Dark Heaven Castle & Gallery of Time Walkthrough - Dark Cloud
The Dark Heaven Castle is the final 'town' and it's paired with the Gallery of Time which is the is the last story dungeon in all of Dark Cloud (and also the last dungeon in the Japanese release). When you first arrive here there will be some scenes explaining the last bit of the story after which you'll gain access to the best vendor in the game, Fairy King. The Fairy King has a wide selection of stuff for sale - the main things I want to draw your attention to are the Gems he sells though.
Gems are sold for 3000g each at this vendor but they're one of the best Attachments that you can put into weapons that you plan on upgrading. Unlike the normal Attachments that only give you +3 to one stat the Gems give you +10 or +5 to 3 or more stats - this means you'll spend a lot less time grinding your weapons to upgrade them. Check out my Ultimate Weapons Guide for more information about Gems and upgrading weapons.
With that information out of the way, let's take a look at the Gallery of Time. This dungeon works the same way as all the previous dungeons with 2 key differences, there is a Back Floor but there also isn't and the Atla you collect is used to rebuild cutscenes not any physical objects like a town or machine. When you collect Atla you'll put it into 'memories' in the Georama Menu which will show you various cutscenes and give you more backstory about Seda and what happened.
As far as the Back Floor situation, the Japanese release of this game has a Gallery of Time Back Floor but the American release does not. Despite this, you'll still see the ? on the map where the Back Floor is meant to be, however no Back Floor item will drop in this dungeon if you're playing on the American release.
The story goes that they did not have time to finish the Back Floor on the American release so instead they (apparently had the time) to give people an entirely new dungeon called the Demon Shaft. You can access the Demon Shaft by first beating the game then saving your cleared file to the same Memory Card that you've been saving on.
With all of that information out of the way, let's take a look at the items unique to this dungeon that you'll need to collect to progress.
Clock Hands: This is the item you need to progress through the dungeon from floor to floor. As always, you can find it as a drop from enemies you defeat on each floor.
Pitchdark Key: Sometimes you will encounter a locked door on the floor that you are exploring, this is the key required to open that door.
Unlike all of the previous dungeons we cleared there will be no road block in this dungeon once you get to floors 8/9 and there is no new Ally to recruit. This dungeon can be cleared entirely in one go if you want to; the only reason you'll have to leave the dungeon from time to time is to restock on supplies.
As you start getting closer to the final floor of this dungeon you'll start running into various Limited Zones that force you to use every single character you've recruited thus far. If you've been leveling up the various Allies and their weapons then this won't be that big of a deal for you... However if you've been slacking off with leveling anyone up then you'll most likely struggle when it comes to their Limited Zone.
My advice to you (as always) is to bring some Bombs with you when you run into a Limited Zone with a character you don't often use. Goro is a good example of a character that I don't think anyone really uses, you can make his floor at lot easier by using Bombs to defeat enemies. On Limited Zones where you're stuck using a character that you don't like using focus on getting in and out as quickly as possible. Get the Clock Hands then dodge the remaining enemies until you find the exit.
If you'd like some additional information about each the various 'Ultimate Weapons' in this game I recommend you follow the link and check out that guide. Some weapons are better than others for each character and if you're going to spend a lot of time grinding and upgrading your weapon you should know what is best and why. You should also check out my Best Leveling Locations Guide for information about where to level up.
The second to last floor of this dungeon is 382 Years ago, here is where you will get the final 5 Atla that you need to witness the final scene. If you haven't already been viewing the Georama/Atla scenes you'll want to watch them all now - you'll need to watch them before you're allowed to proceed anyway.
Before you advance to the final floor, 400 Years ago, I strongly recommend you save your game and stock up on various items that you'll need for the final boss. My recommendation to you would be to bring at least 5 Repair Powder (make sure your weapons are fully repaired before going in too), 5 Premium Water, at least 20 Premium Chicken, 3 Revival Powder, 4 Stand-in Powder and 9 Stamina Drinks. You can bring more Stamina Drinks if you'd like, I personally did not use all 9 but I had rather strong weapons already. I also didn't abuse the Stamina Drinks for the entirety of the fight.
Depending on how good you are at avoiding attacks you may want to bring more than 20 Premium Chicken too. This boss has an unavoidable attack that will result in you taking a lot of damage throughout this fight - you will go through at least 9 Premium Chickens just eating the damage from that attack alone. Unless of course you use Stamina Drinks constantly which reduce the damage you take significantly (and reduce the damage of the unavoidable attack to 0).
I'd consider myself to be pretty good at video games, I have been playing them for 20+ years and I find this boss to be one of the harder ones I have faced in a game like Dark Cloud. With all of that said, don't forget to save your game - those of you playing on an Emulator will want to create an actual save on the Memory Card too. I mention why later on in this guide, just trust me unless you want to fight this boss twice.
Gallery of Time - Dark Genie Boss Strategies
The Dark Genie is the final boss of the game - sort of. He's the final boss of the Japanese version of the game and he is also where the story of Dark Cloud ends. However, after you beat this boss you will unlock an optional dungeon in the American release of the game called Demon Shaft. This dungeon is completely optional and has no Atla or story tied to it, at the bottom of that dungeon there will be another final boss.
As far as this boss goes, he has a total of 3 phases and depending on how powerful your weapon is he'll either be really easy or really difficult. If you have an Ultimate Weapon on a few of your characters (in particular Toan or Ruby) then this boss will likely be very easy. You can also use Stamina Potions to make the fight even easier, all of this is totally up to you.
Below you will find information about each of the 3 different Dark Genie forms, what sorts of abilities they have and how to beat them.
Dark Genie Phase 1
During this phase the Dark Genie will stick his hand into the ground and it'll appear underneath your character then protrude from the ground to deal damage to you. He also has one unavoidable attack where he essentially shoots wind at you, this will be a reoccurring attack throughout both Phase 1 and 2 and it's quite annoying.
What you need to do for this phase is to pay attention to the bosses hands and what color eyeballs are on them. This tells you what Attribute you need to use on your weapon to deal damage to the boss. For example, blue means Ice, red means Fire, purple means Holy etc etc. He will occasionally cover his body with his wings and change the eyeball color of his hands - just pay close attention to it and you'll be able to predict what Attributes to use.
My advice is to learn the attack animation of the boss. When you see him raising one of his shoulders you'll know that he is about to stick that hand into the ground and that lets you know what Attribute you're going to want to attack him with. Usually I find Toan best to use during this phase since he deals a lot of damage and is melee.
Tip: Using a Stamina Drink not only will allow you to deal more damage to the boss but it also makes his unavoidable wind attack deal 0 damage!
Dark Genie Phase 2
This whole phase is ranged and you'll have to use either Xiao or Ruby to deal damage to the boss. I recommend that you use a Holy Attribute on either of these characters since that'll deal more damage to the boss. Also, using Stamina Potions during this phase isn't such a bad idea either.
During this phase he has 2 attacks, one of which is the same unavoidable attack from earlier which deals a small amount of damage and knocks you down. The other attack he uses is an eyeball laser which will one shot you if you get hit by it. Obviously you'll want to do your best to avoid this eyeball laser attack. One other thing to note is during this phase you can lock onto the boss which makes it a lot easier to hit him.
You will only have 2 brief windows to hit this boss, sometimes he is vulnerable right before he does the unavoidable wind attack and he is typically always vulnerable before/after his eye laser beam. Honestly it feels kind of weird, I can't pin down exactly when he is and isn't vulnerable to damage. Sometimes it feels as if he should be vulnerable and he isn't and sometimes I can score an attack on him when he shouldn't be vulnerable but is. Poor coding? Or maybe this is how it's designed.
One other tip I can give you during this phase is to switch to a different character when you see the unavoidable wind attack coming. This will allow you to soak up damage with a character like Goro, Ungaga, Osmond or whomever it is you're not using.
Dark Genie Phase 3
The third and final phase of this boss is also going to be the most difficult (go figure)! You're probably going to be fighting with the terrible targeting during this fight moreso than with the boss itself. How this phase works is the Dark Genie has 2 attacks, he stomps his left or right foot and creates 3 fire waves which will come towards you - immediately after this attack he is vulnerable to being hit.
His next attack is a mouth beam that follows you around and deals a lot of damage if it hits you. I strongly recommend you do everything possible to avoid this attack because once it hits you there's not much you can do aside from sit in it and soak up the damage. I think I have been able to hit him once after this attack as well but it's very rare in my experience, I'm probably remembering wrong.
Aside from these 2 attacks the boss also has 2 adds that will aid him during this fight. They're annoying enemies that block a lot of attacks and are difficult to eliminate while avoiding the bosses attacks. You also can't permanently eliminate the adds, they'll get back up after being downed for a little bit of time - so it's typically best to focus entirely on the boss.
I think the two pink beams that shoot out of this boss's shoulders and into the sky is his ability that resurrects these adds. Each time has has used this skill I have paid close attention to what it does and my guess is it heals or resurrects the adds, otherwise I have no clue.
Stamina Drinks are highly recommended for this fight since they'll speed things up a bit and also decrease how much damage you take. Expect to use a lot of Premium Chicken food though and maybe even a few Stand In Powders and Revive Powders during this fight.
For those of you who would prefer to see a video walkthrough of this fight instead I recommend you check out my Dark Genie Boss Strategy Youtube Video. The strategy that I use to beat him in that video is pretty much the exact same strategy that I talk about in this guide.
Once you beat this boss I think a congrats are in order considering that this is definitely one of the harder bosses I have faced in a video game. Enjoy the credits along with the acoustic guitar version of the Dark Cloud theme that plays during the credit roll!
Those of you who are playing an American version of Dark Cloud - after you watch the credits you will get a notification like what is shown above. You'll also be prompted to save to your completed game to a Memory Card which can sometimes mess up if you're playing on an Emulator. If you don't have an actual Dark Cloud save on this memory card the game will not create a "Clear file" for you like most games do.
If you only use Save States while playing through the game you'll have to reload an old save then create a real save file before you fight the Dark Genie. This will allow you to save on that Memory Card once you beat the game - then the next time you load it you'll be able to access the Demon Shaft.