Here's a few things I'd like to add in:
- Estimated achievement difficulty: 4/10 (provided you use Ashley's Suit of Armor costume for Professional)
- Offline: 12 (1000)
- Approximate amount of time to 1000
: 10-15 hours
- Minimum number of playthroughs needed:2 (Professional is unlocked after completing the game once)
- Number of missable achievements: Two ("What are they worth?" and "Don't Shoot the Water")
- Do cheat codes disable achievements?: No cheats
- Does difficulty affect achievements: Yes ("A Heart of Steel")
- Glitchy achievements: N/A
- Unobtainable achievements: N/A
I listed it as 10-15 hours based on the casual gamer. If you run through maybe collecting less than 50% of the treasure, don't kill every single Ganado you see and only upgrade some of your weapons to max you can be done with your first playthrough in roughly 5-8 hours. If you take your time, that could reach MAYBE over 10. Regardless, you would then have to complete Seperate Ways which could take anywhere from 3-6 hours and THEN complete Professional mode afterwards.
I mainly played the Gamecube version and as I remember, Professional Mode was unlocked AFTER completing the game normally. I don't remember from the Wii version nor have I played the PS2 version (I owned the PC but never played it), so maybe they might have changed it to where Professional is available from the getgo. But for an easier time, it's recommended to take this path.
-IMPORTANT: Before the end of Chapter 1-3 you will encounter large open area outside of a massive lake, there is a nearby typewriter that you should use to save immediately. Head towards the dock but don't get on the boat, instead face the water and shoot at it 5-7 times...trust me, doing this will unlock the "Don't Shoot the Water" achievement which is missable if you just continue on without doing this. By the way, you're going to reload that save afterwards..you'll see why.
-Play through the main game, unlocking the 8 story achievements and try to knock out the "What Are They Worth?" achievement in this run.
-Play through Seperate Ways to unlock "S is for STYLISH!!" and obtain Ashley's Suit of Armor
-Play through Professional with Ashley in the suit of armor. Reasons that this is beneficial:
1.)Ashley is immune to all damage. There are VERY few ways to actually kill Ashley while she is in the armor and all of these are through exploits of in game sequences. I believe one of these is leaving her to be killed by the moving drill machine in Chapter 3 or 4 (I can't recall which)...but I may be wrong, it is possible she might actually just be pushed forward by the machine (like physically through the gate). Anyways, no enemy can hurt her and that's what counts in Professional. This includes El Gigante that attempt to pick her up and squeeze the life out of her, no damage will befall her (correct me if I'm wrong, of course).
2.)The suit of armor that she's wearing is EXTREMELY heavy. One of the main problems in the main game is when Ganados constantly try to carry her off, well this isn't possible anymore (especially during the sequence where you have to snipe Ganados going after her in the Castle). As soon as any ganado picks her up, they'll fall flat on their ass and drop Ashley immediately. In fact, you can stand back and watch as two Ganados constantly try to pick her up only to fail every time.
3.)You do not have to bother healing her, at all...this means that all health items you have on you can be saved for Leon only. This will help especially considering how few hits it takes to kill Leon in Professeional. In fact, you can virtually ignore her aside from puzzles. No longer do you ahve to hide her from enemies, worry if some are going after her...in fact, she acts as a strategic way to LURE enemies in so you can pick them off with your knife.