Friday, January 26, 2018

Hints and tips for Xenon Valkyrie +

I've been playing Xenon Valkyrie + through most of December and am still going strong as February nears. The hidden depths within its tiny pixel characters and compact levels keep me coming back, time and time again. As a procedural game every level is different, but follow these tips and you should come back stronger.

Note, I haven't finished up everything yet, check back for updates! (recently added BlackStorm Labs)

Characters

There are three crew members from the ship to choose from. There's also a computer terminal where you can see how many swords and guns you've discovered and what their strengths are. Note the lower damage score is more important for quick kills. 

Eloen is the easiest character to play as, her infinite supply of bombs means you can blast your way to hard to reach places, both above and below. They also help you work around gaggles of stronger enemies rather than wading into battle (and getting killed or suffering serious damage). Her bonus key also means you don't need to back-and-forth through the first level to find a mini-boss to swipe one from.

Eloen
Health 12
WPA 50
Bonus: Infinite bombs and a key
Strength 1
Defence 1
Speed 2

Renna's radar mapper comes in handy if you want to speed run the game, locating the loot boxes (green) and exit portal (purple) although since that is always at the bottom, that's less useful than you might think. She also has the most ammo, which is good for avoiding melee in the busier battles.

Renna
Health 14
WPA 75
Bonus: Radar mapper
Strength 2
Defence 1
Speed 2

Nue is the weakest character with low ammo, but has the greatest jump height thanks to his bonus skill, making little "islands" easy to reach and loot.

Nue
Health 9
WPA 35
Bonus: Tall jump
Strength 1
Defence 2
Speed 2


Ancient Techforest

On level one of the Forest, if you can get to the end without losing your shield, you will get a +2 strength bonus from the blonde character by the skills totem. You might be able to buy a shield at the store and get the same bonus, but there's no guarantee, and that money could best be spent on other things.

On the forest levels, take the time to explore and kill all the enemies, and collect all the items to maximise money and experience. That way, on the tougher levels, you can avoid some unnecessary battles as you'll be near peak strength.

Bosses

You can only fight these guys with your sword, so be prepared with as much health and strength as you can afford, especially in the early levels focus your skill points on these. 

Sinister Sentinel

A lot easier if you have a shield, don't waste and time, run right and jump to the first level and then the higher one. Stand at the right edge to avoid the rotating beams. When they stop, and the Sentinel starts moving toward you, let it fire one round of bullets, then drop back down to the first platform, and start swinging when in range. If you have picked up a better sword, you can usually take him down with around 12 hits. If it starts moving away, and you have enough health and only need a couple of hits, follow him along the ground, dodging the bullets and jump/swinging to finish the job off. if you're low on health or need to get more than give hits go back to the safe spot and wait until he comes back. If he starts rising up the edge of the screen to use the big laser, get ready to leap in and finish him quickly.

Omega Zero

The easier of the first bosses, just dodge the large bombs and odd bullet, then when a shield raises to the left or right, run in and swipe at the powerbanks, or whatever they are. Move away when the shield starts to come back on, you can usually get 10-12 hits in, and swap sides when one is defeated to finish the job.

BlackStorm Lab (secret level)


BlackStorm Labs can be entered at the base in Thule Wulz, using the binary code on the tablet that you need to be standing next to (hinted at by one of the creatures in Gigacocoon's sanctuary). Press up for "1" and down for "0" according to the code that appears. You chat to a boffin and get +4 strength before entering this dark, purple, level.

There are two teleports once you finish the first section, the left one takes you back to Thule Wulz Grotto while the right takes you further into the Lab with a crazy amount of enemies. Given the lack of visibility, use the radar to figure out a path and use bombs to avoid choke points.

The next break there are three teleports, choose the middle one to head to the next level, where things get even tougher. The next portal break, by which time you've probably run out of ammo and are low on life has four portals.


Back to the main game: Thule Wulz Grotto

If you're lucky the baddies on these levels will spend more time killing each other than you. Patience can see whole squads shooting themselves, jumping on spikes or walking under poison gas. Navigate carefully, especially the second level which is often played in the dark. Note you can take out the torches for extra money.

The worst creatures are the leapers that explode in your face. Don't panic and shoot them at a distance if you can, to avoid being caught in the explosion. Or hide under a single character gap, so you can swing your sword if one comes close.

Bosses

Rusty Oxtator

The simpler of these two enemies, stay left or right and avoid the gunfire by jumping to climb up the legs. When you see the creature's eye twinkle get ready to dodge the vertical laser beams that widen when they land. When you have time from dodging that lot, swipe at the legs and guns, focus on one at a time. Once they are destroyed hit the powercells that drop down in the middle.

EMX Prototype

The target here is the generator on the platform. You need to dodge the rolling balls on the ground, and the rain of fire and the laser from above while hitting it repeatedly. Good leaping skills will help you avoid the balls when you need to get down to avoid the fire from above.

Prime Reactor

Tougher enemies like the tanks are your main problem here, with their firepower wrecking the scenery around you and dealing a lot of hit points. Keep your distance to avoid getting trapped in a melee. Also. watch for the turret guns that fire at variable times. Again, let them take each other out where you can, the below pic is a perfect example.

Bosses

Pure Energy

A simple one this, run to the far side of the floor away from the ship. Ignore it and don't try to take it on. The ship's exploding bombs usually drop in the middle, while you need to hit the chambers that rise up from the floor at the edges. The bullet patterns are easy enough to avoid as they spread out, a quick jump should do it and get back to bashing the chambers. 


Gigacocoon

The mayhem really starts here with fast moving and lots of pinging enemies creating death traps for the unwary. Move slow and look out for the spikes that also fire, taking those out first (unless they can take out an enemy for you).

There often seem to be a gaggle around the teleport, so find the most protected side to edge in from and take them out one-by-one.


Note in the Gigacocoon sanctuary, just drop off the bottom to get to the teleporter, rather than fiddling around jumping up the steps

Bosses

The ultimate boss requires plenty of health to tackle due to the amount of firepower and his health. After a few screen filling explosions, focus on the left and right circular "guns." Look for a twinkle in the eye for fast-falling stunners that will lock you in place for a few painful seconds.

The laser beans expand but if you stand by the inner edge of the circle you can keep hammering away. Once the guns are done, the center section opens up. Hack this for a while, sticking just left or right of the middle to avoid the bullet hell. Dodge the lasers from his eyes by going to the very edge of the screen, or take the hit if you will lose health anyway trying to dodge the bullets. Finally, repeat all that again and (one) victory is yours.

If you get to use the Xenon Valkyrie then there's a further boss, Deftos, with a million hitpoints to take on in a bullet hell section with your character on the left hand side, find the dodge up and down pattern, and keep on firing. 

Phoenix Wastes/Ivory Tundra

You visit these by playing as Renna or Nue and getting past Prime Reactor and taking a ride in the tunneling machine. Both have two levesl, Ivory Tundra is broadly similar to Gigacocoon while the Wastes are simpler with fewer pingy enemies to take you on. There's no store in the middle of the levels, so stock up in advance.


As Renna, you can navigate the Pheonix Waste pair of levels. At the end, you can jump on a jetski and face off against the Robot Commander. This requires lots of jumping to avoid the large bombs and the vertical lasers, while your gun fires backward to attack the boss. 


Playing as Nue, you visit the Ivory Tundra, two levels with lots of tanks and bouncing guards. However, once you finish them, there's a gap in the floor of the supply room, drop down here and you will face General Grulguk. Wait until he's in a corner before trapping him and hoping you kill him before you run out of life. There's a quick cutscene, and then you get a better supply room before heading back to the GigaCocoon. 


AI Mothership

Also, if you play as Nue and go through the tunneling machine and complete the levels, there's a gap in the room with the teleports. Look to the upper right and climb the wall to it. Keep on jumping and you'll hit a patch of zero gravity, where you stop falling. Head right and you can take on the AI mothership within the alien vessel. 

General Tips

  • Keep giving money to the beggar at the between-levels scenes and you'll be rewarded eventually with a +1 Defence when you paid him 200 credits in one go. 
  • If there's a single wall block between you and an enemy, you can usually kill them with a sword. 
  • Play cautiously and you don't have to put all your experience points into health, invest in strength so you can do more damage, killing enemies faster and reducing the chance of contact.
  • Always use the right stick to look above and below you when moving around to find bonuses or enemies that might be just off-screen.
  • Try to fight enemies from above so their "hit jump" doesn't send them leaping over or into you.
  • Also, try to hit them as they turn their back for the same reason. 
  • If fighting from below, be very careful about them dropping onto your level. 
  • If you are out of grenades or bombs, don't be afraid to use one of the robots that explodes on death as a substitute. Whack them in the direction you want and kill them at the right spot.
  • When you get access to the Dookball helper bots, they are not as useful as you'd think. The third one provides additional health points, which is on balance most useful. The first one fires the odd shot at enemies while the middle one provides extra ammo when you kill enemies.

No comments:

Post a Comment