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Act Raiser (SNES) Tips
~by tankMage (July 2017)
This guide is meant to serve as a quick reference for players who have questions about ActRaiser. As such it does not go into great detail or cover all of the secrets to be found in the game. The section titled SIM Mode Tips outlines some of the actions that need to be undertaken in order to progress through the town building portions of the game. The second part of this guide, Building Population and Character Levels in SIM Mode, briefly explains how population mechanics work in relation to character level and provides pointers on how to maximize population. The Bosses section discusses methods that can be used to defeat the boss of each act.
SIM Mode Tips
The following is a brief explanation of some of the items and tasks that are necessary to progress in the SIM Mode. The areas are listed in the order which I generally clear the game. Remember that you will need to go to the “Accept Offering” option on the town menu to obtain items.
Fillmore: Blast the rock in the southern end of the map (just below the forest) to get an important magic scroll. Use the compass from Bloodpool and wait a bit to receive the source of life.
Blood Pool: At some point the people of Bloodpool will ask you to give Teddy bread, he’s by the cave near the red lake. Use the skull to seal the red demon lair. Go to Kasandora and find the man lost in the desert to get music, which you can import to Bloodpool to stop the infighting and receive a compass.
Kasandora: You will be asked to save a man who is lost in the desert shortly after entering the SIM portion of the area. He is laying on a patch of desert on the southeast side of the map. Use the rain spell to clear a path and direct the people to him to receive music. Use Earthquake magic to destroy the walls of the pyramid after you uncover it using the rain spell (it’s in the northeastern end of the desert) to get a source of life. A plague will break out after you destroy the boss in the pyramid, get the herb from Marahna to cure the disease. The people will give you a tablet shortly after you cure the plague, take it to Marahna.
Marahna: Use Earthquake to bring the two islands together. After building the town up a bit, you will get the medical herb, which can be used to cure the people of Kasandora. Kasandora will give you a tablet after being saved from plague, take it to Marahna and use it like an item. Then go to the bird shaped island and cast lightning on the right wing to destroy a block of trees. The villagers will find a new magic spell shortly afterwards.
Aitos: The villagers in Aitos will offer you a fleece, which you should take to North Wall and use as an item when the residents request it.
Northwall: It’s very important to use sunlight to melt the snow here. Melting the snow by the lake will reveal a magic scroll.
Wheat: You will get this from Bloodpool and should use it on farms to turn them into wheat fields, which produce more food. Giving an area wheat will cause every farm spawned afterwards to be a wheat farm, so it’s a good thing to bring along when entering a new area.
Building Population and Character Levels in SIM Mode
Both the Master and the Angel level up as the global population of ActRaiser increases, but a variety of factors can place limits on the maximum population and prevent the player from reaching the highest level, which is 17. The following practices can help ensure that you get a population of 4600, which is needed to max out character level.
Get High Scores: Don’t shy away from collecting score boosting items and slaying monsters in the action stages, because points add to the total number of people that can be spawned in each town. The score of act 1 of each area will determine the initial potential population, while the second act will determine the final max population for every area.
Use Earthquake: There’s a limit to how many structures can occupy each map and houses hold more people as the civilization level of the area you currently occupy increases. Unfortunately, all of the low quality buildings place a soft cap on your total population and must be destroyed in order to max out the population of each area. Earthquake is the most efficient means of demolishing old buildings (and their inhabitants) so that new ones may be erected and occupied.
Kill Monsters in SIM Mode: Sometimes villagers will stop spawning during SIM Mode when there are monster lairs remaining, despite the fact that there is ample room in which to build. Either have the townspeople seal the lairs by directing them to their location or kill the monsters yourself. Doing so releases the souls of humans imprisoned by Tanzra and allows them to spawn as villagers who will build up your town.
Don’t Build Too Many Bridges: Only so many structures can occupy each area in ActRaiser and bridges count towards that total, which is a problem in Fillmore and Bloodpool where an over abundance of bridges can be built. Try to use just one bridge to cross each stream, which can be done by moving the build direction cursor very carefully along the borders of streams when directing the villagers.
The information in the Building Population and Character Levels in SIM Mode section of this guide is a conglomeration of my own personal observations and information from Admiral’s highly detailed and well written Max Population Guide that can be found at:
A boss waits for the Master at the end of each act. The best strategy to use against almost every boss is to use magic as your primary attack (although the boss rush should be handled differently), so it’s advisable to save your magic scrolls for the end of each act. The following is a breakdown of bosses by area and some tips on how to defeat them.
Act 1-1 Centaur: The Master doesn’t have any magic at this early stage of the game, so you’ll have to swashbuckle your way through this fight. The Centaur will alternate between charging you with his spear and holding the weapon aloft to generate lightning which strikes the ground in front of him. A hit and run tactic works best on this guy. Draw him towards the wall and duck to avoid the spear (you can also get a few hits in on him while he is charging), the Centaur shouldn’t be able to hit you with the spear if you are close to the wall. Back off a bit when he raises the spear to perform the lightning attack attack and quickly move in to strike once the final bolt hits the ground.
Act 1-2 Minotaurus: This boss will drop down from the ceiling, hurl an ax your way and leap back into the air. Keep moving, because he tends to drop down on your position. Jump over the ax Minotaurus throws and get a few hits in before he leaps away. Using the Magical Fire spell is a good way to inflict some serious damage on this boss, but you will have to time it carefully to hit the boss by casting the spell just before he lands.
Act 2-1 Manticore: The terrain in this fight is a major problem. A pit occupies the center of the battlefield. Four platforms line each side of the pit and Manticore will jump up from the abyss onto each platform in order from highest to lowest. The boss will then leap across the room to the opposite set of platforms and drop down onto each one until he falls back into the pit. Manticore will shoot a fireball each time he touches down on a platform and repeats this pattern throughout the battle. Use Magical Fire to soften this boss up. If timed well (you’ll have to cast the spell just before he lands on a platform across from you) Magical Fire can take a good chunk of the boss’s HP.
You’ll have to rely on your sword to finish the boss off if you run out of scrolls before he is dead. It’s safest to wait on the side of the room opposite to where Manticore is going to surface and stand on the top platform. Drop down to the second platform just before he launches his fireball and stand so that you will be behind him once he leaps to the other side. Quickly swipe at him with your blade just as he lands. Taking damage will prompt him to leap away, but you should be able to get three or four hits in if you time things properly. This method takes time, but you can win the battle safely using it.
Act 2-2 Zeppelin Wolf: This boss has two forms: a caped human who teleports around firing lightning similar to that of the Centaur’s lightning attack. The second is a werewolf that will take swipes at you. There are several platforms scattered around the room that he will sometimes teleport onto. Make sure you have the Magical Stardust* spell equipped before entering this act, because it is key to winning this battle without fuss. Try to stay away from the boss to avoid his lightning spell; you’ll know he is about to use it when he raises his arm. He’ll also fire three projectiles that spread out. A couple well timed casts of Stardust will force Zeppelin to transform. The werewolf is completely defenseless against the Magical Stardust and will wither under its onslaught as long as you catch it before it laps leaps away.. You can just hack away at this guy if you are out of magic at this point, since you most likely have full life and he is under 50% HP by the time he transforms.
If you don’t have access to magic for some reason while fighting this battle, then you’ll have to fight carefully. When Zeppelin is in his human form, you will need to rush him and get a few strikes in once he teleports and very quickly run or jump out of his way when he begins to cast his spell. Don’t try to slash the boss when he is on the highest platforms unless you are on one yourself, because you probably won’t reach him in time. You can jump up and hack at Zeppelin while he is on one of the lower platforms, however. Zeppelin is also highly vulnerable to attack for a few seconds just before his transformation, so watch his life closely and be ready to pummel him once it drops below 50%.
Act 1 Dagoba: This boss is trivial with the Magical Stardust spell, because he occupies the center of the screen and will be caught in the meteor barrage, taking huge amounts of damage in the process. The creature occupies a V shaped sandpit whose walls are slippery. The Master will need to constantly hop or run up the sides of the pit to avoid touching the boss and taking damage. At the beginning of the fight, Dagoba will erupt from the center of the pit, throwing large amounts of debris into the air that will spread out and strike The Master. This is a good time to cast Magical Stardust which will render you immune to Dagoba’s rock barrage and inflict damage on him. Next, Degoba will submerge and a claw will appear on each side of the pit, which will rush down the walls. Jump over the claws and get ready for the boss to bust out of the ground again. Cast Stardust and jump over his claws once they appear. Two or three good blasts with Magical Stardust should end this battle in no time.
It’s best to just use magic on this boss, but you can fight him with your sword if you really must. Your opportunity to attack Dagoba will come along when he bursts through the sand, but you will have to dodge his projectiles and try to climb up the walls of the hole while attacking him.
Act 2 Pharaoh: This boss is a giant head that floats around near the ceiling before crashing down on you. After crashing to the floor, the Pharaoh will launch a projectile in each direction that you should leap over, just watch out, because the projectiles will form a mask that spits an arrow at The Master once it hits a wall, so be ready to jump again. Pharaoh is highly vulnerable to sword attacks after he tries to crush The Master. Magical Stardust is highly effective against this foe, but you will have to make sure he is within the spell’s hitbox before using it, since Pharaoh sometimes moves into the spell’s bindspots.
Act 1 Rafflasher: Magic won’t help you in this fight, so get your sword ready. The Rafflasher is essentially a giant plant that occupies the right hand side of the screen as if it were a wall. Only the blue flower in the center is vulnerable to attack and you’re going to have to manoeuvre past its defenses. A vine will rise up out of the muck and strike you if you stay in one place too long. Rafflasher will also fire a seed in a straight line that you will have to work around. It’s best to lure the tentacle away from where the boss’s body is located by running to the left, then quickly run back to the boss, jump on the platform and launch a few attacks. The vine will return after a few seconds, so be ready to hop over it and repeat the process of luring it away. It’ll take some time to kill this boss.
Act 2 Kalia: You’ll find Kalia hovering far above The Master’s head along with some spike lined platforms. Kalia will raise his arm and cause whichever platform you happen to be standing under to drop down. You can safely jump into the platform and strike Kalia with your blade, but be sure to duck in order to avoid the spiked ceiling. The boss will also fire lightning bolts at you that turn into orbs that travel along the ground. Kalia will also drop down and try to crush you at times. Again, Magical Stardust works nicely in this battle, though you will have to aim it well.
Act 1 Serpent: It is vital that you obtain the sword powerup which is hidden in a statue. The powerup will allow you to fire beams from your sword and is essential to victory in this fight. The Serpent dwells in a waterfall that only has scattered stones for The Master to stand on. To make matters worse, the boss moves quickly and unpredictably from one side of the screen to the other and can come at you from any direction. Getting hit may push you of the ledge, so try to make sure The Master has some room to fall back by standing on the edge of the platform that is closest to where the boss will approach from. The Serpent is generally able to avoid taking very much damage from magic thanks to his rapid movements, but casting spells can protect you from harm and injure the boss a bit. Fortunately, the sword beams you get from the statue can devastate the Serpent. It’s best to swing aggressively and change your position often to reduce the likelihood of the boss hitting you.
Act 2 The Fire Wheel: This strange creature rolls around the room at high speed and is hard to avoid. Luckily he will slow down at times, which leaves him open to attacks. Standing under the lower platforms is a good way to catch this boss when he rolls over them and get some hits in. The Fire Wheel will sometimes levitate and spray projectiles in all directions, which is a great time to counter with Magical Stardust.
Act 1 Merman Fly: This thing will fly from one side of the room to another, lowering himself from his high vantage point to fire shots into the water that are are harmful to the touch. Slash at Merman when he descends, but be ready to dodge his attack. Magic is not terribly effective against this boss, because he is so small. With a little luck and good timing, you may be able to harm him with the Magical Stardust spell.
Act 2 Arctic Wyvern: This icy opponent will swoop down at you with its claws. Running in the opposite direction when he comes in for a pass is a good way to avoid harm. Don’t try to hit this boss with melee or magic when it is swooping: You’ll just put yourself in harm’s way or waste scrolls. Instead wait until he begins to hover and either rush in close with sword attacks or cast Stardust. Arctic Wyvern will use a breath attack when he begins to hover, so you may take damage from the ice it kicks up if you are attacking him with your sword.
Part 1 Boss Rush: You will have to fight Tanzra’s servants again upon entering Deathheim, luckily it’s only the second act bosses and not all of the bosses. How you handle this portion of the game is primarily up to you and your skills, but I recommend using magic strategically and saving it for the bosses you have difficulty with.
Part 2: Tanzra: The final boss will first appear as a flying head that will hover around the top of the screen raining blue fire on you. The fire will come from the upper right hand screen and it is best to stay on the ground and run away from each flame’s impact point. You have the sword upgrade in this fight so you can hit Tanzra from a distance. Once the firestorm ends, Tanzra will beam down and fire a pair of serpentine energy bolts at you, walk into the center of the serpentine and duck, then quickly slash the boss. Use Magical Stardust or the Aura spell on him when he is on the ground if you have scrolls left.The boss will reveal his true form once you destroy the head…
Tanzra will turn into a monstrosity with a pulsing blue orb in the center once you destroy his head. Magic doesn’t work well on this form, but you can use it to clear out the projectiles he fires. He’ll fire star shaped shots that can be destroyed with the sword and float around the room until settling on the far right side of the screen for a bit. Stand a few body lengths from him and shoot the orb in his body with your sword beams, but be prepared to adjust your position a bit to dodge the twisting energy shots he fires. Be ready to duck to avoid the blue flame he shoots. Tanzra will rise up again after a few seconds and repeat the pattern. While his attacks are hard to avoid, you can easily out damage the last boss by being aggressive and aiming your attacks well. Hit Tanzra enough and you will achieve victory.
*Using Magical Stardust renders you immune to damage for a while and strikes enemies multiple times. The rain of projectiles enters from the upper right hand side of the screen and has blind spots, primarily in the lower right hand side of the screen and the upper left (to an extent) so try to time your castings so that the target is occupying the spell’s hit box for optimal damage.
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