Castlevania: Harmony of Despair: Shanoa

                                      Castlevania: Harmony of Despair
                                   Character Guide to Shanoa by Option


Version History:
September 3rd 2010: FAQ created (1.0)



- Introduction [ITR]
- Basics [BSC]
   - General Introduction to Shanoa
   - Basic Controls
   - Character Advancement
   - Magnes
- Spells [SPL]
   - Spell List
   - Spells in Detail
   - Tips on Spell Levels
- Equipment [EQP]
  - Weapon Glyphs
  - Defensive Gear
- Strategies [STG]
  - Single Player
  - Co-Op
  - Survival

                               INTRODUCTION [ITR]


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.

Shanoa is my third favorite character in this game aside from Jonathan, whom I
already wrote a guide on, and Charlotte, who already has an amazing guide.

Since Shanoa and Jonathan play similar, you will notice that I've copypasted a 
few things from my Jonathan guide.

                               BASICS [BSC]


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


Shanoa is the main protagonist of Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia. She is a 
trained priest and exorcist, and due to the tattoo on her back, she is able to
use mystic glyphs that allow her to summon weapons and cast magic.

Order of Ecclesia is placed in the early 1800s, and happens during the absence
of the Belmont clan, thus the Order takes on destroying Dracula.

Shanoa reappears as playable character in Castlevania: Judgment, the fighting
game for the Nintendo Wii.

Unfortunately, though, Shanoa's role in Harmony of Despair is not very great,
as she is probably the worst character in the game, and Konami was not very
generous when creating this iteration of her. Which is quite a shame because
she is one of the most interesting and variable characters in the whole series.

Shanoa is fun to play as, nevertheless, and surprisingly solid when it comes
to playing alone. If you want to make the game challenging for you, Shanoa is
probably your best option.

Shanoa controls like everybody else in the game. She has a double jump, a slide
kick, a backdash and a jumpkick.
She can trigger a taunt by pressing Up, and this taunt also is used to absorb
glyphs from enemies. More to that later on, though.

Shanoa wields a total of 3 weapons in HD, which all are covered in the "Weapon
Glyph" section in the Equipment chapter.

Her Personal Skill is the Magnes glyph. Throughout all but the last stage in the
game, there are shiny white sphere scattered all over the place. When pressing
the RB button, a blue circle will surround Shanoa. When there's one of these
white magnets around, she will be pulled towards it and hang there. You can 
press into a direction, which will pull her there. If you let go, Shanoa will
be catapulted towards the opposite. So if you pull Shanoa down, she is sent
flying upwards.

Shanoa is probably the only character who doesn't have a piece of equipment or
a certain skill that can break the game. She is supposed to be a hybrid between
fighter and spellcaster, although Konami kinda messed up with her design.
Ironically, Shanoa is among the best characters to start out with, but the more
you progress and get better equipment, the worse she becomes. She seems very
strong at first, but pales in the endgame in comparison to the other characters.

Playing Shanoa is, as already mentioned earlier, very challenging, yet fun,
though, so you definitely should give her a shot if you want to make the game
a bit more difficult for you.

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

Her spells are unlike the spells of the other characters, though, in that her
spells will not level up the more copies of it you collect. The magic glyphs 
are more comparable to Jonathan's subweapons, and level through you using them. 
Every hit counts towards the total level, and eventually rises it up to level 9.
This can ridiculously slow, even when using a certain trick I will tell you 

As already mentioned, Shanoa can use the magnets scattered across the stages in
order to reach places other characters otherwise couldn't. There's some chests
that can be reached only by her easily, such as in Stage 3, and some areas can
be accessed quicker by Shanoa than by the other characters.
This makes Shanoa the most mobile character without using glitches or Yorick
souls, and especially when playing alone, so she is a surprisingly good pick 
if you want to go solo to get some equipment from purple chests.

If you play in teams and are in the third or fourth player slot, you can even
be very happy if you play Shanoa, as you can use the magnets to quicky go up
the tower without much trouble.

The only stage not having any magnets to use is Stage 6.

                               SPELLS [SPL]


Shanoa is designed to be both a competent spellcaster and fighter. Unfortunately
her spells are pretty bad in comparison to those of Charlotte and Soma's souls,
but she still can be useful in this regard.

You can equip up to 4 different spells (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.

All spells are gotten from enemies. More copies only mean that you can fill
another slot with the spell you got, so having 2 Ignis glyphs mean that you
can have, say, B and Up+B filled with Ignis. Otherwise it will do nothing else,
so getting 4 copies at most is more than enough.
- Ignis (Fire): Starting with. Drops from Aliorumnas.
- Grado (Ice): Drops from Aliorumnas.
- Fulgur (Lightning): Drops from Aliorumnas.
- Nitresco (Beam): Drops from Nova Skeleton.

As you can see, 3 of 4 spells are carried by one single enemy, the Aliorumnas.
The other one is easier to get a hold of, since the enemy carrying it only uses
that one.

Aliorumnas are found on Stages 2, 4, 5 and 6. They are the floating witches
with the bright white halo and the green-brown-ish robes. In 5 and 6, they only
use Fulgur, as far as I know. In 2 and 4, they vary between Grado and Ignis.

Nova Skeleton are the green skeletons with the red jewels in their foreheads.
They are found in Stages 5 and 6, and only drop the Nitresco, so it's a bit
easier here.

Absorbing a glyph is simple. When the enemy is about to attack, a blue flame
will start to form above them. Press Up as soon as you see the blue aura coming
out. After a few seconds, the aura will be pulled towards Shanoa's back and
when the screen flashes and you hear a sound and see a pop up saying the spell
name next to a green scroll, you got your glyph. Huzzah!

You start out the game with this spell.

Shanoa throws out her hand and shoots 3 fireballs that spread out - one straight
forward, one diagonally up, one diagonally down. The closer you are to your
victim, the higher the chance you will hit it with all three of the fireballs.

The damage is not spectacular, but it's a good spell to use when you're swarmed
by small enemies, such as Medusa Heads or Fleamen.

MP use: 15
Does Fire damage.

Shanoa summons a big icicle in front of her that goes straight forward until
it reaches an enemy or obstacle, where it shatters and if applicable, does
damage. LOTS of damage.

This spell is pretty good, as it does massive damage, but its uses are limited
due to its straight line and the single icicle being shot.

MP use: 15
Does Ice damage.

This spell has two versions. In any case, Shanoa throws out her hand and 
summons a lightning bolt.

The version depends on how close an enemy is.

If there is no enemy in immediate range, the bolt will go straight forward and,
if there IS an enemy or and obstacle like a candle in that range (which goes 
quite far), they will be struck by it.

The second version is if there is an enemy in closer range. The bolt will then
home into that enemy and hit it. If there is something in the way (candles...),
it will be destroyed too. When there's more than one enemy close, the bolt will
go for the closest.

This spell is among her more useful ones. It drains magic quickly, though, and
is comparably weak when it comes to raw damage, but the homing property does
help quite a bit, especially against opponents like Dracula's third form. There
she can just stay in a corner and cast lightnings, which will go through the
hands. Awesome.
MP use: 15
Does Lightning damage.

Last but not least, Nitresco is the spell with the most names in this game. For
Soma, it's called Nova Skeleton soul, for Charlotte Piercing Beam. And all 3
versions essentially do the same.

Shanoa reaches out and summons a mid-ranged thick purple beam of light that 
burns everything in its range and can hit multiple times. Shanoa can move right
after casting Nitresco, the beam stays in front of Shanoa and moves with her.

Best spell in her arsenal - does good damage because of its holy attribute, hits
multiple times and is perfect for aiding her melee combat. Too bad she shares
this spell with Soma and Charlotte, if it was hers alone, she wouldn't be as bad
of a fighter/mage hybrid.

MP use: 15
Does Holy damage.

Shanoa, like Jonathan, needs to use her spell glyphs to gradually level them up.
However, unlike Jonathan, Shanoa only has 4 spells to level up, which makes it
a lot easier for her to max out. It still will take a while.

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.
Backdash Cancelling / Spell 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.

To use the backdash spam, equip the spell you want to use on the Down + B
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 spell animation.
If you do this multiple times, you will be able to throw masses of spells
until you run out of MP.

This will allow you to speed up the progress on almost all spells.
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 spell levels.
If your friend wants to level up spells or Jonathans's subweapons, 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 Shanoa use her HP instead of her MP. Then backdash spam the hell out of
your spells. As soon as you run out of health to use the spell, 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.

The game does not count the damage you deal, but the amount of hits you 
do with your spells.

Even with these methods, you still will take a long time to max out Shanoa.


                               EQUIPMENT [EQP]


Shanoa's weapon glyphs are only 3, so there's no real need to list them.
Confodere you start out with, 2 of them. The other 2 glyphs drop from boss 
chests on Normal, going through Stages 3 to 6, as far as I know.

Similar to Jonathan's Vampire Killer, the weapon glyphs become stronger the more
you level up your spells.

You start out the game with this weapon.

Similar to knives and stabbing swords from Soma and Alucard, Shanoa stabs 
forward with a rapier summoned out of her hand. Has decent speed and range and
can be comboed into a second rapier stab from a second Confodere glyph on her
other hand.

Good weapon to use and makes her solid when starting out.

Does Stab damage.

Shanoa transforms her hand into a big fist made of stone, punching forward and
hitting everything in her way. It is a bit slower than Confodere, but still 
very quick. It has more power and more range than the rapier, so switch to 
Lapiste as soon as you get this.

Does Blunt damage.

Shanoa tosses a blade of wind that drops diagonally down. If it hits the ground,
it continues going a bit forward along the floor. Damagewise, Pneuma is the
weakest weapon, but it has the best range and can be used like a projectile.
It also hits multiple times, I think up to three times, if it initially touches
the enemy until the blade disappears.
I've seen that having several blades out at the same time seems to do a bit 
more damage per hit as well.
If you like to stay in safe range, this is your weapon, but it's pretty handy
in melee combat as well, don't get me wrong.

Does Slash damage.

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.

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

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 weapons.
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.

DEF +18, CON +5
MP +8
Notes: Solid robe, the MP boost might come in handy. You'll eventually find 
better stuff soon.

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 Shanoa.

Demon's Mail
ATK +2, DEF +31, STR +4, CON +4
+13 Defense agaist Dark attacks.
-13 Defense against Fire, Ice, Lightning and Holy attacks.
Notes: One of the best armors in the game as a whole. If you are going for
a more melee based Shanoa, this is your thing, just stay away from lethal
fireballs or lightnings.

Elfin Robe
DEF +11, CON +2, INT +2, MND +2
MP +2
+5 Defense against Fire and Ice attacks.
Notes: Great armor when going into Hard mode and if you are more prone to
use spells.

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: One of the best armors in the game, but is beaten out by the like
of Death's Robe.

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

Platinum Mail
DEF +22
Notes: One of the better armors defense-wise, but adds nothing else.

Princess Coat
DEF +18, LCK +10
MP +5
Notes: The best armor in the game to equip when farming for items.

Serenity Robe
DEF +21, CON +5, LCK +5
MP +7
+8 Defense against Fire, Ice and Lightning attacks.
Notes: Solid armor, similar to Elfin Robe in all regards.

Three 7s
DEF +7, LCK +7
HP +7, MP +7
Notes: When farming for enemy drops, use this, unless you have a 
Princess Coat.

Arachne Hennin
DEF +7, CON +2, MND +2, LCK +2
MP +10
Notes: Very good head gear to use early on in Hard mode, but there's 
better hats out there. LCK-boost aids farming items.

Holy Veil
DEF +5, INT +10
MP +3
+5 defense against Dark and Holy attacks.
Notes: Best head gear for spell-based Shanoa due to its high INT-boost.

Open Veil
ATK +2, DEF +6, STR +3, CON +3
MP +3
Notes: Very solid head gear for the early game.

Stone Mask
DEF +2, LCK +1
+15 defense against Petrifying
Notes: Good for farming items, but Arachne Hennin is better here.

Traveler's Hat
DEF +7, CON +2, MND +3
Notes: One of the best hats for the girls, and generally solid overall.

Artemis Shoes
DEF +9, CON +2, INT +2, MND +2, LCK +5
MP +5
Notes: Best shoes for Shanoa outside of her exclusive shoes and Succubus

Glass Shoes
DEF +3, LCK +3
Notes: Only use them for farming items and if you don't have Artemis

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.

Succubus Boots
DEF +5, CON +2, INT +4, MND +2
MP +3
+20 Defense against Dark attacks
Notes: Among the best shoes for Shanoa. If you are more spell-based, they 
are better than Artemis Shoes, even.

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

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 spells more.

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.

Crimson Mail
ATK +4, DEF +15, STR +4, MND +8
HP +10, MP +5
+10 Defense against Fire attacks

Crimson Mask
DEF +6, STR +2
HP +3, MP +3

Crimson Greaves
ATK +2, DEF +6, STR +2
HP +1, MP +1
+10 Defense against Fire attacks

Notes for the Crimson set: The Crimson stuff is actually pretty good if you 
want  to play a more offensive Shanoa. Its defense  stats are mediocre, but 
the ATK and STR boosts help out quite a bit.

Minerva Mail
DEF +26, STR +4, MND +12
HP +15, MP +15
+30 Defense against Curse

Minerva Mask
DEF +13, MND +10
HP +8, MP +8

Minerva Greaves
DEF +8, STR +2, MND +3
HP +5, MP +5
+15 Defense against Curse

Notes for the Minerva set: Probably some of the best armor for Shanoa, 
especially if you are going for a hybrid between melee and magic. Don't forget 
to equip INT-boosting stuff, though.

Valkyrie Mail
ATK +3, DEF +18, STR +3, MND +4
HP +5, MP +10
+30 Defense against Poison

Valkyrie Mask
ATK +1, DEF +8, STK +1, MND +5
HP +5, MP +5

Valkyrie Greaves
DEF +7, ATK +1, MND +2
HP +3, MP +3
+15 Defense against Poison

Notes for the Valkyrie set: Basically a poor (wo)man's Minerva set, the Valkyrie
set is alright. If you have the Minerva version of the item, equip that one,
otherwise use the Valkyrie one. As said earlier, though, don't forget to use
INT-boosting equipment to deal more damage with your spells!

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 spells. Wearing 2 rings stacks the levelling

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

Moon Brooch
DEF +4, CON +3, MND +3, LCK +1
HP +5, MP +5
Notes: Poor man's Venus Brooch.

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 spells at all, this is pretty good to use,

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

Venus Brooch
DEF +5, CON +3, MND +3, LCK +3
HP +7, MP +7
Notes: I think this is exclusive to Shanoa. Anyway, this is a very solid
accessory to bring along if you don't have a Moon- or Sunstone.

                               STRATEGIES [STG]


Shanoa is actually solid when playing solo, even against most bosses. However,
since she still is pretty much the worst character in the game, she still will
have to do more than the other characters in order to succeed. Some bosses are
pretty troublesome for Shanoa, and can be challenging to fight against, so keep
that in mind when going alone with Shanoa.

In Co-Op, Shanoa is not very useful. She usually has to stay behind, but if you
have Pneuma and a good level on her spells, you will be better aid for your
party members. 

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

LMAO. Well, to be fair, Gergoth is LMAO for everybody. Ahem...
Anyway, Gergoth is fairly easy. Grado is awesome here, as it does massive 
damage to the cuffs on his legs, quickly break them and do even MORE massive
His attacks are easy to avoid, just watch out for the lots of monsters when you
break down with the tower.

Puppet Master:
Probably the hardest for Shanoa since you don't have multihit weapons outside
of Pneuma, Ignis and Nitresco. In fact, Nitresco and Pneuma are probably your
safest bets to destroy the dolls he puts into the iron maiden.
Outside of that, the Puppet Mater is easy for Shanoa - being a big target 
means you can use Ignis or Nitresco to aid your attacks, and due to Magnes, 
you can reach him quickly if he leaves the room and goes somewhere else.

This boss is hard for Shanoa, but not because he is hard on itself, but rather
because you will have trouble hitting him. Your best bet is probably using 
Grado  and going for his heart or his face. Do NOT use Fulgur, though, as it 
doesn't home into his vulnerable spots.
Ignis and Nitresco might be useful when his face is close to the golden 

You will need some time for this.

This guy is actually pretty easy for Shanoa. Go up close, use Ignis, Nitresco
or Grado while spamming the hell out of your weapons. When he gets into his
portrait, use Fulgur to reach him even if he's not in your melee or Ignis range.

Be careful of his summons, though. Use Ignis to keep the Medusa Heads away.

Can be tricky, but is easy if you know what to do. If he summons his sickle
swarm, you can use Ignis or Pneuma glyphs to stay safe. Alternatively, use
the magnets in his room to toss yourself behind Death and hit him from there.
If he summons the 6 big sickles or the red fireballs, stay away and use 
Fulgur. Avoid his slash attacks.
Grado is not a very good idea, stick with Ignis and Nitresco on close range 
and use Fulgur from distance.

First form is easy. Attack his head quickly, or, if you are too far away, use
Fulgur, as it homes into his head.

Second form is even easier - just spam the hell out of Grado or use a mix
between Nitresco and your melee attacks.

Third form can be tricky. If he summons the charm attack, try to avoid it
AT ALL COSTS. Hope there is a male character to take the hit for you, otherwise
try to dodge it as well as possible.

Fulgur homes into Dracula's heads and pierces through the hands, so use that 
if you are outside and want to keep your distance. Use Ignis or, better, 
Nitresco if you are inside his claws and smack his head with your weapons.

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.

Come on. Who plays Survival? I mean, outside of grinding?

Fulgur and Grado are your friends. Use Pneuma or, if you want to go more into
the melee range, Lapiste. Confodere might be too risky.

If you fight against a Charlotte, try to disrupt her spellcasting with Fulgur.

When up against Soma, Alucard or Jonathan, it might be more difficult. Stay
outside of their range and use your Fulgur and Grado. Jonathan's axes can be
smacked away, use that to your advantage if he uses those.

Shanoa is probably among the more difficult Survival characters, though, so...
Not sure if you wanna use her.

                               THANKS AND CREDITS


- Konami for this wonderful yet terribly addicting game (LOOT!).
- Toyzferall for giving me a great blueprint to organize the FAQ.
- Titzmann for his amazing Item Compendium Spreadsheet.
Go visit it here:



Copyright 2010 - Option (
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
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Castlevania: Harmony of Despair developed by Konami 2010. All Rights Reserved.