Castlevania: Harmony of Despair: Jonathan Morris

                                      Castlevania: Harmony of Despair
                               
                                   Character Guide to Jonathan Morris by Option





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Version History:
August 27th 2010: FAQ created (1.0)
August 31st 2010: File width and a few things corrected (1.1)
September 3rd 2010: Some additions and corrections made (1.2)

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CONTENT INDEX:

- Introduction [ITR]
- Basics [BSC]
   - General Introduction to Jonathan
   - Basic Controls
   - Character Advancement
   - Martial Arts
- Supweapons [SBW]
   - Subweapon List
   - Subweapons in Detail
   - Tips on Subweapon Levels
- Equipment [EQP]
  - Vampire Killer
  - Defensive Gear
  - Simon's Gear
- Strategies [STG]
  - Single Player
  - Co-Op
  - Survival
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                               INTRODUCTION [ITR]

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Castlevania: Harmony of Despair, or Castlevania HD, is a multiplayer game by
Konami for XBox Live Arcade.
I have played it shortly after release and completed almost all characters.

Since I think Jonathan is one of the most interesting characters in this game,
I decided to create a guide to him.

If you decide to play as Jonathan, you will have to be aware of investing a
lot of time and nerves into this characters.

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                               BASICS [BSC]

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This section will cover the more basic things, such as background and character-
specific information and controls.

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GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO JONATHAN

Jonathan Morris is one of the two main characters in Castlevania: Portrait of 
Ruin for the Nintendo DS. There he teamed up with the mage Charlotte Aulin (who
also is playable in this game) to defeat the artist vampire Brauner (who is a 
boss in this game).

Jonathan is the son of John Morris, one of the two protagonists in 
Castlevania: Bloodlines. He also is the grandson of Quincy Morris, the hero in
Bram Stoker's Dracula, tieing the novel into the Castlevania canon.

The young hero struggles with his past - his father died and never taught him
how to use the Vampire Killer whip. During the events of Portrait of Ruin, he
comes to peace with himself, though.

Jonathan's place in the timeline is shortly after World War 2, which is why he
uses, for instance, a hand grenade as weapon.

In Castlevania: Harmony of Despair, Jonathan is one of the 5 playable 
characters, and, in my opinion, the most interesting and fun to play as.
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BASIC CONTROLS

Jonathan controls like everybody else in the game. He has a double jump, a slide
kick, a backdash and a jumpkick.
He can trigger a taunt by pressing Up, and if you hold Up for a few seconds, 
Jonathan will do an air guitar.

Jonathan's only weapon in this game is the Vampire Killer whip, which is
covered in the "Vampire Killer"-subsection in the Equipment section.

His Personal Skill are martial arts. Jonathan is the only character able to use
them, but he only starts out with Guard. I will cover these in their own 
section.

His Hunter Skill are the several subweapons he can use, and so far, he is the 
only character resembling the older games, using classic but also new 
subweapons. They will be covered in a complete separate section.


Overall, Jonathan is a well-rounded character who is able to suit himself for
almost all kind of combat. He has the second-longest range of melee based 
weapons (the longest is the Nebula whip, which only Soma is able to equip, 
strangely), however, he is extremely slow to build up. Therefore, using 
Jonathan to begin is a VERY BAD IDEA. DO NOT START OUT WITH JONATHAN.
You will need a lot of time and dedication to max Jonathan out, and if you 
don't level his subweapons, you will be pretty much useless because you 
will do almost no damage.
Despite this, playing him is extremely fun, so you should definitely give him
a try.
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CHARACTER ADVANCEMENT

Jonathan, like all other characters, doesn't level up in this game. His stats
only become better by equipping better gear.

However, you will notice how your whip does surprisingly low damage, even if you
get really good gear. Vampire Killer gets stronger the higher Jonathan's 
subweapons are levelled. Unfortunately, they don't get levelled the more of the
same subweapon he gets, they level by using them. One hit means one point 
towards the total level. This can ridiculously slow, even when using a certain
trick I will tell you later.

His martial arts cannot be levelled and I'm not sure if they count towards the
level of Vampire Killer - if someone can clear that up, I'd be thankful.
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MARTIAL ARTS
These are one of the things that make Jonathan stand out from other characters.
Jonathan's martial arts consume a certain amount of MP and greatly benefit his
mobility as well as his damage output if used correctly.
He also easily can get behind certain enemies by using these moves.

Martial arts are not equipped on the right shoulder button, but require a 
specific button input (not unlike special moves in Street Fighter and the like)
to use them.

Here the list of the 5 skills:
- Guard: Starting martial art.
- Danger Knee: Stage 2.
- Forward Roll: Stage 3.
- Uppercut: Stage 4.
- Sonic Strike: Stage 5 and 6.

The locations can vary, but these are where the martial arts drop predominantly.
They are only found in green or purple chests. If you get one, it looks like a 
spell scroll in blue.

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Guard

You start the game with this, and it's the only martial art that doesn't need a
button combination. It's set on the right shoulder button (RB).

When Jonathan uses Guard, he goes into a stance, crossing his arms in front of 
himself to protect his body. He is not able to move or attack during this, and
as far as I am aware, it does not consume any MP.

When in Guard stance, Jonathan takes half of the damage he would normally take,
for instance if an attack that would do 40 damage hits him, he only recieves 20
damage. He also is not able to be knocked back by enemy hits.
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Danger Knee

This is found mainly in Stage 2.
Input: Back, Down, Forward, Y

When using this, Jonathan flings himself forward, knee first. He flies into the 
direction he moved the stick to. This means if Jonathan faces right and uses the
button combination for the knee towards the left, he will use it toward the 
left. It consumes 5 MP to perform Danger Knee.

This can be used to quickly get towards the "front" if playing in a group, and
deal some damage while at it. Otherwise, I don't see much use for Danger Knee,
I'm afraid.
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Forward Roll

This is found mainly in Stage 3.
Input: Forward, Down, Back, Forward, Y

Jonathan flips a roll into the direction the combination was used into, like
Danger Knee. He quickly moves forward and is invulnerable while doing it, but
it doesn't do any damage either and uses up 10 MP.

This is a very good way to move behind enemies without taking damage, mainly
behind Final Guards or Dullahans, so you can attack them from behind.
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Uppercut

This is found mainly in Stage 4.
Input: Down, Up, Y

When using this, Jonathan does a flaming uppercut and flings himself upwards. It
resembles the "Shoryuken" move from Ryu and Ken in Street Fighter. In fact, it 
actually is taken directly from Portrait of Ruin. There it was called Griffon
Wing and would allow Jonathan to do huge jumps upwards and hug the ceiling if 
needed. Jonathan's punch will be on the side he is facing, so beware of that.
Uppercut consumes 5 MP.

Little fun fact: Depending on the color for Jonathan you chose, the color of
the flame's outlines changes.

The uppercut is extremely low ranged, but deals quite a pack of damage. There's
little use to it, however, you might be able to get a few strong hits on 
Dracula, his first and third forms to be exact. Since its range is so short, 
though, you probably are better off not using it.
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Sonic Strike

This is found mainly in Stages 5 and 6.
Input: Up, Back, Down, Forward, Y

First, Jonathan does some sort of "roar" pose, then he disappears towards the 
direction the input was, leaving a short trail of his image behind. He then 
reappears a few feet further. During this, everyone in his way will recieve 
damage. Jonathan is invulnerable while using Sonic Strike. It also uses 15 MP.

You might already guess that Sonic Strike is probably Jonathan's most useful
martial art, and you guessed that right. This is actually what makes Jonathan
stand out when it comes to this, not only because it's basically a Forward Roll
dealing damage, but also because it has an interesting glitch to it.
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"Sonic Jump"-Glitch

Naming and finding credits go to Zaarock from GameFAQs-Boards.

This is a hilarious yet awesome glitch for Jonathan's Sonic Strike martial art.
If you use the Sonic Jump, Jonathan will fly a HUGE distance forward, even 
ignoring some corners on his way.

To do this, you first need to stand at the edge of a ledge. Then you have to put
in the command for Sonic Strike, and hold forward as soon as the move starts.
If you did it right, Jonathan will catapult himself a very long distance.
However, you will not do any damage, so beware of enemies in your way.

With this you can overcome a few gaps, such as the merman pit in Stage 1 or
the big room with the scales and bone pillars in Stage 2.
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                               SUBWEAPONS [SBW]

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Ah yes. The central aspect of Jonathan - the subweapons. Thanks to these, 
Jonathan is one of the most versatile characters in the game.

You can equip up to 4 different subweapons (B, Up+B, Forward+B, Down+B).
As mentioned earlier, they level up by using them. The higher the level, the
more the damage they do.
Additionally to this, they can change their appearance or the area of influence
respectively amount of thrown attacks.

Most of them have 3 main levels. I'm not sure if all "Level 2" parts are on the
same subweapon level, but all Level 3 changes are on Level 9.

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SUBWEAPON LIST
- Axe: Drops from Axe Knight.
- Bible: Stage 2.
- Boomerang: Drops from Gurkha Master.
- Cross: Stage 6.
- Grenade: Stage 1 and 2. Drops from The Creature.
- Holy Water: Stage 4.
- Knife: Starting Subweapon.
- Kunai: Stage 4.
- Paper Airplane: Drops from Fleaman.
- Ricochet Rock: Drops from Lerajie.
- Shuriken: Stage 5.
- Wrecking Ball: Stage 3.

The locations for the chest drops can vary, but these are where they drop 
predominantly. They are found in chests of all colors, including boss chests.
If you get one, it shows the icon and the name of the subweapon.
I will only describe the enemy drops' looks so you know what to look for.
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Axe

The Axe is dropped by the Axe Knight enemies. Those can be found in Stage 1, and
Stage 2 on Normal only, it's the blue armors throwing axes.
If it drops, it looks like... well... an axe. It's shiny and silver and has 
about the same size as the head of an Axe Knight.

The axe is one of the Castlevania subweapon mainstays and is used just like the
classic one. Jonathan tosses the axe upward, it then makes an arc and drops 
down. It can hit enemies multiple times.
It cannot go through ceilings or walls and some blasts are able to block the axe
or reflect it, for instance the explosion of another Jonathan's grenade.

The axe is actually a pretty useful weapon due to its multiple hits. It also is
rather cheap in terms of MP usage, and it can help a lot against big bosses like
Gergoth, Puppet Master or Dracula's second and third form.

MP use: 15
Level 1: A small handaxe
Level 2: A bigger round battle axe
Level 3: A huge battle axe
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Bible

The Bible is found in Stage 2. Brown book with cross on it.

It was used in numerous Castlevania games, but never really stayed completely.
When Jonathan uses it, he will place the brown book with the golden cross on it
in front of himself. The Bible then will start spiralling outwards, leaving a
trail of pages and then disappearing.
However, only the Bible itself is able to do damage. It can hit enemies multiple
times and deals holy damage. It goes through walls and ceilings.

While the bible doesn't seem all too useful in the beginning, it is actually a
pretty good weapon later on, able to clear rooms and destroy big bosses even
more than the axe does due to its holy damage.

MP use: 20
Level 1: A small brown book with a golden cross
Level 2: No noticeable change (is the duration of the move higher?)
Level 3: A big red book with a fat golden cross with higher duration
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Boomerang

The Boomerang is dropped by the Gurkha Master. Those guys are the tall green 
armors using the scythe-shaped knives, stabbing and throwing them. They are
found in Stages 4, 5 and 6, and on Hard Mode they replace a few Axe Knights in
Stage 1 and all of them in Stage 2.
The boomerang drop itself is easy to identify. It's the typical boomerang shape,
it's white and has a few blue stripes.

This weapon works just like you imagine it would work. Jonathan throws the 
boomerang forward, it does a slightly arced curve and then returns to Jonathan.
It is able to hit multiple times, but is stopped by walls. It has one of the
longest ranges of all of Jonathan's subweapons.

The boomerang is actually a really useful subweapon, but as soon as you get the
cross, you should use that instead, although the boomerang has higher range and
is faster than the cross.

MP use: 12
Level 1: A white and blue boomerang
Level 2: No noticeable change
Level 3: A huge orange boomerang
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Cross

This is found in Stage 6. It's a blue shiny cross with all arms having
the same length.

The cross is one of the mainstays in the Castlevania series. If used, Jonathan
throws a blue shining cross weapon forward. It flies straight ahead, stays a
moment at its peak and then it flies straightly back, no matter if Jonathan is 
still there or not. It's stopped by walls and deals holy damage, being able to
hit multiple times, as well.

This weapon is basically like a slower but more powerful version of the 
boomerang. It deals holy damage, meaning it will aid your monster slaying a lot
more. And since it stays for a second at the peak, you can use it to cause
massive damage on bosses if you use it from the right distance.

MP use: 20
Level 1: A blue shining cross
Level 2: No noticeable change (does it become bigger or wider ranged?)
Level 3: A huge blue shining cross
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Grenade

Found in Stages 1 and 2 on Normal. It also drops from The Creature on Stage 4.
It looks like a hand grenade.

The grenade is exclusive to Jonathan in terms of subweapons, it was only used
in Portrait of Ruin. It is one of the most awkward supweapons. When Jonathan
uses it, he drops a grenade. If it touches the ground or the wall, it bounces 
off of it and go a "hop" further (when on the ground) or into the different 
direction (when hitting a wall). It takes about a second to detonate, causing
an explosion that can but most likely won't deal multiple hits.

Honestly, this is one of the worst weapons for Jonathan. He has to get 
ridiculously close to have it hit, and it doesn't even deal that much damage.
Don't use it.

MP use: 15
Level 1: A small green hand grenade and a small explosion ("1 square").
Level 2: Same grenade, but explosion expands "1 square" upwards.
Level 3: Stick grenade, explosion expands towards the side, making "4 squares".
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Holy Water

Found in Stage 4. Small bottle with blue liquid in it.

Another classic weapon. Jonathan drops a small bottle down that shatters as it
touches the ground or a wall. If it touches the wall, it won't really do 
anything but if it hits the ground, it emits a blue flame that travels forward 
a little. It does holy damage and hits multiple times.

A great weapon if maxed out, especially against grounded bosses and 
Final Guards. I admit not using it much because it's a bit awkward to use, 
similarly to the grenade, but I know it can be devastating.

MP use: 20
Level 1: Small blue flame
Level 2: Flame is bigger and travels further
Levle 3: Flame is huge and travels rather far
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Knife

You already start out with this subweapon.

The last of the traditional Castlevania subweapons, the knife is probably the
most basic subweapon to carry. Jonathan throws forward a dagger that travels
in a straight line until it hits an obstacle. It's fast, but doesn't deal much
damage.

As said, your most basic weapon, fast and easy to use, but you probably should
replace it with the kunai or shuriken once you get those. Still good to clear
hallways and one of the cheapest weapons in the game.

MP use: 8
Level 1: One knife
Level 2: Two knives
Level 3: Three knives
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Kunai

This is found in Stage 4. It is a blade with a handle that has a hole in it.

Jonathan throws forward several kunai knives that spread out like a shotgun, and
disappear when hitting an obstacle. It's quick, and the individual kunai may not
deal much damage, but combined, they can be devastating.

Best subweapon in the game, hands down. The kunai utterly abuses big bosses 
like Dracula's second and third forms, but also enemies and bosses in general. 
It's also surprisingly cheap and can  cause extremely much damage if used right.
As soon as you have it, use it.

MP use: 12
Level 1: 3 kunais - 1 straight forward, 1 diagonally up, 1 diagonally down
Level 2: 4 kunais - 2 diagonally up, 2 diagonally down
Level 3: 5 kunais - 1 straight forward, 2 diagonally up, 2 diagonally down
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Paper Airplane

This drops from Fleaman enemies. Fleamen can be found in Stages 1, 3 and 4. It's
most likely the first subweapon you will get. It looks just like you would 
imagine it - a small paper airplane.

The movement of the airplane is a bit hard to describe. Jonathan throws it, it
goes a few inches forward in a downward angle. Then it does a small looping, and
continues its downward angle until it hits an obstacle or the ground. It doesn't
go quick, but does surprisingly quite a bit of damage.

Generally speaking - the airplane is awesome. Not because it's a specifically 
good subweapon, but rather because it's just badass to poke Dracula's eye out
with a paper airplane. That being said, it has the lowest MP cost of all 
subweapons and can be used similarly to the knife. It can be useful, but I 
wouldn't see it as a really good subweapon, to be honest, except of course for
its epicness.

MP use: 5
Level 1: A paper airplane
Level 2: A paper airplane with a stick figure riding it
Level 3: A paper airplane with 2 stick figures riding on it
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Ricochet Rock

This drops from the Lerajie enemies. Those are the green skinny demon snipers in
purple suits. You can easily identify them by their "I see you!" catchphrase and
the red laser showing the arc of their shot. They are found in Stages 4, 5 and 
6. The Ricochet Rock drop can be easily overlooked. It is a tiny steel blue 
stone, almost looking like a fish's scale or so.

When using it, Jonathan throws a shiny blue stone in an downward angled arc. It
ricochets off of walls, floor and ceiling, leaving a blue trail behind. 
It is able to hit multiple times.

I first didn't want to use it, to be honest, but this is a surprisingly good 
subweapon when used in boss rooms where they cannot leave the room, especially 
the first part of Gergoth's (before he crushes the floor and falls down), 
Puppet Master's and Brauner's. It also deals quite a good damage and is rather
quick. I was pleasantly surprised by it. There's better ones, but certainly 
the Ricochet Rock shouldn't be underestimated.

MP use: 15
Level 1: A blue shiny stone
Level 2: No noticeable change (duration is longer?)
Level 3: No noticeable change (duration even longer?)

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Shuriken

This is found in Stage 5. It's a ninja throwing star.

Jonathan throws the shuriken in a strong downward angle, almost like he would
smash them downward because he's upset with them, heh. They stick in the ground
or wall for a moment, able to deal damage to enemies there should they touch it.
You cannot see the shuriken flying, though.

This is one of the best subweapons in the game. Use it when jumping or standing 
on a platform above an enemy, otherwise it'll be almost useless. It deals a lot 
of damage, is insanely fast and comparably cheap. And  it's ridiculously fast - 
as long as the distance isn't all too far, it's almost an instant hit if you 
use the shuriken.

MP use: 12
Level 1: 3 small throwing stars
Level 2: 4 small throwing stars
Level 3: 5 huge badass throwing stars
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Wrecking Ball

This is found in Stage 3. It's a ball on a chain.

Eh, probably one of the hardest to describe, since it's so different to the
other subweapons. Jonathan stands in place and starts swinging a big wrecking
ball on a chain above him. It's an ellipsis arc. Once he uses it, he will 
continue swinging the ball infinitely until he gets hit or you let go of the 
B button. Jonathan cannot use this when in midair or crouching.

I know the wrecking ball is considered being a boss killer, but honestly, I 
don't see it. Unlike the projectiles, he cannot move while using it, cannot
use them from a safe distance, is vulnerable while swinging it and it can't
really be spammed. I can see the use on Dracula's final form, but honestly,
I'd take the cross for that any day because you can use it from far away.

MP use: 15
Level 1: A steel ball on a chain
Level 2: No noticeable change
Level 3: A bigger steel ball with spikes on a chain
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TIPS ON SUBWEAPON LEVELS

Jonathan, like Shanoa, needs to use his subweapons to gradually level them up.
However, unlike Shanoa, Jonathan doesn't have 4 spells to level up, but 12
subweapons, which means it'll take him three times as long as Shanoa to max
out his subweapons.

There are a few tips I can give you for this chore, but it'll take you a long
time and, most importantly, a friend who will help you.

There's a few things that can aid you in your levelling.
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Backdash Cancelling / Subweapon Spamming

Only Soma, Shanoa and Jonathan can do this, as far as I know - I'm not sure if
it works for Charlotte's or Alucard's spells. That being said, Jonathan is 
probably the one who has the most advantage from it.

To use the backdash spam, equip the subweapon you want to use on the Down + B
combination.
When in the game, hold diagonally downward, and press the left shoulder button
(LB) for the backdash and the B button pretty much simultaneously. If you do it
correctly, the backdash will be cancelled, but so will the subweapon animation.
If you do this multiple times, you will be able to throw masses of subweapons 
until you run out of MP.

This will allow you to speed up the progress on almost all subweapons. The 
only subweapon I didn't get to work with this was the holy water, but maybe
I just failed.
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Survival Mode Method

Get a friend and go to survival mode on Chapter 1 Hard. Hard is very important
because there's a boss you can target, as a hit on your human opponent will not
give you the desired points towards the subweapon levels.
If your friend wants to level up subweapons or Shanoa's spells, as well, they
can join in and do it too. It will make things a bit longer for you, but in the
long run helps both, you and and your friend.
You cannot die in survival mode, if you die, you instantly respawn. This is
abusable for Jonathan and Shanoa.

For your equipment, use on the 2 accessory slots an Astral Ring and a Master 
Ring, and on the Down + B-combination the subweapon you want to level. Using
the Master Ring speeds up the levelling process and using the Astral Ring will 
have Jonathan use his HP instead of his MP. Then backdash spam the hell out of
your subweapons. As soon as you run out of health to use the subweapon, hop 
into the boss or your friend's attack (if they use one), and die. Respawn, 
rinse and repeat until the boss is dead or the timer runs out.

Now, with that in mind, there's a few things you have to watch out for.

First, the game does not count the damage you deal, but the amount of hits you 
do with the subweapon. There are some weapons where only one hit counts, though,
and the others don't - the axe seems to be one of those where only one hit is
counted, while the shuriken seem to count all hitting shuriken.

Second, there are weapons that have a sort of hit delay. This means even if you
have 3 or 4 of them out simultaneously, only one hits. This is true for the axe,
bible, cross, grenade and holy water. I'm not sure about the boomerang. These
weapons require you to time your attacks so that every of them hits instead of
just 1 out of 5, since only the hits are raising the counter.

The wrecking ball can be levelled up differently, and it seems to work a bit
better. You unequip the Astral Ring and equip a second Master Ring. For the
wrecking ball, every hit on itself counts towards your level bar. You can
start the attack and hold the button until you get hit, and you only need the
MP for initiating the attack.

If your friend levels up an attack that needs him to be closer to the boss, for
instance the grenade or the wrecking ball, you shouldn't be a jerk, thus not use
the boomerang that prevents him from getting in close.

Oh, and I know there's people suggesting using a Jonathan and Charlotte team 
where  Charlotte heals, but I found this more effective and useful for the 
other player.
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Even with these methods, you still will take a long time to max out Jonathan,
I myself don't have him fully maxed out yet.

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                               EQUIPMENT [EQP]

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VAMPIRE KILLER

For some odd reason, the developers decided to give Jonathan only one single 
weapon to use, despite the fact that he uses a lot of whips and other weapons
in Portrait of Ruin. In fact, there is a second whip in Harmony of Despair,
the Nebula, but only Soma gets to use it. Which I find, to be honest, stupid.

My personal opinion on not giving Jonathan his other whips aside, this guy uses
the legendary Vampire Killer, the whip of the Belmont clan. It deals whip 
damage and I think holy damage, making it a very efficient weapon.

Jonathan can whip straight forward only when on the ground. When in the air,
he can strike diagonally downward. But that's it. If Jonathan has whipped
forward and you hold the X button, you can dangle the whip around, dealing 
only minor damage, but making a surprisingly good defense against projectile
spam like Death's scythes.

Aside from spells, Soma's longer ranged weapons (guns, Nebula) and Shanoa's
Pneuma glyph, Jonathan has the longest range in the whole game. This makes
him a very useful asset to have in a Co-Op team and a useful Survival fighter.

If Jonathan maxes out all subweapons, Vampire Killer becomes the weapon with
the highest damage output per hit, as well, and combined with its insane 
range, this makes Jonathan incredibly good - but only when maxed out.

However, as already said numerous times, the Vampire Killer stays very weak
unless you start to level up your subweapons. This is VITAL to Jonathan. When
he doesn't have his subweapons at least all around Level 6 or 7, he pretty much
is useless as his damage output doesn't warrant using him at all.

This also makes him the hardest character to use when playing in single player
or starting out in general. Unfortunately, many people try to use him as first
character because he's the closest to classic Castlevania characters, but again
I heavily advise against using Jonathan at first.
Start out with Soma so you can get good equipment for Jonathan, then get his 
subweapons, level them - THEN you can think of playing him and not be absolutely
useless.
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DEFENSIVE GEAR

Since Jonathan cannot equip any other weapons aside from the vampire killer,
he only needs armor to worry about. He mostly shares the armor with Soma and
Alucard, but he does have a few exclusive pieces of armor. I will talk about
Simon's Gear in an own section, though, and not mention it in this one.
If I forgot to mention an exclusive for Jonathan, please tell me.

CHEST:
Ancient Armor
No stat changes.
Any damage taken reduces HP by 20%.
Notes: This is a high risk-high reward armor. If you use it, be aware of the
fact that EVERYTHING will take down your HP by 20%. This means that a bat
crashing into you does the same damage as getting hit by Dracula's Demonic
Meggido.

Berserker Mail
STR +10, CON -20, MND -20
HP -20
Increases damage both dealt and taken.
Notes: This is awesome if you want to deal far more damage with your whip. 
Great for speedruns.

Biker's Jacket
ATK +2, DEF +9, STR +2, INT +2 
HP +3
+10 Defense against Blunt attacks
Notes: Great in the beginning and Normal mode, but equip better stuff as soon
as possible.

Death's Robe
ATK +4, DEF +28, STR +4, CON +4, INT +4, MND +4, LCK +4 
MP +44
+13 Defense against Petrifying, Curse, Poison, Dark attacks
-13 Defense against Holy attacks
Notes: One of the best armors for Jonathan.

God's Garb
DEF +26, CON +5, MND +5
HP +10, MP +10
+8 Defense against Blunt, Slashing, Stabbing, Fire, Ice, Lightning, Dark, 
Holy and Petrifying
+18 Defense against Curse and Poison
Notes: Best armor until you can get Death's Robe or Simon's Plate.

Impervious Mail
DEF +15
Completely blocks attacks with a 10% chance.
Notes: If you are a No Damage-runner, this is your damage - with a bit of
luck, you will take block an attack. Berserker Mail probably is your better
choice, though.

Mojo Mail
DEF +20, CON +3, INT +3
+30 defense against Dark attacks
Notes: Good armor and easy to get on Hard mode.

Samurai Plate
DEF +16, INT +3, MND +3 
HP +12
Notes: Good if you want to use Subweapons a lot.

Three 7s
DEF +7, LCK +7
HP +7, MP +7
Notes: When farming for enemy drops (Ricochet Rock, Boomerang, etc.), use this.

HEAD:
Samurai Helmet:
ATK +3, DEF +10, STR +3, CON +3 
HP +3
Notes: Best headgear for Jonathan outside of Simon's Bandanna.

Stone Mask:
DEF +2, LCK +1
+10 Defense against Petrifying
Notes: Luck-boost for farming enemy drops.

LEGS:
Mercury Boots
DEF +3
Increases running speed.
Notes: Poor man's Winged Boots, but give a bit of defense.

Platinum Leggings
DEF +9
Notes: Best in terms of defense next to Simon's Sandals.

Samurai Leggings
ATK +3, DEF +8, STR +3
HP +5
Notes: Great boots, better than Platinum Leggings, but worse than
Simon's Sandals. Use those until you get the sandals.

Winged Boots
No stat changes
Notes: Make you run insanely fast, but you take the 0 stat-boon hit.

BACK:
Assassin's Cape
ATK +1, DEF +4, STR +1
HP +4, MP +4
+5 defense against Blunt, Fire and Ice attacks
Notes: Good cape for offensive play.

Cape of Invisibility
DEF +4, LCK +2
HP +5, MP +5
+5 Defense against Fire and Ice attacks
Renders the use almost invisible.
Notes: If you are secure with the invisibility, use it for farming
enemy drops. Otherwise, leave it be.

Elven Cape
DEF +5, MND +5
HP +4, MP +6
+5 Defense against Stabbing, Fire, Ice and Lightning attacks
Notes: Best cape if you want to use subweapons more.

Paludamentum
DEF +5, MND +3
HP +10, MP +15
+8 Defense against Fire and Ice attacks
+10 Defense against Lightning attacks
Notes: Great cape, HP and MP boosts are awesome.

JONATHAN EXCLUSIVES:
Brilliant Mail
DEF +15, INT +4
+10 Defense against Holy attacks
Increases the attack power of subweapons.
Notes: Is useful if you want to rely on subweapons, but it's not
overwhelming.

Breastplate
DEF +9
+10 Defense against Stabbing attacks
Notes: Sucks.

Chain Mail
DEF +12
+10 Defense against Slashing attacks
-10 Defense against Stabbing attacks
Notes: Sucks too.

Cuirass
DEF +16
HP +8
+10 Defense against Stabbing attacks
Notes: Better than the former two. You can use this if you don't 
have better armor.

Hauberk
DEF +14
HP +5
+5 Defense against Slashing attacks
-5 Defense against Stabbing attacks
Notes: It's bad too.

Kung Fu Suit
ATK +1, DEF +12, STR +1
HP +5
+8 Defense against Blunt attacks
Notes: Yea, you know the drill.

Lorica
ATK +3, DEF +20, STR +3, MND +5 
HP +10
+10 Defense against Stabbing attacks
Notes: Actually really good armor, use it until you get the 
amazing drops like Death's Robe or Simon's Plate.

Ring Mail
DEF +13
+5 Defense against Blunt and Slashing attacks
-10 Defense against Stabbing attacks
Notes: Uhhh...

Scale Mail
DEF +7
Notes: Come on...

Spiked Mail
DEF +15
Notes: Finally. Yea, it sucks too.

As you can see, most of the Jonathan exclusive armors are pretty bad.
Don't use them unless you don't have anything better. And you most likely have
something better than that.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ACCESSORIES

Astral Ring
Consumes HP instead of MP when using subweapons.
Notes: Use it for levelling subweapons on Survival.

Black Belt
ATK +3, DEF +3, STR +2
Notes: Poor man's Megingiord.

Chaos Ring
Increases MP recovery speed greatly.
Notes: Awesome if you are going for a subweapon-heavier Jonathan.

Master Ring
Increases subweapon levelling speed.
Exclusive to Jonathan and Shanoa.
Notes: Use it for levelling subweapons. Wearing 2 rings stacks the levelling
speed.

Megingiord
ATK +4, DEF +3, STR +4
Notes: Great offensive accessory. Recommended if you want to go for more 
whipping.

Moonstone / Sunstone
ATK +2, DEF +1, STR +2, CON +2, INT +2, MND +2, LCK +2
Sunstone works from 6 AM to 6 PM.
Moonstone works from 6 PM to 6 AM.
Notes: Good and balanced accessories, just keep in mind to switch them
according to the time of day.

Sage Ring
Increases MP recovery speed.
Notes: Poor man's Chaos Ring.

Skull Ring
ATK +3, DEF +8, STR +3, CON +3, INT +3, MND +3
-100 Defense against Curse
Automatically curses its user.
Notes: If you have an Astral Ring equipped and a Charlotte who heals, this
is badass. If you don't use subweapons at all, this is pretty good to use,
too.

Staurolite
Increases the strength of the Cross subweapon.
Jonathan exclusive.
Notes: It's good if you're a heavy user of the Cross. Otherwise, don't use it.

Thief Ring
LCK +10
Increases the rate of rare drops.
Notes: Use it when farming for items.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SIMON'S GEAR

Simon Belmont's set for Jonathan is made up of 3 pieces of armor:
Simon's Plate, Simon's Bandanna and Simon's Sandals.

Why someone would wear 300 year old sandals is beyond me, I'll admit that, but
hey, I'm not the one to wear them.

Anyway, going merely by stats, Simon's gear is the best out of all the stuff
Jonathan can get. They are all dropped in Stage 6 on Hard, either purple chests
or Dracula's boss chest.

Sometimes, Brilliant Mail, Winged Boots or other gear is better for a certain
situation or boss, but generally speaking, you won't see many occasions where
Simon's gear isn't the best to equip.

Stats:
Simon's Bandanna
ATK +5, DEF +11, STR +5, MND +3 
HP +10
+10 Defense against Curse and Poison
Notes: Yes, the official writing is with 2 N.

Simon's Sandals
ATK +3, DEF +9, STR +3, MND +3
HP +8 
+10 Defense against Holy and Dark attacks

Simon's Plate
DEF +28, STR +5, MND +5
HP +30
+10 Defense against Blunt, Slashing and Stabbing attacks
+10 Defense against Petrifying, Curse and Poison
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                               STRATEGIES [STG]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SINGLE PLAYER

Jonathan has a hard time in Single Player, at least in the beginning. When you
start out Jonathan even with some good stuff you got for Soma or Alucard, he
still will be comparably weak as the Vampire Killer sucks in the start.
You most likely will have a friend to carry your Jonathan through different 
stages until you can get his subweapons, martial arts and possibly Simon's gear.

Once you are equipped well, have learned the martial arts and have levelled your
subweapons to Level 6 or 7, you're good to go.

In Stages 1 and 2, you can abuse the Sonic Strike glitch to cross some gaps 
quickly if you want to.
The Puppet Master is a bit difficult to fight against on Hard in Single Player,
but using kunai, shuriken, holy water and/or the whip dangling, you should be
good when the Puppet Master stuffs the doll into the iron maiden.

The other bosses are not that difficult, and I'll be honest, some of them 
become a pushover once you have good gear and strong subweapons, as well as a
strong Vampire Killer.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CO-OP

Jonathan is a really good support character. His subweapons and the long range
on his whip, him being able to equip some of the best armor in the
game and his Guard martial art make him to a great meat shield for a Charlotte
who tries to heal the group, or generally spellcasters tossing their stuff
from the distance.

If he is maxed out, he also is an offensive force to be reckoned with.
Use subweapons with multiple hits on bosses to attack them with safe 
distance. Use your whip to deal big damage if you run out of MP.

Defend your allies from projectiles, such as Death's scythes and Brauner's 
medusa heads by dangling your whip in front of you.

That being said, he also is able to get behind Final Guards and Dullahans 
unscathed and attack them from behind. Only Soma with his Puppet Master soul
can do this, as well. Use Kunai to damage the Final Guards greatly.

Some boss strategies now. Only speaking of Hard mode here.

Gergoth:
Easy. His attacks are all easily avoidable. Use kunai, shuriken, cross or, 
when in the room on top of the tower, ricochet rock to deal massive multiple 
damage. Axe, bible or holy water might come in handy too.

Puppet Master:
Probably the hardest boss for Jonathan as he has no quick multihit attacks.
Your best friends are axe, ricochet rock, shuriken and kunai here. Use the
dangling of your whip or kunais to hit the doll before Puppet Master puts it
into the iron maiden.

Suggestion by Richard Dressler -
If you use Forward Roll or Sonic Strike in the moment Puppet Master puts his
doll into the iron maiden, the invulnerability frames protect you from
being taken into the coffin.

Menace:
Easy, too. The knife is a must have against this guy, as it flies across the
screen in a straight line. Other good weapons are the cross and the shuriken.
When using the cross, try to go for his face on the golden platform or for his
knee on the lower ledge. If you use the knife, try to go for his heart.

Brauner:
Can be tricky. Bring holy water or cross as well as kunai and shuriken. Use
your whip to dangle yourself free of the blood lines, or throw kunai at them.
When he uses the blood spray, be careful to stand outside of its range. Your
whip and subweapons still can reach him there. When he transforms into a 
painting, you should have easy time avoiding it. Try using the kunai or your
whip to deal some damage to him. His painting summons are hard to dodge, but
if he does the blue medusa head thingies, you can use kunai or whip dangling
to destroy them without getting hit.
Ricochet rock can be very useful here, too.

Death:
For Jonathan, Death is a joke. Avoid his attacks, and be especially careful
for the scythe slashes and the big scythes. If he summons a swarm of scythes,
get behind him and attack away, or, if that's not possible, kneel down and
dangle your whip to create a safe passage.
Kunai, cross, shuriken and axe are very good weapons to bring to this battle.

Dracula:
Axe and kunai are must haves for this fight. Cross, bible and shuriken can 
be useful, too.

First form is easy - avoid his attacks, get behind him of possible. Use cross
or, preferably, shuriken or your whip to smack his head, everything else is 
too slow.

Second form is even easier. Spam your subweapons and smack at him with your
whip as quick as possible. As soon as he bows forward and puts his claws 
together, he's about to jump and use his poison rain attack. Avoid this!

Third form can be tricky, but for a well levelled Jonathan, even this form is
easy. When standing in between his hands, use the kunai and your whip to deal
good damage. When you are outside, throw axes or shuriken over his hands. Most
of his attacks are comparably easy to avoid.
Be very careful if he does the white summon circle, as this is when he 
prepares for the nuke attack. Get to the corner, if it's too close, take the 
hit from the fire pillars. If you have a Charlotte on your team, you don't 
even have to worry about that.
If he summons the hearts, get in front of the girl(s) in your team and take the
hit for them - you taking a bit of damage is better than your spellcasters
being charmed.
When he does the triangle attack, make sure you have at least one person in
the opposite corner. With that, it's far easier to avoid this attack.

Finally, a few hints on the third form:
There's a slight red aura around the hand which is going to slap towards you,
always keep an eye on his hands.

When Dracula glows dark blue, he is invulnerable. When he glows light blue, 
he is invulnerable to magic attacks, but physical hits still can damage him.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SURVIVAL

As if anyone plays Survival, lulz.

Anyway, your best bet is to keep your distance. If you play on Hard, try to 
avoid Gergoth's attacks as well as possible and attack him with some of your
big boss-killers, such as the kunai or the cross.

When only you and your opponent are left, it'll be harder. Try not to get too
close on any of your opponents. If you are fighting Soma or Alucard, make sure
to stay outside of their weapon range and hit them with your whip or a long 
ranged subweapon.
Fighting against Charlotte or Shanoa can be tricky, as they can blow you out of
the water in terms of long range attacks. Try to avoid their spells, and try to
hit as hard and quick as you can. Shanoa and Charlotte tend to be on the weak
side when close up, so try to hit them hard from close range. When fighting
Charlotte, try to interrupt her spells.
Jonathan mirrors can be annoying, as your opponent has the same or similar
chances as you do.

In any case bring the kunai and the cross, as they can be used defensively,
as well. Throw in the one or another Sonic Strike or Forward Roll to surprise
your opponent.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                               THANKS AND CREDITS

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

- Konami for this wonderful yet terribly addicting game (LOOT!).
- Toyzferall for giving me a great blueprint to organize the FAQ.
- Zaarock from GameFAQs-Forums for the explanation on the Sonic Strike glitch.
- Meos for grinding the hell out of me and the 2 Master Ring method for the 
wrecking ball.
- Richard Dressler for adding some details on the subweapon locations and the
invincibility trick for Puppet Master.
- Titzmann for his amazing Item Compendium Spreadsheet.
Go visit it here:
http://tinyurl.com/cvhditems

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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www.neoseeker.com

Copyright 2010 - Option (itsoption@gmx.net)
My nick on GameFAQs: AuT pBo Romulus

This FAQ was created by Option. It may freely be saved to your hard
drive, or printed, if it is not used for monetary transactions. You may post
it on a Website if you e-mail me first to inform me of this, no changes are
made, and that I am given credit for this FAQ. I reserve the right to
require any website hosting this work to remove it.

Castlevania: Harmony of Despair developed by Konami 2010. All Rights Reserved.

     
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