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Way of the Samurai Walkthrough:
All About Swords

To start with, yes there are different shapes of swords. Really, it seems to make the most sense to find a sword that has a very high life stat and then work on modifying the other stats. You can easily get as much money as you need by doing certain missions, so then you just work to bring the attack and defense up to 50 each. The blacksmith will keep working on a sword you have as long as you have the cash.

Yes, if you raise on thing, something else tends to lower, but it usually lowers much less than the first one went up, so by going back and forth you get everything up high. For example, here's a series of requests to raise sharpness at 6 yen each:

+2 attack, -0 def
+3 attack, -1 def
+6 attack, -1 def
+4 attack, -2 def

So defense went down a bit, but if you then asked him to work on flexibility 4 times, you'd end up with both figures higher than what you started with.

The "Nothing in Particular" option is the only way to affect the "life bonus" of a sword. This adds to your health figure. Here is a sequence of upgrade requests at 2 yen each:

+3 attack, +72 life
+2 attack, -25 life
-8 attack, +23 life
+9 defense, +72 life
-2 attack, -80 life
+9 defense, -32 life
+4 attack, -46 life
+7 defense, -34 life
+7 defense, +81 life
+9 attack, -82 life
-5 attack, +31 life
-8 defense, -81 life
-7 defense, -15 life
-6 attack, +68 life
+7 defense, +4 life
+2 defense, -1 life
-1 attack, +5 life
-8 defense, +20 life

So, as you can see, it's random, but if you keep it up you should get a good life improvement. Then concentrate on working on the attack/defense to get those both up.

Durability can only go up to 5. If you get to 0, your sword breaks, so it's key to keep it at 5. The price increases are:

1-2: 2 yen
2-3: 8 yen
3-4: 15 yen
4-5: 32 yen

When you die, you lose any swords you are holding. But other than that, any swords you have go into your "sword bank" - either when you win a mission, or when you walk out of the game via the railroad track area. You can also "bank" a sword with the blacksmith for a fee if you have a sword you love and are about to go into a dangerous area where you feel you might die. You can have up to 61 swords in your bank.

Way of the Samurai Walkthrough

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