6. Hardcore Difficulty & Speed Run
Hardcore Difficulty Mode
While playing any game on the top difficulty level sounds super daunting (I know it does for me) there is a bit of good news I can give you before you get started. First off is since you took the time to get all the upgrade chests along the way and dead knight scrolls you get to keep your current level (meaning you have all your top attacks now) and you start the game over with a full health bar, full magic bar, and max possible special attacks. You also no longer have to backtrack for any collectables and can just proceed to each main part of the story, which will save you time, and avoid enemies that could possibly hurt you. You also are now familiar with all the bosses and know their moves and good tactics for how to defeat them, which will aid you well and make you well prepared for each fight as it comes. Another bit of good news is IF you played on Hard the first time through, Hardcore really isn’t that much harder. This is one of the reasons I suggested starting on hard, since a jump from Easy to Hardcore is a WHOLE LOT tougher to get used to than a minor jump from Hard to Hardcore. This tends to be true to any game you play and tends to teach you faster (and properly) to prepare you better for top difficulties since you can’t develop bad habits relying on taking little damage and enemies being weak on a low difficulty. Okay, rant over, let’s get to tactics.
First off you want to avoid any and all fights you can. You will still have to kill enemies along the way (yes, I know we still need to kill 1,000 enemies for an achievement and you are only at around 650 – 700 kills right now. We will address this later) but overall the less fights you get in, the less likely you will be to lose any health and die. The only fights you should really be doing are the ones where the magic seal makes it so you can’t leave and you HAVE to fight. Also keep in mind all the fonts in the game and know where they are. There should be at least health if not magic and health fonts before very boss fight so use them and keep in mind they regenerate. While I didn’t use them much, keep in mind you have special attacks with and they can add quite a bit of damage to enemies. Use them when you can to help speed things along. Last but not least, you can die! It is no big deal if you perish since the game is generous and saves quite frequently. There is no major penalty for deaths and if (or when) it does happen just try again and you will get past whatever part has you stuck. If you plug away at it you will succeed.
If you want you can treat this like your speed run and just try to avoid everything (which is what I did) and see if you can beat Hardcore mode in under 3 hours and 30 minutes but that can be a bit challenging when it comes to bosses and some QTE events that can screw you up and set you back a little bit. If you are trying for this make sure you skip all cut scenes but I will address that achievement lower on this page.
The hardest of the acts will be Alucard’s due to his boss battles being the toughest. Trevor has the nastiest regular enemy fights but Reaver and the Daemon Lord really can pack a punch. Don’t forget you can heal with his mist abilities. I highly recommend using the maps provided in each walkthrough to help you keep on track with where to go during the Hardcore run. All the enemies any everything else you faced will be the same, the only difference is each enemy does more damage to you now than before.
Once you push through and defeat Dracula as Trevor on Hardcore you will have earned the following achievement for conquering the game on Hardcore mode!
Finish the game on Hardcore without lowering the difficulty or enabling navigation aids from the map
Speed Run/Quick As Lightning
The next focus will be on beating the whole game from Gabriel’s prologue all the way to Trevor’s battle with Dracula in less than 3 hours and 30 minutes. It is possible you may have been able to pull this off in Hardcore mode but, dont worry if you didn’t. To get started set the game to Easy now to make things go quicker. Use the same avoid everything tactics and all the tricks you learned in your first two runs of the game to make short work of all bosses and enemies. Stay on course to just hit every objective point only and SKIP ALL CUT SCENES! Cut scenes take away precious time from your counter so you want to skip them.
Another helpful tip is do not pause the game and walk away as this causes the counter to keep going on play time. If you need to leave and do something quit the game to the main menu. This is a little annoying but it will ensure you do not have to play the whole game again if you had to take an hour and a half break to go make lunch or something along those lines. Using these tactics you should safely be able to beat the game under the 3 hour and 30 minute mark earning the following achievement.
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