Chapter 3 was done a while ago. I tried a commentary run over it but I hated it so I nuked it. Might try again some other time. Anyway, here's the raw gameplay.
Right now I'm a decent way into Chapter 4, so all of the really hard stuff is over, at least until Chapter 10. I don't plan on doing all or even most of the Tests of Valor. That said, I didn't plan on doing Gigadeath properly either so who knows what will happen.
I was planning on putting a bunch of notes here as well but typing everything that's in my head takes forever. For now I will just say that this run has been somewhat enlightening when it comes to paying attention to the enemy's position and offensive status when it comes to deciding what moves to use. For example, when you are jumping somewhere with the DS, are you going to do OL X, OL >X, OL >Y or move somewhere else?
A few notes on chapter 3:
The mage/IS fight on the street that I did on purpose took a while. 90% of the time you just get blockstunned to death. But it's cool when it works. The main reason I use on landing running Y on the Talons as my spam move there and in other ninja encounters is because if it delimbs, it instantly goes into OT, and if it doesn't, you still get an invincible animation. >Y has an annoyingly inconsistent delimb rate on ninjas and sometimes Ryu can also miss the OT if he is bodyblocked or just feeling especially stupid. Still, it is fast and deadly if it works properly. With either Run Y or (OL) >Y another thing I do is jump around a lot and throw shurikens in order to control enemies, farm combo count, avoid getting stuck and avoid floor IS splash damage.
This chapter gives you a lot of essence on a no UT run since you can get bigger combos on the Van Gelfs without getting broken. On the first no UT/nin run I did that got to the end of chapter 3, I had just enough essence for the level 3 talons and level 2 DS. Here, I have enough for all level 3 (although I did farm 15K on the mages in Ch2). But I still left the lunar at level 1 LOL (because I want to immediately L3 the Dual Swords and Kusa when I pick them up).
Archers have significantly reduced accuracy off screen, but they still like to exploit certain moves, particularly flying swallow, missed OTs, helm splitter derivatives etc.
I upgraded the DS to L3 as a knee jerk reaction to getting Gold Van Gelf fireballed out of a Talons >Y. XXY>Y is really good on Gelfs and it seems to make fireballs miss you a lot. Maybe not all of the time, but you can play a bit more ballsy with that move than you'd expect.
Gigadeath what a fantastic boss. I hate all these gimmick projectile bosses, even though I liked 2 tanks/helicopter. Anyway, the biggest roadblock here is dodging his fish, which is basically pure RNG. They come at you in a staggered patterns, and if they sync up right, there is basically no combination of iframes that can dodge all of them short of UTs/ninpo. You can kill them with basically anything, including regular shurikens, but good luck getting Ryu to hit it properly. I tried a bunch of combos of double in air bow shot, shurikens, etc, but the only things that were promising were flying swallow and tap Y. you have a significantly higher chance of dodging or FS'ing his fish if gigadeath is further away - some of the fish hit the floor prematurely and explode, an the group also lines up in a row as they travel. If you are close, you get staggered fish on all sides = back to the start.
FS through his face with L3 Talons does a lot of damage and can be done at any time, but is risky and I don't know if it's 100% consistent at a particular timing. Also the Talons FS does the most damage out of all weapons, as if they didn't already need more advantages in their non-UT moveset. You can also hit the back of his tail at any time, though if you FS from behind too close you will still go forward into the zapper zone. When he flails around and spams plasma, you can also do Vermillion Bird on his tail, but I don't show it here.
The reason I start with running Y here is because I can follow it up with full WotVB into OL Run Y (though Ryu whiffs the VB triple FS here). Sometimes the running Y can double connect on his face and do more damage. It seems to be related to getting a head-on hit as well.
Obviously the key is getting him to go upside down and into non-zap mode, preferably for more than 1 cycle. He seems to have about a 10-20% chance of staying upside down for more than one cycle. However, he will only go upside down if you are behind him a bit after he turns around. This is another reason why I FS through his face - to get behind him and thus reduce the chance of him doing his wiggle grab, plasma spam or face attack. Another super annoying thing is that he seems to know that people might have tried doing melee attacks on him when he turns around, so he is quite likely to spawn fish when turning around, especially when he is upside down late game. In the video I just take the trade in order to get the damage.