While Circle of the Moon does not have explicitly defined chapters, there is a logical division marked by boss fights. There is an order in which you go through the castle, however some areas are optional. You will always be able to (and in several instances, have to) return to previous sections of the castle in order to get power-ups that were originally inaccessible and to reach new areas of the castle. In most cases, once you defeat the local boss, you'll receive a relic that will give you a new ability, which makes exploring the next area possible (or at least easier).
The Underground Gallery, Underground Warehouse, and Battle Arena are optional areas. The Gallery and Warehouse each contain several power-ups, as well as relics that will make future areas easier, allow you to get quite a few power-ups from old areas, let let you fight the three secret winged demons — all of whom give you a lot of experience and powerful tools. Note that you must finish the Underground Gallery in order to access either of the other two optional areas.
On that note, you can begin your journey. At the bottom of a pit, no less...
Notes & conventions
Each section of the walkthrough will begin in the first room of whatever section of the castle you will be exploring, and then guide you through the area(s) to the boss. After defeating the boss, you will be directed to old areas that you can return to for more power-ups, enemies, and items. Finally you will be given any choices as to which area to go to next, and then directed to the first room of the next section of the walkthrough.
It will be assumed that you are completing all sections of the game in the order specified. Should you choose not to complete a section, it will result in you being unable to retrieve certain things or enter certain areas. Simply skip over these sections. It is highly recommended that you do not sequence break your first time playing, as doing so makes the game substantially harder.
At the beginning of the main section of each page of the walkthrough, there will be a sidebar listing important items that you can collect between the time you can collect during this portion of the game, including items from previous sections that you can now collect. Items that you have to come back for later on will not be listed.
"Bone Rush" Challenge
This is actually a player-defined gameplay rather than a built-in mode. The purpose is to beat the game as fast as possible. It requires Magician mode, or, if you use DSS glitch, any mode available to DSS. Generally, you will need to do the following:
- Avoid killing any minor monsters. You will need Pluto + Unicorn to sneak through enemy crowds, and Pluto + Griffin if there are less obstacles.
- Use savepoints or MP boosts to recover MP whenever necessary. It will be waste of time to find a corner and wait for MP regeneration, and since you dodge every minor monster, you have no pots or gear.
- Defeat every boss with fastest method. It will be the big bones from Pluto + Black Dog in most of the cases, or Uranus + Thunderbird if the former does not work well.
If you do everything well, the game can be beaten in less than one hour.