you or your comrades.”
Luthor backed away slowly but kept his defensive posture. The others, following his lead, remained wary, relaxing their fighting stances only somewhat.
“Please, allow me to introduce myself. I am Count Strahd von Zarovich,” the shadowed man spoke and then gave a courtly bow. “I thought, perhaps, we might come upon an agreement which might be mutually rewarding.”
“That’s highly unlikely,” Erland scoffed.
“Please. Allow me to finish,” the count imposed. His voice held its courtly politeness, but the elven archer could tell that the man was acting hard to restrain himself. Evidently, the count was a man not used to interruptions. “I have recently learned that one of my greatest enemies has sent a group of assassins after me. I want you to prevent them from reaching my castle, by any means necessary.”
“Why should we help you?” Luthor argued. “Perhaps they come for you for good reason.”
“I am sure you have guessed at my true nature, paladin, and I know you would hold no pity for my demise. But my enemy is a loathsome blight upon mankind, and his assassins are abominations: a treacherous goblin, a vicious headsman, a warlord who wears the skins of his victims…” Strahd waved his gloved hand and cut his line of conversation short as if that were unimportant. “But you should listen to me for another reason. I can give you release from this land.”
“Then you must be the one who brought us here!” Torgo barked.
“I have no control over the mists. They know no master,” Strahd responded.
“Then how do you expect to grant us release from them?” Shinesta asked. The elven princess did nothing to disguise her skepticism.
“There are portals of great magic that are capable of transporting you from this world. I know the location of such a portal.”
The heroes absorbed this new information. They glanced from one to another, unsure of how to proceed. It was only moments ago that they were on the road to Waterdeep, and now here they were, in a strange land making bargains with a devil!
“Then why haven’t you left this accursed place yourself?” Torgo accused.
“Such is my curse that I cannot leave these lands.” Strahd bowed his head slightly, humbly before the group.
“Why should we trust you?” Luthor questioned.
“You shouldn’t.” Cries of protest rang out from the group. “But as the villagers of nearby Barovia would be sure to tell you, I am a man of my word. Besides, you have very little choice. Many heroes such as yourselves have wandered the land of the mists. Many have died, victims of the beasts that infest these lands. Many others have died, old and broken, having searched their whole lives for a means of exit without ever finding even the slightest clue. Perhaps the elves in your party will survive the test of the centuries and eventually find a way out. Can the rest of you take the chance?”
“I don’t like it,” Luthor grumbled. “I’d rather place my trust in my steel and my wits than the word of a fiend.”
“What choice do we have?” Xenobia argued. “To take up his challenge… or to wander these lands forever?”
The heroes searched each other’s faces. One by one they nodded their assent. “Aye, we shall do this task for you. For release from this cursed land,” Luthor spoke for the group.
Strahd smiled. Fools. They were noble–and all the more gullible because of it. To think, he had actually considered resorting to using his mind control on them. But that would have dulled their senses and made them far less useful as protectors from Soth’s minions. Their nobility made this all the more unnecessary. They took their oath to protect him and would fight that much harder because of it. But Strahd, too, had his sense of honor. He would keep his word. Should these heroes actually succeed in stopping Soth’s assassins, he would grant them release from this land. And from all others.
• Cross-referenced with EGM2 Issue 29 (November 1996).