The world of Erion in Odin Sphere Leifthrasir is a vast place filled with danger and peril. However, for those brave enough to face those dangers head-on, there's plenty of treasure and rewards to be found.
Gwendolyn is the first character that players will use as they traverse the various locales in Erion, and while the game does take the time to allow them to get accustomed to its many features, such as Alchemy, Cooking and skill usage, it wastes no time thrusting players into the thick of things — in fact, the prologue has Gwendolyn fighting in a war.
Fortunately, you won't be going in alone. Here are the essential things to know about Gwendolyn the Valkyrie Princess.
HP: 115 PP: 15
STR: 16 DEX: 11 ATK: 12
CON: 18 LUC: 12 DEF: 0
It's kind of hard to pinpoint exactly what Gwendolyn's stand-out characteristics are when compared with to characters. She shares a glide ability with Cornelius, and she can't fly or warp like Mercedes or Oswald, respectively. She's a well-rounded character without any serious flaws or overwhelming strengths, but that may in fact be her strongest trait. Unlike other characters, Gwendolyn is easily capable of handling any type of enemy, regardless of the situation.
To start, Gwendolyn has incredibly potent ice magic. Not only is her magic strong with varying components, such as tracking or hitting the entire screen at once, but her various spells have the ability to freeze opponents, which gives her incredible crowd control — a quality that increases in value on higher difficulty levels.
Magic isn't the only thing she has going for her, either. Gwendolyn has a diverse array of skills that allows for easy multi-hits and juggles as well. It's always fun to do long combos, but those combos actually have a more practical purpose, in her case. Gwendolyn has two skills — Skill Link and Assault High — which allow her to deal more damage the longer her combo lasts.
With that in mind, aerial combos are the way to go for her. In fact, between her juggling ability and passive ability "Aerial Force," it's not uncommon to tear through significant amounts of a mini-boss'/boss' health after a successful stun. Just like with her ice spells, her ability to juggle increases in value on higher difficulties — though this is indirectly mitigated somewhat by it being harder to launch enemies in those difficulties, thanks to an increased stagger/stun resistance.
As an added bonus, Gwendolyn doesn't need to rely exclusively on either to be effective. She is balanced in both POW and PP, so running low on either doesn't automatically gimp her.
On second thought, there is one thing that easily sets her apart from the rest of the cast: her ultimate attack, Gungnir. After activating the attack, Gwendolyn summons a massive spear that damages every enemy on the map. With her ultimate attack, Gwendolyn takes the phrase "out of sight, out of mind" to new levels, decimating foes you likely didn't even know had spawned. There is just one weakness though: there is a small recovery period afterward, giving enemies a chance to counter-attack if they survive.
In the end, players will need to level up all of Gwendolyn's abilities — both active and passive — in order to maximize her stats, but some of them are better than others and should be prioritized. Here's what they are:
Ice Shot (Active): This is a basic ability — the first, actually — but it's a mainstay. What makes this spell so useful are its many applications, the most obvious of them being damage. As an added bonus, the spell has tracking properties, thus allowing each of the shots to home-in on enemies, with each having a chance to freeze or prevent them from using special abilities upon impact, greatly aiding in crowd control. However, this spell has one last property that is often overlooked: its juggling ability. Since the spell has multiple shots that can track enemies, it's easy to drop down to the ground, use the spell while they're still elevated to keep them aloft, and then jump back up to continue your assault.
Beak Drive (Active): This doesn't necessarily need to be leveled up, but it should be used often, as it allows Gwendolyn to pierce through bosses and wind up behind them. Not only does this allow Gwendolyn to avoid frontal attacks, but once behind an opponent, further attacks will proc her Backstab skill for extra damage.
Needle Strike (Active): Gwendolyn's bread and butter, great for piling on extra damage and synergizes well with Assault High and Skill Link. However, as you enter higher difficulties where enemies gain an increased resistance to stagger effects, it will somewhat lose effectiveness. However, it will always shine during aerial combos when enemies are completely defenseless.
Assault High (Passive): Lets Gwendolyn deal more damage the longer her combos last. Self-explanatory.
Skill Link (Passive): Allows Gwendolyn to deal more damage to enemies based on how many skills she uses in a combo. Self-explanatory.
Freeze Enhancement (Passive): The only thing better than a frozen enemy is one that you know will be frozen longer. Get this.
Rising Crescent (Active): Gwendolyn's other bread and butter, allowing her to immediately knock enemies up in the air and begin an aerial combo. Just like with Needle Strike, this move will lose a bit of effectiveness on higher difficulties when enemies can start resisting stagger effects.
Icicle Wave/Blizzard (Active): Both serve the same purpose: freezing groups of enemies. The primary difference is that while Icicle Wave hits — and often times freezes — enemies around Gwendolyn, Blizzard repeatedly hits every enemy on the screen, but costs far more. Invest in one, but use both.
Beatdown (Passive): Lets Gwendolyn deal more damage to foes who are downed, i.e. slumped over on the ground. Self-explanatory.
Icebreaker (Passive): Considering that a major part of Gwendolyn's strategy is to freeze enemies, a skill that allows her to deal more damage to them while frozen, is very attractive. Once again, get this.
Now that you have an idea of what skills you should be using, here's a set of maps (found on wikisp, edited thereafter) to help you find them. As an added bonus, the locations of alchemy and food recipes are listed as well.
Key: S = Starting Point, B = Battle Area, R = Rest Area, H = Hidden Room, Boss = Boss Room
Ice Shot – B4, Gwendolyn receives this as part of a tutorial so it can't be missed.
Beak Drive – H, go to the empty room connected to B5 and climb to the upper, left-most point
Needle Strike – Clear Chapter 1
Healing Tonic – Tutorial
Antidote – B5
Blinding Light – B3
Arctic Shroud – H, fly to the upper right of the room to the left of B3
Assault High – Clear Chapter 2
Omelette – Tutorial (eat three times to unlock Cheese Omelette)
Muggle Confit – R1
Egg on Toast – Vendor
Cyclone – B4
High Thrust – B2
Skill Link – H, climb to upper left in the room above B5
Icicle Wave – Chapter 3 Clear
Inventory Expansion – B6
Pancake – B2
Chicken au Gratin – Vendor (eat three times to unlock Smothered Chicken)
Yogurt Mousse – Treasure Chest (eat three times to unlock Yogurt Fruit Mousse)
Restore – B7
Freeze Enhancement - B5
Comet Spear – Use the Steel Key Found in the lower left pigeon's nest in the room between B5 and B6 to open the locked door in R2
Inventory Expansion – B4
Rising Crescent – Chapter 4 Clear
Shrimp Peperonico – Vendor
Napple Sorbet – Treasure Box (Small Key)
Cream Stew – B3 (eat three times to unlock Turney Cream Stew)
Fall Clash – B5
Inventory Expansion – B6
Blaze – B8
Pain Feather – H, left side of room between B8 and B9
Freeze Lance – Chapter 5, Clear
Grilled Lamb – Vendor
Blizzard – B3
Chocolate Fondant – B5
Inventory Expansion – B6
Beatdown – H, in the room after B4, go straight left after coming across a vine with white mushrooms
Naturalize – B7
Grid Smash – Chapter 6 Clear
Shine – B1
Napple Pie – B2
Herb Roasted Shrimp – Vendor
Gungnir – B5
Juggle – B6
Icebreaker – B7
Needle Storm – Epilogue Clear
There it is — everything you need to say with 100 percent certainty that you've obtained everything with Gwendolyn. Don't get comfy yet though, Cornelius, the Pooka Prince, is coming up next, and there are plenty of secrets just waiting for him to discover.