Odin Sphere Leifthrasir - Gwendolyn Guide - Tips & Tricks for The Valkyrie Princess

Odin Sphere originally released in 2007 on the PlayStation 2 and I was infatuated with it. It was the first game from Vanillaware I ever played, and made me an immediate fan of the Japanese development team. When I originally found out about the remaster on PS4, "Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir", I was ecstatic to revisit the stunningly gorgeous action JRPG with improvements to it's original formula. Unfortunately I got side tracked with life and other games but I'm glad to say I've been playing Odin Sphere whenever possible lately. Leifthrasir does so much right with it's improvements and changes to it's original system, it's almost unreal. In a day and age where remasters, HD remakes, ports, etc, etc, are so incredibly common, it's great to see a company REALLY revisit their game and make it even more magical. Someday I may write an entire review for Odin Sphere Leifthrasir as it is becoming one of my favorite games of all time, but for now enjoy the guide for Gwendolyn, The Valkyrie Princess.

Gwendolyn, The Valkyrie Princess
"Odin's Witch"
"Crownless Lord"


Gwendolyn is the first character you get to play as in Odin Sphere. Vanillaware does a great job of using Gwendolyn to introduce players to the world of Erion, with her story and fighting style. Gwendolyn is incredibly well balanced when it comes to combat, being capable of dealing with a multitude of different enemies with relative ease, utilizing her "Psypher Spear", ice magic and powerful melee abilities. It's safe to say Gwendolyn is the most basic character, but she definitely has some advanced nuances.

Odin Sphere's combat revolves around combos and Gwendolyn dominates the sky, capable of juggling enemies nearly endlessly in the air. I'll cover some skills and abilities a bit later, but Gwendolyn is basically designed to utilize air mobility and multi-hit skills to combo up massive air damage to enemies. Get mini-bosses and even bosses airborne to dispatch them quickly and stylishly. As a Valkyrie, Gwendolyn has the power of limited flight in her arsenal, along with the ability to dive bomb, carrying enemies from the sky to the ground, resetting the combo and allowing you to pick up more enemies. Gwendolyn is also excellent at positioning, capable of moving through bosses to avoid damage while doing her own. Now, there are a plethora of skills Gwendolyn can earn to compliment her play style, and I'll touch on what I believe to be the best in each category. POW skills (or melee abilities), Magic (skills that use PP as a resource) and passives.




Gwendolyn is right at home in the air, capable of juggling enemies for their entire health bar.


POW ACTIVES

Needle Strike -  An absolute must. Not only does needle strike rack up a massive chain for those S ranks, it does really great damage when combined with certain passive abilities and uses very little of your POW gauge. You get Needle Strike very early, equip it and keep it equipped! Level it up when possible and you won't be disappointed. Pop a few enemies into the air, start a combo, cancel with needle strike, and continue to do so, and it's simple to chain over 100 pretty easily. Not to mention, just like everything in this game, the Needle Strike animation is eye candy. 

Beak Drive - Beak Drive isn't great for damage or even building a high chain. So why equip it? Beak Drive is incredible for re positioning. Beak Drive allows Gwendolyn to fly through enemies with a powerful blow, ending up on the opposite side. Great for getting behind bosses or just simply not allowing yourself to be surrounded.


MAGIC


Ice Shot - Ice Shot is the first magic Gwendolyn has access too. I wouldn't necessarily call Ice Shot a main stay, but it's definitely great early on. Ice Shot uses very little PP but has a decent effect on controlling the battle. Ice Shot sends out multiple small homing ice projectiles to enemies, doing more then just damage. These projectiles are capable of freezing, a unique ability Gwendolyn possesses. Frozen enemies cannot move for a given amount of time, and are effected by some of Gwendolyn's passives as well. These Ice Shots can also juggle enemies into the air and do a massive amount of damage to bosses, thanks to how big they usually are. I love Ice Shot's introduction and the way Vanillaware uses it from a design standpoint. Ice Shot shows players that Gwendolyn is well versed in ice magic and what ice magic is capable of all in a small spell you obtain early on.

Icicle Wave - Another display of Gwendolyn's ice mastery, Icicle Wave is incredible at creating space for Gwendolyn. Icicle Wave sends out pillars of ice along the ground, emerging from her in each direction, more often then not freezing every enemy it touches. Although my current play through didn't use Icicle Wave at all, I would recommend it to players not comfortable in the air, or for a build revolving around magic.

Blizzard - One of Gwendolyn's best spells. Blizzard, as it sounds, conjures up a Blizzard that stays active in the current stage area for a while. Blizzard continuously does damage over time with a chance to freeze every time it does so. Blizzard is incredible when your screen is filled to the brim with enemies. The main downside is Blizzard uses a vast amount of PP.

Blinding Light - One of my personal favorite spells in Gwendolyn's arsenal, despite it's limited uses. Blinding Light serves as a magical flash bang, dizzying all enemies in an area around her. I used Blinding Light for huge portion of the game to crowd control and group enemies up for combos. Blinding Light is great for dropping enemies out of the sky, combo resetting and even just to flee.

Gungnir - I wouldn't recommend keeping Gungnir equipped at all times, but this ability has it's uses. Gungnir is a cinematic "ultimate" attack, dealing massive damage to every enemy in the zone. Even enemies that aren't immediately visible! This move is excellent for finishing off those enemies across the map so you don't drop your combo, or for finishing off a dangerous enemy quickly. Gungnir is devastating and makes short work of opposition, but it requires an insane amount of PP.


Gungnir, Gwendolyn's ultimate magic ability



PASSIVES

Assault High - Assault High allows Gwendolyn to deal more damage based off her chain. The higher the chain is, the more damage her attacks deal. Assault High combined with high chain Needle Strikes are absolutely devastating. Assault High opens up the door for players to nuke bosses quickly with the right combinations.

Skill Link - Allows Gwendolyn to deal more damage based on how many skills she has used in the current combination. Once again, looking at mid air Needle Strikes!

Freeze Enchantment - Forces frozen enemies to stay frozen longer. Very good for getting free combos, extending your chain and letting Assault High + Needle Strike do work.

Ice Breaker - Works in tandem with Freeze Enchantment. Ice Breaker allows Gwendolyn to deal more damage to frozen enemies. See where we're going with this?

Ultimately, Odin Sphere allows you to play the game the way you want, and is a beautiful experience whether you're getting S ranks or not, especially early in the game playing Gwendolyn. I've messed around with other skills like Pain Feather, Freeze Lance and Rising Crescent and they are all a blast, but leveling up the passives with the high string moves make for an excellent strategy, especially on harder difficulties. I'll be writing a Cornelius guide very soon, so look out for that! Any thoughts or comments on Gwendolyn? Let me know in the comments! To anyone that hasn't played Odin Sphere, I HIGHLY recommend the game. It's available on multiple platforms, with the original on PS2 and PS3 digital, however, I would recommend getting Leifthrasir if you have the option, which is available on PS4 and PS Vita!

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