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Developer: Capcom/Studio 8
System: PlayStation 2
Year released: 2002


The story (from the U.S. instructions):

SAVE THE SORCERESSES!

On returning from a distant war, Maximo finds his kingdom changed - twisted to evil by the sorcery of Achille, his once trusted advisor. The green fields of his beloved land are now cursed and guarded by undead and evil things.

Maximo learns that the ruling council now lies broken and its four Sorceresses banished, imprisoned in towers at the furthest reaches of his kingdom.

Maximo's beloved bride-to-be, Sophia, has been forced to marry Achille and now sits beside this new false King.

Maximo's quest is clear: he must rescue the Sorceresses, find the source of Achille's evil power, rescue his beloved and reclaim his throne.


Screenshots:

Click on any screenshot to see it fullsize.


Characters:

MAXIMO

Maximo as a fighting character has few equals! When fully equipped with all the abilities and enchantments found throughout the lands, his powers are equal to those of Achille himself. This is what Achille fears most of all!

When Maximo returns from the dead he is armed with his basic abilities, his trusty sword, an iron shield, three lives and one Death Coin. This is all he needs to start his quest!

Along the way he will fight and earn more skills and power-ups that will enhance his fighting abilities and strengthen his weapons.

EVIL KING ACHILLE

Once a trusted friend and advisor, power-mad Achille has used Maximo's long absence to his advantage. He has captured the land with his undead army. His giant drill plumbs the underworld as he seeks to seize supernatural power, creating earthquakes, enslaving the kingdom and disturbing the dead in the process.

SOPHIA

Maximo's betrothed. Beautiful and beloved by the people, surely Sophia must have been manipulated by Achille into becoming his unwilling queen. The thought of his true love is what drives Maximo to return home.

THE GRIM REAPER

After Achille kills Maximo, Maximo finds himself in Limbo. There, the Grim Reaper comes to Maximo with a proposition. Grim will return Maximo to the mortal realm if he can gather the spirits freed by Achille's drill. Without the spirits of the dead, Grim is out of job!


Weapons and Items:

SWORD POWER-UPS

During the quest, Maximo's trusty sword will aid you even more when you collect these special power-up enchantments!

  • Hitting an enemy reduces your sword enchantment by one power point.

  • Firing a Magic Bolt costs two power points.

  • Using a Doomstrike costs four power points.

    FLAME TONGUE - This fiery enchantment packs a powerful punch! Combine with Magic Bolt to throw a Fireball or with DoomStrike to summon a Phoenix Inferno! It is particularly useful against cold-based foes.

    FROSTBITER - This frosty enchantment freezes foes in their tracks! Strike frozen enemies to shatter them, combine with Magic Bolt to throw a Sleet Spray or with DoomStrike to summon a Blizzard Blast!

    PURE BLADE - This holy enchantment is particularly devastating to undead foes. Combine with Magic Bolt to launch a Solar Flare or with DoomStrike to summon Hail from Heaven!

    ARMAGEDDON - This ancient enchantment makes your sword hum and crackle with arcane power! Combine with Magic Bolt to throw an Eldrich Wave or DoomStrike to summon the Armageddon!

    SWORD CHARGE - This energy charge adds five units of power points back to your enchanted sword, extending the life of any sword power-ups currently in use!


    SHIELD POWER-UPS

    Throughout your quest, you will need your shield to protect you! Maximo can block with his shield by pressing the R2 button. If you block an enemy's attack, your shield will take the damage instead. Watch out! If your shield loses all of its points, it will break! You can also throw your shield if you earn the Throw Shield ability. Each enemy hit by a thrown shield causes one point of shield damage. Magical shields grant Maximo extra abilities when blocking or throwing!

    Here are some of the most common items:

    IRON SHIELD (default) - The Iron Shield can take up to ten points of damage before it is lost. The Shield Bars located in the Status Bar are the gauge of your shield's strength. For quicker references, Maximo's shield shows visible signs of damage as it gets closer to being lost. If you lose your shield, don't worry! You can always find or buy another one!

    SILVER SHIELD - The Silver Shield can take up to 15 points of damage before it is lost. This shield can be bought only through the Wheel-O-Prizes.

    GOLD SHIELD - The Gold Shield offers the highest level of protection. It can take up to 20 points of damage before it is lost. This shield can be bought only through the Wheel-O-Prizes.

    SHIELD DAMAGE - When your shield has taken damage you can always restore it by collecting Shield Charges. Each one will restore five points of damage.


    ITEMS

    Throughout the game you will come across a number of special items that will assist you.

    KOIN - Koins can be used to buy special items and save games. To check your Koin count, press the START or SELECT button.

    BAG OF KOINS - Each bag contains five Koins.

    DIAMOND - A Diamond is worth ten Koins.

    WOODEN CHEST - These Wooden Chests are either clearly visible or buried. To open a wooden chest, position Maximo to face the chest until you see a green "!" icon above the chect. Then press the Square button to kick open the chest. Warning: Some wooden chests may hold nasty surprises.

    LOCKED CHEST - Locked Chest require one Iron Key to open them.

    EXTRA LIFE (heart) - This gives you one extra life.


    USING KEYS

    Throughout the game you will come across many items that require a key to open, sucvh as a locked treasure chest, door or special gate.

    IRON KEY - These keys open Locked Chests and gates located throughout the game. Maximo can hold up to nine Iron Keys at one time. For a total count of Iron Keys Maximo has, press the START or SELECT button to display Maximo's status information.

    GOLD KEY - Gold Keys unlock very special doors. Maximo can only carry one Gold Key at a time.

    To open a lock, move Maximo in front of the locked item and press the Square button. You will know when you are aligned correctly when you see one of the symbols below over Maximo's head.

    A red "?" means you don't have the key to open this lock.

    A green "!" means you have the correct key and Maximo is aligned to open the item.

    Note: Each key can be used only once, then it is lost.


    SPECIAL ITEMS

    WHEEL-O-PRIZES

    To activate the Wheel-O-Prizes, turn Maximo toward the device until you see the green "!" appear and then press the Square button. If you see nothing, you may not be close enough or facing the item correctly. If you see a red "?" then you currently don't have enough Koins to buy the offered item.

    Note: Certain items can be purchased only through the Wheel-O-Prizes.

    TRIGGER STONES

    As you quest throughout Maximo's kingdom you will sometimes come across these small statues of the evil Achille. By destroying them you can gain access to previously unreachable areas.

    MAGIC POOLS

    Near Boss Towers you will find Magic Pools that allow Maximo to save his progress. You can also use these pools to travel back and forth between lands you've already conquered.

    SORCERESSES' KISSES

    After you rescue a Sorceress, she will offer you three additional options: your choice of a chance to save your game, an armor power-up or a friendly kiss. If you take the kiss, it will be added automatically to your new lockspot. The kiss can be transferred out like any other ability icon. However, if you finish the game with all four Sorceresses' kisses, you will win a special reward!


    SPIRIT ITEMS

    When Achille drilled a hole into the Underworld he also unleashed many lost souls. These spirits hide out in their old resting places. Help Grim by recapturing them before Achille steals them for his own dark magical powers!

    SPIRITS

    Find and break open their resting places and quickly gather them up before they are pulled away by Achille's power. To find spirits, look for Spirit Objects throughout the different worlds.

    Remember that these good spirits are afraid and will not just pop out when you walk by. A whack of your sword will free them from their hiding space and a quick downstroke will draw out any stragglers! If you manage to collect 50 or more spirits you will be rewarded with one Death Coin.

    DEATH COINS

    These are the only currency that your friend Grim can accept as payment to allow you back to the land of the living! If you have lost all your lives then Grim has come to claim your soul forever! If you give Grim a Death Coin, he will return you to the start of the last level played and give you three more lives. You will lose all abilities not saved ina Lock Spot. Beware! Every other time you die, the price to continue goes up. If you can't pay the Reaper's toll, the game will end!


    COLLECTORS

    Achille has placed Collectors throughout the land to collect any spirits shaken free by the Great Drill. Destroying all these devices in a world will weaken Achille's powers enough to gain access to the Boss Towers.

  • MASTER COLLECTORS are located near the Boss Towers and transmit spirit energy back to Achille. Smashing one of these will transport Maximo to the level that the Master Collector is drawing from. When you stand in front of a Master Collector, it will tell you what level it leads to.

  • At the end of of a level, you will find a SPIRIT COLLECTOR. Defeat all its guards to bring down its force field. Destroying this device will display your tally and return you to the Boss Tower.


    Stages:

    MAXIMO'S KINGDOM

    THE BONEYARD

    MAXIMO searches ghastly graves and treacherous tombs for LENORE, the graveyard Sorceress. Hungry zombies and sword-wielding skeletons stop at nothing to add our hero to their army of darkness. Maximo battles past skull-shooting bone towers and clutching skeletal hands to reach the Tomb Tower of GHASTLY GUS THE GRAVEDIGGER.

    THE GREAT DANK

    Maximo mucks through the Great Dank in search of MAMBA MARIE, the swamp Sorceress. The swamp is overgrown with fearsome foliage and sticky tar pits, each holding horros like poisonous spitting plants and zombie crocodiles. If Maximo manages to reach the hut of BOKOR LA BAS, he still has to defeat the voodoo hougan and his magic tricks.

    GRAVEYARD OF SHIPS

    Maximo fords the frigid wasteland to find AURORA LEE, the artic Sorceress. In these frozen wastes, pirate galleons are eternally mired with ice, their undead crew waiting for unwelcome visitors. Frostbitten foes like ice-spitting plants and the fearsome yeti complicate Maximo's journey. The real challenge comes when our hero must fight the dreaded pirate CAPTAIN CADAVER.

    REALM OF SPIRITS

    Maximo must travel to the spirit realm to seek out SEPHONIE, the murdered Sorceress. Our hero must avoid the mechanical torment of the Underworld with its swinging smashers and slicing sawblades. Foul devils and doomed spirits will try to add yet one more soul to their numbers. Can Maximo defeat LORD GUTTERSCUM, the vilest of all the Underworld demons?

    CASTLE MAXIMO

    Maximo returns to the living in an all-out assault on the wicked KING ACHILLE and his undead army. Not even ghostly guards and crazed dungeon dwellers will bar our determined hero from the ultimate confrontation with Achille atop his giant whirling drill! If Maximo does manage to defeat the magical monarch, will the lovely SOPHIA greet his return with open arms?


    Tips and codes:

    none yet


    Additional media:

    U.S. cover
    Japanese cover
    U.S. magazine ad (large)
    U.S. magazine ad (small)
    EGM Maximo interview, page 1
    EGM Maximo interview, page 2


    *all info from the instruction manual is 2002 Capcom*