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This mission has Dante navigating the Mitis Forest to get to Echidna. Even though it's the same map as the one you took Nero through in Mission 7, Capcom decided to switch things up a bit to keep it from getting stale. Now, Echidna's power hangs over the forest like a suffocating miasma, frustrating your attempt to navigate through it. Zones no longer lead to their neighboring areas according to the map: Instead, black clouds of smoke teleport Dante to different locations in the forest, making navigation difficult. Getting through without knowing the new associations boils down to nothing more than trial and error.
Ancient Training GroundEdit
You will begin this mission in the Ancient Training Ground. There are a couple of ways to get to the next area. First method: go straight to the bridge and jump off the balcony located at the center. Be prepared, though, because down there you will fight those pestering Chimera-infested Scarecrows. After you defeat them, keep moving forward through the fog, either path should bring you to the next area. Second method: zone through the door at the other end of the bridge. However, only by jumping down via the first method can you get to all the breakable pods.
- Note: There are six breakable pods here.
If you zoned in here from the smoke portals, move onto the bridge, destroy the pods, and jump off the left side. If you walked here from the door, destroy the pods on the bridge, then jump off. More chimera scarecrows. Make sure to break all the pods in this area.
The zone beneath the archway leads to the Ruined Valley, but this isn't where you want to go. Zone through the smoke screen over the walkway, instead.
- Note: There are six breakable pods in this area.
You will be up on the cliff as if first entering the forest. Jump down and you will be walled in by red barriers with some Chimera Assaults. Kill them to move on. Ignore the two paths on the same level as your battle with the assaults, but make sure to break the stuff in their alcoves. Head to the smoke on the stairs and zone through it.
- Note: There are 11 breakable pods in this area.
Kill the assaults and take the smoke portal opposite the map of your entrance.
- Note: There are 9 breakable pods here.
Lapis River & Ruined LowlandsEdit
Here, some Mephistos will attack you, but you won't be trapped in with them. You can kill them for some style points, or ignore them and keep going. There are exits along the path, but none of these go to where you want to. Instead, jump down into the river and jump through the portal underneath the bridge.
If you want to get all the hidden orbs in this chapter to improve your score, you will have to take the NORTHEAST exit. This will take you to the Ruined Lowlands. It is filled with Chimera Assaults, so be careful. Get the hidden orbs in one of the corners before zoning. The portal that appears takes you back to the Lapis River.
- Note: There are 12 breakable pods in the Lapis River, and four in the Ruined Lowlands.
Windswept Valley & Ruined ChurchEdit
From the zone beneath the Lapis River, you're back in the Valley again, but this time on top of the steps and in front of the ruined church. Break the two pods behind the fountain and zone into the church.
There are no enemies in the church, just stuff to break. Let off some steam at the Combat Adjudicator for a Blue Orb Fragment. Take the door on the bottom floor, as the on the second floor takes you back to the Windswept Valley.
- Note: There are two breakable pods you can reach in the valley and 19 in the Ruined Church.
Lost Woods & Hidden PitEdit
More Chimera Assaults in the Lost Woods, but you don't have to kill them to proceed if you don't want to. (But they're annoying enough, and you probably want to out of spite.) To get all the orbs for the highest score, you'll have to take a wrong turn into the Hidden Pit. If you just want to be done with the mission, follow the Woods to their conclusion. Zoning out of the Hidden Pit takes you back to the start of the Lost Woods.
- Note: There are eight breakable pods in the Lost Woods, and four in the Hidden Pit.
All roads lead to Echidna here. After you've made some last-minute purchases at the Divinity Statue, take either portal to get to the boss arena. Once you defeat her, you will be rewarded with Gilgamesh.
- Note: There are 2 breakable pods here.
Boss Strategy: Echidna the She-ViperEdit
If you already have Gilgamesh and Sword Master Level 4 it'll be as easy as pie; but if it's the first time then an effective way is using Gunslinger first and ready Charge Shot. Shoot her when she's far away, but use Aerial Rave and Helmbreaker when she's close by you, making sure to avoid her attacks. When she flies around, there's not much you can do but pepper her with E&I until she stops. A fast way to deal damage to her when she's drilled into the ground and stationary is to use Drive and Overdrive if you have access to them. Using Air Trick is also a good way to get close to her for a few extra seconds of smackdown. It's unfortunate that Dante can't buster, or her egg-laying form would be toast, so you will have to content yourself with some more Aerial Raves. When she goes berserk and flies around near the end of her life, use E&I to shoot the pods she throws at Dante for some nice Style points.Also you can use royal guard technique when she is fast enough to attack and hit you. Dreadnaught is best if you have filled your RG meter in mission before encounter.If you are playing on DMD or SOS or Legendary Dark Knight mode use pandora attacks such as Omen or Plasma Cannon.
She uses the same attacks as in Mission Seven, and dodging them is pretty much the same, too. Stay in the air when she's stationary, jump over her tail when she's in her snake form, and sideroll when she's charging. Keep in mind that her charging attack hurts a LOT more after she's gone berserk.
On subsequent playthroughs, players have access to a larger range of options. When she lands down on the ground to disperse her seeds simply charge Divine Dragon (Gilgamesh, Sword Master Level 3) or just use Aerial Rave (Rebellion, Sword Master Level 1). Another effective but weaker strategy is to hit her face with Lucifer (if you already have it) and ready your Shotgun. Repeat process when she transforms on her "golden mode". This time it's a bit harder, since her attacks are more deadly now thanks to her seeds thrown directly through Dante. The only way to finish the fight quickly and earn stylish points is to wait until she bury herself deep down, exposing only her body. Shower her with your most powerful attacks, especially Dance Macabre or Real Impact. Splash and Discipline combined with PF398:Revenge is another sweet method to dish out damage. Be careful as she can still attack you using her tentacles. After the fight there will be a cutscene with Echidna crying over her forest and Chimera, just before she's finished off with one bullet from Dante, who obtains the new Devil Arm Gilgamesh (should you not have it) and destroys the Hell Gate with it.