Dead Rising 2: Case Zero: Levelling Guide

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				Dead Rising 2:
				  
				  Case Zero

				Leveling Guide

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////////////////////////////////// Contents \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
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I. Introduction

II. Version History

III. How Do I Level Up?
	IIIa. PP Required to Level
	IIIb. Levelup Bonuses

IV. Leveling Tips and Tricks

V. FAQs

VI. Thanks and Legal/Contact Info

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////////////////////////////// I. Introduction \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
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Hello again, fellow GameFAQers! Alucadrian here, with my second superlative 
effort in the wide world of game guide authoring. I've submitted once before 
(a Scouting guide for Dragon Quest: Monsters on the Nintendo DS), and am a
professional writer by trade. Hopefully this short guide will prove useful to 
the various vicarious vengeants fighting for family in a father's facade, 
stranded in the arid sands of Still Creek.

Dead Rising 2 - Case Zero is a pioneering example of a new notion in online DLC
marketing that can be adequately described as "Optional Prologuing." The idea
of elective enhancement of an existing software purchase through DLC is well-
worn already, of course; relatively few indeed are the Xbox 360 owners who 
haven't found some reason to want to purchase one of the hundreds of expansion
chapters, bonus items or equipment, and other such peripheral content off of
the Live Arcade Marketplace. What DR:CZ experiments with is the idea that a
pre-release prologue package packed with points of pique (and containing the
actual game's source engine - independent of a disc! - under the hood) could
conceivably generate interest, intrigue, and ultimately added income when the 
game itself releases. Instead of designing the DLC to require the game to play
(thereby automatically restricting its sales to a number equal-to-or-less-than
the sale figure of the full game), a pre-release such as this one creates a 
bite-sized snack that's equal parts trial version and rental, but with the
added appeal of carryover bonuses and exclusive extra story. It's a bold 
business move, and we should all be watching to see how it pans out. Its
success, after all, would be all the red carpet the gaming industry would need
to start rolling out similar preview prologues in all manner of titles to come.

But enough talk. Have at it! Let's see if we can't figure out the best ways to
get our new good buddy Chuck up to Level 5, the max level achievable in this
chapter, with the best bonuses brains and brawn can buy. :-D

NOTE: This guide does contain spoilers for the plot of this prologue. If you're
  a story-minded soul (and I already know you are since you're reading a guide 
  for a game add-on that's ENTIRELY STORY-BASED), you have been warned. I will
  endeavor to keep any references to plot events as vague as I can, while still
  communicating the information this guide is designed to impart.

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//////////////////////////// II. Version History \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
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9/05/2010 : Guide version 1.0 under construction! Should have it finished today
	without a problem, I'd think; this ain't my longest effort, nor my
	first rodeo. Got myself a soda, a sammich, and a fresh level 1 Chuck.
	Let's do this.

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////////////////////////// III. How Do I Level Up? \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
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The easiest, most basic answer to this section's title question is this: You
require a certain, preset amount of Prestige Points (PP) to reach a higher 
level, at which point you gain a bonus to your stats, a Combo Card, or both.

Yes. I know. Duh, and all that. But hey, somewhere out there is a guy to
whom the most baseline concept of an RPG-style point leveling system is total
news, okay? Just... go fix a sammich or something for this part if you're that
easily bored, and catch up with me below. As for you, That Guy, stay with me.
No, I don't care if you want a sammich too, you'll just have to wait.

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PP is earned in several distinct ways:
--------------------------------------

- The largest chunks (but also the most time-consuming) are accrued by rescuing
  any of the 10 possible survivors found throughout the prologue, with 
  3000-3500PP earned for each individual brought back to the safety of 
  the gas station, with one exception (Dick, who is considered "rescued" when 
  he reaches his pawnshop and begins fleecing you as a war profiteering 
  bastard). A loose-end 1000PP bonus can also be obtained anytime you place a 
  Frying Pan weapon onto a Stove, heating it and creating the strong-attack- 
  capable cherry-red Frying Pan.

- PP is also earned in much smaller quantities each and every time a zombie is 
  killed in any way whatsoever resulting from your actions. Chopping through a 
  crowd with a chainsaw or any other basic found weapon, running them over with
  a pushcart or motorcycle, or striking them with thrown objects will earn you 
  PP slowly and relatively invisibly. 

- Killing zombies with hand-made Combo Weapons will award more PP per kill AND 
  display the higher amount onscreen in white with each kill. Drinking beer 
  from the Beer Hat Combo Item also awards 150PP per swig.

- Slaying zombies with a Combo Weapon for which you have earned a full Combo 
  Card (I will explain exactly how this is accomplished in the subsections to
  follow) will earn you the most violence-based PP, displaying the maxed-out 
  potential earning onscreen in red after each kill.

- Defeating Jed, the psychopath boss at the end of the prologue, will award you
  10000PP. Going out of your way to run down any of the military soldiers 
  during the escape sequence at the end will also net you 1000PP per grieving 
  army widow.

- Drinking too much real water, too rapidly can also create a sudden buildup of
  PP, due to the body's digestive tract reaching operational limits and 
  reacting by expelling the excess material without maximum processing. Despite
  the relative ease with which this can be done, it doesn't actually level you 
  up in real life, and excessive "grinding" of this method of PP creation will 
  only render you unable to hold it in your twilight years. See the section 
  labeled "Your Bathroom" for a solution to this. But please don't email me 
  your findings.

Upon reaching a preset goal amount for each level, Chuck will immediately Level
Up and receive one or two Level Up Bonuses, all known possibilities of which 
will be described in detail below.

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///// IIIa. PP Required to Level \\\\\\
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Level 1 - 0 PP (See below*)

Level 2 - 20,000 PP

Level 3 - 40,000 PP

Level 4 - 60,000 PP

Level 5 - 80,000 PP

Level 6 - 110,000 PP (See below**)



* This one can be tricky; it's not just killing zombies. First, you have to get
	an Xbox 360. This may also require you to purchase a television. Next,
	you'll need a job that pays you at least $5.00 before you are fired, 
	and access to that money digitally. Then you'll have to find some way 
	to at least temporarily obtain internet access, and spend your five 
	beans on XBLA to buy this demo. Wait for the download to finish. 
	Finally, highlight it on your menu screen and press Start about six 
	times, waiting in between each press for prompts or cutscenes to end. 
	BAM! There you are. You've reached Level 1! Whoo. Luckily, it's all 
	downhill from here.

** Okay, first thing you have to do is wait until September 28th (U.S.). It is 
	recommended that you sit or lie down for added comfort, and hunt some 
	local flora and/or fauna to sustain yourself in the meantime. More to 
	follow as our crack team continues to investigate (though I have a 
	hunch it may take them until, oh, say, September 28th or so to make 
	any significant progress on the case). One detail that has been
	discovered already is that even after reaching level 5, the PP bar will
	continue to fill again as normal until you reach 110,000 PP, though
	nothing in particular happens at that point as you can only reach level
	6 and beyond in the full release version of Dead Rising 2.

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//////// IIIb. Levelup Bonuses \\\\\\\\
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This section is a compiling of the possible bonuses available at each new
level of experience (prestige?). Regardless of the various theories I have seen
here and there across the forums, the bonuses are neither completely random nor
completely scripted, but rather a combination of both. Here is how the system 
actually works.

Levelup bonuses come in two distinct columns, but in three separate categories.

Column A consists of one category: stat/attribute bonuses, or bonuses to

- Attack
- Health
- Inventory Space
- Throw Distance

Column B consists of two categories: 

- Skills
- Combo Cards

It is POSSIBLE to:

- Receive a maximum of FOUR levelups, for a potential total of EIGHT levelup
  bonuses, during this prologue chapter
- Receive two bonuses (one from both Column A and B) in a single levelup
- Receive only a single bonus from Column B (a Skill, or a Combo Card)

It is IMPOSSIBLE to:

- Receive two bonuses from the second column in a single levelup (a Skill and a
  Combo Card together), even if they're from different categories
- Receive two bonuses from the same category in a single levelup (two stat 
  bonuses, two skills or two Combo Cards together)
- Receive only a bonus from Column A (a stat bonus) without also receiving 
  either a Skill or a Combo Card bonus from Column B

Allow me to provide a visual to explain what I mean:

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|	|    Column A (50%)*	|	     Column B (100%)**		 |
|	|-----------------------|----------------------------------------|
|	|     Stat Bonuses	|  Skills (25%)	   | Combo Cards (75%)	 |
| Level	|  (Limit 2 Per Stat)	| (Limit 2 Total)  |			 |
|-------|-----------------------|------------------|---------------------|
|   2	|ATK+, HP+, INV+, THR+  |     Backdrop     |    Drill Bucket     |
|   	|			|		   |			 |
|   3	|ATK+, HP+, INV+, THR+  |Backdrop,Jump Kick|Drill Bucket,I.E.D.  |
|	|			|		   |			 |
|   4	|ATK+, HP+, INV+, THR+  |Backdrop,Jump Kick|Drill Bucket,I.E.D., |
|	|			|		   |      Molotov	 |
|   5	|ATK+, HP+, INV+, THR+	|Backdrop,Jump Kick|  I.E.D., Molotov	 |
|	|			|		   |       		 |
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*  There is a roughly 50% chance of receiving a Column A stat bonus from 
   leveling up, and a 50% chance of receiving none.
** There is a 100% chance of receiving a Skill or Combo Card bonus when
   leveling up, which is then broken down into a 25% chance of a Skill on
   any given levelup, and a 75% chance of a Combo Card. The exception to
   this rule plays out if you have already been awarded all 3 Combo Cards

As you can see from the chart, certain rules hold true despite the random-
seeming nature of the system at play within this game.

- It is possible to receive a particular stat increase at any levelup, UNLESS
  you have already received two increases in that particular stat from previous
  levelups. You therefore cannot have greater than 6 HEALTH, 3 ATTACK, 6
  INVENTORY SPACES, or 3 THROW DISTANCE, and you cannot have the maximum values
  of more than two of these at best. You can, however, try for and accept 
  increases of each of them by 1 apiece if you prefer to remain well-rounded.
- There are only two Skills available during the prologue, Backdrop and Jump
  Kick. Jump Kick IS NOT AVAILABLE unless Backdrop has already been learned, so
  it CANNOT be learned at Level 2 (this is different from Dead Rising 1). If
  both skills have already been learned, the chance of receiving a Combo Card
  for any subsequent levelups climbs to 100%.
- The Combo Cards are ALWAYS received in the listed order. You will never get
  the Combo Card for anything other than the Drill Bucket until you have
  already gotten the Drill Bucket card, and even after you do you will always
  receive the card for the I.E.D. next. Should you receive all 3 Combo Card
  bonuses during your first 3 levelups (Drill Bucket at 2, I.E.D. at 3, and
  Molotov at 4), the bonus at level 5 will be the Backdrop Skill 100% of the
  time, and it will be impossible to receive the Jump Kick move thereafter.
- Because it is impossible to learn more than 2 Skills in this prologue, and
  also impossible NOT to receive a Combo Card if you don't get a Skill, you
  are absolutely guaranteed to top out at Level 5 with at least the Combo Cards
  for the Drill Bucket and I.E.D., and the Backdrop Skill. The Molotov Card 
  and Jump Kick Skill are not guaranteed, though you will necessarily receive
  one of the two by the time you reach level 5 (fortunately, the card is an 
  easy choice to bypass for now; I'll explain in the next section what I mean).
  Likewise, however, neither of the 2 skills are guaranteed either. The ONLY 
  bonuses that are absolutely guaranteed to every player who plays regardless 
  of luck, chance, or the hand of fate, are the Drill Bucket and I.E.D. Combo 
  Cards, and the Backdrop Skill. There are no guaranteed stat upgrades, only
  the probability of one (which remains steady at around 50%), and the
  specific stat gained is always perfectly random; each of the four stats has
  a constant 25% probability of being chosen, unless as mentioned before you
  have already received 2 bonuses to that stat in which case it is dropped
  from the probability table from then on.

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//////////////////////// IV. Leveling Tips and Tricks \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
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- It is marginally faster to level up by focusing on zombie-hunting for a 
  single run through the game, than it is to try and level up by playing the 
  plot-line and rescuing survivors as they appear. Frankly, though, there isn't
  too terribly much of a difference either way. The entire game is only meant 
  to last for two hours of play, after all. If you find yourself desperately
  needing to shave a few minutes off of those two hours in order to fit Dead
  Rising 2: Case Zero into your day, you should probably revisit your schedule
  in general.
- The single highest-return PP reward for any weapon in the game is the 2,500PP
  awarded for the strong attack with the Boomstick Combo Weapon. You can create
  one of these by combining a pitchfork (hardware store, bar) and a shotgun
  (sheriff's office 2nd floor, hunting store), or by picking up the respawning
  one that Jed produces after you defeat him near the end of the in-game day.
  Before you go getting all excited about that, though, you should probably
  know that the Boomstick's strong attack is only available to players who have
  unlocked its Combo Card... which is possible to get ONLY as a bonus for
  defeating Jed. So this weapon and its huge PP payout are relatively useless 
  for leveling in the prologue (since you don't get access to its power attack
  until you've completed practically the entire prologue anyway), but can still
  be useful for amassing superfluous PP if you're one of those who enjoys 
  earning a spot on the XBLA leaderboards.
- The single most efficient PP-earning weapon is the Electric Rake, which
  produces a healthy 200PP per strike even without its Combo Card (which is not
  available during this prologue anyway), strikes exactly 50 times before
  breaking, and can be reassembled swiftly by saving and reloading in the diner
  bathroom to respawn its components. Here is a short list of the most popular
  choices, with their comparative efficiency laid bare:

  - Electric Rake: 200PP per strike x 50 strikes = 10000PP per item
  - Paddlesaw: 125PP per strike x 60 strikes = 7500PP per item
  - Boomstick*: 100PP per strike x 30 strikes = 3000PP per item
  - Spiked Bat**: 50-200PP per strike x 75 strikes = 3750-15000PP per item

  *  This chart assumed a Boomstick user who hasn't yet received the Boomstick
     Combo Card for defeating Jed, since if you HAVE received that card yet are
     still worried for some reason about leveling up, you're probably going to
     have to start over anyway to reattain the bonuses you actually wanted. For
     the curious, however, the Boomstick's full potential is a whopping 25000PP
     for one full run of 10 heavy strikes, enough to gain a single level and
     change in roughly the time it takes to tie a shoe.
  ** The Spiked Bat is actually a potentially greater total PP earner than the
     Electric Rake due to its comparable payout per heavy strike and 50% higher
     durability, but it loses out on the one thing that matters the most in a
     question of efficiency: Time. The animation for the Spiked Bat's heavy
     strike takes almost five full seconds and can kill only one zombie at a
     time. In short, the Electric Rake does the same job far faster in the
     longer run.
- It is incredibly important for the application of the information in this
  guide that you SAVE YOUR GAME DIRECTLY BEFORE LEVELING UP each time. When
  your status screen tells you you're less than 200PP from one of the multiples
  of 20,000 that represent the prologue's levelup milestones, stop killing
  anything and go save your game. This way if you don't get anything you wanted
  you can simply pause, quit, reload, and immediately level again in one strike
  until you score the bonus or bonuses you were waiting for!

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////////////////////////////////// V. FAQs \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
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It was finding the GameFAQs message boards chock full of repeated questions on
this subject that motivated me to pen this brief guide in the first place.
Though at first glance it seems straightforward enough (kill kill kill, rescue 
rescue kill kill, rescue kill boss kill drive done), the process does actually 
have a bit of nuance and wiggle room to it, as well as a few questions any
self-respecting completionist will find themselves asking. Like:

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Q. Is it feasible to try to reach Level 5 on one playthrough without worrying
   about the case files, then start at level 5 on a subsequent playthrough to
   tackle the storyline?

A. Absolutely, it is feasible. Some players, myself included, automatically
   gravitate toward this methodology, preferring the challenge of mastering the
   system over the more obvious challenge of just beating the game itself. 
   Others may prefer to play through the storyline, using only the PP they 
   accrue naturally to level as they go. A full game playthrough complete with 
   10 successful rescues, one big boss fight bonus and a healthy amount of 
   zombie killing along the way can also easily get you to Level 5. Really, it
   just comes down to how you prefer to play.
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Q. What is the fastest/easiest/sweetest/sexiest way to reach Level 5?

A. Fastest - Exit the gas station. Grab the Paddle across the street on the
   concrete ledge behind the white van, then grab the rake around front of the
   same building and run all the way east to the hardware store. Enter
   and grab the chainsaw. Enter the maintenance room just next door to the 
   right and combine the paddle and chainsaw. Use the resultant paddlesaw in 
   the street outside until it breaks; this will produce 7500PP. As
   soon as it breaks, run into the narrow dead-end alley across the street from
   the maintenance shed and grab the battery at the end. Return to the mainten-
   ance room and combine it with the rake. Use the resultant Electric Rake in 
   the street outside until it breaks as well. This should produce 17500PP
   total. When the electric rake breaks on you, enter the diner on the
   corner and save in the bathroom. Pause, select Quit, Load, your savefile,
   and you're back in the action in twenty seconds right where you left off...
   but with everything freshly respawned. Exit the diner, enter the hardware 
   store, grab a rake, go get the battery from the alley, and use it to exhaus-
   tion once more for another 10,000PP in two minutes. Rinse, repeat.
   Don't bother running all the way back to get another paddle for a Paddlesaw
   a second time; it's proven far faster to just use the Electric Rake over and
   over again from that save point. Using this method, I successfully leveled
   to 5 from scratch eight separate times during my testing for this guide, and
   was finished each time before 1pm (less than half an hour of play).

   Easiest - Exit the gas station. See zombies, forget which buttons do what in
   a moment of vicarious panic that briefly embarrasses you in front of your
   significant other. Get bit twice crossing the street, figure out how to jump
   onto a car through error and trial and error, then climb onto the van. Feel 
   proud of yourself for a private moment for doing that, but say nothing.
   Hesitantly ask said significant other if they would rather play, throw the
   controller at them before they can reply and leave the room, claiming that
   you're hungry and are going to make a sammich. Return minutes later to find
   the other person doing all the work for you, then notice that they are
   expertly following the "Fastest" strategy laid out above. Fall even deeper
   in love with their obvious brilliance than you were already. Daydream about
   planning your wedding with the other person, until they reach Level 5.

   Sweetest - That word doesn't have any meaning here, because all available
   methods of killing zombies and accruing PP are arguably sweet.

   Sexiest - Follow the instructions listed under "Easiest," but replace
   sammich excuse with successful seduction of significant other. Afterward,
   remind them that "don't they have something they're supposed to be doing"
   for you, and exit a conquering hero or heroine. Victory dancing prior to
   exit not recommended.
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Q. How do I reroll my levelup chance if I don't like what I got? Do I have to
   erase my Savefile entirely and start from scratch?

A. Not if you save at any bathroom right before you level. The one in the diner
   right across the street from the hardware store at the far eastern edge of
   town works great in combination with my "Fastest" strategy detailed in 
   answer to a question above. You can save while holding a large weapon like
   the Electric Rake or Paddlesaw, so if you simply check your status screen
   and save just before you hit one of the 20,000PP milestones you can reload,
   level with one kill, check the results, and reload again as many times as
   you wish until you get the levelup bonuses you want.
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Q. How do I get more Combo Cards, and which ones can I potentially get?

A. Additional Combo Cards are earned via leveling up, and represent the basic
   reward for doing so. You will receive a Combo Card with each level up by
   default (75% chance) unless it is replaced by the lower-odds chance of 
   getting a new Skill instead (25% chance). There is no way to receive Combo 
   Cards beyond the three that are available with levelups in the prologue and
   the one your receive as a bossfight reward; it has nothing to do with how 
   many times you've built the item, kills racked up with it, or any other 
   theoretical factors beyond leveling up. There are therefore no Combo Cards 
   available for the Air Horn, Beer Hat, Paddlesaw, or Electric Rake until the 
   release of Dead Rising 2 on September 28th, 2010 (for U.S. consumers).
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Q. What are the best possible stats/skills/combo cards I could have?

A. This is another question that comes down to your own personal play style
   and preferences. The majority of forumgoers seem to prefer Inventory Space
   bonuses above and beyond all others, likely because of the periodic fluctua-
   tion caused by having to temporarily carry two items in order to make one, a
   problem the Frank Westies never had to deal with before for anything other 
   than juice creation. If you're asking my personal opinion, I would answer as
   follows:

   Attack: 1		   Skill - Backdrop
   Health: 6		   Skill - Jump Kick
   Inventory: 6		   Combo Card - Drill Bucket
   Throw Distance: 1	   Combo Card - I.E.D.

   Additional attack only really matters against psychopaths, and Jed just
   isn't that hard to beat, even at level 1, with the proper item set. The Jump
   Kick is a mandatory part of my playstyle in a Dead Rising game, which
   focuses on relatively uninterrupted travel between points for maximum chance
   at total completion of all tasks, major and minor. Throw Distance can stay
   at zero for the entire duration of the full game, too, for all I care; I
   never use anything that requires being thrown, and I don't throw the objects
   I'd be better off hanging onto and using. As for the Combo Cards, they're
   sort of mandatory, and while the I.E.D. isn't a bad weapon to swing around
   I doubt I'd really go out of my way to extensively use any of the existing 
   Combo Items in a serious, full-length game (save to gather additional PP
   for leveling purposes, of course).

   In short, I'd rather have what I need now (health and more equipment handy)
   than haul around stuff I *might* need a month from now in the main game. Not
   when I can get it just as easily in the main game anyway if I need it.
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Q. Is it possible that Jimmy Hoffa is buried somewhere in Still Creek?

A. It is absolutely, 100% definitely a remote possibility, yes.
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//////////////////// VI. Thanks and Legal/Contact Info \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
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Thanks as always starts with GameFAQs itself and Jeff "CJayC" Veasey, the 
site's senior editor. You're the nexus of a site that's helped me countless 
times with as many different games, and I appreciate all your hard work!

This guide is copyrighted to Alucadrian, c. 2010.

Anyone who wishes to post my guide on their site may freely do so with my 
permission, provided they ask me with an email first. Anyone in violation of 
this is kind of a silly asshole.

Anyone with questions, comments, suggestions or corrections please feel welcome
to email me anytime at alucadrian at gmail dot com.

Thanks for reading!
     
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