Rhythos! Manual
Battle Controls
Left: Attacks with equipped weapon.

Right: Casts the equipped spell (if you have enough mana).

Up: Evades attacks for a short duration (3 frames).

Down: Defends from attacks for a long duration (12 frames). Costs 750 mana.
Battle UI
At the top of the screen, the enemy's stats are displayed on the left, and the player's stats are displayed on the right. The red bar shows health remaining, and the blue bar shows mana remaining.

The time remaining is displayed between the two health bars. The yellow bar below the player's name is the player's combo meter. If the player is using a bow, the combo bar is replaced by text displaying the number of arrows remaining. Finally, at the bottom, the player's total score is displayed.
Battle Mechanics
Battles are real time, using the arrow keys to specify actions which are performed as soon as possible (see battle controls). Holding down any of the keys repeats that action as much as possible until the key is released.

The battle lasts until either the player or enemy is defeated (health reaches zero), or the timer runs out. If the timer runs out, the character with the most health remaining wins (using the percentage of health remaining, not the actual health point value).

Attacks will always hit unless the enemy is evading or defending. Timing attacks and evades is critical to success. Enemies follow patterns that are synced with the music, so figuring out the pattern and getting into the rhythm of battle will make timing a lot easier.

Every time an attack hits, your combo bar charges one slot, and every time an attack misses, your combo bar drains completely. If your combo bar fills up all four slots, then your next attack will be a special attack (depending on the weapon type). Note that a special attack still counts as an attack, and hitting will charge the combo bar one slot after it was drained. For example, in the above screenshot, I had just gotten a Critical Hit, which doubled my dagger's damage.

Both player and enemy mana will charge slowly over time throughout the duration of the battle.
Weapons & Items
You can buy weapons and items in the Shop. Use up and down arrow keys to scroll through items, and while selected, the item will show you what effects it would have on your character if equipped (on the character sheet). Hit enter to buy the selected item. Note that this does NOT equip any items, you have to go to the equipment menu to equip the item.

Armor can increase your Physical Defense (PHYS DEF) and your Magical Defense (MAG DEF). Physical Defense decreases the damage of weapon attacks by the listed percent, and Magical Defense decreases the damage of spells by the listed percent. Both Physical and Magical Defense have diminishing returns, meaning the higher your defense, the less adding more armor increases it.

Weapons increase the damage of your attacks, but they also affect the pattern and cooldown time of your attacks, depending on the type of weapon. There are four weapon types, which are described below.
Weapon Types
Slashing: Slashing weapons are balanced weapons that deal medium damage and have a short cooldown. The short cooldown makes it easy to get in multiple attacks between enemy defenses, and switch quickly to defend or evade if needed, making it versatile.

Slashing Weapon's special attack is Critical Hit, which doubles the damage of that attack. Note that a critical hit that misses still counts as a miss and deals NO damage.

Slashing Weapons include the dagger, saber, and longsword. As an exception, the unarmed attack's special is Critical Hit as well.

Piercing: Piercing weapons have very high damage, but also a very long cooldown. The long cooldown means that you will be unable to act and vulnerable for many frames. However, the high damage more than makes up for that if you can predict the enemy's actions (by learning its pattern) and ensuring you have enough time to cooldown before the enemy's next attack.

Piercing Weapon's special attack is Armor Pierce, which causes that attack to always hit and deal full damage (not reduced by physical defense). This can break through enemy shields and take care of those highly armored enemies. An Armor Pierce attack CANNOT miss.

Piercing Weapons include the spear, long spear and dragonslayer.

Magical: Magical weapons have similar attack patterns to slashing weapons. They deal slightly less damage, have a slightly lower cooldown, and have more variance in their attack damage range. The big difference is their special attack.

Magical Weapon's special is Mana Gen, which generates 500 mana regardless of whether the actual attack hits or not. This allows you to cast powerful spells more frequently, and is perfect for players focusing on spellcasting.

Magical Weapons include the wand, staff and mace.

Ranged: Ranged weapons deal more damage than slashing weapons, and when the attack key is held they have a rapid fire which is faster than any other attack, drawing the next arrow before the first one even hits the enemy. Note that this means if you release the attack button after an arrow hits, the next arrow is likely already on the way and will still fire even after you release the key.

Unlike all the other weapon types, Ranged weapons have no special attack. Instead, they have a limited number of arrows, so you need to make each one count. This limitation is the biggest weakness of ranged weapons, as if you use up all of your arrows, you revert to an unarmed attack. Each battle gives you enough arrows to win (except Wraith, as physical weapons are ineffective against it), but just barely.

Ranged Weapons include the short bow, long bow and recurve bow.
Spells
Spells are very powerful, but require 3,000 mana, and so cannot be cast very often. Every new character starts the game knowing only the Spike spell, but they can choose a new spell to learn every 5 levels. Note that learning a spell doesn't equip it, you have to go to the equipment menu to equip the spell. You can only cast the equipped spell in any given battle, although changing spells between battles to suit the foe can give you a strong advantage.

Here's a list of all of the spells:

Spike (Earth): Deals 500-1,500 damage. Spike is weak and easy to evade as it only hits on one frame.

Snake (Earth): The same as Spike, except Snake deals 3,000-5,000 damage!

Lion (Fire): Deals 300-500 damage over 9 frames. This makes the total (unblocked) damage 2,700-4,500, not quite as powerful as Snake, but being spread over 9 frames makes it more difficult to evade. Even if it misses half the frames, it still deals a lot of damage.

Squid (Water): Deals 1,000-2,000 damage and only hits on one frame (like Spike). However, any damage dealt to the enemy is absorbed, so you can heal 1,000-2,000 as well as damage the enemy. Note that the heal amount can be reduced by the enemy's magic defense, and if you miss, you aren't healed at all.

Tornado: Deals 250-350 unblockable damage over 9 frames. This makes the total damage 2,250-3,150, always. Regardless of magical defense, or if the enemy is blocking or dodging, it will deal 2,250-3,150 damage (like Armor Pierce).

Lightning: Deals 0-600 damage over 14 frames, with a 1/4 chance of dealing 0 damage every frame. This makes the total (unblocked) damage 0-8,400, with the expected (unblocked) damage being 2,800. Like Lion (Fire), frames of lightning can be blocked, but any damage dealt with lightning also damages mana (if it deals 2,800 damage, it also removes 2,800 mana, which can keep enemies from casting powerful spells).

If an enemy doesn't have enough mana to cast a spell, he attacks instead, and if he doesn't have enough mana to defend, he dodges instead, changing his pattern.

Heal: Recovers 1,500-3,000 health, and defends for 12 frames. While it deals no damage, if can keep you alive longer, and be timed to block enemy attacks as well, giving you time and health to recover from a tough situation.