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- This stage is the host to the Final World. In here, you will be faced with a boss challenge, where you must visit all six worlds, and defeat all six bosses again before you are given the opportunity to take on the final boss, Dante. Failure to defeat the six bosses will send you back to the start of the world.
- To proceed through this stage, you will start off in a shorted version of each world, which will almost immediately lead to that world's boss. Defeat the boss, and proceed a little farther to find a pit in the floor. Jump down the pit, and you will pass through a corridor that is inhabited with a particular kind of enemy. At the end of the corridor is a ladder. Climb up the ladder to reach the next world. Note that at the top of every ladder, a flower can be found to the left, which will always contain a Crystal Heart. Don't miss out on these.
- Having the Fire Sword in this world is actually fairly convenient. It can destroy most bosses in a matter of a few swipes, and even though you lose health when you use it, the defeated bosses flood the screen with hearts so that you can recover what you lost. The only thing you'll want to avoid is accidentally transforming into Ultimate Athena. Unfortunately, as ultimate as she may be, Ultimate Athena can't climb ladders. And if you can't do that, you'll have to use the sword to weaken yourself until you transform back, in which case, you'll likely be too weak to survive.
- Everything that applied to defeating the previous bosses applies here as well. This means if you do not still have possession of Pandora's Box, you're going to need to collect it again in order to defeat Mado. And what's worse, you don't automatically get it for beating the fifth boss. You must instead find it hidden at the end of the shortened version of the World of Ice. Of course, you can't find it if you don't have the Red Crystal Gem, which you can find hidden in a block at the very end of the World of Sky.
- Once you defeat Mado for the second time, you will pass through one last corridor and climb up one last ladder. You will arrive in an area that looks similar to the World of Labyrinth. Death Knights and Dark Knights roam the hallways. Though it is difficult to plan, if you can achieve Ultimate Athena at this point, you would be wise to do so. Use the Fire Sword to blast your way through the pillars at the end of the hallway and enter Dante't chamber.
- The monstrosity that is Dante awaits you. He has several parts that must be attacked independently. He starts off attacking you by swinging his sword arm into the air, and filling the room with a hail of energy. Do your best to avoid getting hit and focus your attack on his shield. When his shield is destroyed, you can then go for the arm. Finally, when his arm is destroyed, his head will detach and float around the room. This is your final target. Destroy the head, and you will have defeated Dante. As Ultimate Athena, the Fire Sword is so powerful, that it can destroy both the shield and the arm with one hit, and the head with a second. If you don't have this, the Magic Tome is another good alternative, although it will take anywhere from four to five hits to defeat him.
- The NES version features a boss challenge in the last world just as the Arcade version does. However, in this version, there is no corridor that separates each world. You will literally fall from one world to the next. What makes this version considerably harder is that fact that the bosses will not pump out tons of hearts for Athena to collect to restore her health between fights. You will have to rely on the few Flowers that exist along the way, as well as finding Fire Swords, if you want to survive.
- Naturally, you will start out in a shortened version of the World of Forest. You will face the boss right away. If you did not leave the previous world with some kind of projectile weapon, you will find this fight extremely unfair and cruel, and are not likely to advance very far beyond this point. Take out the boss from a safe distance, and advance to the end of the world to proceed to the next boss fight.
- You won't have to search very hard in the shortened World of Cave to find a Fire Sword. Whether or not you should take it is a matter for debate. If you are low on health, you should absolutely collect it, as it will fully restore Athena's hit points. However, once you have it, you may end up draining more hit points just by using it. If you can collect it just for the health, and then collect a Goblin Hand to downgrade it to a Red Sword, you will be in good shape. Hitting an enemy will also have that effect at this level. Fall down the gap to face off with the Golem, and then drop down the gap behind him to enter the World of Sea.
- As before, the World of Sea can entice you to spend a lot of time breaking blocks in order to find the various treasures they contain. However, doing so will put you in jeopardy of losing a lot of health to the enemies that swim around Athena. It is best to concentrate on swimming to the end and facing the boss as quickly as possible. Do, however, take the time to destroy the blocks to the left of you when you first dive in, in order to find a Shell Necklace that will turn you into a mermaid. Fight Neptune from the usual safe position just below him for a painless victory. Then swim down the gap behind him to proceed.
- Once again, in the World of Air you will find the Wings of Pegasus particularly useful. You will find a pair hidden in some blocks shortly after you arrive in the world. Then descend to the lower level and proceed to the boss fight. Once again, fight Chimera from behind for a pain free method of defeating him. Once he is destroyed, continue flying right. There are a few items in the blocks near the end that are worth collecting, especially the Blue Hourglass which will restore your timer to the full five minutes. Collect it before you move on.
- In the World of Ice, you will need to prepare yourself for the boss fight by collecting a bow and arrow set, the only weapon capable of damaging the boss. Unlike the first visit, you won't have to wait for the very end to collect such weapons. There are two waiting for you before you fall down the gap to the lower level. Once you collect them and fall down, there are another two blocks that contain arrow weapons (just in case you missed one of them.) One is to the left of where you arrive, and the other is up in the ceiling. It is entirely possible to reach the boss with the Flame Arrows equipped, which will help shorten the duration of this battle. Attack the boss from the right side of the screen to avoid taking any damage, and collect the Hearts from the Flower at the end of the level before proceeding.
- Although the Flame Arrow is a descent weapon, it's not as good as the Red Sword, which you can obtain in this level if you search hard enough. Fight the enemies until they drop a Blue Sword, and a Yellow Sword. With the Yellow Sword in hand, proceed down the tunnel until you are just before the boss. In the second dark cavern area, destroy the blocks in the lower right corner to discover a Red Sword hidden inside. Collect it and then proceed to the boss fight with Mado. His pattern of movement is identical to the first fight, and you should occupy the same safe area that you fought him from the last time. Knock him out and you will be well on your way to the final boss of the game.
- Equipping Athena properly for this fight is essential. You will have an opportunity to collect the Wings of Pegasus and a Red Ring early on in the stage. Both of these will help you in the fight against Dante substantially. You will also encounter a high number of Lipps enemies in this stage. Defeat each of them until you have collected enough Hearts to fill up your health meter. Eventually, you will reach a large wall of bricks that you will have to bust through. If you take the center path, it's not unlikely that you will uncover a Fire Sword among the bricks. It is recommended that you do not collect this sword, as it will drastically reduce your ability to survive the fight. Unlike the Arcade version, possessing the Fire Sword will not enable you to defeat Dante in two hits. Rather, it will still be a long drawn out fight, only every time you swing the sword, you will lose health. Stick to the Red Sword and proceed to the end of the level, watching out for a few downgrade items hidden in the wall just before the boss.
- In order to defeat Dante, you must employ a similar, but altered strategy from the one explained above. In the NES version, you must still hit Dante's body in a particular order. However, his head will fly off immediately at the start of battle. Not only will it fly off, but it will split up into three separate heads. They each fly a little more randomly, but they do a ton of damage if they touch Athena. As a result of Dante's heads flying off, you can perch Athena on his neck. It turns out to be an excellent place to attack Dante's body parts from. First, you must attack the shield arm. When that is destroyed, you must turn around and attack the sword arm. Once both arms are removed, drop down onto Dante's back, and attack the mouth on the front of his body until it stops shooting magic to the left.
- Once you have done this, the only thing left to do is defeat all three heads. This can be a challenging prospect, and the worst part of this fight is that they game will give you absolutely no indication of whether you've hit a head or not. You will simply have to have faith that as Athena swings her weapon, and as the faces fly close by, they will take damage and lose health. There is no point is trying to seek the heads out as they fly too randomly, so hold one position and swing your weapon constantly. Eventually, one head will disappear, and then another until you are left with only one. Continue your attack until this last head is finally defeated, and you will have beaten this extraordinarily difficult game. Congratulations.