|Here's my log of my first full playthrough of this game.|
First of all, I noticed this game is taking notes from Castlevania, using hearts as currency... The only way you can heal is to buy items in shops or find the hidden hot springs. The shops sell health bottles and feathers that save you from falling... I feel like I shouldn't really need much of those, but I find myself spending a lot of time grinding hearts on all the respawning enemies I come across anyway.
It turns out that grinding hearts IS very important in this game. You can get health upgrades by gaining a certain amount of hearts at the end of a level. You can get new weapons and upgrades by completing special training rooms found in certain stages, but those new items can only be used after you reach a certain amount of health... was this all in the instruction book? Otherwise I have no idea how anyone would've been able to figure that out by then.
The first few stages are vertical scrolling stages where you die if you fall below the screen, like in Ice Climbers. It's pretty easy if you just keep moving forward, but if you stop and grind hearts, the enemies can easily overwhelm you. The 4th stage is the first dungeon, it's a non-linear Zelda II style maze dungeon where you just gotta find your way around. The only real objective of these dungeon levels is to find the boss and defeat it, but to make the boss fight easier you can go around and destroy all the statues with hammers that you buy in the shop, and each one you destroy rescues an angel friend who will help you against the boss. And doing this also lets you grind a lot more hearts and buy some healing items.
The shops that sell hammers are sometimes hard to find. You can also buy a map and pencil to help draw out the rooms you've been to. Of course, my completionist tendencies make me want to 100% clear the map of the dungeon and destroy every statue. The main thing that's hard about this is that you'll sometimes get hit by an eggplant wizard, and get turned into an eggplant. Then you are unable to attack until you find the medicine room that can restore you back to normal. Other than that, there's not much challenge to it.