Main weapon Combat
To attack with an equipped weapon, you only have to push A once. Multiple pushes will make Aeron attack repeatedly in a combo. The number of attacks depends on the weapon.
Then there are charged attacks, which are stronger than regular attacks. If you maintain A pushed, a glow will appear around Aeron. When you release the button, Aeron will unleash automatically a combo, and you'll have to push A only when a circle of light closes around Aeron to keep it up. If you upgraded your weapon 3, 6, and 10 times, the attack can be charged one more time for each upgrade (up to four). The combo for each charge will have a different animation and more charges will do more damage. Any combo can be cancelled by blocking or dodging.
It must be taken into consideration, then, that if you want to use a powerful attack against an enemy, you will need a few seconds to charge. You may want to keep distances, stay behind the enemy's back, or distract him with the chain. Note that for some reason, when an attack is fully charged, Aeron moves slower than normal. Against a single enemy, it is often useful to chain an enemy, and charge your weapon while pulling (thus ensuring the enemy cannot move or retaliate). You can then close the distance and begin your powered up attack, or use a chain throw/yank/swing should another foe approach.
Important note: The weapon you wield has an effect on the speed at which you move. The heavier the weapon, the slower you can run. This does not only matter combat-wise, but in the whole game, where time is gold.
Oraclos Chain Techniques
The Oraclos Chain has a wide range of uses in the game. It is a tool you will use from beginning to end, but here you will only see its offensive uses.
Aiming: The chain is used with the pointer of the Wiimote. This pointer will usually be shown as a blue circle. Pressing B in this case would activate the zoom, that is, you will see objects from a closer distance. When you point at something that can be grappled with the chain, the pointer will change to a circular chain with a cross in the upper left. Pressing B will make Aeron throw the chain. You can also push B a bit longer to zoom and then release for the same effect. This way, you will be able to aim more accurately. The action will slow down in zoom mode to make this easier. When an enemy dies, remember to aim for the part of the body from which you want to extract an object (yank once you grapple it). Different parts give different items.
Note: Elena's timer will keep ticking at the same speed in zoom mode, so don't use this to give yourself more time. Pause if you have to think/rest.
Grappling: You can grapple different parts of the body of most big enemies, to different effects. If you aim for the head, the enemy will be blinded. He will wander aimlessly, and attack around. If you let him get too close, he may finally land a hit. If you aim for the body, the enemy will be immobilized and may fall to the ground. The only way he can attack is if he can spit venom/fire/etc. If you grapple the legs, the enemy will fall, but will still be able to see you and attack you. Grappling the legs is only recommended if you are going to keep distance. The enemy will always offer resistance, so the chain's power will go down until he releases himself unless you bring it up again by pulling.
Pulling: Once you have grappled an enemy, you can start pulling. Pulling can be done in two ways: standing in place (push C) or moving (use the stick). The former will pull the enemy closer, and the latter will drag him around, maintaining the chain's length. Doing any of these will damage the enemy slightly, and will charge the chain's power (under your health bar). This power can be used right after for dealing heavy damage with the rest of techniques.
If you need more distance between you and the enemy, push C and move with the stick. Aeron will stop pulling and will let the chain extend, up to its maximum range. Then use either of the pulling techniques to pull again.
Yanking: Anytime you are grappling an enemy, you can shake the Wiimote to yank the chain. This will burn the power of the chain you had at the moment and convert it into damage, tearing the enemy apart. Remember that when the chain glows gold, you can do the maximum damage.
Getting the chain back: When you want to get the chain back without yanking, or when the chain is no longer in your hands, push -.
Throwing: When you have grappled an enemy, you can zoom in with B and then push A to throw him against the wall/ground/other enemies. Aim for the one you prefer. This will burn the chain's power and convert it to damage.
Note: this technique can be very inaccurate at times, and may throw the enemy to the far side of a room instead of against another enemy. There is a possibility you should aim for the ground where he is standing.
Spinning: A grappled enemy can be used as a flail in a spinning attack, damaging all surrounding enemies. Shake the Nunchuk once you have grappled an enemy to start spinning. This will slowly burn the chain's power. The attack will end when the enemy hits a wall, when the chain's power runs out or when you throw the enemy (push A or B or - to do so.) You can also cancel the attack with -.
Note: this only works on smaller or weaker enemies.
Uniting: A grappled enemy can be bound to another using the grappling technique on the other enemy while the first is still immobilized. This will take out of the action both enemies temporarily and, most importantly, when you attack one of them, the other will get hurt through the chain. This can help end battles sooner. Note that the power of the chain will go down continuously as both enemies will be struggling to get free.
Chain Shot: You may have noticed that when you zoom in with B on an enemy, the cross on the pointer will show four points of light that converge at the center every second or so. This means you can use the Chain Shot. While zooming, wait for the points of light to converge and push A. This will make the chain attack in a way similar to a snake's bite. If you did well, the points will converge again. Push A again at the right time, and you can repeat the attack. You can do up to five Chain Shots in a row. This technique can do a lot of damage and doesn't need any chain power, only accuracy and timing. You will frequently use it against armored enemies to break their helms (makes them more vulnerable). However, you should be careful if you are collecting meat or specific items, as it is very easy to kill an enemy and strike again, making his body disappear and leaving behind a random item, that is probably not the one you were looking for.
Blocking and dodging
To block an attack, you only have to push Z, and Aeron will take a defensive stance. This way, attacks won't hurt you, but this has a limit. If you take too many or too strong attacks, your guard will break and you will be left exposed. Blocking against Masters is usually a poor choice.
If while pressing Z you push a direction with the stick, Aeron will roll (or side step, depending on the equipped weapon) in that direction, evading most attacks. It seems Aeron can't do more than two dodges in a row, but that should be enough to avoid almost everything. Dodging proves to be the better choice against Masters, as Aaron is invulnerable between the moment he dodges and when he touches the ground.
Stunning is a very important part of combat, as you will have to be most of the time checking if your enemy is going to hit back while you are doing a combo. Usually you won't notice any change in their behavior while you attack them with your main weapon, except when they attack (in which case you should either block or dodge) or when they are stunned. You will notice the latter because they finally look like they are affected by your attacks. Once the combo has reached stunning, you don't have to worry about counterattacks except for other enemies that may be nearby.
Aeron is stunned by any attack that hits him when he's not blocking. He will stop attacking, and he will let go of the chain if he was using it.
Items in battle
All items that can be used in your inventory (items in the Use tab of your bag) will appear at the bottom right of the screen. Only one can be selected for use at a time. You can change your selection with the left and right directions in the pad, and will use the item if you push up or down. This is a shortcut for using healing items, buffs and bombs. Remember that, to use an item, Aeron will have to stand in place for a couple of seconds, and if he's interrupted, he won't use it. Make sure you are not attacked while you use one. Broken items can still be used, but have much less power.
Bombs are a way to turn the tide of battle in your favor. They have a range of effects, from reducing enemy attack, enemy defense, poisoning... to blowing everyone up. Check for the range to make sure you hit as many as possible.
Buffs are a series of objects that give you temporary advantages, not only in battle, but even when going up the towers. i.e. Adamantia will increase your attack power, but Umbrarium will let you go around the place unnoticed. Mobilium can prove very useful to dash through the towers in no time.
Every time Aeron is hit, usually with a strong attack that makes him fall to the ground, there is a chance that an item from your inventory breaks. A broken item has its beneficial properties reduced, or even nullified completely. It will be shown with a crack over it in your inventory, and its description will change. You should always keep an eye on the broken items you have, as they may force you to change your tactics completely. For example, if your weapon breaks, you should switch to another rapidly, because it will do little damage (more or less only 1/2 of normal damage and defense). If your healing items break, you may consider retreating if the situation doesn't look good. If an item such as the Blast stone breaks, it will stop giving you an attack bonus, but you will still get the -30% defense. You should unequip it.
To reduce the chance of your items breaking by 50%, you can equip a Leather lining.
Masters may or may not have a higher probability of breaking equipped items
Guard stones and power stones may or may not have a higher probability to break than other items (although much less than blast stones).
Broken items can be repaired by Mavda. The cost will be proportional to the item's value.
Purple aura (Lust for flesh)
Sometimes, normal enemies will have a purple aura around them. This does not affect their behaviour much, except when you are carrying monster flesh with you. In that case, they will attack ferociously. They do much more damage than their "normal" counterparts, and have far more health points. The good thing here is that they give substantial rewards on death. For example, an enemy that normally gives Dripping flesh may give Pulsating flesh instead.
Normally there won't be more than one of these on screen, so keep distances/get their back and they won't be much of a threat. Though you have to be careful against those small biped enemies (name anybody?), because you will usually find that all of them in the room will be like this. Don't let them attack you, as they may land a few attacks on you before you can even notice and you will lose a lot of health. Dodge or block as much as needed and land hits when you find an opening (after attacking they wait a few seconds before doing the next attack). Using the Scythe may help you hit all of them at the same time and finishing sooner.