Table of Contents Show
- Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition Walkthrough Guide
- Levels Summary
- E1A1: A Tomb With A View
- E1A2: Up
- E1A3: Triadagio
- E1A3: Triadagio (Continued – Secrets)
- E1A4: The Barracks
- E1A5: Moatin’ Lava
- E1A6: Nothin’ But Net
- E1A6: Nothin’ But Net (Continued – Secrets)
- E1A7: Truth Or Darian
- E1A7: Truth Or Darian (Continued)
- E1A8: Through And Through
- E2A1: High Road, Low Road
- E2A2: Open Fire
- E2A3: Dark ‘N’ Deadly
- E2A4: Lightning Strikes
- E2A5: A Mode I Rode
- E2A6: You’re Fired
- E2A6: You’re Fired (Continued)
- E2A6: You’re Fired (Continued – Secrets)
- E2A7: Krist Cross
- E2A8: WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!
- E3A1: Overview
- E3A2: Sky Tunnels
- E3A3: Bridge Over Trouble
- E3A3: Bridge Over Trouble (Continued – Secrets)
- E3A4: Experiment IV
- E3A5: The Ride
- E3A5: The Ride (Continued)
- E3A6: Lights Out
- E3A7: NME Mine
- E3A8: They Say HOO-Mahn-Ay
- E4A1: Halls Of Walls
- E4A1: Halls Of Walls (Continued)
- E4A2: Getting The Drop
- E4A2: Getting The Drop (Continued)
- E4A2: Getting The Drop (Continued – Secrets)
- E4A3: A Boulder Vision
- E4A3: A Boulder Vision (Continued – Secrets)
- E4A4: Pykus Peak
- E4A5: The Hoppe Hop
- E4A5: The Hoppe Hop (Continued)
- E4A6: Technical Ecstacy
- E4A7: Oscuro’s Legions
- E4A8: 95 Windows
- E4A8: 95 Windows (Continued – Secrets)
- E4A9: On Its Tail
- E4A10: The Unholy Chamber
- E4A11: Danger Mouth
- E4A12: Fencing
- E4A13: Welcome To The Machine
- E4A13: Welcome To The Machine (Continued – Secrets)
- E4A14: Fire Flight
- E4A15: Run Like Heaven
- E4A16: Stupid Dog Tricks
- E5A1: Gods Of Annihilation (WARP-ONLY)
- A5A2: The Grand Vomitorium (WARP-ONLY)
- E5A3-E5A5: Ludicrous Additions (WARP-ONLY)
Walkthrough for Extreme Rise of the Triad.
Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition Walkthrough Guide
Strategies for the highest difficulty level, in the play style of no mid-stage saving. It can still be used on lower difficulties and with mid-stage saves, in which the game just becomes easier. Also compatible with pistol starting each map.
Secrets for the levels are also included.
- This guide is geared towards the highest difficulty, using the play style of no mid-stage saving. However, you absolutely can use it with any difficulty and with save-scumming; it’ll just be even easier.
- The character you select has a much bigger impact on the experience than in Dark War (and much more so for Ludicrous Edition due to map and engine fixes). Extreme ROTT is a mix between difficult enemy/trap setups and platforming/jumping/speed obstacles. The tougher characters will tank the former to make them easier, but will badly struggle on the latter; the inverse for the faster characters.
- Your automap is one of the most important tools to succeed. It’s not only for navigation, but in ROTT, it usually gives you the position of the enemies. This is extremely useful for intense battles and when you’re struggling to keep up with the enemy positions. This is a default feature, not enabled by the map cheat. You’re given this “enhanced” automap; USE IT.
- When I refer to left, right, front, back, forward, etc., they are relative to your position and view. North, east, etc. refer to when viewing the automap.
(s) = secret levels
* = warp-only level
** = semi-warp level
1. A Tomb With A View
4. The Barracks
5. Moatin’ Lava
6. Nothin’ But Net
7. Truth Or Darian
8. Through And Through (s)
1. High Road, Low Road
2. Open Fire
3. Dark ‘N’ Deadly
4. Lightning Strikes
5. A Mode I Rode
6. You’re Fired
7. Krist Cross
8. WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!
High Road Progression: 1-4-5-6
Converges to: ————————-7-E3
Low Road Progression: 1-2-3-8 /
2. Sky Tunnels
3. Bridge Over Trouble
4. Experiment IV
5. The Ride
6. Lights Out
7. NME Mine
8. They Say HOO-Mahn-Ay (s)
1. Halls of Walls
2. Getting The Drop
3. A Boulder Vision
4. Pykus Peak
5. The Hoppe Hop
6. Technical Ecstacy
7. Oscuro’s Legions
8. 95 Windows (s)
9. On Its Tail
10. The Unholy Chamber
11. Danger Mouth (s)
12. Fencing (s)
13. Welcome To The Machine (s)
14. Fire Flight (s)
15. Run Like Heaven (s)
16. Stupid Dog Tricks (s)
Main Progression: 1-11-12-13-16-17-18-2-3-8-4-5-6-7-9-10
1. Gods of Annihilation*
2. The Grand Vomitorium**
3-5. Ludicrous Additions*
E1A1: A Tomb With A View
This expansion starts off with a level where the monks are the only enemy types you encounter. The name is a reference to the drama with the same name. As far as how it relates to the level itself, I guess since you’re dealing with the dead…
Quite straight-forward, even for a starting stage. The only real difficulty comes from the fact that they throw you into a Monk-infested stronghold from the get-go. Be careful of the open level boundaries at the start while dodging Monk fireballs; don’t strafe too broadly. Just focus your Bazooka shots at the Deathfire Monks. Or let them accidentally hit the Death Monks a bit.
By the time you’re out of Bazooka ammo, all Deathfire Monks should be long gone. You can then either pick off the rest with the dual pistols or, since you’d go there to get it anyway, there’s a Flamewall behind the building with the elevator.
After the elevator, you are essentially in a diamond-shaped room that is separated into 4 quadrants by a central “+” fence structure. You’ll be making your way around to each quadrant by opening a gold key door and going to the other side of the associated fence. On the other side of the fence is usually a wave of monks to deal with in setups of increasing difficulty. Don’t stand too close to the fences as Deathfire Monks can sneakily scale over the other side by GADs.
When you open a gold door, the following area connects the 2 sides of a fence. So don’t carelessly proceed through the doors because you’ll get ambushed; clear who’s immediately in front of you after opening the door, then check the other side of the fence for monks. Always carefully and thoroughly clear the areas behind gold key doors before proceeding.
The third and last gold key door has an optional section where you have to run across gaps; I recommend waiting for an opening and running straight across nonstop.
Your reward on the other side is a Firebomb. It’s not a must-have, especially since you’re pretty much done the level. But it’ll speed things up at the start of the next level.
This level is pretty disappointing as a first impression (monks, enough said). Never are you overwhelmed or stressed by the fights or the level progression. It would fit right in with the regular game as far as difficulty goes. You’re given ample firepower and health throughout to finish it with full health.
- Through the second gold key door, you’ll see some stairs on the right. There’s a touch plate on the little space of ground at the bottom of the stairs along the north wall, on the other end of the fence. It opens the structure behind you, on its east face. There’s a bonus point pickup in there.
- In that same room, the northeast corner wall from the structure can be pushed to reveal an enemy and some points.
- Through the third gold key door, there are gaps to cross with moving walls. After crossing the first gap, look at the right wall recess for a fence you can run onto. It leads to an Excalibat and some points.
- From the previous secret area, cross the second gap, fall in the pit and press the left part of the left recess wall. There’s a 1-up atop the stairs here.
- In the same previous secret room, now push that wall segment right (that you pushed to reveal this area). Technically, this is the true introduction to the Oscurovators; essentially 1-way elevators. It’ll lead to a Dark Staff in the structure at the beginning of the level.
The name probably alludes to the fact that much of the level takes place high up in the air, on GADs. Because you could get lost here, I’ll be a bit more in-depth.
You start in front of a host of Deathfire Monks and a trampoline. There are many other Monks all around this open area. If you got the Firebomb from the previous level, this will be a bit quicker. Otherwise, just use the trampoline to evade them around the wall structure.
Past this are 3 U-shaped alcoves just ahead; the middle one has a Bazooka in it. Alternatively, you can reach some GADs with the trampoline. Follow it around and fall off behind the third U alcove, at the middle; you’ll get a Bazooka on your way down. Do not use up all of the Bazooka ammo at the start, or the areas immediately after.
When you open the door at the start, don’t rush in; Monks are idling in the air on the left and right side. Walk to either side to activate them and retreat. Up the GAD stairs is a T intersection; the right continues up the stairs while the left is a drop to the ground. Take the right.
Rush to the top of the stairs to avoid being stepped on by enemies hidden atop those side fences near the top. Keep a distance and snipe them. Also mind the GAD flying back and forth up here.
Atop, take the right path at the fork (the path straight ahead just has a monk to kill and that’s only if you want to get to the secrets that require the Oscuro key). Start with the right path at the next fork for the gold key, which might be your first encounter with the Triad Enforcers; otherwise, you’ll see them when you go back and take the left path. Remember how I said to conserve the Bazooka ammo at the beginning?
First in the left path, you’ll see a drop in a closed-in area on your right with a Dark Staff at the bottom. Past this is another fork, going straight and left. Straight is a dead end drop with a Heat Seeker. To the left, watch out for enemies atop fences; look both ways at turns.
Don’t take the Asbestos Armor beyond the gold key door just yet; save it for the end. I also highly recommend saving an explosive weapon for that. There are also Oscuro and sliver key doors in this area. Flip the switch in this area.
Now go all the way back to the first drop to the ground area when first going up the GAD stairs (left at the T intersection). Then at the 4-way junction, left is the path to the silver key (after crossing along those GAD walkways). If you fell in the fire pits before hitting the switch before, there’s no way out. Otherwise, there’s a trampoline at the west end; you can also safely pick off the monks behind those gates from here and not need the asbestos vest & explosive weapon for the end. Anyway, the silver key is flanked by some Deathfire Monks.
Before entering the silver key door, be sure to grab a fully loaded explosive weapon and then that Asbestos Armor I told you to save. Even if you cleared the monks through those gates, the items will be useful. Because when you first see the level exit arches, don’t be a fool and rush in, as its a nasty little trap.
Much of the map is like a maze, so periodically check your automap to see if any enemies were somehow activated and are coming after you. This is especially so because enemy types encountered at spots vary on different play-throughs. Overall, not a very difficult level. The key is not to rush. Try to keep a distance and/or a barrier between you and the enemies, especially since you’re fighting either Enforcers, Deathfire Monks or groups of both in such small spaces.
- Get this secret after hitting the switch past the gold key door. At the 4-way intersection on the ground below the GADs (reached from the first drop, when going for the silver key) the right path leads to a Flame Wall and also the Oscuro key after using a GAD to cross a low fence.
- Back at the 4-way intersection from the previous secret, head straight (north) to the silver key area. There’s a trampoline on the ground at the west end of this room (no fire pits in this little patch here). See the high, 3-panel fence on the north wall, across the fire pits? Launch up there for a Firebomb.
- Now it’s time to go back into the gold key door; enter the Oscuro key door. This area will grant you access to the flying GAD atop the stairs; after riding the lift, wait atop the fence for it. It will let you see atop those first high fences you came across with the ambush atop the stairs; there are still some enemies up there, so be ready to move. At the other end of the ride is another high fence that has a 3-Up for a reward.
regular exit – **
secret exit with saving at critical point – ****
secret exit with saving only at start of level – *****
This level is the exception to the “save only at the start” condition that this strategy guide is tailored to.
(side note: I actually bothered to pull off the secret exit route with only a save at the start of the level; unexpectedly, I got it on my first try even though I thought I’d be redoing it tons of times. All it amounted to was freak luck that I’m sure will not happen for any subsequent 100 tries, and I won’t bother to try again. I encourage you to save at least at the critical point, explained later.)
Triadagio is a portmanteau of the words “Triad” and “Adagio” (from the track Adagio for Strings and Organ in G Minor, which this level uses).
Right off the bat (pun intended), there’s a Flame Wall in front of you for a reason. If you try to shoot those 2 distant enemies with anything else, you’ll notice some weird invisible barrier not letting you shoot, or even approach them. What you’re supposed to do is send a flame wall in their direction; the barrier will be gone and you can proceed.
Hitting the first switch, you’ll discover that the invisible barrier was made up of a bunch of enemies that will now appear and immediately catch flames due to that Flame Wall shot you sent just before. Not sure what was the intended sequence here, as it doesn’t really make much sense*. Anyway, that switch will also spawn a small ambush of soldiers, but you have cover. As you progress, pay attention to the high fences and look around you, as enemies tend to sneak around the area.
*Addendum (thanks Joe Siegler): The intended sequence was that if you pressed the switch before sending a flame wall its way, the invisible enemies would spawn all around you; quite a fish in a barrel. However, as mentioned, for some reason, the invisible enemies are tangible (block your way), meaning you can’t even get to the switch without sending a flame wall there anyway. This is something I should have elaborated on. The glitch with the enemies still makes the trap somewhat salvaged, though: the physical barrier will not be eliminated if the invisible enemies are killed by any other weapon (however, now you can’t walk across and need to reach there from above). You’re not soft-locked in this case, though. The pillars next to the walls move after a timed delay, and the wall segment they block can be pushed to get out of the starting area.
There are 2 gold keys for some reason, but you only need to take one. Enemy spawns are random in various sections of the level, but you really only need to worry about the Triad Enforcers.
The challenge comes in the silver key room. When you enter, there’s a layer of GADs floating above you, which forms the upper floor, that has a bunch of Triad Enforcers and 2 formations of spin blades moving in a circuit. I usually just lead the enemies into the blades to make quick, easy work; some of them might fall through the GADs, so pay attention. You need to ride some moving GADs up to that floating layer, but the tricky part is timing it to not get ground up yourself; the spin blades’ circuit extends to both ends of the room. Just check your automap, or look up, to see when it’s safe and time it; there are many openings to go for it.
On the other side of where you ascend is a small doorway to proceed, but don’t go too far through; there are 2 Triad Enforcers waiting to ambush you in side alcoves. Alert them and lure them back to the blades.
After that is a drop to a small room with a switch on the wall. THIS IS THE CRITICAL POINT; SAVE HERE IF YOU INTEND TO TAKE THE SECRET EXIT. Otherwise, go ahead and flip it, and the regular exit is just around the corner after a Triad Enforcer.
The switch expands the room by moving forward 2 pillars that flank it. This, of course, will result in a single square space between them that the player character should fit through. To reach the secret area that leads to the secret exit, you have to squeeze through that small space between the moving pillars, outrun and get ahead of the left one into the opening that will be sealed off by that pillar if you don’t.
The only problem is, due to the quirky physics in ROTT, the player tends to get stuck when running along any moving wall; and because you need to run between 2 of them, this becomes an enormous issue. The player must be dead center between them to not get “stuck” (slowed down); however, this is obviously impractical in the little time you have to get past them.
Basically, once you hit the switch, follow the left moving wall until you’re able to get between the 2. Then, you have to rapidly alternate strafing left and right as you run between them. But not only does it not work half the time, because it requires quite the precision, the enemies behind the walls can get in your way. If you fail, just re-load and redo it right from there.
Because speed is, of course, a big factor in pulling this off, character choice becomes crucial for this segment. Lorelei is the fastest and so can most easily do this. Thi Barrett can do it, too, but it’s way more difficult. I’m not sure if any of the other characters can make it into the secret area, and I’ve never been able to pull it off with any of them.
If you’re feeling (REALLY) bored and want to 1-shot this level to the secret exit path, I at least recommend doing 2 things. First, snipe out the 2 grunts in the critical point room from the ground below the GAD layer (since the rooms are connected with no doors/walls); your bullet weapons should reach them through the fence grates. Second, just ignore the Triad Enforcers in the alcoves right after the spin blades; you’ll be rushing, so they won’t reach you and it saves time. Run past them into the room, hit the switch and do your best to make it.
If none of that was bad enough already, the setup is mean because players likely won’t find the secret path on their first, or first several attempts since it’s right at the end of the level and the area gets blocked off pretty quickly and discretely.
Anyway, once you’re in the secret area, reaching the exit is another headache of its own. Notice the Ballistikraft right in your way. You’re expected to move the push wall right beside you from where you first enter to discover the Asbestos Armor and Firebomb concealed within the secret area. If you don’t know, you need to aim straight down and launch a Firebomb to catapult yourself over the robot when it approaches you; then run for the exit when the second robot isn’t blocking it.
The big issue here is you need to activate the push wall to the vest and Firebomb as soon as you enter the secret area, as the first patrolling Ballistikraft can detect you as soon as you enter. Of course, it will then open fire; you can easily get killed before reaching the vest. Obviously, if you’re 1-shotting this level, that’s a stinging slap in the face.
On top of that, DO NOT end up between both robots while the second one is in front of the exit. Chances are, either one will spot and attack you, essentially keeping that second robot in front of the exit until you’re dead. You have to catapult back and away to reset their motion. There’s really no easy way to time all of this, other than using the automap and hoping for the best.
It’s unfortunate about this huge flaw in the level as this is where things were starting to get better with the episode. Trust me, do yourself a favor and don’t 1-shot this level if you want to reach the secret exit.
(Level secrets in the next section…)
E1A3: Triadagio (Continued – Secrets)
The only real secrets are found in that secret exit path, which is explained in the level guide. However, I’ll list it in short for completion, as well as some utterly pointless ones…
- Press the first 2 switches at the start. In the expanded area now, see those 2 columns along the walls? Wait until they move by themselves away and press each wall segment that was behind them to open a small little room, then press the south triad logo wall in each one to connect to another part of the room. These 2 hidden areas are the other way out of the starting room; either directly or if accidentally block yourself in with the invisible enemy barrier.
- When you press the switch before the exit, follow the left moving pillar. Get between it and the right one when you get a chance. Rapidly strafe left and right to try to speed up and get past them, then behind the left one to get into the path to the secret exit.
- From the start of the hidden area in the previous secret, press the south end wall to find an asbestos vest.
- Use the items from the previous secret area to blast yourself over the Ballistikraft nearby. This has to be carefully timed to also get past the next robot that is right in front of the secret exit.
E1A4: The Barracks
Nothing special; the name seems to be just what the level actually represents.
Shortly after the start, you come up to a big square room with a large central structure. All around its perimeter are openings and raised fences from which soldiers exit/drop down to ambush you. There are also 2 fences along 2 of the room walls, also with enemies. Just proceed slowly and carefully, looking around you for sneaky soldiers.
This room is mostly for bonuses. Use the trampoline in one of the structure openings to get on the fence, then wait for the GAD circling the perimeter to pass to run across onto the fence on the wall. There’s a Flame Wall here and if you follow this path, you’ll come back around to the structure for a 1-up.
Shortly after, you’ll open a door to several sets of GAD stairs going into the walls. Obviously, these house enemies. Fire off a shot to activate them and pick them off. Don’t be too careless, as almost always one of these soldiers is a missile toting Lightning Guard.
The room right after is a good spot for the Flame Wall. You’re pretty much near the end and you’ll know it’s the final area when you open a door to GAD stairs that lead up to a drop.
The end is a showdown in a small, yet very crowded room with many trampolines. Too bad it’s very easy and you can do it in 3 different ways. One is jump in immediately, getting the Asbestos Armor you can see as you fall; choose any missile weapon of your choice, including what’s provided in there. Then just let ‘er rip. The other is to get the Bulletproof Armor in what I can only call the shower room, which is nearby the previous area. Then just take down the crowd with bullets, or even missile weapons as there is enough distance.
The first method would have been slightly more difficult, as the enemies can gun you quite a lot, if it wasn’t for the fact that you can bounce back out of this end area and get some health.
If you want to just wreck the showdown battle, go in the rightmost (south) room with the Healing Basin and press its right wall. You’ll find a God Mode powerup; this is the third way.
This level is linear and not difficult. It still exhibits some pretty nice design and progression, where you’re essentially fighting enemies in isolated swarms/waves.
- In the room with the large square hut/structure in the middle, you’ll notice a trampoline in the south side; get atop the fence. Wait for a GAD to come by and hitch it around the structure. You’ll find 1-Ups in fences around it.
- On the fence from the trampoline in the previous secret, wait for a GAD to pass by. Instead of riding on it, run across it onto the fence in the wall across from you. There’s a Flame Wall in here. Follow this secret passage to one of the 1-Ups in the previous secret (if you didn’t get it yet).
- Eventually, you’ll reach a big room with TONS of furniture (acting as bullet shields against you). There’s a touch plate in the northeast corner (behind the barrel). Then, go back to the previous room and head up any of the stairs on your left to enter a secret room with enemies and bonus points.
- In the room next door (east) to the one with the touch plate in the previous secret, the inner wall of the north alcove can be pushed for lots of health.
- In the large room with what I can only call supercomputers, there are 3 single doors along the east wall, each having a Healing Basin. In the right (south) room with the basin, its right (south) wall can be pressed to find a God Mode powerup, which essentially breaks the end shootout.
E1A5: Moatin’ Lava
Play on the term molten lava. Except it seems the moat part only refers to a tiny section at the start of the map. Maybe also the intense section near the end. Get ready for one of the most fun, yet intense levels in the game.
The start may seem like a nightmare, as you’re in the center of the room, surrounded in all directions by soldiers and Deathfire Monks. But no, it’s not even that overwhelming. Run to any corner of the room for instant relief. The best corner, though, is southeast (front-right from your start); it has a Flame Wall.
Find the Mercury Mode stash behind the fence, which seems excessive as you only need one. Open the only door you can and fly around the moat perimeter to a high fence; climb it and hit the switch. The other end of the fence is a shortcut back to the start through the door that was locked before. The switch moves an Oscuro wall, revealing an elevator.
Remember the excessive Merury Mode stash? Well, it’ll come in a little handy for the next part. But you’ll get through without it just as well. Simply sprint across and get the armor; go up the GADs; circle around and sprint across the line of Ballistikrafts. It looks scary, but it’s very easy; you can make it even easier by flying across this segment.
Next is my favorite part of this map. This is a full-blown sneaking segment with hiding spots behind walls all around, Ballistikrafts on a GAD conveyor belt to sneak around and Robot Guards to destroy.
Start by running to your right (counter-clockwise) around the room; pick a missile weapon in the corner and quickly take out the 2 Robot Guards right after. Go around the structure and take out the other 2; watch out for possible missiles from Ballistikrafts far ahead. Slowly approach the conveyor belt; when it’s clear, run up to the left and go up the stairs onto the belt when you have enough distance from those invincible oil drums on either side.
While riding, be careful and step back periodically, as you’ll notice that even though you’re not running, your character for some reason slowly gets closer to the Ballistikraft in front of you. Anyway, get into the raised opening in the wall you’ll see for the gold key. You have to come back in here to continue through this narrow path once you have the silver key.
The gold key door, recall, is on the far end of the structure between those 4 Robot Guards you destroyed. Here’s the “enemy ambush” in this so-called sneaking mission. That room is LOADED with Robot Guards you must destroy. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of missile ammo around the area to do so.
Before returning to the raised opening in the wall, sneak back left and clockwise this time around the main room until you reach a door. Behind it are some Robot Guards and a useful Asbestos Armor. Get it and now make your way to the opening. Continue along it to the silver key door, BUT DON’T RUN UP TO IT YET. There’s a cleverly placed “flower” turret that will sprout up and gun holes through you. There’s a Heat Seaker and Bazooka in that area; aim down and use them to dispatch it.
At the gap with 3 floating GADs, the side ones lead you to some health. The touch plate in front of the door in this area opens up the side walls in the alcoves just before the door; they’re loaded with Deathfire Monks and some goodies, including an Asbestos Armor; that is, as well as the one on the ground just before the gap. Next, beside the elevator is a Firebomb and a touch plate, and for good reason. Use that (or any missile weapon, really) on the minor ambush that that the touch plate unveils.
Out the elevator is a seemingly intense section where you must navigate around a big open area with a lava-covered ground. The swarm of Deathfire Monks in the area are supposed to be a problem, except you should have at least one asbestos vest left in the previous area. The monks are your first priority, so bring a missile weapon (and even go back if you need more).
From the elevator, run right (clockwise) around the room to hit the switch and immediately turn around to fend off the unveiled ambush behind the opened-up walls. Later on, don’t rush for the exit when you see it; it’s another nasty trap involving flower turrets obscured by all those fire pots. It would be a very aggravating end to your attempt at this level. Obviously, don’t use a Heat Seeker from far back. Push the corner wall right at the turn towards the long end hallway for a nice weed killer solution to this Venus Fly Trap.
You might die the first time playing this level, but once you know what to do, you may come to love it. Definitely one of my favorite levels.
- In the starting room of the “sneaking mission”, in the middle of the conveyor belt square is a trampoline you can use to reach the high fence on the north wall for a bulletproof vest.
- Not that much of a secret, especially since it’s more of an ambush, but can easily be missed and has some good items. A good bit into the silver key door area, you’ll hit a touch plate right in front of a door. This opens up walls in the side alcoves right behind you. They have Deathfire Monks, but also some good items (did I already say that?).
- Also not much of a secret. In the room past the door of the previous semi-secret, the Firebomb has a touch plate in front of it. This opens a room behind you with Deathfire Monks, health and a Heat Seeker.
- Right at the corner of the right turn to the long candle-lit hallway to the exit, the wall can be pushed to reveal some pretty useful equipment.
E1A6: Nothin’ But Net
A more obvious gimmick level, as you’re fighting nothing but Over Patrol troops. And, of course, they can trap you in a net… or they’re supposed to anyway. For some reason, they barely ever throw nets at you in this level. Don’t quote me on this, but it might be because they’re very close to each other (you often fight crowds of them); kind of the same thing with the enemies in this game that they don’t attack you if another enemy is too close to them around the front. The level name probably also refers to shooting a swish.
The only reason this gets ** is because of the end segment; a bit tricky so it’s a drop dead point. Also, having the MP-40 by this level could really speed things up. You would only get it by luck from a High Guard who drops it after dying in any of the previous levels, or from the secret level (Through And Through).
Before anything else, I just want to emphasize that you should pay attention to fences and look out for wall nests. They usually have 1 or more enemies on/in them, waiting to ambush you.
In the starting area, follow the rising path of the GAD stairs through those fences and across the big gap to get a Firebomb. Hold onto this as it’s a key to success at the end (or at least one of the best options). Along the way, you can swap weapons as long as you can retrieve the Firebomb once you’re done with the other. Get it at the start before doing anything further as some triggers shortly after will block off access to it. I also want to point out that, even at the end, there is never a situation where it’s crucial to use a missile weapon.
When you follow the curve around the starting room, watch out for a touch plate near the door; it moves a wall that’s behind you in your direction. Besides the wall crushing you, it reveals a small ambush. Get the knife, if you want, before the wall conceals that space.
An interesting, unofficial secret is that most of the beginning area can be skipped, including the silver key, if you can run across the GADs at the start and hit the switch in the air. I don’t suggest this, just because of the sake of completion and whatnot. If you’re pistol starting, the silver key door room has a series of push walls that will grant you an extra pistol and bonuses.
After you hit the switch, a long side door is accessible; it’s a potentially painful trap with just a knife as a reward.
In the next section, if you fall into the fire pit, you’ll activate a touch plate when coming back out that will make further screw ups here much harder to get out of. Honestly, this is not a hard section, except maybe with slower characters.
When you reach the drop with the enemy audience at the bottom, here’s a fun trick that was probably not considered in the map design. You have a button to drop your currently equipped missile weapon; you can’t drop it on top of GADs (and other platforms), nor objects. But you can drop it on the ground, which includes from the air as you’re falling. So, notice the bulletproof vest and Firebomb in the high wall nests on either side while standing on the GADs?
If you want to keep BOTH Firebombs, first run to the GAD line’s edge, run off of it very briefly to drop your current Firebomb and QUICKLY reverse to retreat; you’ll be back on the GADs instead of falling to the ground and your main Firebomb will be on the ground below. Now get those 2 aforementioned items, fall down there at a good, safe distance and blast them away.
The second Firebomb isn’t absolutely needed, nor is using any Firebomb ammo, as the vest should last until you clear the room. You can even expend rounds from your sole Firebomb if you want; it’s just better to tackle the end of the map with more rounds.
Anyway, you have to step on a time-based touch plate in the alcove at the left of the room, then run all the way around through the temporarily opened door. Next, after you flip the switch, stay in that same spot until the moving wall behind you forms an alcove out of your position. From here, you can safely pick off the crowd in the newly opened area.
Soon, you’ll come across a Drunk Missile Launcher and an Asbestos Armor. Reject the former. When you have an opening from the fireball trap, sprint to the right, sticking to the right wall until you see the opening in it to enter. You activated a touchplate in the process that opened a very wide door full of enemies; but to your delight, you can hide safely atop the climb or behind the wall and watch as these poor lemmings obliviously walk into their DooM.
Eventually, you’ll reach a rather annoying “maze” made out of GADs of varying height that form the walls to this maze. On top of that (pun intended), enemies are in raised fence nests along the actual walls. From where you stand on the ground, try to aim up and shoot them out, which you’ll learn can be pretty annoying since your bullets are often blocked by the GADs; but if they’re hitting you more than you are them, get out of their sight. They’re honestly the more difficult part of this maze. Since this isn’t a single-space path maze, here’s a rough layout of getting through.
“-” are barriers or generally not part of the route
“0” is the path you take
From Ground (start at north):
– 0 – – – – – –
– 0 – – – – – –
– 0 – 0 0 0 – –
– 0 0 0 – 0 – –
– – – – 0 0 – –
– – – 0 0 – – –
– – – 0 – 0 0 0
– 0 0 0 – 0 – 0
– 0 – – – 0 – 0
– 0 – 0 0 0 – 0
– 0 0 0 – – – 0
You’ll come across Large Monk Crystals along the way; unless you really need any, I recommend saving them for later.
Going up the GAD layer (start at south):
– – – – 0 0 0 –
– – 0 0 0 – 0 –
– – 0 – – – 0 –
– – 0 – – – 0 –
– – 0 – – – 0 –
– – 0 – – – 0 0
– – 0 0 0 – – –
– – – – 0 0 0 –
– – – – – – 0 –
– – – – – – 0 –
– – – – – – 0 0
Eventually, you’ll come to a gap leading to a drop with some enemies caged in by GADs. I highly recommend keeping a distance from the edge, but slowly approaching it while shooting your bullet weapon down towards them. At some point, you can snipe them safely without them being able to return the favor.
Now, remember how there was a monk crystal in a ground nest at the bottom of the maze room? Go back there and push the far wall in this nest to unveil a Mercury Mode powerup. Get it and rush back to the drop. Now, you’ll go down there, open the door, set off the touch plate in front of the deceitful exit and activate the overly angry patrol mob. Retreat back up out of the drop to elevated safety. Do I need to tell you what to do with the Firebomb at this point?
Another really fun level that is actually quite flexible in how you approach it and tackle certain sections. Side note, Overpatrol enemies are a real riot when they’re killed as they’re standing on raised GADs. Their death scream fits so well with falling through the GAD, and crashing down to the ground below.
(Level secrets in the next section…)
E1A6: Nothin’ But Net (Continued – Secrets)
- Not a true secret, but may be overlooked and is worth it; especially since it has a useful weapon, the Firebomb. Go up the stairs in front of you at the start and enter the fence opening to the right. Follow this path up and cross the long gap across the room into that opening. This one might not be accessible with Doug.
- Unofficial, non-recommended secret. You can skip most of the starting area if you carefully cross the GADs to the high switch of the silver key door room. You can activate it from the other side, too. In the previous semi-secret, don’t run across onto that fence opening; instead, to its left is a GAD you can reach. After 2 more crossings, the switch is reachable. Again, probably not possible with Doug.
- In the silver key door room, press the northwest corner wall to enter a room with an extra pistol.
- In the previous secret room, press the northeast corner wall (you need to go over the columns) for another secret room with bonus points.
- In the previous secret room, press the next northeast corner wall to get some points and a touch plate to get out of there.
- Yet another not-so-secret. Back in the main room, follow it around until you see the pink doors and stop. Look down and slowly advance until you see a touch plate. Avoid it; at the right end of the room from it is a little passage with a knife-containing statue. Follow its passageway around for points.
- Now hit the touch plate mentioned in the previous secret to move a wall for health, netters and a Heat Seeker. The previous pseudo-secret is now inaccessible.
- More of a risky area than a secret. In the large room with the wall lined with fireball traps, as you’re crossing the thin, high walkway, you’ll notice a seemingly empty alcove in the southwest corner with a single fence panel. Well there’s actually a 1-Up floating behind that single panel.
- In the GAD maze room make your way to the southwest alcove on the ground; has a monk crystal at its end. Push the end wall to find a Mercury Mode powerup.
- Save the Mercury Mode powerup of the previous secret until you cleared the enemies up until where you need to fall into the final area across the gap with fire pits. Once you return with the powerup, open the door but DO NOT hit the touch plate. Instead, fly around the central structure with the exit to find a secret passage that leads to Scott’s Mystical Head. This bonus is… pretty well guarded.
- This is an inaccessible secret. Adjacent to the southwest alcove with Mercury Mode, on the west wall, is a small recessed corner. One of the upper layer GADs is floating in this corner. Behind the far wall of this recess are 2 Over Patrol guards and a bulletproof vest. Problem is, that area is completely inaccessible (and based on the game’s wall moving mechanics, there’s no way for that blocking wall segment to move out of the way in that corner due to the stage geometry there). I’m pretty sure this was intended to make the final battle room that much easier.
E1A7: Truth Or Darian
Here we go, first boss fight. A play on the game Truth or Dare, your dare to conquer General Darian will be the moment of truth… I’m here all night…
You first use a “new” elevator type, known commonly as the Oscurovator (that is, unless you found the one in a secret area right in the first level). These are essentially 1-way teleporters that take you to a new area after you flip the switch in the booth, usually into a trap, ambush or other open area. I mean, technically, the regular elevators are teleporters as well.
This is a mild exception where having the MP-40 beforehand would make things go smoother. However, it’s still very doable without it. There are 2 main methods of beating General Darian and this level as a whole. One is the quicker, but more intense way; the other, much slower, but laid back way. The latter also involves going to completion with the level. Or you can find some middle ground and take the best of both worlds if you want.
Both start off the same. When you flip the Oscurovator switch, face the switch and stay exactly where you are. If you stay near the door, you’ll teleport onto where a flame fountain burns through your soul. When you teleport, take a step forward to stand under the ceiling light further from the bars and shoot out his consoles as fast as you can. This is important because your first shot will set off all the Triad Enforcers and if you’re not fast enough, one may be waiting just outside the door. Standing under the ceiling light keeps you safe from the impaling traps from the ceiling.
Darian will open the Oscuro key doors for you since you obviously can’t (yet). Check your map periodically to see if any enforcers are already at your door sides; if they are, it isn’t really too late. Stick by the correct door and once it opens, rush out! It’s better to take a bit of chaingun fire than a grenade from the enforcer nearby, if you can’t avoid him. Health is sparse at first, and they’re mostly in the extreme corners of the large room, “guarded” by moving fire walls.
Note that Darian usually opens the north door, though he occasionally does open the south one. In that case, just reverse the directions provided (or modify them accordingly).
(Going Down The) Fast Way:
Rush around to your left, past Darian towards the room he just got out of. This has the stash of missile arsenal to kill him, plus an Oscuro key and a ton of enforcers. The level has 3 Oscuro keys spread out; you’ll need one to gain access to the weapons. You need to lure the enforcers all out of there as well. Most importantly, you need to be on the move all the time, looking all around you for enforcers who can get you by surprise. Once they’re all away, get Darian to open the Oscuro door again if need be to grant you access to the arsenal section of the chamber.
An alternative to get an Oscuro key is to rush to the right, instead of left, out of the initial section you were in and go to the east side of the chamber exterior. An enforcer is guarding another Oscuro key; if you have enough missiles, kill him and get the key there. If you don’t, continue past him around the chamber and run south to the connecting corridor. This place has 2 fenced-in cages with 2 enforcers each on either side, as well as a Split Missile Launcher and Heat Seeker.
You may feel less stressed if you lighten the enforcer load a bit before killing the boss. Anyway, the point is, once you’re set, find Darian and rapidly unload missiles at him; preferably Bazooka ones. If you’re fast enough, you can drop him before he has time for his teleportation gig. Needless to say, check your map and/or mind your surroundings for approaching enforcers.
(Continued in the next section…)
E1A7: Truth Or Darian (Continued)
-The chamber Darian started in has the missile weapon stash; there’s also an Oscuro key, tons of enforcers and a touch plate on the opposite side of the key. The latter will reveal a switch on the east exterior end of the whole chamber, behind the enforcer guarding a second Oscuro key.
-This switch will open up walls on the south sections and east section of the main room, expanding the battlefield and providing some much-needed supplies, including health and Asbestos Armor pickups. On the east wall, the alcove with the bulletproof vest opened up, connecting back to the level’s starting area and also granting access to a Flame Wall. It’s guarded by fire pits, though, so grab one of those Asbestos Armors if you’re worried about your health.
-There is a switch in the western-most section of the chamber (as well as the third Oscuro key). It moves walls to grant access to some columns you can push to block off some of Darian’s teleportation spots. This chamber also has a bulletproof vest in case you’re overwhelmed by the enforcers’ gunfire.
If you have enough missile rounds to take out 1 enforcer, race to the right side of the chamber exterior and kill the one guarding the Oscuro key. Otherwise, press on past him and south towards a connecting corridor. This has 2 fenced-in cages with a pair of enforcers in each, on each side of the area, as well as a Split Missile Launcher and Heat Seeker.
You can choose to camp out here and clear the enemies in this area, as well as the ones approaching from the main corridor, then go back and get the Oscuro key mentioned above. Use the walls of the cage corners and the columns as barriers and also as friendly fire to their grenades. The dual pistols may be very slow, but it’s doable.
Run back with one of the 2 missile weapons to that enforcer guarding the key, drop him and take the key. Go to Darian’s starting chamber; if there are enforcers in there or nearby, lure them away and get in when it’s safe. Hit the touch plate mentioned above, exit the room and run to the accessible switch at the far right (again, minding the enforcers). Flip it, run to the nearby east wall with the fire pits and bulletproof armor. Get the Flame Wall mentioned above and just kick back while you wipe out the enforcer crowd in a few shots.
Once this exterior is sufficiently cleared of free-roaming enforcers, activate the touch plate and/or switches in and around the chambers that you haven’t yet. Now to corner Darian into a single teleport spot, rendering him totally helpless. He will teleport between 5 spots in the main room, outlined by fire pits; they’re all along the corners and walls of the room. Time to move some furniture around and remodel the place.
Back in your starting section of the chamber, you’ll notice some walls have moved on either side and you can access columns, 2 on each side. The north columns are for the 2 north teleport spots and the south ones, for the 2 south teleport spots. The first 2 columns you can access (one on each side) are for the east teleport spots, while the other 2 are for the west ones. Yeah, this sounds confusing when read, but when you’re playing the game, it’ll be way clearer.
Darian now only has 1 spot that he’ll keep teleporting to. Tragic, because he’s there for the rest of his life…
Overall, not too bad. I found this battle easier mainly because you first get out of the way what I struggled the most with in the Dark War battle: those ceiling impaler traps. In the main game, you have to worry about enemies around you and run around the room to be able to shoot out all the consoles. There’s a good chance Darian will drop a trap on you while you run around. Then if you die, you have to go through so much work again (not an issue if saving frequently). In EROTT, you destroy the consoles first thing, all while standing in one safe spot.
I know my strategy for this boss fight is pretty lengthy, but I did my best to explain everything clearly. The most important thing is, when you carry out these strategies, they’re much faster than this text wall makes it seem. Plus, they get faster each subsequent time because practice.
The level guide’s long method of fighting Darian covers all the secrets since they’re quite useful. However, there are just 3 major secret areas.
- Once you have the Oscuro key, or can get Darian to open the Oscuro doors, enter the middle room of the central structure; there’s a touch plate to hit. Get back out and run to the east end of the structure for a newly accessible switch. This will open up 2 sections on the south walls and 1 section on the east wall of the main room. The latter will lead through the starting area to another secret room with a Flame Wall.
- Not much of a secret, but it isn’t straight-forward. There’s a switch in the west room of the central structure. It moves wall segments on the right end of the structure, allowing access to columns to move and use to block General Darian’s spawn points.
E1A8: Through And Through
Welcome to a subtle gimmick level. You fight only Triad Enforcers. That’s about the closest I can come to the meaning behind the level’s name: you fight only this enemy type through and through.
This level may seem intimidating because you start in a big open area, populated with Triad Enforcers. However, if you know what to do, it becomes much more of a cakewalk as it only gets easier after the start; there’s literally nothing else challenging afterwards. Even without the tactic, it’s quite doable if you keep moving and make them detonate their grenades near themselves on the GADs.
The starting area is essentially + shaped, with doors along each line segment leading into rooms. The rooms themselves have more enforcers, but also enough firepower for you to use, as does the + area. The center of the + is an inner + structure formed out of GADs that ascend to the center of the level; there’s a Flame Wall up here. At the far southeast across your starting point is a tiny fenced-off area with 2 Mercury Mode powerups.
Carefully make your way to either set of GAD stairs beside this fenced-off area, climb up and run in there to get one of the powerups. This should be the only tricky part due to the dense enemy presence. If you’re being shredded by their gunfire, there’s a Bulletproof Vest to the right of your starting area. Anyway, fly over to the north end of the map and get the level breaker: an Asbestos Armor. From here, it’s your choice how you want to clear the area, the quickest being the Flame Wall in the center I mentioned. If that wasn’t enough, there’s another one of these vests in the silver key room.
The Mercury Mode powerups should provide sufficient time to explore the main/starting area, too, and you might really want to do that. Lots of good stuff hidden behind raised wall segments, including the first static appearance of the MP-40.
The rest of the level is very easy. At the end, you have a choice of 3 paths to take with an exit in each and they’re all redundant. You choose a path while standing on GADs near the ceiling and dropping behind a fence; fittingly, too, as there are a bunch of enforcers in each section. They’ll already be activated early on, so just let them take care of themselves with grenades. Each path offers its own explosive weapon. Did I mention that this section is essentially broken due to the remaining Merury Mode powerup in the fenced-off area, allowing you to explore all 3 paths? Either way, I like the path straight ahead of you as it has a Firebomb.
A very short level that has no environmental challenge, the only difficulty coming from the confrontation at the start; and that’s if you don’t know the tactic. Still, it’s a fun little level.
There aren’t any actual secrets. The closest thing to one is that you can reach more areas with the Mercury Mode powerups, which are available in plain sight. Look all around the level; there are quite a lot of high fences and items that are generally floating all around. One such item, as mentioned before, is the MP-40 which you probably will want (not hidden, it’s in plain sight, just out of ground reach).
E2A1: High Road, Low Road
Intro (Yeah, Bigger Than The Strategy Part):
Now that the first party is over, it’s time to take a break. This gimmick level is literally an interval. The name refers to the fact that there are 2 exits that lead to different (sets of) levels; one’s on the ground, while the other is high in the sky, reached by GAD stairs. In turn, the name alludes to the episode as a whole being based on branching paths. Though I feel like it’s the inverse, as the low road is both easier and way more rewarding. All you get for choosing the high road is the satisfaction for the sake of completing the challenge of those levels.
Each path has 3 of its own levels before converging at the boss level. There is no secret exit + secret level in this episode, with that level slot being just a regular level as part of one of the paths.
The low road takes you through levels 2, 3, 8 (which is usually the secret level slot) and then 7.
The high road takes you through levels 4, 5, 6 and then 7.
If you want to play both sets of levels, make a separate save for each road.
Honestly, the only reason there’s even a star of difficulty is the (minimal) possibility of dying. Besides jumping out of the level borders, the stage’s 2 Deathfire Monks can indeed kill you. Missile weapons are scattered all around; I recommend the Firebomb. There’s even an Asbestos Armor in case the 2 far apart Deathfire Monks are too much for you.
I find it astounding that, apart from random High Guard drops, the game doesn’t provide you with the MP-40 in non-secret levels yet. Inconvenience more than anything, but still…
There are no secrets in this level. Just explore the area fully.
E2A2: Open Fire
If you chose the lower exit, you are riding on the low road (yeah, I really needed to point that out).
Welcome to an arcade mini-game, where each wide door you come across marks the beginning of the upcoming wave to defeat. I guess the name refers to what you’ll be doing each time you open these doors (and the sections following the doors). Some wide doors open by touch plates, though; not directly.
Nothing about the level requires a specific strategy. Just some useful tips along the way. The first wave, for example, you should take the bulletproof vest and take what they give you: the Firebomb. Note that the first touch plate also opens up the walls behind you, unveiling a Strike Team ambush. No match for that blue vest. The room behind the door has raised fences; you know what to expect.
Wave 2’s door is opened manually and the Flame Wall is there for a good reason. Don’t stand there too long since enemies behind it are likely already active and will open it for you, catching you by surprise. I recommend bringing an Asbestos Armor with you. Once the room is cleaned up, bounce around for items atop fences, including yet another Asbestos Armor.
At Wave 3, see all those Heat Seekers? Your next audience is robotic. Not hard at all, and if you still carry the gray vest, a total cakewalk.
Wave 4 is right in front of 3. The touch plate for this door is nestled in a U alcove of columns and isn’t very friendly. I recommend hitting the plate and running like hell back through the previous door for cover, as you’ll be faced with High Guards especially. There are also 2 Robot Guards, but they’re no threat compared to the machine gunners that can easily drop you.
As you make your way to Wave 5, laugh at the joke of an ambush before it (aka bonus round). When nearby #5, pay attention to your left and right as the room widens, since enemies may be tucked into corners. See all those Drunk Missile Launchers? You can use those if you want, but any missile weapon will do, especially since you can retreat for cover. The touch plate in front of the switch opens up a 2-room ambush just in the previous room.
Wave 6 is the Final Wave and even before it, you’ll already be greeted with some opposition. They even give you a buffet line selection of missile weapons and armors to choose from.
Beware of yet another fake exit trap. Hear those spin blades? The first touch plate just past the arch closes off those exit stairs. The second touch plate’s actions are twofold: first, opening up the real path to the exit, which is just back around the corner and lined up with enemies. Second, it activates those spin blades to make the return seemingly nerve-racking. But all you need to do is hit the plate again to stop them. Simple as that.
Before you leave, don’t be shy; take one of the missile weapons on your way out.
A really fun level; mainly because it has a really strong arcade feel to it. Levels like these don’t feel like they belong in EROTT; they’re not necessarily more difficult than the regular levels, just gimmicky. In that sense, they would fit in really well as warp-only levels to the regular game. Another one of my favorites.
I want to state at this point that the low road’s levels are not only easier, but are actually better and more fun; which is kind of counter-intuitive. Normally, you’d expect the harder levels to be better designed, worth the challenge and more rewarding, but not exactly.
- The touch plate at the start opens the walls behind you, to the sides. In addition to an ambush, there are various useful items in them.
- Not true secrets, but in the wave where you first see trampolines, don’t forget that the high fences hold potentially good stuff.
- Right after the trampoline wave is a fireball trap in a narrow corridor. The wall that absorbs the fireballs at the other end can be pushed to find a secret area with an asbestos vest.
- From the previous secret area, run across the columns for a 1-Up on the other side.
- In the fifth wide door (wave), the switch has a touch plate in front of it. It opens up walls in the previous room with enemies and items.
E2A3: Dark ‘N’ Deadly
This level is variably dark; and because you’re dealing with Deathfire Monks who can conduct themselves silently, things get deadly………..
Right off the bat, turn left and immediately start firing. You’re in a corner that two long, narrow hallways meet, and a monk is in each one, in the middle of firing at you. The hallway you turned left towards has a GAD layer a bit ahead of you with another monk up there, so be mindful. After clearing the whole outer hallway area, go to that breakable window where you can see tons of bonus coins. It has its own host of Deathfire Monks that I recommend clearing right away.
When you’re done, head for the west door. You’ll have a left and right path; take the left first. See how it’s blocked by a line of fire pots? Well, that’s key because you need to destroy those; but the more you destroy, the darker it gets. You can probably guess what you have to do in the dark. Hit the touch plate and retreat until the enemies are in (poor) sight. If you brought a Flame Wall from before, it’s the easiest; otherwise, there’s a Firebomb at the far back-left wall. Not too difficult.
It may look like your only way out is through that elevator, which is actually an Oscurovator, but you’ll hit a touch plate in front of its doors that will open the way back behind you. Going back, the right path will have you trying to outrun boulders up GAD stairs and down a drop. AFAIK, you’ll always get hurt a bit; unavoidable. Turn the corner and take out the monk. See those coins reachable by the booster columns flanking the silver key? Get ready to shoot a monk hiding behind the wall there. That Oscurovator back in the dark ambush hall leads to an area with a 1-up and a monk guarding a Flame Wall. Either swap it or rescue it out by “dropping” (check the E1A6 guide about that) for quicker access later on.
Past the silver key door and up the stairs, there’s a sneaky monk to the left of the floating GAD layer (to the right is the fire pit). There’s a touch plate on this side you need to hit to clear the gap. But don’t ignore the right side as monks should be activated over there. That door from which the GADs exited is itself a path to a missile weapon. If this is a pistol start, there’s an extra pistol (and monk) through the opening below the arch across the gap; you can get back out by the rising/lowering GAD.
Once you get across the gap, turn to your right to find a sneaky monk waiting for you. Continuing through this area, you’ll eventually come to a platform back in the starting hallway, which leads to the gold key. The fence and GAD setup in the gold key door room is for a good purpose. When you approach the iron key higher up, you’ll realize the large room has pockets at its back corners, as monks will come after you. Clear them back on the other side of the fence if you want to feel the safest.
The pockets of this room have little passageways you can drop down to from the GADs (check your map if it’s too dark); they have some more explosive weapons and also some monks. A bit past the iron key door is the end area, a large octagonal/circular room with GADs around its edge and monks waiting in nests in the distant walls. Use the central walls as barriers as you snipe them out. There will be some monks just past the exit arches, so don’t go gunning for it.
Not too difficult and somewhat enjoyable. Ok, so I lied: there is one downside to the low road. Tired of the tune Mist Ache yet? Well, that’s the only track for this entire pathway, including the upcoming (non-secret) level.
- Take the Oscurovator after the lights-out ambush. Climb the stairs to the highest and face the south wall. On your automap, you can/might see a 1-Up on the other side of the wall segment you face. You have to run around the wall by the opening on your left (east) to that space on the other side quick enough to take the 1-Up as you fall.
- Not truly a secret, but in that same area, get to the bottom of the stairs for a Flame Wall in a side room, guarded by a Deathfire Monk.
- In the silver key door area, when you open the door in the fire pits with the touch plate, you can enter it for a Heat Seeker.
- In the previous secret area, press the wall left (south) of the GAD lift to open another secret area with a 1-Up.
- See where the GADs arch upwards across the gap in that same area? There’s a low clearing below it for an extra pistol, guarded by a monk.
- Where you get the iron key from the high platform, there are low fenced side areas in the room in the northeast and the south. These might have monks in them, guarding points and weapons.
- Right in front of the exit arch is a touch plate; this opens the central structure surrounded by fire pits in the circular room behind you. Take the vest in that and go back through the narrow hallway you came from; right past the left turn is a newly opened right turn. This corridor is fully lined with fire pits and leads to a 3-Up.
E2A4: Lightning Strikes
Fun fact: this level was warp-only in the original EROTT release. The High Road exit in E2A1 was Incorrectly coded and led to E2A5 instead of this. Anyway… The level name probably just refers to the frequent thunder background noise (ok so that’s thunder, but what does that usually follow?).
Predominantly a soldier level. Watch out for enemies hidden all around the pillars near the start, especially the missile-toting Lightning Guards. Likewise, after the elevator, get out and take the corners slowly, as enemies are broadly scattered in this open area. Also be careful of the GAD setup here, they tend to block your shots, but not the enemies’. Try to lure them out from behind GADs or quickly get around to them.
If you’re stumped about how to reach the gold key, shoot out all the candles and see what happens. The gold key door section can be a real headache because it’s a GAD jungle gym that the enemies love to exploit to drop you with ease, whereas you can’t even return much or any fire. Plus, there are quite a few missile Lightning Guards. Again, lure them out into the open and keep a distance.
Hit the switch in the northwest corner; push the wall behind the Small Monk Crystal for some relief supplies. Next, the switch in the southeast; there’s yet another secret first aid kit a bit southwest of this switch, also behind the Small Monk Crystal. Finally, northeast for the silver key. Look all around the rest of the area for more stuff if you need. Again, in the silver key door room, watch out for enemies behind pillars.
Past the next elevator, get ready for an intense segment involving a Ballistikraft that can really get on your nerves. You first have to hit a touchplate along the outer, unprotected border of the level, REALLY close to the robot. If its missiles don’t kill you, then sending you out of the level borders will. Time it so that you start running when the robot is moving away and will reach the far wall as you hit the touch plate; then IMMEDIATELY reverse. You should make it.
It doesn’t end there, but the next part is at least easier. Circle back around the wall structure to find the newly opened passage to the iron key, even closer to the robot. The tough part is making the corner in order to reach the key; it isn’t a simple forward-backward deal. Again, when it’s moving away, gun it. The robot usually has a delay before it goes ballistic at you.
The iron key door is just before the end, but bring a good missile weapon with you, because you’re due for a red-carpet ceremony hosted by Lightning Guards, some of them most definitely greet explosively.
The only reasons this gets a ** difficulty are the GAD setups and that open heart surgery of an iron key retrieval. Otherwise, a pretty simple level; definitely belongs on the high road, although it’s not as difficult.
- Past the gold key door, press the walls of the northwest corner of the area for some health and points.
- Near the southeast corner of the same area, press the wall south of the Small Monk Crystal for more health, points and a Split Missile Launcher.
E2A5: A Mode I Rode
Here’s a level that can be a real nightmare if you don’t know certain key secrets. The high road gets bumpy from here. Joe Siegler, who made this level, has the explanation for the meaning behind the level name, if you’re really curious.
As soon as you can move, run to the front-left corner so you’re not an early bird special; quickly take out the remaining enemies. Grab an Asbestos Armor and go to the elevator doors to the left of the silver key ones; notice a touch plate right in front of it? It opens the door, but also sets off a trap; quickly run through it, down the hall and to the right, avoiding the fireballs and also the boulders that you set off while running across.
The next section will be tough. If you have a missile weapon with sufficient ammo, it will be way easier; otherwise, brace yourself. There is a Ballistikraft, Strike Team and a pair of Triad Enforcers. 2 ways. You can use your cover wall to your advantage; snipe them and let the grenades and robot missiles help do lots of damage. Alternatively, while your vest lasts, lure the enforcers into the robot’s crossfire and let it do most of the work. Once they’re cleared, sneak past the robot.
This next section will give people the most trouble if they don’t know a crucial secret. You essentially run across a long path that’s narrowed-in by flanking fences, behind each of which are a wall of High Guards. No, you don’t uncomfortably snipe them from an angle, while minding the robot behind you. No, you don’t make a break for it. Take a few steps into the open, run to the right corner and push the wall. You will get a much-needed bulletproof vest. Now you can either run through this area freely or clear it. If you haven’t gotten one already, there’s a good chance one of these guys will drop you an MP-40. The respective wall on the opposite side can also be pushed in, revealing another treasure: a Firebomb.
When you open that far door and get in, you’ll set off a touch plate. This doesn’t only move the wall in front of you; turn around and quickly close the door behind you because it activates a fireball trap. Eventually in the level, there will be 2 fenced in cages with a Triad Enforcer in each. Even without the Firebomb, there’s tons of cover (walls, cage corners, etc.) and good weapons around.
Next is what I can only call crossroads galore. Enemies at most intersections, including enforcers. Take the corners slowly and carefully and consult your automap, as well. For the enforcers, keep your distance and exploit the walls for their grenades. When you ride the Oscurovator, face the door and keep firing as you’ll teleport in front of a High Guard.
Don’t rush through the silver key door or you’ll likely get tackled by a fireball right back across the restart line. There should be an Asbestos Armor left in front of the other silver key door; it’s there for a reason and you’ll see when you open the door. The exit is just on the other side, but hurry up.
It’s not consistently challenging, but the spots that are difficult can kill you with such ease. Overall, not unbearable, even with a pistol start where there’s no extra pistol and if you’re unlucky to not get an MP-40 from any High Guards.
- Past the Ballistrikraft and enforcers is a door to an outside area full of High Guards behinds fences on both sides. After you open this door, the wall directly connected to the right fence can be opened to get a bulletproof vest and a better, safer angle to shoot the right half of the High Guards.
- Like the previous secret, the wall directly connected to the left fence can be opened to get a Firebomb.
- At the other end of the outside area is another door. Behind it is a single space square room with a touch plate. This moves the inner wall forward. Outrun and get behind it by the right side to reach the hidden passage. This will lead you to a 1-Up and access to the area behind the north fence.
- From the previous secret area, press the far end wall (west) in this fenced-off area for a seemingly empty indoor area.
- In the previous secret area, press that same west wall to find a Firebomb. You got the Firebomb in an alternate way and can get out through the same wall.
- After riding the elevator, press the right wall in the northeast corner of this new area to find a touch plate. This will move the columns in the central structure out, providing access to a Flame Wall.
- On the other side of the door of the main room from the previous secret is a touch plate that will expand the walls around its small space. Outrun and get behind the wall in front of you, through that opening before the moving wall segment seals it off. There’s an Excalibat and 1-Up here. When you hit the touch plate, follow the wall out of there before the one behind you kills you or seals you in the room.
- Press along the left wallon the other side of the exit silver key door to find an asbestos vest.
E2A6: You’re Fired
Here’s a level that just will not let up. This is the starting point where things become insane and the Extreme part of the expansion’s title starts showing its presence. The name is because much of the brutal challenges and puzzles in this level involves fire in various capacities.
Get down and run to the near right corner (southwest), turn around and take out those High Guards. You have to make it across the really long corridor, against the flow of fiery traffic. Now, there are 3 methods to get through this ridiculous starting area. The easier the method, the more work required.
Just directly go for it. There are safe alcoves you need to keep running into as you do. There’s a touch plate along the second triad wall on the right that will grant access to the first alcove. Be very careful and pay attention to the alcoves after you make it pretty far in (check your automap): they’ll begin to have flame fountains. Contrary to what you might think, the fireballs do NOT get faster as you get closer to the source; so there’s some consolation.
From the southwest corner, time it and run across to the other side and activate the triad wall from the extra pistol side to reveal a Firebomb. Press the wall in front of it for an Asbestos Armor. Now just run straight against the fireball flow. You might run out of armor before you reach the end, so perhaps mix in a bit of strafing into the alcoves or begin dodging them when it’s out.
When you get the armor from the moderate method, go back and align yourself with the right end of the lower fence and the GAD behind it. Aim all the way down and shoot a Firebomb round to launch yourself into the high alcove that half the High Guards came down from. There’s a drop to a touch plate and a fresh Firebomb. Use it to get back out. Now you’ll see a very safe, convenient overpass to avoid all this hot traffic. Note that the right wall structure near you has opened up with some enemies inside.
Near the source of the fireballs is a much smaller alcove on the left; you need to get in here to hit a touch plate that will seal off the fireball trap and open up the way forward. Be very careful as there can be a Triad Enforcer in an alcove just around the corner of the revealed path. If you’re low on health at this point, better to go back and fill up; the left alcove just before the first one with a flame fountain has a push wall to tons of food.
Anyway, once you step into the next area, you’ll trigger a touch plate that sends a moving wall to your position; run forward to escape it; it blocks off your way back. As you approach the gold key, mind the fence on your left. Be careful and don’t just run for the key; doesn’t the setup look pretty suspicious? Approach it while hugging the right wall. Pay close attention to the ground: there are touch plate traps. Break the tinted window and once you’re standing where it used to be, turn left and walk to the center of the path/window frame; then turn right to face the gold key and get it. Come back out the same way. Those other touch plates will activate fireball traps on the far wall behind you.
For the next section, you can either take a shortcut that cuts out a good chunk of the level (nearly half), or trudge through. Both have a high risk of getting killed at spots.
Through the gold key door, when you have an opening, follow the trajectory of one of the fire walls to the right, staying behind it constantly. Take the Heat Seeker along the way. When it moves along the long fire wall border, stay close to that long wall to hit a touch plate that will open up that border.
You have to run through the first opening it creates, dodge your way around the robots to press the brown wall in the southeast corner of the room. It must be done before the last fire wall segment stops in front of the brown wall, blocking off access. This is of course difficult to do because of the robots in the small space, outrunning the moving wall through small spaces and the fact that it’s a fire wall. The secret area has a Mercury Mode. After you get it, get through the next part quickly before the powerup runs out.
Hit the touch plate in the next area, take out the enemies revealed and go through the right door. Shoot towards the fence on your right to kill the enemies behind it. Then fly over that fence to get the iron key. Congratulations, you skipped the trouble of getting the silver key and can now go straight to the exit area; there are stairs behind this fence to get you back out if you run out of Mercury Mode. Click to skip ahead.
(Continued in the next section…)
E2A6: You’re Fired (Continued)
Through the gold key door, when you have an opening, follow the trajectory of one of the fire walls to the right, staying behind it constantly. Take the Heat Seeker along the way. When it moves along the long fire wall border, stay close to that to hit a touch plate that will open up that border. The moment you hit it, turn right and you can go through the opening. Use the non-moving fire pillars as cover while you dispatch the Robot Guards, then go across.
The next area will have a Split Missile Launcher that should come in handy when you hit the touch plate on the other end. Also use the walls for cover. Next, go through the right door and fire towards the fence on your right; it’s full of soldiers that can climb over it and overwhelm you. Here comes the hardest section of the level.
Run across the line of fire; take the Bazooka along the way if you want. There’s quite a bit of health around here; take them when you need (and you will need). When you hit the touch plate in the center of those 4 pillars, retreat quickly and carefully to the back-left corner. The switch in the newly opened area opens the north corner in its preceding room. There’s another switch in the north corner; it opens the south corner and southwest side, the latter of which has soldiers; careful of missile Lightning Guards. The last switch opens the path forward a bit further back, but also opens an enemy nest in the northwest.
Remember that Bazooka in the alcove halfway across the fire line? Well, that alcove is now the new passage. If you didn’t know a certain secret, that new passage would be the most difficult part of this level.
This new area is covered almost entirely with fire pits; the elevator across the room has a fire pit right in front of its door. If that wasn’t enough, a fireball wall trap is spewing fireballs across the room where you have to stand to open the elevator. To top it all off, you need to wait for the elevator the first time you press the doors. Then, getting the silver key on the other end of the elevator won’t cut you any slack.
The hard way has you timing yourself to run forward, activate the elevator, run back and wait for the doors to open and then time yourself to get in there. If you wait too long, the doors will close, of course; but at least you don’t have to wait for the doors to open on subsequent tries. Coming back out the elevator shouldn’t be too hard; but you’ll likely be very low on health, making it even more nerve-racking.
The easy way? The wall just to the right of the north corner switch in the previous room can be pushed to find a switch to turn those dreaded fireball traps off.
On to the silver key, it’s guarded by 4 flame fountains that orbit around it in a spinning diamond formation. Worse is they’re not synchronous. Just wait for a clearing right in front of you, run and get the key. Then shoot out the stand and wait in the middle to time yourself back. Alternatively, let the elevator door close while you’re in the cabin; open it, then at the next opening, run forward to the key and immediately back in the elevator. The sides of the rooms have alcoves with lots of health in them; get them if you’re daring.
The hardest part is over. Things are very straightforward until the iron key door area, which is the ending section. They indeed saved a nasty, yet completely avoidable trap for last. Before you get here, bring a fully loaded missile weapon; or that Firebomb you swapped out back at those moving fire pillars. There are also Bazookas in here.
First, follow the right wall to a tall fence with 2 minor soldiers atop it and kill them. Repeat on the other side. Climb the right side GADs and cross over to the switch on the other side. 2 choices…
Hit the switch, quickly back up, turn around and follow the structure around until you see the opening on it and RUN into the exit. There’s a Triad Enforcer in the exit area, so this is a high-risk section; you’ll either get killed if that enemy’s gunfire is enough to drop you or he may approach too close to the archway, thereby blocking you from actually exiting (by which point, you might as well be dead).
Hit the switch, run back and to the left off the GADs; but don’t go all the way back. Just a corner about ten feet away. Use your missile weapon to dispatch the unleashed Triad Enforcers on this side, using the corner wall as cover from their grenades.
Then slowly circle around the middle structure until you see the Triad Enforcer within its exit arches, and retreat. Try to take him out while keeping him contained. Don’t get your eyes off the other side of the room as there are more enforcers and they could sneak one on you. The rest should be pretty easy, especially since you have the GADs to help defeat them. Note that you’re trapped in here, so going back out the iron key door is not an option.
Definitely the hardest level so far. If not for that secret switch to turn off those fireball traps so late in the game, it would be one of the worst headaches (but still a fair level). Look on the bright side: this is the end of the high road and now finally both roads converge on a rather entertaining boss fight, IMO.
(Level secrets in the next section…)
E2A6: You’re Fired (Continued – Secrets)
- Press the triad wall segment to the left of the extra pistol at the start for a Firebomb.
- In the previous secret, press the wall in front of the Firebomb to find an asbestos vest.
- With the Firebomb from the previous secret, line yourself up with the left (north) high fence behind you, aim down and blast yourself up there for a 1-Up. It’s better to be done this way instead of riding the GAD at the start due to the big risk with the High Guards.
- With the Firebomb from the second secret, line yourself up with the right (south) high fence behind you, aim down and blast yourself up there for a fresh Firebomb and a touch plate. It’s better to be done this way instead of riding the GAD at the start due to the big risk with the High Guards (déjà vu?).
- The touch plate in the previous secret area will make crossing the fireball stream way easier; it also opens the wall structure immediately to the front-right (southeast) of the starting area, with enemies and health.
- After containing the fireball trap, head back through the long corridor. The left (north) safe wall recess immediately before the first one with a flame fountain can be pressed for a large stash of health.
- The end wall segment to the left (north) of the gold key can be pressed in to find an asbestos vest. You have to be fast, though. First, right in front of this wall is a touch plate that activates a fireball trap that will blast you to the right. If the blast doesn’t kill you, knocking you out of the level will. On top of that, you’ll trigger another touch plate walking in there that activates another fireball trap, behind you.
- In the previous secret is another touch plate that will move back the wall to the east. This is a narrow path (surrounded by void you can fall into) leading to an elevator. That takes you to a small room with Scott’s Mystical Head guarded by fireball traps. This is best done with the asbestos vest from the previous secret.
- Through the gold key door, you’ll hit a touch plate that pushes back the wide fire wall. You have to run through the first opening it creates, dodge your way around the robots to press the brown wall in the southeast corner of the room. It must be done before the last fire wall segment stops in front of the brown wall, blocking access. This is of course difficult to do because of the robots in the small space, outrunning the moving wall through small spaces and the fact that it’s a fire wall.
- With the Mercury Mode from the previous secret, fly up to the height’s limit and look back in the area with all the moving fire pillars. There’s a 1-Up in one of the northeast corners.
- Also with the Mercury Mode, and while at the highest altitude, look above the door guarded by the, err, Robot Guards. There’s another 1-Up.
- In the roughly diamond shaped room where you must press switches around the corners of the “diamond”, press the wall to the right of the north switch. There is some health, a Heat Seeker and a much-needed switch to make a later obstacle significantly easier.
- Not a secret, but surprisingly can be missed because of the situation. In the room with the iron key, there are side alcoves with health in case things heat up.
E2A7: Krist Cross
First going to get out of the way that the level name references a hip hop group from the 90’s, Kris Kross. I also consider it a play on criss-cross, since that’s what’s going on with the boss battle. Speaking of the latter, how do they amp up the battle with Sebastien Krist? You’ll be fighting 2 of them, in a much smaller, completely open space, with many fire pits. But, as you might expect, it’s actually not that hard to get through. I think the hidden exploits outlined in my strategy are also alluded to in the level’s name.
At the start, let the enforcer detonate his fort; by then, he’s just a few feet away from the light at the end of the tunnel, so give him that push. The wall immediately to the left of your starting point opens up a secret area with an Asbestos Armor; HIGHLY appreciated for the very next section where you must pass several moving fire pillars.
Shortly after, the obstacle with the GADs and moving pillars is a real headache no matter how you try to approach it. The most difficult part is going from one GAD to the next, mainly because of the way the controls and movement are set up. Don’t be surprised, and try not to get frustrated, if you keep falling off; if you’re lucky, you can return to the first GAD without dying, to quickly retry. When you enter this room, the first thing you want to do is clear it of soldiers. Run as far as the middle of the room to activate them, retreat, and send them into a crushing defeat (…). Then, begin the platforming; if the enemies glitch up between the GADs and moving pillars, just shoot them to knock that off.
One tactic is to run forward into the wall, then strafe in the direction of the next GAD and quickly stop strafing the moment your character is actually moving forward towards it. You might need to strafe back to the right as you do in case you overshoot it. The other tactic is to face towards the inside of the room such that the next GAD is to your left/right. Run forward as if you want to fall off, but as soon as the wall beside you is clear, immediately strafe to that next GAD. You might need to run backwards as you do in case you overshoot it. In both methods, you may still accidentally overshoot the run off of your current GAD. The good news is you can skip the very last of this corner leap and just run across to the last GAD, into the drop.
Watch out as this next elevator has no side walls. The area right after is not difficult. Explore every corner and alcove for touch plates and switches. Just be sure to take the full Bazooka in this area before going into the Oscurovator. Once you’re in the boss arena, you should obviously first take out the grunts. To commence the battle, hit the touch plate along one of the wall corners of the east structure.
The arena’s setup looks pretty stressful: small, yet completely open area, sprinkled with fire pits. And of course, as already mentioned, you got twins to deal with. How can you possibly win this battle? Not that difficult, actually. I played this level quite a lot and discovered some weird stuff that is in the player’s favor. Just remember that you only have to kill one of the wheelchair-bound ringleaders to complete the level; also, for some reason, hurting one makes the other also blink red (but the latter doesn’t seem to take any damage). I’ll divide this into 3 main strategies.
Before proceeding, I recommend using your current Bazooka ammo to heat up the food in all 4 corners of the arena.
Easy Way 1:
(Not recommended as it’s not reliably reproducible)
Set off the touch plate, but stay where you are, perhaps even backing up into that side’s corner. After a good 10-20 seconds or when the other Krist is getting too close, get out of that corner. The Krist in the structure that you were beside should be stuck in there, glitching up and unable to exit. Now it’s a matter of focusing on that one untethered boss.
Easy Way 2:
Lure one of them into the other; one will turn into a smashed-up puddle of flesh. Just like his wheelchair can 1-shot you, so can it to himself. It seems like they overlooked this glitch. Keep in mind, however, that you don’t win the level yet; you still have to defeat the remaining Krist. I guess the extreme kill doesn’t trigger the boss defeat sequence, or perhaps you specifically are required to kill one of them to trigger it.
No glitch exploiting, just take on them both and try to prevail. You can still make things easier on yourself. Align one of them behind the other so you’re only focusing on one without worrying about the other’s attacks. Usually, the corners of the arena are the best for this. You can actually end this pretty quick by focusing on hammering rockets into one, circle-strafing gradually around him, then quickly retreating to either refill or dodge his mines. In the process, you usually dodge the other guy’s missiles as well. Plus, their missiles and mines also seem to hurt each other, though I’m not sure how much.
In all methods, don’t worry too much about the fire pits. Conversely, don’t get too careless to the point that you’re playing hopscotch with them, either. Sometimes, while dodging pits, you might strafe or run right into the Krists’ explosive rounds. One of them should go down fairly quickly and without too much hassle. Don’t stand around after defeating one, as the other can still kill you.
What should have been a much more difficult battle has turned out to be not nearly as difficult; in fact, just a bit more than in the main game. Still a neat gimmick level. Adjust your frustration and rage thresholds, as the next episode marks the beginning of this add-on’s test of patience.
- Turn left from the starting point and press the wall segment to find an asbestos vest to make the moving fire pillar gauntlet significantly easier.
- In the previous secret area, press the south wall to open up another secret area with a touch plate. The touch plate grants access to the Oscuro key in the maze area after the unsafe elevator.
- In the next section, look in the right (south) recess of the fourth moving pillar for a door. It has a Split Missile Launcher guarded by 4 High Guards.
- From the alcove you find the Oscuro key, press along the wall to the left of it to find a touch plate. This will allow access to the 1-Up a bit to the southeast of here.
- The switch behind the iron key opens an area with a Heat Seeker beside the iron key door.
- The Krists can hurt each other with their mines and missiles.
- One Krist can run over the other, gibbing them (but not ending the level). More of an unintended behavior, but still.
- After hitting the touch plate (which starts the battle), if you stay in that part’s far corner long enough, the Krist in the structure next to you will probably glitch up and get stuck in there.
E2A8: WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!
Easily one of my favorite levels in the entire game. Another gimmick level where the whole thing is a game of chance; your progress depends on your selection between 2 choices throughout the level. You’ll never encounter dangers on the right path, while the wrong one is usually instant death. While it occupies slot 8, it’s not a secret level.
I really, REALLY don’t want to spoil the fun for you. But for the sake of completion, here we go. The brackets refer to the wall texture for each choice.
- Take the left path (2 dots).
- Take the left GAD stairs (1 dot).
- Take the left path (2 dots).
- Hit the switch closest to you; first one you see (1 dot).
- Take the left door (same pattern for both choices).
- Take the left elevator (2 dots).
- Take the north exit (1 dot).
If you notice, there’s a near-solid pattern of 2-1-2-1 etc, and almost always left. Just for fun, if you’re curious, go ahead and see the traps with the wrong choices.
Yeah, this isn’t a difficult level, but still. For its time, I think it’s neat that they implemented this gameplay mod. Too bad this is the end of all the fun, as the low road ends here and we’re back to convergent reality with the next level.
There are no secrets in this level; just good and bad choices.
This isn’t much of a representative level for the start of this episode. Doesn’t really introduce or sample any of the insane obstacle courses or enemy swarms you’ll see. It’s named after the fact that much of the level progresses near the ceiling, giving you an overview. The secret level is accessed from here.
Your first priority is to clear the open area of Deathfire Monks and trust me, there are plenty and they’re spread out everywhere. The easiest way to do this is to remain high up on the GADs and let them kill themselves, up against the walls below. Note that there are monks in wall nests high up at your altitude, as well. If you’re not careful, you’ll be sniped out pretty easily. Circle around the entire area and explore everything before progressing. Watch out for well-placed wall openings around the perimeter, especially atop the fences to the left and right of your starting area. The middle structure at the north can be accessed from the GAD perimeter; it has 2 monks.
Once things are clear, enter the structure at the south (via the opening with the GAD elevator) and hit the touch plate. This opens up the large structure on the immediately opposite side of the map, on the north end. There’s a GAD lift to take you up, from which you cross onto the central GAD platform on the map. Alternatively, you can get to that middle platform by crossing from the east side of the level perimeter (better with faster characters).
Follow the platform to the opening in the structure for a switch. It activates a GAD train that trails a pillar on the opposite side of the platform. The switch there opens the path to the exit at the northeast; but it also opens several enclosures all around the level, from which monks emerge. Again, it’s safest to deal with them from above; also check your automap for any remaining hidden enemies. Carefully approach the opened path for nested monks, up to a door.
On the other side of that door is the exit just a few feet away in a small room, but it’s guarded by a Ballistikraft. There’s also a God Mode powerup there. You can reach the exit without the powerup, and quite easily at that.
The God Mode powerup through the door is there for another reason than the Ballistikraft and that is to help access the secret level. The part of the right fire wall close to the door can be pushed to reveal the path to the secret exit (which is a fun little area, BTW).
The one weapon upgrade this level provides is an extra pistol. But that’s all you really need to complete this level and even then, it’s more of a convenience because it just saves some time. The only difficulty comes from the exit obstacle.
- The only secret in this level is the one to reach the secret exit. Right in front of the exit arch is a God mode powerup, as well as a Ballistikraft. Take the powerup, then press the right (south) end wall to open a straightforward passage to the secret exit.
E3A2: Sky Tunnels
Actually a pretty short level; the difficulty comes from the situations you come across in that short span. The gimmick of this level is that you’re high up in the sky, navigating a few main areas connected by tunnels. Here begins the downward spiral to insanity and upward spike in difficulty.
The Triad Enforcer ambush isn’t as difficult as it seems. You just have to circle strafe around the central pillar, not moving too close to its GAD base or the outer walls. As you do, keep firing at them. They’ll go down quicker than expected due to not knowing how to use their grenades. This section is doable even on a pistol start. There’s a Firebomb in the air when you get the gold key. I highly recommend not wasting this throughout the level and taking it with you to the next, to make that one’s start much easier.
Once you obtain the key, don’t run straight for its door when it’s in sight; take slow steps forward and every time you hear someone endorse a lead diet, run back out and kill him. However, even after this area is clear, still don’t go through the gold key door yet. Ride back up the GADs and while standing on the platform beside it, turn around and look between the Oscuro pillars: there’s a bulletproof vest. You really need this…
Because the next section is a column maze full of High Guards that can tear you to shreds easily while, under most circumstances, you can barely get any shots on them due to the columns. With the vest, just run up to the columns that they’re behind and shoot them through the spaces; you can easily get them this way. If you just have a pistol and are worried the vest will run out before you get everyone, there’s another vest in here.
The second pistol is also in this second section, but it’s in the air; you need to get to the middle of the room and ride a GAD to access it. On your automap, when you reach the east triad tip of the central cross, follow along the cross clockwise to find the GAD. You can also reach weapons and an asbestos vest this way.
The next section is the hardest part, and not because of the group of Triad Enforcers there; you can clear them pretty easily with the walls or by luring them back to the column maze (or even going Rambo with the asbestos vest). There are 3 cages formed by closed-in columns. Above your head, lines of boulders are racing across this area, in the direction you need to be going. You have to time it right and cross from one cage to the next, using the GAD stairs, and avoid even getting slightly touched by the boulders. If that happens, you don’t usually survive. There are 2 ways to approach this, both easier explained than done.
First is slower, going from cage to cage and taking a break in each. This is less intense and requires less coordination. The tough part is getting your character to fall into the cage before the next line of boulders reach you. The floaty gravity is for the first time working against you. You have to land on flat ground and not on a GAD in the cage to not get struck/killed. The first cage crossing isn’t so bad, but the second one (to the third cage) can be troublesome. This is true for the other method, as well. This method is recommended for slower characters.
Second method, you skip dropping into the second cage and keep going to land in the third one instead. Here, you have to turn your aim on a dime and also make sure you land in this more difficult-to-access cage. Surprisingly, this one’s the easier method; not sure how that works, but I tend to successfully enter the third cage more with this strategy.
Either case, don’t forget to pick up the silver key in the third one. After that, getting out is much easier as you don’t need to run into anything else; just fall out of there. But if you’re not careful, the boulders will push you into a fire pit, throwing all that effort away; another drop dead point.
In the final area, you need to run across several floating GADs to the exit. A switch on the wall at ground level eliminates the boulder problem you can see. If you feel daring, however, you can attempt the crossing without it (not worth it). Hit the switch, run back and to the right to not get hit by the newly appeared boulders. Needless to say, the difficulty of crossing these GADs is a matter of which character you chose.
Trust me, this level isn’t nearly as hard as you might think. If you execute the correct series of steps through all situations, it’s quite doable. It only gets worse from here. Mostly.
- In the starting area, when you ride the GAD lift up and get on the platform, look between the Oscuro pillars near the gold key door for a bulletproof vest.
- When you reach the east tip of the central cross structure in the next room (the tip is a triad wall segment), continue to follow along it clockwise. You’ll come upon a GAD lift that will let you access the rest of this area, blocked off from access by regular means, for useful items.
- The most bizarre secret of them all. I’m not even sure if this is the right method of getting to it. In the difficult boulder room with the silver key, you need to reach a hidden passageway right at the source of the boulders. Save some Firebomb ammo and get the asbestos vest using the previous secret. In the boulder room, walk up to and face one of the columns of the southeast enclosure, on its east face. Aim down, time it right and blast yourself in the air; go over the fence and try to land in the secret passage that should be visible. Your reward for this strange venture is a 3-Up.
E3A3: Bridge Over Trouble
This level mostly occurs over fiery pits and you’re often navigating across platforms and bridges, some of both that move, over these pits. That’s the gimmick. Perhaps the name is also a reference to the song Bridge Over Troubled Water.
Remember how I said to bring the Firebomb with you from the previous level? You can see exactly why. If you don’t, you have to run right past this mean posse and up some stairs to get another Firebomb. You’re highly unlikely to do that without losing some health; and that’s even with the asbestos vest right beside you at the start, which is crucial in either situation.
They really emphasize the Oscuro key’s minimal importance in this level: the gold key is behind several of those red herrings that do nothing more than make you a fireball sponge and use up your vest. In the next section, wait until the GAD line is moving to the left, then get on it. If you’re fast, which is quite easy to be, you can run around that side nest and get back on the line. Stay to the right (more north) once you do to avoid the GAD wall.
Shortcut Past Trouble:
Skip these 2 paragraphs if you want to try getting through all of the level, or if you don’t have any Firebomb ammo left from earlier. Anyway, fall into the lava, quickly turn left and run into the nearby opening on your left wall. It’s better to have full health, or at least enough, to tank the fire damage; even better if you brought over an asbestos vest from earlier. Through the opening, press the far-end corner wall in front of you. There’s a new asbestos vest. Take it, quickly run back out to the lava and run to the far right. Firebomb yourself up the high fence. That’s about 90% of the difficulty to this level that you bypassed. If you have no firebomb and asbestos armor left at this point, skip ahead to the paragraph beginning with “In the next section…”.
Quickly move along until you see 2 laterally oscillating GAD bridges over lava. Drop down and run across the lava pit to the other side, and firebomb yourself up to the platform. Now, skip to the paragraph before the outro.
In the next section, get on the line when it’s going to your left. As soon as you do, get in the middle of it and face the direction it’s going. This part is not too difficult; just strafe in the appropriate direction to clear each GAD barrier. When the line reaches the other wall, quickly run to the east end to hit the wall switch; then turn around quickly to evade the barriers again and proceed through the new way to the left. If you accidentally fall in, there’s an opening on the east wall near the middle of this hallway to get back. With a low health availability, you can’t screw up more than a few times. However, behind the wall of the first GAD stair in this passage back to safety is another asbestos vest.
Following this is a long room filled with monks in nests all along the far wall. Either take this slow, picking them off or luring them into the pits (and retreating if they manage to attack); or quickly run along the first wall and immediately reverse back to let them fall in and die.
One of the most difficult parts is coming up after the monk room. You’ll know it when you see it.
-Stand on the left column, angle yourself so your pistol is in line with the connection with the 2 further fence panels; run forward and when you can, strafe to the right.
-Stand at the separation of the first 2 GADs; aim your gun at the connecting line of the panels of the next fence and run.
-Stand at the right wall, near the fence edge; again, aim your gun at the connecting line of the first 2 panels of the next fence and run.
-This next one is much easier, as you just land on the trampoline right across and circle around to the next fence. This trampoline is also a recovery point if you screw up later on and can act fast on it.
-Stand at the right wall, near the fence edge; aim your gun at the connecting line of the 2 panels of this last fence and run.
I’m not sure how the boulders work, it seems inconsistent; sometimes, you can run over them, while other times they knock you back and run you into the ground. Just try to cross when they’re not below you and avoid them. Anyway, the next few gaps are easy. At the last one, from the 2 GADs into the high fence, stand on the second GAD and run for the left side of the fence.
The next area has a bunch of enforcers. You can try to snipe them from above with your Firebomb. If not, lure them to your fence area and stand on the edge of the fence (on the boulder side); they should blow themselves up. Or even, lure them to your fence side, run off to the other end of the room, and blast them with the Firebomb.
You’ll soon be back in one of the early areas, but right by the ceiling. This part isn’t necessarily more difficult than the boulders. However, it’s rather lengthy, requires a good amount of precision and if you fall off, you must redo the boulder section. Worst of all, the final gap to cross is a real headache. This whole gauntlet is explained GAD by GAD in the next paragraph.
From the fence, run across to the single GAD on the wall. Turn left and run to the dual GADs. Turn diagonally left and run across to the dual GADs on the left wall. Turn diagonally right and run across the next 3 gaps to the dual GADs on the right wall. Run to the dual GADs on the left wall. Turn diagonally right and angle yourself to run nonstop all the way to the triple GADs in the far right corner of the hall. For this final gap, stand between the first 2 GADs, aim your pistol just to the left of the connecting line between the left 2 fence panels and make a break for it.
In the next section, the back-left corner has a little passage to a Split Missile Launcher and a Deathfire Monk guarding it. This is the last huge gap, but it’s no joke. First of all, clear the monks that are coming from alcoves lining the far walls. From where you are, you won’t be able to get all of them directly. Take the Split Missile Launcher and try to shoot it into the ones that you can’t see much of. Better to get them out of the way now, instead of while you’re on these tiny platforms.
For this long gap, they don’t make the return to safety easy or safe at all. You’re better off not screwing up, period. Worse, the GADs can end up out of alignment by the monks, making it even more difficult. 2 ways to do this, neither of which is easier. So here’s another drop dead point.
-Stand near the middle of the GAD line; when all the moving ones align, gun it straight as much as you can and once you know which half of GADs you’re moving along (either going to the left or to the right), strafe in that direction gradually to stay in line. This is quicker, but requires more coordination and precision.
-Take it one GAD at a time. This is slower, but is less intense; you still have a chance of falling off or the GADs glitching up on you and somehow sending you down to get cooked.
Remember to look out for monks even when you reach the other end. The final area is way easier than it looks. As soon as the boulder nearest to you passes by your opening, strafe run to the right, catching up and following the second boulder from the far wall; it goes right through the exit.
The high difficulty rating comes from the not-so-desirable jumping physics and platforming. It’s not consistently nightmarish; just certain parts that usually kill you if you screw up the slightest. Some of these are quite far into the level, too, so it’s obviously frustrating if you fall prey to those traps, dangers, obstacles, etc. At least the next level is one hell (pun intended) of a break.
(Level secrets in the next section…)
E3A3: Bridge Over Trouble (Continued – Secrets)
- At the second fire pit obstacle after the gold key door (where you must hit a switch on one end of the hall), there’s an opening on your left, along the same side wall. This is how to return to safety; at the first GAD of this recovery passage, press on the wall to find an asbestos vest.
- At the end of the boulder obstacle, cross to the high fence. Instead of proceeding, turn around and notice a rather distant floating GAD to your front-right (northeast). This is maybe not reachable by Doug. Executing the gap cross is another story, as well. Stand at the midline of the fence and aim left of the GAD so you’ll clear the right wall. When running forward, as soon as you clear the right wall, turn right to aim for the GAD. This will take practice. Your reward is a Flame Wall.
- Not much of a secret, but can be missed. When you enter the room containing the final GAD crossing over the long fire pit hallway (GADs moving side to side over the fire pits), check the back-left corner of this room for a Split Missile Launcher guarded by a Deathfire Monk.
- At the final room, instead of running northwest to the exit, run to the northeast corner of the room for a 1-Up in an obscured alcove.
E3A4: Experiment IV
While this is a nice little break from the previous level’s insanity, it’s still more enjoyable with a faster character. The name is probably a reference to, you guessed it: a song named Experiment IV. How it relates to this level, I don’t know.
There’s an extra pistol behind your start. As you can see, the exit is right in the starting area, but it’s blocked by a column; you’ll also encounter 2 Triad Enforcers here.
First, enter the west door. Follow the twisting corridors, taking out the soldiers along the way. You’ll soon come to a huge array of barrels just behind what has been referred to as the Ballistitowers; several stacks of Ballistikrafts bunched together into a square formation, with a little opening. Fire off a shot to make them go berserk in your direction, strafing for cover when needed. Once all the barrels are destroyed, go back.
Through the east door, the flame fountain obstacle isn’t difficult. You’ll eventually come to a similar obstacle, but with spin blades. The strategy is the same, but in the very next room is a fireball obstacle; so you have to immediately stop running once you pass the last spin blade (or risk getting blown up by the next room). Past the fireballs is the iron key. Notice the line of flower turrets behind the fences below? We’ll come back to this later.
The iron key door room has a Flame Wall because in the room right next to it (north), there is an army of Triad Enforcers. Try to clear this room with the least number of rounds used. That hallway connects to the Oscuro boiler room. The whole place is full of fireball traps arranged to form deadly intersections. There are also some moving Oscuro pillars. This part isn’t very difficult; you just have to run past one fireball trap at a time. Make your way to the northwest corner to find the gold key being bombarded by two perpendicular fireball traps, right beside it. The trick here is to get the closest you can without getting blast damage; then, start running the instant a pair of fireballs explode on the key, grab it and immediately reverse.
The gold key door guards an asbestos vest because you’ll need it to steal what the Ballistitowers from the beginning are guarding. Grab it and go back to them. Wait until you can see the opening, then run for it; get in and grab the silver key as fast as you can and then get the hell out of there. The switch behind the silver key door is guarded by a Triad Enforcer; that switch clears the column to the exit. If you don’t have an MP-40 by this point, you might not want to leave this break of a level just yet.
MP-40 Side Quest:
Return to those brown ceiling impalers just after the flame fountain obstacle in the east door. In the left alcove, behind the leftmost ceiling impaler is a bulletproof vest atop a fence. When it’s clear, get down there and grab it. Carefully evade the spin blade and go through the opening on the fence.
You need to rush back to those flower turrets. Choose your route. Going forward, you have to clear the 2 other obstacles again, but the turrets are in the room right after them. Going backwards, you only have to clear 1 obstacle, but you must first ride up the GADs, time yourself to avoid the brown ceiling impalers and also switch to the south door in the starting area.
Either way, remember how I recommended conserving Flame Wall ammo? Destroy the right-most flower turret and push the wall behind it. In here are the MP-40 and a touch plate. This is the first time you’ll get the MP-40 through regular item placement if you didn’t play through the episodes 1 or 3 secret levels. Needless to say, quickly get out of there. The touch plate is just for a secret (explained further below).
Now there is no excuse for not having the MP-40. Ok, maybe there is; it was concealed in an out-of-the-way secret in this level. Be careful as the Ballistitowers are very glitchy; their formation tends to go out of sync for reasons I’m not sure. Overall, this is arguably the easiest of the episode 3 “Havana” levels. Get ready for the most brutal, most frustrating one.
- When you reach the impaling ceiling columns, run off to the right instead to find a very small shortcut to the spin blade room. This actually serves a different purpose. Land on the nearest spin blade, then walk across the ones to the east. When you’re on the second-to-last one, you’ll see an opening in the right wall. There’s a 1-Up and Heat Seeker in this nest. The latter is recommended for the third secret.
- From the start of the previous secret, run off the GAD platform to the left of the gap, into the alcove for a bulletproof vest. This is useful for the next secret.
- It is recommended to have the Heat Seeker, or some other explosive weapon. After getting the bulletproof vest from the previous secret, either head back through the path to the starting room and enter the southeast door; or continue through the path and you’ll reach the same spot, just standing atop the fence. Going below that fence, you’ll see flower turrets fully lining the back wall. Use a missile weapon to destroy the rightmost (southwest) one and press the wall behind it. You’ll find some points, an MP-40 and a touch plate.
- The touch plate in the previous secret opens up an upcoming area. When you reach the Oscuro boiler room for the gold key, check the midwest Oscuro structure for the Oscuro key. Its respective door in the main lobby has Scott’s Mystical Head behind it.
- Follow the Ballistitower’s outer perimeter to the left and you’ll see an opening on your left that leads to a 1-Up. Obviously, you need the asbestos vest for this.
- This one’s very tricky and also involves the Ballistitowers. Because them being alerted and attacking you causes them to glitch and break formation, there is no absolute pattern to do it.
Basically, when their rotation creates 2 openings, one for you to enter and one at the southeast corner, run there and press the wall in the latter. It’ll lead to a connection of rooms; one of these has lots of health and a nice view of the DIP balls (by the way, all of the DIP balls on this map are only for display; they can’t be acquired). The other has a 3-Up atop a fence with a GAD on the ground in front of the fence. Hitting the wall switch activates 2 fireball traps to blast the GAD. If you haven’t guessed, you need the asbestos armor in effect at least this far. Because you need to stand on that GAD and let the fireballs blast you up to that 3-Up. Oh, and of course, you need to have the vest still in effect to get back out.
E3A5: The Ride
Are you in for a ride (!) or what. It can’t reasonably be described the potential frustration you’ll face. However, that’s where this guide comes into play to alleviate much of that frustration whenever possible. The gimmick of this level is you riding various different GAD formations throughout the level. The name may either be referring to that one excruciating train segment near the end, or the level as a whole being one hell of a ride.
Right off the bat, run forward up the stairs, down to the ground and run to the right. Don’t ride that GAD train behind you just yet. Follow the hallway, killing the soldiers and avoiding the fiery dangers along the way. There will also be 2 side alcoves with an enemy in each along the way.
At the fork, head right (here, you need to kill the enemies to progress) and hit the touch plate. That touch plate opens the way forward and it’s better to get this out of the way early on; especially getting rid of the enemies leading up to it. The alternative is you stand on the GAD train as it passes through the corridors, taking out the enemies as you see them, then hit the touch plate once you reach there. But doing so, you risk taking hits by the enemies (more, anyway) and also from the fire pits, which damage you even when standing on the discs.
In the newly opened path, get that Bazooka floating in the air, but don’t use it for a while. Things are straightforward for a decent stretch afterwards. As usual, pay attention to enemies in alcoves, nests, etc., along the way. Choose your method below.
When you come across the Triad Enforcers in the side alcoves, run to the far end of the hallway, turn around and pick them off from a distance. Now you can use the Bazooka. In this end of the hallway, you’ll see there are 3 other paths. One of them has a fire pit at its entrance; this has a Firebomb in it. Grab that, then take the east path (with the GADs).
In the next room, don’t fall in the little gap to your right onto the ground (between the two lines of discs); it’s just wide enough for you to fall in and you can’t get out. Anyway, a bit further, just over the fence are groups of GADs circling a pillar. Get on any of them and hit the pillar switch. If you don’t have full health, DON’T hit the switch yet; first ride around to the other side for a Large Monk Crystal. The switch is single-use and opens a timed door (so if it closes, it can’t be reopened). On the other side comes the most intense section of the level, and of the game.
However, it is NOT more difficult than the section after it. (If you’re saving often, make one before pressing that switch). Run up the stairs and land on the long, 2 GAD wide train. Get ready to act fast and readjust your position on this train frequently.
-Stay at the far back-left. As soon as it reaches the first 2 alcoves on your left and right, fire bullets to your right for a second to stun the monks there. Then run forward to about the halfway point. (for the second easy path, go to the next guide section and skip to the part named as such)
-At about the turn it makes to the right, go back to the far back-left. Fire bullets into the alcove that is nearest to you on whichever side. Once you pass the second alcove (will be on your left), run to the very front-right of the train.
-When you can see the flame showers after the left turn, go to the far back-right. You’ll collect the bulletproof vest and pass by the 2 side alcoves filled with High Guards. Just stay on that last GAD until it passes by the alcove. You may want to fire bullets at them to prevent any from getting on the train.
-The moment your last GAD passes the 2 alcoves, immediately run towards the front of the train until you just pass the deadliest alcove on your left, filled with Deathfire Monks and Triad Enforcers. Turn around and fire bullets at the Deathfire Monk until an enforcer walks up to you, firing his chaingun, which does nothing because of your vest. Then immediately turn around to face forward. If you end up with a monk on your tail, no big deal; keep shooting at it…
-Now you have to act really fast. As soon as you see the next 2 flanking alcoves ahead (with an enforcer on your tail), OR (if you have a fast character) as soon as the train turns right, sprint forward to fall off the train, beside the door out of that rabid transit.
For the most part, if you fall off the train at any point before then, call it quits and restart/reload.
Quickly open the door, follow the corridor around and turn to the right. Here comes the true hardest part of the level, and one of the hardest in EROTT. Kill the right side High Guard really quickly and when the path is clear ahead, try to slink into the northwest hallway as quick as you can. Even if you don’t kill the High Guard before he enters the GAD vortex, run when you get an opening. The key is to get there before your bulletproof vest runs out.
Hit the switch in there. Now turn around and do your best to empty the vortex of enemies with your Firebomb; there’s also another Firebomb in that hallway, as well as a good health pickup. You can use the wall recesses to duck for cover.
When you think it’s safe, check the previous room and the adjacent, east room for any stray resistance and clear them if there’s any. Go into that room for the well-earned exit.
Let me make it clear that getting into the northwest hallway is not 100% guaranteed; you’ll likely fail a lot because of how random the enemies can be, often blocking your way. It makes this section one of the hardest in the game.
(Continued in the next section…)
E3A5: The Ride (Continued)
Very Easy Way:
When you come across the Triad Enforcers in the side alcoves, run to the far end of the hallway. In this end of the hallway, you’ll see there are 3 other paths. One of them has a fire pit at its entrance; this has a Firebomb in it. Use that and take out the enforcers, then switch back to your unused Bazooka and take the east path (with the GADs).
In the next room, don’t fall in the little gap to your right onto the ground (between the two lines of discs); it’s just wide enough for you to fall in and you can’t get out. Anyway, a bit further, just over the fence are groups of GADs circling a pillar. Get on any of them and hit the pillar switch. If you don’t have full health, DON’T hit the switch yet; first ride around to the other side for a Large Monk Crystal. The switch is single-use and opens a timed door (so if it closes, it can’t be reopened). On the other side comes the most intense section of the level, and of the game.
Run up the stairs and land on the long, 2 GAD wide train. Get ready to act fast and readjust your position on this train frequently.
-Stay at the far back-left. As soon as it reaches the first 2 alcoves on your left and right, fire bullets to your right for a second to stun the monks there. Then run forward to about the halfway point.
-At about the turn it makes to the right, go back to the far back-left. Once you pass the first alcove (will be on your right; you probably need to shoot the monk so it won’t blast you), run forward on the train and turn right to face the last alcove (while sticking to the left side of the train); kill the monk in there with the Bazooka. This alcove has an asbestos vest. Take it, fall down to the ground and sprint in the GAD train’s direction.
You’ll make a left, then 2 right turns in the path before one final right turn that leads to the dead-end fence (and is flanked by the fences with Triad Enforcers). Well, right at the corner before that final turn, the left wall can be pushed in to reveal a Mercury Mode powerup. This is the secret to making the vortex shootout at the end a complete joke.
Just carefully fly over the stopped train, over the fence and down to the door. On the other side, you can use your remaining Bazooka rounds from where you are or fly into the northwest hallway for additional supplies and cover to clear out the enemy vortex. Note that if you choose to stay on the south side, enemies from the previous room can come through the door if you’re south of the door itself.
Second Easy Path:
This is a mix of the hard and easy paths. Just follow along.
-At about the turn it makes to the right, go back to the far back-left. You’ll pass alcoves on the left and right. Again, you’re on the back-left end. Just face the right, fire at the monks in the alcoves on the right. As you pass the third one, rush to the front-right of the train.
-Dodge the flames in the next corridor, while keeping in the front-right. Equip the Firebomb which you should still have at this point. At the right turn, you’ll pick up a bulletproof vest and approach 2 flanking alcoves. These have High Guards in them; fire a shot to each one to clear them, stepping back between each shot to avoid the blast. Now quickly run to the front of the train.
-At its next turn will be a long alcove on the left. Approach it just to its start to alert the enemies, then rush to back of the train. When it comes back around to that alcove, get in there; most/all the enemies should be out of the alcove (either on the train or on the ground below); if not, shoot them out (hopefully, it’s not a Triad Enforcer! This part does involve some luck).
-Wait for the train to pass you right by and stop at the end of the corridor. Quickly drop down to the ground below it, and press on the left wall at the dead-end, where the hallway turns right. Here’s your ace-in-the-hole, pun intended. Fly under the stopped train to the dead-end to alert the rest of the horde in the final side areas. Then go back and over the start of the train.
-Most enemies should be bunched up on the front end there. Just use up some/the rest of the Firebombs to clear them. Now, before dropping down over the high fence at the end, check the left alcove for an Asbestos Armor and Bazooka. The rest is a cake walk.
-Drop down over the fence and to the door. On the other side, you can use your Bazooka or remaining Firebomb rounds from where you are or fly into the northwest hallway for additional supplies and cover to clear out the enemy vortex. The rest is history.
The infernal train ride at the end turned out to be much easier compared to the end shootout. Even then, the latter can become a very easy section if you know the secret. The hard way is still quite feasible. Trust me, as far as the following levels go, this is as bad as the difficulty gets… but I didn’t say the difficulty won’t increase.
- On the final ride (THE ride), press the southeast wall before the train’s right turn where it stops at the terminus. You’ll get an extremely useful Mercury Mode powerup that breaks the final shootout.
- After falling over the fence at the end of the last ride, open the door and press the wall segment you see in front of you; there’s a 1-Up in there.
E3A6: Lights Out
The whole level is near pitch dark and you must deal with robots for most of it. There are even some Triad Enforcers in the mix. Don’t worry, this gimmick is not that bad of a nightmare as you might think. In fact, the only real hard part is the starting room.
Everything after that is easy if you take things slowly. There are actually a few spots where there is considerable enough brightness, so it’s not quite lights out. Even then, I found both a way to exploit the robots to make the start easier and a secret to outright trash the challenge altogether.
Immediately run forward, past the flanking robots. Hit the switch at the far end of the area, keeping to the right to avoid the robots on the left. Also, don’t shoot out any of the lamps. Now you have to go all the way back for the next switch…
If ever you get hurt while going for switches, don’t worry about it. As long as you don’t die; there will be plenty of health in the next area.
Notice the pillar closer to the left 2 robots (check your automap)? Run for the switch by going between that pillar and the 2 robots to its left. Stay closer to the pillar, of course, and aim for the far left corner.
Get out the same way and go back to the far opposite end for the next switch. To get by those 3 robots, go up to the far wall from the right side (with the first flipped switch), beside the left lamp. When the robots are moving away, run straight across and into the corner to reach the switch.
For the last switch on the other end, run up behind the pillar from its right side. Once the way is clear and the robots guarding the last switch are moving away, make a run for it and get into the corner to the right of that switch.
I noticed that when one Ballistikraft is activated by proximity and attacks, the other ones will delay attacking you if you get too close to them. You can exploit this at every subsequent switch to make it way easier.
Aligned with the floating head, run to the north wall and start activating it as you move to the right. One of the segments will go in to reveal a Mercury Mode powerup. Now just fly your way around all the dangers and hit the switches. Obviously, capture the floating head along the way.
Note: If you take the Mercury Mode powerup now, a puzzle near the end will be somewhat harder (though not as much as the start is). It’s your choice.
Anyway, the last (fourth) switch not only reveals the door you go to next, but also activates some boulders. You can re-flip the switch to stop them, though. Otherwise, they’re easy to dodge (or just fly, even).
Out the elevator, there are 2 touch plates, one behind the other. These control the lighting of the large structures all around this large open area. Walk over each one sideways to properly configure the lighting of the room. If missiles hit these structures, they’ll lose their lighting.
There is a Triad Enforcer atop a fence on the back walls immediately to the left and right of the elevator. Lure them down to easily dispatch in the open. Then use the southwest trampoline to reach a switch on the wall south of it.
Let There Be Light:
Skip this paragraph if you want to maintain the challenge. Using that same trampoline, land atop the fence blocking the border of the area. Don’t worry, these fences are deceptively wide; about the same width as GADs. Run along it to the north end, up against the wall. Now, slowly move to your left and you’ll land on a small square of safe ground. Press the wall in front of you to reveal a secret area containing a Split Missile Launcher and a switch that will light up the entire large room you’re in.
A door should be revealed northwest of this area. At the far end of the next room is a switch on the wall and a gold key in a small side room. The switch opens a wall behind you, on the opposite side, freeing some soldiers. The opening to the room with the gold key has a touch plate lining the ground; this is important to progress while the gold key is completely useless.
The touch plate also unleashes several Robot Guards from closets in the previous area, and they will patrol the tall structures. Back in that large room, see those Ballistikrafts atop those GADs really high up on the east wall? You need to use the trampoline a bit north of the middle of the room to get up there and to the south end to hit a switch, first; then, the north end to the exit.
Here is where saving the Mercury Mode powerup from the beginning would really help. Otherwise, when the north pair of Ballistikrafts are approaching the middle of those GADs, bounce up there towards the middle as well; you’ll alert those 2 and delay the other 2. Just sprint to the south, passing by those south pair of robots. When you drop down into the hole, reverse to land on regular ground. Otherwise, you’ll land on a trampoline, which might bounce you back up into missiles. When it’s safe, use the trampoline to bounce up, hit the switch. Then you can get back out… when it’s safe.
Getting to the north end of the GAD bridge is very easy, especially since there’s a trampoline near it. Just wait for the upper 2 robots to be away from the opening at that end and get up there.
As you’ll see, this level isn’t nearly as difficult as it might seem. There are many tricks to make it easier along the way, as well as options you can choose.
- From under Scott’s Mystical Head, walk up to the north wall and press along towards the right. You’ll find an extremely useful Mercury Mode powerup in there. Needless to say, you can now rescue Scott.
- After riding the elevator, there’s a trampoline to your left, near the southwest corner. Use it to reach the high fence to the left (east) of the switch you need to activate. Press the far end wall in this alcove, but DON’T walk forward. Once the wall moves completely, you should vaguely see another fence alcove on the right that you can cross into. This has a 1-Up.
- Use the trampoline from the previous secret to carefully land on the border fence beside it. Carefully make your way to the north end wall segment on this fence. Inch to your left to fall off the fence, but survive as you land on a single safe space. Now push the wall to find a Split Missile Launcher and a switch to light up the darkness.
- In the next room (with the useless gold key), follow the room’s perimeter clockwise to the northwest part. You’ll walk through an extended side passage with bonus coins and a dead-end alcove.
- Push the inner wall of the alcove from the previous secret area to reveal an opening on the left that leads to a 1-Up.
E3A7: NME Mine
Remember how difficult the original battle with the NME was? Imagine a much smaller battlefield, very little cover to hide behind, unprotected borders and fences that obscure your view. The only upside, it seems, is that you start off just before the battle, meaning it won’t take much to get back to the boss on each of your 100+ retries. The name is a reference to a 1985 movie Enemy Mine. Plus, it does seem like you’re stranded in this small space with that death bringer made of scrap metal.
You might be wondering why, then, a steroid-pumped NME stage is only rated ***. Well, I’ve got a very useful trick to take the NME down quite easily.
There are 2 main ways of defeating the boss. First off, take the Split Missile Launcher and when you flip the Oscurovator switch, stay exactly there and face the switch to teleport at the right spot. The NME is in front of you, at the other end of this mine. There are also 5 Robot Guards spread around the inner battlefield. Take them out first, obviously, using the Split Missile Launcher. You can actually approach the NME to about the halfway point of the area without it being activated. Once you’re done with the guards, it’s showtime.
No strings attached, just take on the boss head-on. This is extremely intense and you’ll likely die a lot. But at least you can end the battle much quicker this way. Don’t be afraid of losing health, as its homing missiles aren’t instant death; its tracking mines are, however. Don’t get too careless about it, either; there is plenty of health all around the level. Stick with the Bazookas that are around the outer perimeter and the Heat Seekers near the corners of the inner battlefield. Forget the Firebomb in the center of the arena. Use the pillars for cover. Most importantly, mind the borders.
While it takes a long time, the battle becomes way easier. This is essentially a game of cat and mouse. First off, after destroying the other robots, switch to a Heat Seaker on the side further from the NME and get behind the corner Oscuro pillar near it. Remember that your missiles go through these fences. What you do now is move a bit to the side so you can aim the weapon through the fence going along the long side of the arena. Then just unload all your homing rounds that way; they’ll all hit the boss while you’re covered.
Once you’re out, immediately pick up the Bazooka behind you. You will now want to use only Bazooka rounds until the boss begins using the fireball spray attack, when it’s almost dead. 2 important things to note:
-The pillars are your home. You’ll be behind these the most often and they’ll stop the homing missiles from reaching you.
-THE AUTOMAP IS YOUR MOST USEFUL TOOL. By default, it tracks enemy positions, including the bosses. Switch to this as often as you feel comfortable to anticipate the NME’s direction and next move. Seriously, I can’t stress enough how useful it is. It is a major determinant in the original battle and it is a major determinant here.
Anyway, you essentially wait behind a pillar; when the NME pops up on either your left or right side, fire off a cheap shot at it and then retreat around the pillar. You can also retreat to an adjacent pillar; I recommend working with the 2 inner pillars of the short sides or any 2 pillars on the long sides of the arena. Also, when it’s still quite far away, but visible if you sidestep out of one side of your pillar, you can quickly spring out a few times to get some shots in. There is a considerable enough delay between when it stops and when it launches homing missiles; use that to your advantage and attack + retreat.
As long as you are snug against a pillar with the boss on the other side, its homing missiles will either hit a wall or fly past you. Obviously, if you wait too long after it fires before gluing to the pillar, it’s no good. On the automap, if it looks like the NME disappeared, it is likely going through a fence and so is occupying the same position as a fence on the map.
The more damage the boss takes, the faster it becomes and the faster it attacks; its delay before attacks also becomes shorter. At some point, it becomes so difficult to lead the NME around just 1 pillar that you have to use 2 or more to keep up.
Once it’s weakened enough that it starts using the devastating fireball spray, its movement becomes more erratic and it tends to retreat more so it’s harder to attack. This is also the cue for you to ditch the Bazookas and go for the Heat Seekers sitting in the inner battlefield corners; now you can stay far away from the NME and when you know its position, unload missiles more liberally towards it and the battle should soon be over.
You can also mix-and-match; combine a bit of both strategies.
A couple of things to note:
-You’ll die the most often by being pushed out of the level. Even when it uses the fireball spray, you’ll still die more frequently by being knocked out. The point is to try not to let that happen. Obviously, this is hard to do because it’s part of the safe area, doesn’t have obscuring fences and most of the health is out here.
-USE YOUR MAP OFTEN TO TRACK THE NME IF YOU’RE NOT GOOD AT IT OTHERWISE.
Though you won’t do it in one try, or a few, you can definitely complete this level with just a save at the start. It’s one of the milder of difficult levels of EROTT, ironically. Trust me, this is another break level, considering what’s coming up after it.
There are no secrets in this level. They really did want you to work exactly with just what you see.
E3A8: They Say HOO-Mahn-Ay
If you haven’t guessed by the name, this level prominently features Deathfire Monks. Not really a difficult one by way of level puzzles and obstacles; not even by the battles.
Grab the Bazooka; you can either be strategic and take the monks head-on around the room, or retreat back in the corner and pick them off really slowly. Either way, when you take the Drunk Missile Launcher past the door, DO NOT use it after riding up the GADs. In fact, don’t go up there yet because you’ll likely rise into monk fireballs. Just lead them back into the starting area and kill them.
This is the first level so far that provides an MP-40, actually within the level, in plain sight, no less. The only downside is that it’s a secret level.
Before climbing the GAD stairs, clear the road block ahead. As you climb, watch your sides for openings with enemies. The further you go, you’ll be more and more blocked off from going back down by barriers. Don’t worry, you can still return to this area from elsewhere.
When you reach the massive room with 4 large inner rooms, clear the outer area of the monks. Because the area is so vast, they can be hard to see and can sneak up on you. Don’t stay too much in the open; try rushing up close to each one you target so the others need to walk a good amount to get to you.
Tackling the 4 rooms isn’t difficult, just time consuming. The first one doesn’t even have monks. You’re provided a certain amount of missile firepower, but even if it turns out insufficient, you won’t be overwhelmed. The better tactic is to lure them to the door and then out of the room. Even if you think the room is clear, you might be surprised.
The silver key requires a bit of fidgeting to reach from the GADs, but isn’t impossible. Actually, you can fight about half of the monks in the silver key door room right in there. Just go to the top of the stairs and attack as they also blast themselves. In the iron key door room, the west corner touch plate grants access to the last key; the right one opens 2 large monk nests.
After this, you’re pretty much done and there’s almost nothing else to it.
A lax gimmick level. You might be a bit disappointed by the difficulty, but you should come to enjoy it because things only get worse from here.
E4A1: Halls Of Walls
Be prepared for arguably the hardest level of the game, assuming you don’t go for the crucial secrets. This level bombards you with death obstacle after death obstacle. Unlike any other level that consists of halls of walls (read: most), this one prominently features moving ones. Here, you find the secret exit to the craziest side adventure ROTT has to offer.
You can easily kill the 2 flanking Triad Enforcers with their own help at the stairs. Do not use any Bazooka ammo on them. Even for the one guarding the gold key, use at most 2 rounds. For the touch plate in the corner, guarded by the dual fireball trap, you can try 2 methods. One is align yourself with the plate; as soon as a pair of fireballs hits the wall, immediately run forward and then immediately run back as soon as you hit it. The other is to start halfway across the room; when a pair of fireballs crosses your view, immediately chase them towards the touch plate and side step once you hit it.
You can’t go back the way you came, so you might be wondering what to do next. See that southern moving wall segment closest to the touch plate room door? Follow it to find an opening on your right. This next section is yet another death trap. Now you’re working against the flow of 2 fireball traps. The one closer to you is a few feet ahead of the one beside it.
There is no secret to this; reaching the trampoline unharmed is either a matter of luck or mastering the exact angle, position and timing to run. You’re better off just scrambling for it and living, no matter how much damage is done. The best way to do this is to stand a little bit away from the space with the health crystal; angle your aim just a bit to the right of the trampoline; when the closer fireball passes you by, make a break for it. The amount of damage when hit by the fireball always varies for me; it might have to do with the angle you get hit and how quickly you spring in the air after getting hit.
You’ve been saving your Bazooka rounds for an upcoming room. There’s an enforcer just to the left of the door that you’ll open; another 2 at the far end of that room. Opening the next door in this room to the fast-moving Oscuro walls, pay attention to the distant walls adjacent to the door you must reach: there is an opening on each side. Run to the right one first (north) for some health. Before getting out of that hidden room, you’ll notice yet another hidden room behind the moving Oscuro wall in front of you. Get the Firebomb there.
In the other hidden room beside the door (south flanking wall, now), you’ll find a Triad Enforcer at its end, with another opening near him. There’s yet another hidden room immediately to the right of this opening with an asbestos vest. You’re going to need the Firebomb and asbestos vest to reach the crucial secret.
You’ll eventually come to a fenced-in area with bonus coins beside the next gold key door (there’s a second gold key nearby that’s useless). This is what you need the 2 aforementioned items for. You need to catapult yourself into that area, then activate the southwest fence wall twice. In here is a Mercury Mode powerup (guarded by moving fire pillars) to make the final major obstacle, which is the hardest part of the level, a complete joke. Past the gold key door is the assembly line of death, another drop dead point.
Just use the Mercury Mode powerup to fly to the left (east) opening for the regular exit or the opening across your starting point (south) for the secret exit.
The Firebomb and asbestos vest can still be used in another corner-cutting way. Drop off the GAD into the fire pits below; while minding the moving pillars, make your way to the fire pit just north of the 3 GADs on the east wall. Catapult yourself up while your back is against the wall, then strafe left to land on the finish line.
Navigate the dangerous assembly line of moving pillars. There are no tricks to make this easier, so I’ll try to break it down.
Note that if you fall in, do your best to safely make it to the northwest corner of the room and press along the west wall to return to the previous room (then run through the opening on any subsequent drops). It’s likely the crazy moving wall configuration will get you killed before you can reach the corner, though.
-From the third GAD at the start, once the 2 walls move away, run across the single GAD and onto the triple one. This part really showcases how glitchy the platforming and moving wall collision mechanics are. Sometimes, the moving walls can push and send you falling below the GAD, screwing you over big time. Also, try not turning or moving while a pillar pushes against/moves through you; this also sends you through the platform to the ground. Do your best to stay in the center of the platform.
-Stand on the third one in and turn right to face the next GAD; you can use that next one to help align yourself. There isn’t one specific time to cross; just study the pattern of the pillars that pass by your view for a few seconds and you’ll know which are your opportunities. Whenever one pillar isn’t trailing another.
-From this single GAD, DO NOT TURN LEFT AND TRY TO REACH THAT NEAREST ONE. As far as I care, that one’s a red herring. You have pillars moving on your left and right sides at almost any given moment. Recall the issue with the Triadagio secret exit. I can’t remember ever having an opening to run to that GAD without being dragged down.
Instead, turn diagonally left to the next triple GAD. The best time to cross, you’ll notice that after one of the single pillars passes by, there is the longest time before 2 pillars pass by next.
-From the third GAD, turn right and at an opening, cross to the next triple GAD. From the one against the wall, turn left; when the 2 pillars move away, cross to the corner single GAD. Turn left and, of course, when the ceiling spin blade retracts, cross to the triple GAD. Repeat to the “L” platform in the next corner. Cross from that to the next when it’s clear.
-The next one is a single GAD, which can be tricky; it’s another one that you can inexplicably fall through. But you’re close, so hang in there. Cross to the triple GAD.
-Turn left at its end for the next single GAD. For this one, stand a bit more to the right edge of your current platform (as you’re facing the next GAD); you need to cross when there is no pillar to your right. The way I time this is wait until the pillar passes beside me; then I move closer to the right edge and when the one moving sideways moves back to the right, I run to the next GAD before the first one comes back. You’ll understand what I mean better when you see it in the level. This is one of the harder crossings.
-Fortunately, the home stretch is pretty easy. As soon as the pillar crosses in front of you to the right, just run across to the wall.
(Continued in the next section…)
E4A1: Halls Of Walls (Continued)
Go through the fence opening along the wall beside the triple GAD you’re on. DO NOT run to the bottom of the stairs here. Watch for a moving fire pillar to move left and then right. Follow this pillar until you see an opening on your left. but don’t enter it yet because there are 2 Triad Enforcers through it. Instead, get spotted by them and then run back out to safety. Let them walk to their burning fate.
Getting to the regular exit is a bit tricky. If you look through the opening, you’ll notice that the exit is a few feet away. The problem is between the opening and exit is another fire pillar moving in parallel with the first one, in its own narrow corridor. However, the 2 pillars are not in sync at all.
If you took the easy method and still have the Mercury Mode, notice at the bottom of the stairs, where the fire pillar rebounds from the left wall, there’s a high fence. Fly up here for an asbestos vest. Follow the first pillar and get to the safe space in the opening on the left, but wait. Let the enforcers get killed by the second fire pillar (as you shoot at them), then run forward when it’s clear. Your vest will protect you from most or all damage.
Without the vest, don’t bother waiting in the “safe” space between both pillars as the awesome collision detection makes this another drop dead point; you have to be dead center in that space to not get burned to death by the passing pillars. Here’s a trick. Follow the first pillar to the opening and look through; wait up to 1 second for the second one to pass by in either direction and make a break for the exit. If the second one doesn’t pass in that brief moment, go back and try again.
If you don’t have the Mercury Mode, skip this paragraph. Go through the opening to the regular exit (directly beside the final platform you’re on) and wait near the bottom of the stairs. When the fire pillar passes by, fly up to the top of the fence on your left for an asbestos vest. Go back out to the final GAD platform in the assembly line room and look south for another opening. It’s guarded by a ceiling spin blade and moving pillar. When it’s clear, fly in there. You’ll eventually come to a long hallway guarded by 3 Ballistikrafts; sprint across to the secret exit.
Skip these remaining paragraphs if you have the Mercury Mode. From the final platform (triple GAD), look south to see another small fence opening. This one is guarded by a moving pillar AND a ceiling spin blade. But it’s not that difficult to clear. First, wait for the pillar to come and go. Then, the very next time the spin blade retracts, run across.
After the door is another big drop dead point and this section is much harder than the parallel fire pillars of the regular exit. The path to the secret exit is a long hallway extending forward, which is 3 spaces wide. In each space is a Ballistikraft, all moving parallel; and while they’re not aligned (which makes sense, since you need to pass them), they are at least in sync. Look into the room real quick and retreat to update your automap.
Stand close to the opening, without letting any of them see you. Now is the time to frequently check your automap to track the positions of these robots to time your run properly. Basically, wait until the left-most (north) robot is approaching towards you near the closest low clearing. Then run through, hugging the right wall; once you cross the left robot, strafe to the far left and keep moving; strafe to the middle of the hallway at or near the far end, into the secret exit.
Even with the corner-cutting, many parts of this level can drop you if you’re even slightly off. Technically, the difficulty rating shouldn’t be that high, but something about the moving wall platforming section feels like using the Mercury Mode is a total cop-out or cheat. But I mean as in unlike any other level.
- After hitting the fireball-guarded touch plate and entering the new opening, turn around and look behind the series of moving wall segments. There’s an opening along the right wall; get into it. When your moving wall segment recedes from your opening, run rightwards to the next opening. This one has a 1-Up.
- When you reach the Oscuro compactor room, follow the northwest wall as the upper half of the wall recedes for an opening to health and bonus points.
- From the previous secret area, look behind the Oscuro wall on your side for another opening (northeast). It has a Firebomb in it.
- Leave the previous secret area and enter the door that leads forward. Turn around and this time, follow the southwest wall for an opening to some bonus points and a Triad Enforcer.
- The side where the Triad Enforcer waits in the previous secret area has another opening. When the Oscuro wall on your side recedes, get out through this and run to the right for an opening along the right wall. There’s an asbestos vest here.
- Before the gold key door is a fenced-off area to the right. This is what the asbestos vest and Firebomb from the preceding secrets are for. With your back against the fence, look down and blast yourself over the fence.
- In the previous secret area, press the southwest corner wall to uncover a seemingly empty little alcove.
- Now from the previous secret, press that same wall segment again to uncover another small room with bonus points.
- From the previous secret, press the wall segment once again to discover what makes this level (particularly the upcoming puzzle) way easier: a Mercury Mode.
- It is recommended to have either the Mercury Mode or the Firebomb and asbestos vest combo for this. In the area past the gold key door, with all the moving walls, drop down below and press the inner wall of the southeast alcove. There’s a 1-Up in here. If you have the Mercury Mode, simply fly back up. If you have the asbestos vest and Firebomb, place your back against a wall while next to a GAD (preferably one of the endpoint GADs in this area), look down and blast yourself up to that GAD. Otherwise, use the next secret to get out of this death pit.
- If ever you fall in, make your way safely to the northwest corner of the room and press along the west wall to return to the previous area (and go through this opening on
- subsequent drops).
- From the endpoint 3 GADs with the opening in the wall, look right (south) for another opening guarded by a ceiling spin blade and a moving wall. Time your crossing to reach
- the secret exit path. To evade the Ballistikrafts, track their positions on your automap; when the left (north) one approaches you near the closest low clearing, run for it, keeping to the right wall; when you pass that first robot, cross over to the left wall and keep moving.
- Back at the endpoint 3 GADs of the previous secret, proceed with the regular exit opening. At the first moving fire pillar, notice that the left end of the narrow hallway is a fence. Either with a remaining Mercury Mode or asbestos vest and Firebomb, catapult yourself up there for another asbestos vest. It is possible to get here fast enough without losing your first vest; even reaching either exit with that first one.
E4A2: Getting The Drop
For most who’ve played this level, it seems completely understandable why it’s so dreadful: there’s a section in a small room where you must hit 3 switches placed in 2 side nests that are full of Triad Enforcers. The worst part? You apparently can only carry 1 explosive weapon into this area. The areas after that are barely any easier and are in fact even more stressful. This should be the hardest level of EROTT, by far.
So why only 3 stars? Because secrets. If you realize that you can bring more than one explosive weapon, in fact all of them, to the enforcer ambush, that becomes the easiest part of the level; in turn, the overall difficulty of the level becomes WAYYY lower. This makes 1-shotting this level much more possible, even with a pistol start. I’ve actually managed the latter, and in fewer tries than other levels because it truly is not that bad.
Based on the expression, “Get the drop on (someone/something)”, the level name may refer to any of all the diabolical sections it throws at you.
Up until the Ludicrous Edition, the only character able to really beat this level without cheating was Thi Barrett. This is because of a column puzzle and obstacle right at the end of it. However, it’s in fact possible to beat it with any character in the old EROTT, which is explained below.
With the setup of the starting area, it looks like you’re supposed to choose an explosive weapon from one of the closets and cross over to a section that you can’t go back from. While this looks to be the case, one area allows you to work right around that and its structure even suggests it’s intentional.
Now’s the time to reinstate the “dropping” trick. Immediately in front of you is a GAD stairway to a high “pitchfork” platform. Take each weapon, go up there and drop them over the edge of the GADs to the ground in different spaces. Just run off the edge, quickly drop the weapon and quickly reverse to get back on the platform.
Before you head down there, see the fireball trap down further down? There’s a switch to turn it off right on the wall that the fireballs hit. You can use that, but that’s just unnecessary. One of the weapon closets has a high fence to a secret area where you can hit that switch safely from the other side of its wall. No stress. Go over the fence from the side stairs if you want an extra pistol.
Now what you’re going to do is take each weapon, go through the door and drop them in their own space around the central pillar in this room. Then step on the touch plate. You now have a fully loaded arsenal to take on the impossible. No, this is not exploiting a glitch; this gameplay element was demonstrated in very sparse, specific areas of the main game. Now you’re putting it to good use.
4D Chess Continued From E4A13 Onwards:
Remember how back in the level Welcome to the Machine, I said to carry the Flame Wall from there over to this level? Well, here’s where it’ll come into play. Skip to the next paragraph if you haven’t done this. You’ll basically want to bring that Flame Wall into the Triad Enforcer ambush at the start, but do not use any of it. Follow the strategy in the following paragraphs, with the sole difference being to stick with this weapon up to the final ambush of the level. In other words, don’t go for the Excalibat where it says so below; instead hold onto the Flame Wall.
As far as the order to take on the enforcers, I recommend to start by clearing the left half of the room, then the right (more space, cover, etc.). Save the Firebombs for last, and mostly for the right half. Slowly step forward while looking to your left until you can glimpse a bit of the next enforcer; they’ll likely activate and go towards you. That is your cue to take them down quickly; use the space you have around you to deke out their grenade shots. Chances are, their grenade blasts may activate other enforcers, so watch out. A really useful tip for the start of this battle: use the corner with the Large Monk Crystal for cover. It helps A LOT.
This part is quite easy, I only ever bring 4 weapons (2 Firebombs, Bazooka and Heat Seeker) and leave the rest back home. That’s more than enough and I always end up leaving the area with full health, sometimes untouched. There is in fact a bit of health strewn about between the start and end of the level. That includes a Large Monk Crystal at the ambush.
(Continued in the next section…)
E4A2: Getting The Drop (Continued)
The next part is where the real challenge lies. First off, let the monks on the ground kill themselves. Around the perimeter is a selection of weapons; go with the Excalibat since it’s really the only way to do well at the end. Then, go to the side of the central structure with the column and Dark Staff. Run onto the GAD as it lowers. Hit the switch, turn around and time yourself to reach the column holding the door, without getting the Dark Staff or getting blasted by the nearby column.
Now’s the hardest part. You need to run around that column to the wall switch, against the flow of fireballs. Stay a space back from the column; as soon as fireballs pass by you, immediately strafe run left/right until you clear the column, then immediately strafe back in the opposite direction, to the switch. It must be done really fast. Things get way easier from that point, but you still need to be on your toes.
-The switch opens the northwest door (check your automap). Wait until the enforcers in there are killed off by the fireballs before proceeding. Then, run right behind a line of fireballs in that door’s direction; keep away from the columns you’ll pass by as fireballs are crashing into those, creating a blast radius. However, DON’T enter that area yet; instead, run behind the main central structure.
-From the safe spot, look into the opened room for a statue in a corner alcove; destroy it. You now have to get in there. Again, follow a line of fireballs as soon as it passes you, into that corner, hitting a touch plate in the process. Also watch out for the nearby column’s blast radius. This plate opens up the next room you can see (south). Stay in that corner until all the enforcers are dead; shoot at the ones closer to the wall to slow them down.
-First get to the other corner of your room, while sticking to the right wall; you’ll be behind a column for protection; just run right after fireballs hit the wall. Very slowly walk around that column to get behind the large central structure. Again, once a line of fireballs pass you, run into the new room (south). I recommend starting near the fire pillar sticking out; then as you’re running, strafe rightwards to further evade the next fireball line.
-The next touch plate is near the southeast corner; opens the door on the opposite end of the room. Evading the enforcers here is a bit trickier, as they more often than not survive long enough to approach you and throw grenades that can reach you. Stay more in the middle, so they’ll walk in that direction, too, which of course causes more damage to them. Make sure the whole length of that next room is cleared of enforcers.
-Go back the same way: align yourself with the fire wall, at the right moment, run across, strafing left to avoid the next line. The next crossing is also pretty tricky, needing more precision. All the columns are being bombarded now; there’s one on your left and two on your right, just ahead. Find the middle ground to avoid the blast radius; you can actually align yourself vertically with the fire pillar and horizontally with the second column on your right (to minimize crossing distance). Use the same timing technique, but don’t strafe left due to the left column being blasted.
-Hit the last touch plate to open the southwest door and wait for the enforcers inside to be cleared. Align yourself with the fire pillar and time yourself back to the center. If you don’t need health, continue reading this and also skip the next paragraph; otherwise, read from there now. First, notice that a column to your right is being blasted; you need to avoid it when you make your run. As soon as a line of fireballs pass you, run straight and quickly turn right to chase them towards the far wall, but strafe into the left opening at the end.
Notice in that last room another statue in an alcove. One of its walls opens to some health; shoot out the statue. A column to your right is being blasted; you need to avoid it when you make your run. Follow a line of fireballs and strafe into that alcove. Once you get your health, get as close as you can without getting hit. As soon as a fireball in front of you hits the wall to your left, quickly run straight and turn left, then left again at the opening at the end of the hallway.
The worst is over, but definitely not the frustration. Get out your bat, take the asbestos vest and press on forward. As soon as you hit the touch plate, charge up your bat because the walls are opening up and revealing 2 large crowds of enforcers. Your vest will help, but don’t get careless. Their grenades reduce the duration time of your vest. Just get quite close whenever your bat is about to launch baseballs, for maximum damage.
Don’t let go of the fire button until all enemies are out. However, if you’re not Thi Barret or just want the easy way out of the final puzzle, save at least one Excalibat round. In either case, switch to the pistols or MP-40 and take the rest out. Note that there are still more enforcers in the left and right side rooms nearby the doors. Lure them into the large main room and finish them off very carefully. Check your map to make sure no others are left.
The 4D Chess Play:
Skip this paragraph if you used the strategy above with the Excalibat. If you brought the Flame Wall into the final Triad Enforcer ambush, breathe a huge sigh of relief as you clear the area of most of the crowd with ease.
The concept of the column puzzle is you’re supposed to align a bunch of columns, then run along them and into the exit area. There is a risk of breaking the puzzle by moving the columns in the wrong order.
Easy (Any Character; HIGHLY Recommended If You’re Not Thi Barrett Pre-LE):
You should have saved at least one Excalibat round. The challenge is to somehow kill enough enforcers to not block your way, but not waste much time so your vest doesn’t run out. The goal is atop a fence behind a column in the east side room. You need to place your back against this column, look down and excaliblast yourself into the air to jump over the column.
Hard (NOT Recommended If You’re Not Thi Barrett Pre-LE):
Start by pushing the 2 columns in the middle rooms out of there to align them; you need to push them twice. Go into the east side room. Push the column in front of the fence once to the west. Open the southeast corner of the wall to reveal a secret, but key passage. Follow it around to the touch plate that fully opens up this area and connects everything.
In the west side room, push once to the east the column that’s already aligned horizontally with the others in the other rooms. Go back into the secret passage behind you. Follow it to the first left turn and follow that to the column in the way; push it once north (only direction). One more column just northwest of your position; push it once south. Back on the east side room, there’s one last column not yet aligned. Get to its south side through one of the small openings and push it once north (only direction).
Finally, the obstacle course is all set. You start at the west end of the room, atop the GADs. Run across and enter the opening on the left near the end of the line of pillars.
This level isn’t nearly as bad as I expected. Originally, the starting ambush was the main source of frustration, but once I figured out what to do, the rest was the real issue. Again, it becomes easy enough to do on a pistol start, something I never expected to happen. The next level is also damn difficult, but a different flavor of it; more systematic and memory-dependent. So rest assured the worst is over.
(Level secrets in the next section…)
E4A2: Getting The Drop (Continued – Secrets)
- In the room with the Bazooka, look to the right for a high fence. Bounce up there to flip the switch that turns off the fireball trap safely from its other side.
- Don’t forget that you can drop explosive weapons while in the air. Exploit that from the ledge atop the GAD stairs at the start.
- When it’s time to go through the final doorway in the fireball hell lobby, notice a statue in an alcove partway along the left wall in that room. Shoot it out from safety; then, when you make a run for it, get into this alcove instead. Push its inner wall to find a secret room with a bit of health.
- This is more of an error than a secret. In the Triad Enforcer nest, the north switch also moves a wall segment in the previous room, giving access to the secret stairway (which would lead to the switch to turn off the fireball traps when accessed from the other side). This implies you should be able to get back to the starting area that has all the explosive weapons, AFTER dropping off the GADs. Only problem is entering the nest effectively seals off the door back to the previous room, and none of the switches in the nest will do anything to change that. This was meant to be for comm-bat, as the area isn’t inaccessible in that mode. Honestly, why make it multiplayer-only?
E4A3: A Boulder Vision
About the only good thing about this level is its clever design. The level name pretty much gives away the gimmick of the level, and what most of the traps are; it’s also a play on the expression “bolder vision”.
Take the extra pistol to your left if you need; run to the alcove at your far right and clear the enemies dropping in from the stairs. You also hit a touch plate while retreating in here, opening the doors beside you, they’re also full of enemies. When all’s done, check the west wall along the alcove for a Flame Wall. It’ll be useful for the next group of enemies you’ll encounter.
The room with the enforcer in the corner actually has 2 of them up there. I recommend luring them out of the room. Shortly after is a drop into a fire floor with a trampoline on the right. That’s actually a single-use trampoline; DO NOT waste it or use it now if you’d like to reach the secret exit.
If you’d like to get there right away, skip to the secret exit part further below. Since you can get back here later, if you’d like to clear the rest of the level beforehand, read on.
When you open the door, an orchestra of death boulders will fill the room. Activate all the enforcers while remaining near the door to get them all killed. Follow a boulder that falls to the left of the pillar; keep going to the far end corner. There’s a wall to the right of the flame fountain; run there when it’s safe. From here, just clear the flame fountain.
Don’t fall off the fence in the next area; you’ll be surrounded by 2 Death Monks. Pick them off from above. A touch plate to the right of the door opens a soldier ambush on the right. Beyond the door is a tight-spaced labrynth full of mostly Deathfire Monks. Just take every step and corner of the room slowly, frequently checking your automap for new enemy positions.
The next room might seem intimidating, but patience breaks it. Right in front of the fence is an Elasto Mode, which can stop you dead in your tracks there and then. You could quickly land into one of the corners beside it. Alternatively, inch over the edge so you land on it while standing still and let the powerup wear out effortlessly. The dangerous area is essentially a central + in the room. Just follow the safe path around that (where the boulders don’t roll over), picking up the Shrooms Modes as you do and letting them wear out before continuing. Reach the door through the flame fountain space.
Strafe-run past the falling & sinking boulders. Right beside it, boulders roll across the narrow hallway; chase one down and follow the path to the door, but don’t open it yet. Speed is critical for the next section; do the following sequence without delay between steps.
-As soon as you open the door, bounce on the trampoline on the left and run on the right side of the platform.
-Enter the opening you see on your right and hit the switch at the far right.
-Without delay, run across the GADs in this room, through the opening, and rush to hit that pillar switch you see in the next room. Then immediately rush to the south corner of the room, sticking to the wall as it expands.
If you don’t do this fast enough, that room with the pillar switch will be heavily crowded with boulders, and it’s just way too difficult to reach that switch without getting hurt or killed. Even worse, if you’re not fast enough to cross the room before it, boulders will accumulate and destroy all the crossing platforms, rendering you stuck and needing to restart.
When surrounded by TNT, stand behind the edge of the left wall; fire at a TNT crate in the separate group and step back. You can see 4 touch plates lining the connection of rooms. Run through the first (leftmost) or third one and continue to the gold key. Ignore the touch plate before the next door; past the door, wait for the boulder soldier execution to complete and for all the boulders to appear in the room.
The touch plate is in the right (south) corner of this room. You can go either clockwise or counter-clockwise to reach it; the latter is quicker, but you’re moving against the flow of traffic. Basically, each time a boulder passes, run into the next safe corner along the wall. The south “elevator” is actually a trap.
The next section can either be a total nightmare or very straightforward, depending on if you know the trick. There are several alcoves on the left and right walls; the right ones have touch plates while the left ones are empty. Obviously, one of these is the correct ones, while the rest are traps. How do you safely find out?
Start at the first touch plate (nearest to the elevator you got out of). Hit the touch plate and run into the NEXT empty alcove, not the one across from the touch plate; wait and see if boulders are passing by you to the left. If not, try the next touch plate and repeat until you get the right one. The boulders will clear the GAD barrier and let you proceed down the hall. Chase after a pair to the other end and don’t forget the silver key down there.
In the gold key door, You can either safely kill the enforcers from afar or lure them into the boulders. Right behind the silver key door are 2 enforcers. In front of the exit is a touch plate trap, so don’t stand there too long. Either take this exit, or go back to where the boulders killed the enforcers in the room right next to the one with fire pits and the single-use trampoline.
The next room is flooded with boulders rolling in all sorts of directions and different heights. It can look very confusing. Activate all the enforcers from the starting area to let them get crushed. Run forward to the left of the pillar, behind a boulder as it begins to roll, until the break in the left wall and immediately strafe one space over to the left. The touch plate is just in front of where the wall stops.
Now face right. One space ahead, a boulder passes to your left; two spaces, a boulder sinks into a hole while moving to the right. As soon as the boulder moving left passes you by, run forward past the 2 spaces and stop at the third space. You’re now in a safe spot; then head back to the door.
Use the trampoline to reach the fence in the northwest corner of this room. Just past the fence, to the front-right is a tiny alcove with a touch plate to avoid. You need to walk through a long, zig-zagging corridor and the plate you must avoid activates boulders that race through here against your direction. It can be turned off, though. Follow the path to an asbestos vest and run through when you have an opening, past the Ballistikrafts.
So there; all a matter of memorizing what to do at each and every segment, then carrying it out in sequence. Not really overwhelming, actually. E4A4 is a breather in comparison.
(Level secrets in the next section…)
E4A3: A Boulder Vision (Continued – Secrets)
- At the start, there’s an alcove to your right. Press along the west wall from it to find a Flame Wall.
- Skip this and go to the next secret if you want to reach the “secret exit” as well. You will come across a trampoline surrounded by fire pits. It’s single-use only. Bounce up into the northwest fence opening for a 1-Up.
- You can do this secret at the end, after all the ones following it, if you want. When you see a trampoline surrounded by fire pits, avoid it at first as it’s single-use. The next room is full of boulders. Standing at the left end of the open door, you’ll see boulders drop and roll away right in front of you. Time it and follow one briefly until the left wall beside you ends; strafe a space over to the left when it does. The touch plate is right against that east end of the wall edge. Carefully time crossing 2 spaces south from your position (need to avoid 2 boulders going in opposite directions).
Then return to the door and back to that trampoline. Bounce up into the northwest fence opening. There’s a 1-Up in front of you. Avoid the alcove right in front from here as it has a touch plate that activates boulders fumbling through the zig-zag corridor you must cross. Past that corridor is an asbestos vest before a hallway with Ballistikrafts you must run past to the “secret exit”. Run when the middle path is clear.
- More of an ambush than a secret. At the door flanked by 2 Death Monks and a Large Monk Crystal in front of it, walk to the right (south) to hit a touch plate that opens the wall in front of you, revealing soldiers.
- This is more of a mystery than a secret. The alcove to the right of your start point has a Flame Wall floating out of reach. AFAIK, there’s no legitimate way of getting it. You might think you need to blast yourself up there. First, there is no asbestos vest near enough to last until you can get back here. Second, why go through that trouble when there are other Flame Walls nearby, which are already excessive to survive the level? Recall that there’s a Flame Wall hidden in a room right beside it. Or perhaps it’s a clue to that hidden Flame Wall, who knows.
E4A4: Pykus Peak
Another breather level. I guess it’s supposed to be some sort of peak; but the name’s inspiration, well, ask Joe Siegler about this one as well. Also, there’s the real-life Pikes Peak.
Always take out enemies from afar in this level. Turn around at the start for an MP-40. This is the first time you find one that’s not in a secret level, not in a secret of a regular level and not dropped by chance by a killed High Guard. There’s a High Guard in 2 high fences; the right one can be hard to hit. Stay in the southeast corner to snipe him without taking much damage. Like this starting area, many elevator doors are opened temporarily by switches nearby.
In the next area, close the elevator door and wait a bit for the High Guards to drop down to the ground. Then proceed. Random enemy spawning could put an enforcer nearby. Don’t let GADs get between you and the soldiers, as you can’t return any deadly favors. You need to ride some GADs for the next switch.
The third area has robots, including one right near your door, so be ready to close it if needed. Try to avoid shooting in this area. Run to the south trampoline to go over a fence to the east; land at the left side, right in front of the fence to minimize damage from the fireball trap and bounce up for the switch, then quickly get out of that damaging enclosure. This switch temporarily opens the northeast elevator door, but also opens up a nearby walled-off area with enemies that should be cleared. What you can do is use the trampoline into that enemy-filled area and shoot them from there. Robot missiles will help clear them. You need to go back into that east enclosure, reactivate the switch and quickly get to the elevator afterwards.
In the next area, stay in the elevator and kill all the enemies you can see. Slowly exit it and snipe enemies you can see around the corners. If there’s a Triad Enforcer, be ready to retreat and close the elevator door.
After riding the next elevator, stay inside it, away from the door; kill the enemies you can see. Then run far out of the elevator to evade the enforcer right above it. Snipe the enemies behind the immense walls (moved by touch plates) from a distance and from behind corners. When you hit the touch plate in the southeast room, see if you can back up quick and hit it again. The trigger opens up the next way, but also activates fireballs; so when you step on the touch plate again, it turns off the fire.
If you don’t feel quick enough to activate it a second time, be prepared to dodge the fire and take note of the safe area around the GAD setup in the center of the open space. Grab the asbestos vest revealed behind that moved pillar before proceeding.
Get into the new GAD setup in the middle of the main area; you need to go for a really long ride to reach the northeast section, which is the end. The ride will make you get a random powerup; if it’s an Elasto or Shrooms Mode, do your best to stay on the ride. Otherwise, try to quickly get back to the safe GAD setup (if the fires are running). Also, the GAD makes several turns and zig-zags throughout, which tends to push you off the ride, so you have to make quick adjustments to your position.
Not too hard of a level, as long as you don’t react slowly. Now get ready for a really painful jumping marathon; coming up is a precursor to Jump Maze.
- A half-assed secret, but behind you, an MP-40 is in the air, camouflaged by the iron work above the arch.
- In the third area, use the trampoline to land in the middle north alcove (with a single Large Monk Crystal in it). Press its inner wall to find a trove of Small Monk Crystals.
- Hardly a secret, but can easily be overlooked. Press the high switch in the third area to open the next elevator, but also to move back a wall past it (north). There is quite a lot of health in there, besides the soldiers.
- After boarding the flying GAD platform in the last area, wait until it passes the northwest fence, then fall in there. Just southeast of the 3-Up found in here is a touch plate with your way out past a push wall. But it’s guarded by Triad Enforcers. It’s best to enter here with the Dog Mode powerup from at the end (northeast corner). Remember that you can jump over fences in Dog Mode; at the dog’s jump peak when attacking (fire key), press the use key to make the dog jump even higher.
- In the final area (past the northeast fence), the northwest corner has an invisible Dog Mode powerup.
E4A5: The Hoppe Hop
Another level whose name you can ask Joe Siegler about. And of course, the level is loaded with trampolines and other forms of jump puzzles as the gimmick. I consider this a prototype Jump Maze (a gameplay mod for Doom II, played through Skulltag/Zandronum); except here, there literally are maze sections.
Like E4A3, this is an exercise in memory. Although it is much longer, it’s somewhat easier. The challenge comes from the many different puzzles/obstacles, which means a greater risk of slipping in a long series and bad consequences if that slip is late into the level.
If you don’t need the extra pistol in front of you, immediately strafe right to bounce up and race to the highest line of GADs you see further down. This top area is flanked by 2 High Guards in wall recesses. From here, you can safely shoot at the gang below. If your bullets don’t reach them, go down a GAD level; also, lure them to one side, then quickly run to the other, turn around and shoot to reach more of them. There’s an MP-40 in the far wall fence.
Getting the gold key is tricky. Don’t walk slowly up to the trampoline or you’ll get shot. You have to run straight to it, nonstop. Land right on the gold key, then slowly back up so you’re off the stand and take it. Destroy the stand afterwards; you’ll want to go for the door from that spot. When the fire pillar moves to the right, quickly get down, open the door and run across to avoid a fireball trap while taking the Firebomb on your left. Remain near the left wall/fence throughout all this.
This next section can be stressful, as you’re surrounded by enforcers and GADs, which can be a bad combination. First, take out the enemy who falls from the fence you just passed. Switch to the Firebomb and quickly get rid of the enforcer on the GADs with you nearby. Stick to higher ground to avoid the blasts from the one below. There’s another high fence on the left, a bit after that first one. Walk up to it to lure another enforcer down and blast him.
See that long GAD lift? There’s an enforcer atop and below the fence to the left of it. If they both get stuck together at the top, ride the lift, shoot a Firebomb at them and get off the lift. Lure the one on the ground to the southeast side of the room, get below the lift and shoot him from afar. If you need health, there’s plenty in the room north of the lift (reached from ground level).
When you reach the room with Large Monk Crystals and TNT, don’t bounce to the far end of that alcove with the trampoline; there are 2 touch plates in there and the further one closes off the health reserve. Just hit the closer touch plate, which opens up an area to the south, below the GADs. In that new area, you need to bounce back into the main room, sticking to the right wall and following it around to reach the high fence. Before you go, take a fully loaded missile weapon, preferably the other Firebomb.
Note: There is another enemy, atop the high fence opposite the first one you ran by when entering the room. You can activate him either by the trampoline in the south room, or standing in a position where you can aim up and fire up there.
Anyway, at the drop from the fence after the GAD, do your best to land in the middle of the room. You’ll bounce up, and need to run forward to get into the high fence on the other end. You’ll probably take damage from the fireballs, but there’s health coming up. In front of the elevator is a touch plate that opens a soldier ambush on the right; you can run into the left corner for cover. If there are any enforcers in that nest, break out your Firebomb and immediately take action before you get cornered.
Now prepare for a long, winded jumping obstacle course. You will be jumping from fenced cage to fenced cage, activating a touch plate in almost each one along the way. If you miss a cage and land on the outside, there’s no way to get back; so you must restart. I call these areas dead zones; each one has a way to kill yourself if you land in there (apart from also killing you/slowing you down while trying to cross from one fence to the other). The first dead zone has a funny way of helping you out with that.
-The first area is easy; just avoid the spin blade circuit on the ceiling. Hit the touch plate in the first cage. Cross to the second one when the circuit is moving back towards you.
-Reaching the third cage can be very tricky; there are 2 sets of 3 flame showers moving in a rectangular circuit on the ceiling. The automap tracks their counter-clockwise pattern. When the closer one begins moving south (west side of the rectangle), bounce towards the third cage, avoiding any flames as you move. There’s a touch plate in there.
-The fourth cage, patrolled by a Robot Guard, also has a touch plate. Study the robot’s patrol route; reach it when it starts moving away from the cage.
-The fifth cage is also tricky because you have to get around a fire pillar moving sideways, timing your jump and getting there before the robot comes back. Just go for it when the fire pillar is almost to the right wall. Another touch plate here.
-Your next goal is to land atop the high fence that’s revealed. Now beyond that is a red herring of an enclosed area. Immediately adjacent, to the left end of that fence is one space. Ignore it. From the right end, if you look down, there’s a fenced area a short distance across. Take note of the dangers on the ceiling and land across into there for the last touch plate in this gauntlet.
Now this last dead zone isn’t a dead zone anymore. Jump into it and go to the newly opened area. At the far right is a high fence with an enforcer on top. Lure him down and safely kill him behind the low fence. The next section’s difficulty depends on how you handle it (well isn’t that obvious).
Place your back against the Oscurovator door after pressing its switch; when you teleport, run back immediately. Just take this room slowly. Clear the far end enemies first; there’s also a fence of enemies on the left wall (east). The lawn sprinkler turrets littered all around this large room can actually also help you take down the enemies. Use a Firebomb on enforcers before they get too close. When this side is clear, peer out to the right for the far east fence of enemies.
See that bulletproof vest in the air? You want to get it. Run nonstop out of your little nest to avoid getting shot by the turrets nearby; you’ll bounce up and will want to land on that vest, or find the nearest trampoline and safely try again. The enemies on the northeast fence should be activated now. Switch to your map. Notice how the north middle turret isn’t surrounded only by trampolines; one of them is a touch plate. This moves the wall just beside it (north). Get around this wall from the left and take the Flame Wall on the other side (there’s another MP-40).
(Continued in the next section…)
E4A5: The Hoppe Hop (Continued)
You’re near the end. Past the door, don’t approach the trampoline yet. Walk up to the high wall fence on the right to activate an enforcer. Lure him out of the room to kill him. When you go for the trampoline, you’ll set off a touch plate that seals the door behind you, trapping you in here. No turning back. Anyway, when you cross to the third GAD platform, check your automap for the position of a floating bulletproof vest; you need to drop down on it.
That exit is fake, with a touch plate that opens up the front-right (northeast) corner. There will be at least 3 enforcers in here. Take out your Flame Wall, stay back and quickly cook up the room. If you don’t have it, switch to your MP-40, get up close to them and try to kill them quickly. Maybe use the wall corners to help blow themselves up. If your armor’s about to run out and they’re not dead yet, or you just want to go to the exit, go!
This is the last of the really long memorization levels. Again, not that hard if you know what to do each step of the way. The only real challenge is the cage hopping gauntlet, as knowing is half the battle; timing is also a lot about execution and not just memory.
- More of a trap; the touch plate in front of the first elevator opens up a room on your right (east) with some soldiers.
- Don’t enter this secret without saving prior, because it’s in a dead zone. After crossing the fence of the first large area (with the switch in the dead zone to help kill yourself if you fall in there), land in the next area’s dead zone. Press along the north wall from the northeast corner to find a secret room with a truckload of useless Monk Meals.
- In the previous secret area, press the west wall to find another secret area with no items or enemies. The inner wall structures form a message when viewed in the automap (signature or more Dopefish language?).
- In the large room with lots of trampolines and many lawn sprinkler turrets, hit the touch plate. The wall behind the touch plate (north wall) will recede. Run past the moving wall on its left; run north to the end of the area to find a Flame Wall and an MP-40. If you’re trapped in here, use the secret passage to get to a wall you can push to get out.
E4A6: Technical Ecstacy
Named after the Black Sabbath album. Contrary to Siegler’s claim, this level isn’t mostly all robot enemies. In fact, there are barely any robot enemies, as only the starting area has them. The rest are your good old soldiers.
Right at the start, get out of the way of the Ballistrikraft and run up the GAD stairs. Clear this area of the enforcers from up here; you can even use the help of those invincible tin cans.
The southeast touch plate is an execution signal, or suicide trigger, however you want to look at it; so avoid it. Also, don’t enter the space below the GAD stairs as you can’t get out.
Eventually, when you reach the high fence beside the level edge with no safeguard, the right path (south) leads to an enforcer, while the gold key is towards the left (north). A soldier is right behind that key. If it’s not an enforcer, quickly take the key while shooting at him; otherwise, shoot Firebomb rounds in there until he’s out.
Before entering the gold key door, take the Flame Wall. This next section will be difficult if you don’t have an MP-40. The Mercury Mode is in the corner of the little area just before the gold key door. You need to do the next bit before the Mercury Mode runs out.
Fly along the fence right of the wide fire wall; on the other side are 3 High Guards, so quickly drop or aim down and send a Flame Wall round their way. Hit the touch plate in the southwest corner twice; this trigger sends the fire wall towards you, but also activates a fireball trap, hence hitting it a second time to shut the latter off. Quickly get back over the fence, as the wall doesn’t stop closing in on you (tricky as there’s no safeguard and you’re really under pressure). A touch plate is now accessible to hit.
With the Mercury Mode still in effect, dash through the opened door, following the pathway, going under the low clearing that’s below the fences; move fast and do your best to dodge the Enforcers that this area is packed with; if any are in your way, swipe a flame wall towards them. Fly over the playpen fences to your right. On the other end, fly to your left, over the booster columns and fireball traps, to the elevator. There might be an Enforcer or other enemy around the left corner near the elevator, so try to dispatch them or dodge them as you escape in the elevator.
Go through the opened doorway and follow the path. Fire a Flame Wall round down the path ahead to clear the enforcers. Then continue to the end of this path, turn around and safely snipe out the ones blocked off above you. Note that there is an enforcer behind bars at the extreme opposite end of your position (east wall).
Navigating the bouncy playpens is a bit annoying; just wait until you’re at the max height and move forward when no GADs are coming your way. Avoid getting pushed into the enclosed area to your left; at least they help you restart if you end up in there. Take the Flame Wall at the end of this. The area to your right has enforcers, so quickly use it on them.
The obstacle course with the rising columns and fireball traps is the trickiest part of this level. It shouldn’t be difficult per se, but the setup can seem stressful, especially since you’re now near the end. Worse is the columns aren’t in sync, which means you have to wait for the right opportunities. On top of all that, you have to worry about not over or undershooting it. So here’s a drop dead point. Easy and hard ways to do this…
Back where the doorway opened from the touch plate with the moving fire wall, at the far end on the other side of this doorway is the wall bordering the winding pathway. Activate along this wall to find a Dog Mode powerup. With this, you can of course breeze through the obstacle course. Remember you can hop over fences. Press the fire key to make the dog jump; at the peak, press the use key to jump even further.
Before everything, try to fire some bullets or, better yet, missiles around the left corner area, to the left of the elevator door. There may be an enemy there, which usually ends up being a Triad Enforcer. Once whoever’s there is out, proceed. First, stick to the left columns. Second, it’s better to cross when the column you need to reach rises a bit before yours does. But only cross when your column reaches its peak! Otherwise you’ll likely get blasted. Also, do not worry about the fireballs hitting you; if you run from the peak of the jump, they won’t get you. Sometimes, though, this just isn’t enough and the movement can glitch up and get you killed; nothing to do there.
The rest is straightforward; the exit is accessible in the southwest of the starting area.
What makes this level difficult is the drop dead point with the column obstacle. Other than that, the rest of the stuff you need to execute is fairly easy. Congratulations! You’ve gotten through the worst of it and have entered the final lap, which is overall quite easy.
- Past the first door you reach, look at your left. Lining the wall are alcoves and most of them have a basin. Walk into the one without a basin to activate a touch plate that opens the path forward, but also reveals a path behind the last basin on the right (east). This is a secret area with some health and lots of enemies.
- From the Large Monk crystal in the previous secret area, press on the north wall to find a 1-Up.
- After getting the Mercury Mode powerup beside the gold key door, run back to the area with the basins in the alcoves. Fly up and get the 1-Up near the flying GAD platforms.
- Once you get the Mercury Mode powerup, get through the next 2 touch plates to open the door to the next room. Rush through, using the Flame Wall to clear enemies on the ground along the way. Fly over the first bouncy playpen into the area where you can get trapped (if without a Mercury Mode) and hit the touch plate west of its fence. Fly back and get atop the GAD layer just a bit before (watch out for Triad Enforcers). Notice the high fence along the north wall. From atop it, fly or fall down in the space just after the opening on the right to get a Flame Wall during your descent. You can get out of this area by pressing the north wall, which is recommended; especially important if your Mercury Mode runs out. If you’re getting the previous secret as well, this one can be difficult; you need to be pretty fast, clearing enemies, but also avoiding some, that are in the way.
- Where the line of fireballs hits the wall in the next room (activated/deactivated by the touch plate with the fire wall closing in), notice a wall segment between 2 alcoves. You need to press the center of that segment (so, where the 3rd fireball from the left hits). Inside is health and a much-needed Dog Mode powerup. This secret area can more easily be acquired if you have the Mercury Mode powerup still in effect; but, considering the previous secret, factoring it in makes things even more difficult.
E4A7: Oscuro’s Legions
It is mostly just an extended variant of Lair of El Oscuro. Many more enemies, more ground to cover and slightly harder obstacles. No, the real difficulty for single-save players comes from dying anytime past the halfway point, having spent so much time to get there.
Above all else, keep a distance from enemies and have a barrier nearby to hide behind wherever you go. This level’s prominence is being densely packed with monks in very small spaces; so there’s a consistent attempt to overwhelm you. Be vigilant; frequently check corners and walls for alcoves, nests, etc. When you hit a switch or touch plate, look around or check your automap for changes.
In the starting area, take the Firebomb and the asbestos vest for the elevator. As soon as the elevator door opens on the other floor, you’ll be rushed by the plus-sized papparazzi. If you’re pistol-starting, you might be overwhelmed by the Deathfire Monks near the elevator, so either circle-strafe and attack or rush past them to the connecting room. There’s a Heat Seeker floating to the south and another asbestos vest, to the north. I recommend the latter to reach the middle switch.
Just past the gold key door, there’s a Drunk Missile Launcher in the west wall recess; watch out for the Deathfire Monk guarding it, though. Don’t take the next elevator without an explosive weapon. As soon as the elevator door opens, rush to the far-left column and push it, then push the Oscuro pillar next to it away. This is a safe spot to pick off the crowd. You can move the northwest column from in here, then the wall segment that was beside it for a Flame Wall. Take that to the next area.
Retreat as soon as you hit the touch plate. Fire off a bullet to activate most of the freed monks and use the Flame Wall. Not all of them leave their nest, so advance carefully. Don’t take the asbestos vest yet; clear the enemies near the other side of the next door; there are a good 3 or 4 monks around the pillar on the right. The vest should last you until you clear that entire room and get the other Firebomb (beside the pillar near the door you came from), just be very careful of the spin blades.
In the next area, if you look up, you’ll see a floating committee of Deathfire Monks waiting to ambush you when you walk under them. Race past them and into the opening on the right for a switch. Drop down there and dispatch some Firebomb on them, retreating into the right side opening if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Save some Firebomb ammo for the next area, though.
The next area has Death Monks in every other alcove on the side walls. Don’t use any missile ammo here, as you have plenty of space to clear them with bullets. Keep clear of the fences beside the elevator until your area is clear; then you can bring the Dark Staff and Firebomb over the other side of it (going back and forth). The switch in the silver key door reveals an elevator on the Deathfire Monk side.
Eventually, you’ll come to a Mercury Mode you need to climb up to get. Have full health before you get it. Then fly to the far east high fence; you have to quickly go up and down fences and low clearings, through fire pits, to reach the iron key. When you get back, also fly up to the northeast fence to collect a Bazooka. You’ll need all of these for the next room. Once you reach the switch in the next room, turn it on and off. The switch opens up the next area, but also activates 3 fireball traps. Leave it on if you want more of a challenge. Before proceeding, see the Oscuro wall segment in the alcove beside the GADs? Press it for an asbestos vest. Use the trampoline to the elevator when the Ballistikraft moves away from it.
That Oscurovator will take you to the battle arena with El Oscuro, so hit the switch and turn around. When you arrive, you should still have enough of the vest. Run straight ahead (west) and take the Flame Wall and use it to clear all the Deathfire Monks. Then just outlast Oscuro (for those unfamiliar with this boss battle, don’t attack him at all, as he absorbs your attacks and gains health; just keep dodging his attacks); south of the room is a little passage heading west with another asbestos vest in there. It really isn’t hard, even with the much smaller space and next to no cover to hide behind. Just keep a distance from him at all times. When the battle ends, take a weapon with you. If you’re tackling the next level by the fast method, I recommend the Firebomb.
The only real difficult parts are where you need to be careful of the spin blades and later, the fire pits to the iron key. Time for the last breather level before, well, the last level.
- Past the gold key door is a Large Monk Crystal just in front of a fence alcove. In the alcove’s back-right (northwest) corner is a little area with a Drunk Missile Launcher and a Deathfire Monk.
- The next area has lines of columns flanking where you exit the elevator. Press the northeast column for a seemingly useless space…
- … Then press the Oscuro pillar to get behind the upper column line for some points. You can then press the northwest column from in here to have another entrance/exit from this side.
- In the previous secret area, press the wall segment west of the northeast column (after moving it out of the way) to find a secret passage leading around to the south side of the area. There’s health and a Flame Wall along the way. To get out from the south side of the columns, walk up to the column west of the Oscuro pillar, shoot out the candle behind it (if it’s not already destroyed), then press the column. It’s very important to destroy that lamp; otherwise, the column will get stuck overlapping the lamp, leaving you trapped in there.
- More overlooked than a secret, but the southwest alcove in the next area has a Large Monk Crystal in it that you may not notice unless you go in it.
- Eventually, you’ll reach a section full of GADs and pillars in a small area, after exiting the elevator. Follow the right wall, up the GADs and around its bends. You’ll reach a fence opening to your left (north). Press the right wall here (south) to reveal a hidden area with a variety of items and a Deathfire Monk.
- In the area where you must get a Mercury Mode atop a high fence, the switch on the wall, pressed from the ground, opens the northeast corner to add a GAD platform to help reach the Mercury Mode. The opened-up area has some health and points.
- After getting the Mercury Mode, quickly get the iron key and fly back out. Now, fly up the high fence beside the previous secret area for health and a Bazooka.
- Through the iron key door, before going for the trampoline to the last elevator before the boss battle, enter the alcove on the north wall with an Oscuro segment at its end. Press the segment to find an asbestos vest in a secret area.
- Not really a secret, but can be overlooked due to focus on the boss. The southwest end of the boss arena has a small passage to an asbestos vest.
- With either asbestos vest from the previous 2 secrets still active, get the Firebomb in the boss arena, run to the southeast corner fence and blast yourself over it. The elevator here will take you to a small room with monks and a flower turret. You’re in the section with the lines of columns flanking the starting elevator. Ride the GAD platform to some stairs. Up here, get in the high fence on the left (south) for a 3-Up.
E4A8: 95 Windows
The name is of course a reference to Windows 95; but also, there are 95 breakable windows in the entire level. The automap has a hidden easter egg if you use the cheat to view the entire thing.
Back up into the asbestos vest, making this starting section much easier. A bit further ahead, run from the north to south fence as soon as boulders pass the GAD. The elevator is actually an Oscurovator and has a cheap shot window pane right in front of it. Hit its switch, then stand and face the same way. You’ll be facing the safe direction (west) in this small square; the other 3 are traps.
The moving walls may seem confusing; just stick to the perimeter here, proceeding one moving wall/pillar at a time. You need to head clockwise, first to the east side door (each door is behind a moving wall). There is an enforcer behind each of the north and south glass panes in this room; I recommend either the Bazooka rounds or luring them out, into the moving walls. The gold key’s lined with a fireball touch plate; turn it off before returning.
The gold key door is south, so head left from the current door. Open and quickly close the door to let the enemies on the other side get killed by the boulders. Run across when the nearest one passes to your right. There’s an MP-40 in this area. To get the silver key, get as close as you can outside the blast radius. As soon as a group of fireballs hits the stand, run forward to take it and run back and to a side (to avoid the fireballs coming straight for you). You’ll always take some damage by the boulders when getting back out.
Easier Silver Key Acquisition (Optional):
Skip to the next paragraph if you don’t care for this. Look at the west jagged wall of the room where there are/were some Priest Porridge. Press the north face of the southwest corner with the Priest Porridge (if you ate it prior, just press along the walls of each corner). Keep pressing the walls in this hidden area until you finally reach a switch in one part, a Flame Wall and asbestos vest in another part. Don’t get the vest until you turn off the switch, which stops one of the fireball traps bombarding the silver key. Yeah, a bit overprotective, but since when is that a bad thing. Anyway, leave back out of this gold key door area and get to the silver key door (west), taking either the Firebomb or a loaded Bazooka with you.
In the silver key door, here’s where random enemy spawning can screw you over. Those caged enemies could all be enforcers; use the wall recesses to help if you want to kill them. Let the moving wall gauntlet kill the next group of enforcers. To get through this, always proceed when the nearest slow ones are moving away from the walls; it gives you enough time to wait for the next, faster ones to move away before proceeding. Try to do it in one shot.
There’s another cheap shot glass pane blocking the elevator switch. Just past the GADs over the starting area, an enforcer is hidden in the right corner. Lure him out of there and down into the boulders. Yet another glass pane in front of the next elevator door.
The next room is potentially the worst, again, because of random enemy spawns. When you open the elevator door, you’ll be in a pretty small room with no cover and one of the two enemies could be an enforcer. You can shoot a Firebomb round at him and quickly close the elevator door. Or rapidly dispatch him with the Bazooka. Since there are no hints (update: ok perhaps there is; see the secrets section below about that) about which of these switches is the right one and it’s a matter of trial and fatal error, it’s the front-right corner one from out of the elevator (northwest).
The rest of this area is very straightforward; take corners and intersections slowly and carefully. Check your automap for enemies on occasion. Be sure to take the Firebomb along the way. There’s a floating fence behind a glass pane; enemies are up there, so don’t stand around near it.
In the elevator, switch to the Firebomb. As soon as the enforcer drops down, blast him and close the elevator door. There’s another one, so repeat. Scan the area carefully for others. In front of the exit is a touch plate trap, so run right through.
Overall a pretty fun obstacle course type of level. The gimmick of Windows 95 was kind of neat for its time as well, I guess.
(Level secrets in the next section…)
E4A8: 95 Windows (Continued – Secrets)
- Press the wall segment opposite the switch in the starting area to find a bulletproof vest.
- In the room with the silver key, there are Priest Porridges along the west jagged wall. Press the north face of the southwest corner with the Priest Porridge for a seemingly useless secret area.
- In the previous secret area, press the west wall.
- Again, press the west wall of the previous secret area.
- Now press the north wall of the previous secret area to find a switch that can be turned off, to stop one of the fireball traps bombarding the silver key.
- To get out while beside the switch, you need to turn left, then right. Press the north wall at the corner of the right turn to find a Flame Wall.
- From the previous secret, press the east wall to find an asbestos vest.
- With the asbestos vest from the previous secret, run through that long, thin hallway behind the silver key for a 3-Up.
- Past the silver key door, you’ll come across 3 alcoves on your right with an enemy behind a glass window in each alcove. The wall behind each enemy can be pushed back to a shared secret room with health and bonus points. In front of each glass window is a touch plate that turns on/off a trap. The first and third plates activate a bi-directional fireball trap in the main hallway, between the north and south ends. The second plate turns on/off boulders that should fall into a hole in the secret area; if the back wall of this alcove isn’t pushed, or the plate isn’t triggered again in time, boulders will accumulate, making it impossible to cross that section. Inside the secret room, press along the north wall to have another connection back to the main room.
- At the hallway where you must get past several moving pillars, get behind those pillars for this next secret. This is of course quite difficult and stressful to do. The best way is to get through the space between a really fast and really slow moving pillar, while staying in front of the slow pillar of course (more time in safety to find an opening, etc.). Best to stay in front of the second pillar and get through space made by the first. The wall segment to press for the secret is at the midpoint of the hallway (5th pillar).
- Just past the moving pillars from the previous secret, press along the right wall to open a segment up for some bonus points and health.
- Past the gas mask, you’ll come to a glass window. Past that is another glass window to the right. Through here, a few feet ahead is a corner as the path heads left. Press the right (south) wall of that corner to find a 1-Up.
- Right in front of the exit arch is a touch plate. It may seem to just activate a fireball trap for slow fools, but it does more. Take the elevator back and backtrack through the last glass window you crossed in the previous secret. Go to the right, where the steel bars are (and DIP balls). You’ll see that a new path has opened, leading right to those DIP balls (and 2 Triad Enforcers).
- In the previous secret area, press along the west wall of the long, narrow corridor to find a God Mode powerup.
- In the room with all the switches where most of them are gas traps, there’s a gas mask floating out of reach. It’s probably a hint as to which is the correct switch.
- More a curiosity/mystery than a secret. In that same room, it seems that the first switch on your left when you exit the elevator is non-functional.
- Easter egg (thanks Joe Siegler): Use the automap cheat and zoom completely out in the automap mode to find a “task bar” outlined. Meta!
E4A9: On Its Tail
Of course, referring to the fact that you’re chasing Snake Oscuro throughout this level. It’s basically just an amped-up version of Canyon Chase.
2 methods, fast and slow.
Follow him mostly without stopping, if at all. You don’t need to rush, as you’re not timed. Watch out for Deathfire Monks as you pass them. Pay attention to the gaps you have to cross so you don’t fumble into the fire pits. If you land in there pretty far in, you might as well restart. The spin blades near the end don’t have a simple pattern; since you’re rushing, just drop down to the fire pits (while running forward to minimize health loss) if you’re not confident about clearing the blades. Past the GAD stairs are tons of monks; just swipe around them on the right and into the exit.
Take your time, clearing all the enemies along the way and collecting whatever you’d like. There’s not much to it. Look out for alcoves and nests in walls; look up at wall fences for monks; when you’re on the GADs and approach monks on the ground, keep your distance. There are weapons found throughout as you move through the level. One important tip is to avoid destroying any of the fire pots in the starting area, otherwise the rest of the level will be very dark.
Near the start is a Firebomb; the northwest corner wall can be pushed to find another one. I recommend saving one of these for the end area.
The spin blades near the end have a rather complex pattern due to how it’s set up. You kind of just have to wing it. One trick is to get on the right set of GADs; now, notice that there are 3 openings on each side of the wall; when it’s safe, clear the first opening and then follow right behind some spin blades in the second; they’ll lead you out through the third one.
As you’re going down the GAD stairs, notice a small break in the right wall for a fence; that’s actually a low clearing you can reach from under the stairs. It will either have a Deathfire or Death Monk (random spawning), and also an asbestos vest. If you brought a fully loaded Firebomb, you now can just run to the end area and blast away the monks, preferably focusing on the Deathfire Monks.
For a chase level, it does its job of upping the difficulty compared to Canyon Chase in the main game. Now prepare for the final level of this insane expansion pack.
- After the first left turn, you’ll soon come to a widened section of the hallway with moving Oscuro pillars. The northwest corner of this widened section can be opened for some goodies.
- From the wide section of the previous secret, the level takes these direction changes: left, right, right, left, right, right. At that last right turn listed, you’ll have 3 wall recesses along the right wall. The 3rd one has an Excalibat.
- At the spin blades part, stay on the right set of GADs. Follow spin blades into the second opening on the right. Go straight at the fork (the spin blades will go left) to get a 1-Up.
- Just past the spin blades, still on the right set of GADs going down the stairs, you’ll see a break in the wall for what looks like a fence. That’s actually a low clearing reached below the GADs beside it. There’s health, a monk and an asbestos vest in that secret area.
E4A10: The Unholy Chamber
The name speaks for itself, though they could have come up with something less bland. This final stage is more difficult than the regular one (wow, really) and there’s a sneaky trick with the Oscuro Larvae that you need to pay attention for.
Hit the touch plate to the right of the far end door. It’ll open up the 2 larva nests back at the other end. Take the asbestos vest before entering the room east of the south nest for a Firebomb. If you don’t want to kill the larvae and don’t mind the bad ending, go to the next paragraph. You can actually destroy all the larva in each nest with a single Firebomb round each. Try to aim between 2 larvae towards the nest’s far wall. I recommend using the least number of shots so you can use this weapon later on.
When you’re all set, hit any of the switches and just STAND THERE until you teleport. Again, at this point, go to the next paragraph if you don’t care about the larvae. You didn’t think that fire wall was just for decoration, did you? Approach it along the middle, under the GADs, to hit a touch plate and move away; a really sneaky larva placement will be revealed. This is a really good spot to throw the bad ending at people.
Ride the GADs and drop off on the other side. When you approach the far end door, it’ll open… and out comes Snake Oscuro to begin the battle. Now, whether or not you want to kill any larva, I highly recommend clearing the monks on the other side of that door; that area has asbestos vests and Dark Staffs, which are really needed to fight the boss. It’s better to lure them out and kill them in the main room. Note that Oscuro can open doors, too.
Besides your Firebomb, there are additional missile weapons behind the Oscuro pillars in the mid-north and mid-south structures. The touch plate in front of the door will set them into motion. Of course, they’re very difficult to clear under all the pressure: standing on fire pits unprotected, timing it right and being chased by 4 hot heads. You can in fact quite feasibly beat this level without those extra missile weapons.
Essentially, run around the perimeter of the main room, killing monks as you pass by them. A glitch you can exploit is that when there’s enough distance between you and Snake Oscuro, he tends to get stuck around the middle of the north and south edges of the room. This gives you a good chance to kill the monks from behind some cover and/or kill the rest of the larvae under little to no pressure. You can also try luring monks into the moving Oscuro structures at the northeast and southeast, in combination or independent of the glitch.
There might be some remaining monks in the other room. You can either lure them out or kill them in that room while standing close to the door, depending on your choice (and how many monks are left). Again, skip to the next paragraph if you don’t want to kill all the larvae. Grab an asbestos vest, quickly run back and take one of the Firebombs from those middle structures; use it to destroy as much of the larvae as you can, then go get the other Firebomb from the other structure and finish off the rest. You have to do this in 1 vest usage because the other must be saved for fighting the boss. Also, don’t worry if Oscuro chases you in here. Alternatively, don’t even grab the vest and don’t bother with the tricky Firebomb pickups. Take your time on the larvae, and save that extra vest for the boss.
To fight Snake Oscuro, grab an asbestos vest and a Dark Staff from the side room, then return to the fire pits in the center of the main room (note that he can be damaged by other explosive weapons, but this one is the most effective, and has a lot of potential to 1-hit him; resort to the others that are available if you run out of Dark Staff). It’s much harder to hit Oscuro in this level compared to Dark War because of the smaller space available that is topped with fire pits (remember that he can only be hit over these). Plus, you have to time your charged Dark Staff shots. On top of that, he moves faster as the number of heads decrease.
You can go back and get more, but 1 Dark Staff and asbestos vest is enough to down him. If you’re out of vests, it’ll be way more difficult to attack him; you have to make him run diagonally across the room to cross the fire pits (or lure him through the fire pits another way).
Overall, Snake Oscuro is still not too difficult to defeat. With enough Dark Staff shots over the fire pits, you’ll reduce the head count from 4 to 1 to 0, stopping the Latin speaking Tom Hall and letting history repeat itself to completion.
Definitely more difficult than ROTT’s final level, but still quite feasible. Most of the difficulty comes from you constantly running around. It’s pretty intense and could take a while to finish. As has been throughout this expansion, if you know what to do, it becomes way easier.
So, congratulations. You’ve single-saved your way through each level (hopefully) on the highest difficulty and possibly with pistol starts. Consider yourself… still yourself.
But there’s still some remaining warp-only bits to get out of the way.
All secrets are explained in the level guide, but here they are in short.
- Hit the touch plate to the right of the door (southeast corner) to open the larva nests on the west end.
- If you take the points from the pink doors, they will “reappear” when you use a switch to teleport to the next area. This is because it’s, well, a new area. Yeah, not really a “true secret”, but meh.
- Walk under the large triangular GAD lift towards the fire wall along its midline. You’ll hit a touch plate, after which you should back up or strafe out of the way. A segment of the fire wall will open to reveal a cleverly placed larva.
- Front and center of the door Oscuro rushes out of is a touch plate. This will activate the Oscuro pillars of the north and south middle structures in the main battle room. Behind them are missile weapons.
- A glitch you can exploit with Snake Oscuro is if you’re far enough from him and he chases you along the north or south edges of the room, he tends to get stuck in the middle section.
E4A11: Danger Mouth
Surprisingly, E4 has more than 1 level with a secret exit. Actually, that isn’t so impactful and you’ll find out why much later on. Time for an extended break from the nightmare that is E4 and enjoy an overall breezy near-episode long side trek of secret levels.
The name is probably a reference to Danger Mouse, the British cartoon. Though in context of (E)ROTT, I’m not sure where “mouth” fits in.
Contrary to common assumption, this is not actually a warp-only level.
This level is so easy, I really didn’t want to include a strategy. The only reason I am is for completion’s sake. I’ll mostly explain some secrets and how to get by some dangers.
At the start of the fiery area just after the starting maze, look along the left fire wall for an opening. There’s an asbestos vest and Heat Seeker here. The vest isn’t really needed, but makes a flame fountain obstacle a little further ahead way easier than it already is. Check the left GAD path at the branch point for the iron key in case you miss it and have to backtrack.
Later in the level, the triple fireball trap can be deactivated by first hitting a touch plate in the southeast of the room, giving access to a switch to press, that was blocked by a column prior. The south wall of the alcove containing a Drunk Missile Launcher in the middle of GADs can be opened up. This area leads to the floating bulletproof vest and also connects back to the maze at the start via the GADs in the air. You mainly get a Flame Wall from the latter.
In the spin blade slalom room, the northwest corner wall past the first pair of fences can be opened to reveal a trampoline; obviously, to get up to those fences. Later on, stay back when you open the silver key door. In that room, don’t rush through the narrow hallways.
In the next room, the first moving pillar hides a door in its right recess. That is a good spot to safely pick off enemies in the ending room.
This level is the least fitting in EROTT. Difficulty and even quality wise, it would fit perfectly in the regular game. In fact, it’s easier than most levels there, too.
- At the fiery hallway past the starting maze, look along the left (north) fire wall for an opening. You’ll find a Heat Seeker and asbestos vest in here, along with a path through high fences to bonus points in an alcove.
- The southeast corner of the triple fireball trap room has a touch plate that moves a nearby column out of an alcove. The column now takes fireball shots; so time an entry into the alcove without getting hurt and hit the switch to shut the trap down.
- The northwest corner of the triple fireball trap room has an alcove with a Drunk Missile Launcher surrounded by GADs. Press the south wall of this alcove. There is a door that leads you to reach the floating bulletproof vest in the fireball room. There is also a GAD passageway that connects to the GAD layer above the starting maze.
- At the start of the GAD passageway in the previous secret, take a right and then a left, following the GADs, to get some bonus points.
- Going back the way you came from the previous secret area, take a left (north) at the T intersection and follow it until a drop on your right (south) where you’ll see a Flame Wall.
- Press the northwest corner of the spin blade hallway to find a trampoline. This helps reach the 2 fence alcoves just to the east of it (behind the spin blades). There are bonus points and a Drunk Missile Launcher up there.
- In the hallway with the moving pillars to get past, go into the right (east) recess of the first pillar to find a door. There’s a Firebomb and a 1-Up, as well as a rather safe spot to clear the end area of its enemies.
Pun on the sport of fencing and the fact this level’s gimmick is navigating across fences. A key aspect about standing on them is that their standing space is deceptively wider than they appear. About as much space as GADs and that’s more than enough. The difficulty doesn’t even come from these, in fact.
Contrary to common assumption, this is not actually a warp-only level.
This first major section is divided into several square enclosures that you have to pass through via the fences. You cannot fall into most of these enclosures because there is no way back out. Make yourself familiar with their width on the first fence. Proceed clockwise to get to the other end of a given square, which is also the start of the subsequent one. Leave about a third of the fence length distance to your left and run across to the next one. The way to do it is to run forward and as soon as you land on the next one, quickly press your reverse key to immediately stop running. But in general, the sharper your angle, the larger your safety margin.
When you reach the second enclosure, you’ll notice enemies in the third one. It’s best to stand across from their square so you can see and shoot at them. You might have to lure them around the GADs in there; so yes, you can fall into that third space. Take the Bazooka there. When it comes to the moving fire wall in the following enclosure, stand atop the highest GAD; angle yourself so you’ll cross two fences in one shot, to the outer border one; when the fire wall is at the halfway point as it recedes, go for it. Don’t stand too close inside after you cross.
From here, observe the pattern of the 2 moving fire columns in the next square, so you know where are the safe areas. Stay closer to the left edge of the next fence (which connects the 2 squares) when you cross to it, so you don’t get burned by the previous moving wall behind you. Snipe the enemies in the following square from here, which is the last one. Time your crossings to reach the elevator.
The next section is very easy; snipe the soldiers from your starting area before crossing the bridge. In front of the next elevator is a touch plate that will open the left corner, unleashing a Triad Enforcer. Don’t waste any missiles on him; just snipe him from a distance. The right corner wall can be pushed to get an asbestos vest; take it before going to the next section.
You’ll need the missiles and armor for when you get out of the elevator. This place is full of flame fountains and Triad Enforcers. You need to clear this room of the enemies before your vest runs out to make things go smoothly. There’s a Firebomb on the wall across the elevator door, a Heat Seeker at the left wall and a Drunk Missile Launcher at the right. Save the Firebomb for a later section.
Set up the columns by hitting the touch plate in one of the corners along the wall left of the GAD stairs. The column crossing leads to an extremely useful asbestos armor. But save it for a little later.
Through the thin GAD corridor are another 2 enforcers. Past the bend along the death border are several openings on your right, along the wall, with many enemies in these. I recommend cleaning out these areas, but carefully.
When you reach the 3 fireball traps, now’s the time to go back and get the Firebomb (or stick with a bazooka you can find around the area) and asbestos vest. Just run right through the fireballs and use your missiles to clear the 2 enforcers at the other end. There’s a tall fence to the right of the door with an enforcer on top. If you want to kill him, too, walk up to the fence to alert him; then just stand back and send him into the ground when he hits it.
Past the door are GADs leading up to 2 fence openings. On the other side is a packed crowd of soldiers, including even more enforcers. Yes, you’ll want to clear that area from your safe side.
Your bullets can reach them while standing around the second highest GAD and sniping them from above. There’s a Heat Seeker in the alcove beside you. Be careful of both grenades and also the enforcers actually getting into your side (they have GADs on their side, too). If any do manage to cross, retreat out the door and get them with missiles. Ensure everyone’s cleared.
Now it’s time for a fence obstacle course. Again, it’s way easier than it seems; you just have to watch out for the death borders. Take it one gap at a time, if you need to, and it’s obviously better to undershoot than overshoot it near the edges. Some of these fences are dead-ends, usually for missile weapons. Here’s the main path:
-From the left starting fence at the opening, cross to the first one in front;
-cross to the one diagonal-left, and again after that;
-next, diagonal right;
-diagonal right (just skip the one immediately to the right);
-diagonally left to the closest one (it can be reached), and then 2 more times;
-last fence, and then the opening. The exit is right there.
Chances are, you won’t make it on your first try. If you don’t, there are touch plates you might want to avoid on the ground as they’re enemy traps. The first one’s at about the center of this open area; it opens an enforcer closet behind you. The second touch plate is just in front of the opening you need to reach; it opens up enemy nests that flank the path to the exit; however, you can easily run right past them.
If you want to clear the nests, it can take quite a while to do it safely (there are some health and bonuses in there); just keep luring them out and attacking in the safe open space. Although the space in there is pretty small, if you’re confident in an opening, use some missiles to speed it up.
As you’ll see, the level’s difficulty ironically doesn’t come from what it’s named after. The fence crossing here is more of a test of patience and slip-ups are due to carelessness, instead of difficulty.
- Out of the elevator, stand on the top GAD stair and carefully run to the right (north) border fence. Follow it around the building with the elevator you came from to find quite a few goodies.
- Cross the long fence bridge to the other side and hit the touch plate in front of the elevator. Then run back to the starting side and find the 1-Up in the opened-up southeast corner. The touch plate also opens an alcove in the south west with a Triad Enforcer inside.
- Go back to the other side of the fence and press the northwest corner wall to find an asbestos vest.
- The second elevator takes you to a room full of flame fountains and Triad Enforcers. Follow the wall along the southwest corner for a touch plate that sets some columns in place. Ride the nearby GAD to get atop the start point of the columns; then run across them and follow the path around until you get to an asbestos vest.
- In the final fence-jumping stretch, a touch plate about the middle of the ground opens a nest behind you with 2 Triad Enforcers in it.
- Another touch plate, this one in front of the end goal opening, opens up 2 areas right by the exit. These are full of enemies, health and bonus points.
E4A13: Welcome To The Machine
In this level, you’re taking on Triad Enforcers while having to mostly evade Robot Guards that use a variety of patrol routes. It is a sort of poor man’s sneaking mission with some action thrown in. Fun fact: this level is a modified version of the Comm-Bat map, The Machine. Very similar to it, but expanded upon and elaborated with enemies, key progression, etc.
Contrary to common assumption, this is not actually a warp-only level.
Once you have the second pistol behind the start, you’re pretty much set. There is literally too much room for you to be in any trouble at any point. Take the right door at the start when it’s clear; you’re now in the main hub of the level.
Sprint into the booth in the northwest corner for a Bazooka, then make your way through the southeast door, evading the Triad Enforcers. This next area has enough space to carefully take out the enforcers you alerted in the previous room. You can use 7 of the 10 Bazooka rounds on them. Go back there and see if you missed any on the GAD platforms near the ceiling.
Back in the main hub, the northeast section has 4 Robot Guards patrolling in a diamond. The next part must be done really fast. Race past them, through the door they’re guarding and keep to the left wall until it becomes a door. Go through here and stick to the left to rapidly climb the stairs and dodge the enforcer right at the door. Turn around and kill him as he helps you kill him. There are still at least 2 other enforcers just outside that door; bring them in and take them out, too.
When all’s clear, go up the stairs to return to the platforms in the hub. There may be 1-2 Triad Enforcers guarding the gold key, depending on whether you lured any of them down near the start. Try to take them out while up here; if they fall off, better to follow them down quickly and finish them off, then return up here later. After getting the gold key, don’t fall off; check your automap to see where the spin blade enclosed space on the ground is, and fall in there to upgrade to an MP-40 if you don’t have it.
Follow the path through the southeast door. You’ll come across a lawn sprinkler turret guarding a gold key door on your right. 3 Bazooka rounds should be enough to destroy it. Don’t enter yet; head for the door straight ahead.
The next room has quite a few enforcers; there are also two hidden in the silver key corner atop the GADs in front of the Heat Seeker; lure them out. Save the ammo on that weapon if you plan on going into an optional area. More enforcers are hidden atop the higher GAD platforms (see the automap).
Return to the gold key door. There are many enforcers in here; use your automap to help find them. There’s another gold key door nearby, which is optional; skip the 4D Chess paragraph if you don’t care for it. Anyway, through the other room door are more stairs. This leads to the room with the silver key in the alcove, which you can now reach from way up top. There’s also a Drunk Missile Launcher in there. If you want a Flame Wall, fall off from the top into the fenced-in enclosure on the west. I recommend taking both missile weapons and dropping them off in the main hub for easier access.
If you want the easiest alternative strategy for the upcoming E4A2 (Getting the Drop), keep the Flame Wall throughout the rest of the secret level chain until you reach that level.
Now for that other gold key door; recall the left door in the starting room. That’s where to go next. You’ll find the other side of that gold key door in there, also guarded by a lawn sprinkler turret. Unload the heat seekers on it. This door allows you access to a fresh Heat Seeker up the GAD stairs.
Go back 2 rooms from the silver key room, in the direction towards the hub, to find the silver key door (coming from the second gold key door, it’s just through the southeast door in the main hub). Next is a platforming segment leading to the iron key. Don’t be in a rush for it, though, as the area it’s in has 3 enforcers; 2 of them should be alerted when you ride the GAD lift.
Before the iron key doors, let’s clear a major room. Go back through the south door and along the left wall is a booth with a small door you haven’t been to, yet. There’s a second door and a touch plate. The next room is full of fire pits and many enforcers. A couple of enforcers are right nearby you; at least one is on platforms above you, so watch out; 2 are visible at the far end of this large room. You can safely cross the fire pits with the moving GADs.
Once the area is cleared, you have 2 iron key door choices. One if you keep following the main southeast path (check your automap); the other, through the northeast path back in the main hub. Take the latter if you want a bonus and to clear more enemies (yeah, I know, there’s a lot to do); if not, choose either one and go straight to the iron key door, skipping the next paragraph.
In the northeast path, you’ll reach a long hallway where 4 robots patrol in a circuit through side areas. The right side area has a secret pathway blocked off by a healing basin. Beyond it are 5 enforcers, 2 atop fences, along a narrow passageway that eventually leads to a 1-Up. You really do not want to die anytime after this point because all this takes a while to do; so everything after consists of drop dead points just begging to take effect.
The northeast iron key door has a Dark Staff, while the southeast one has an Excalibat. I recommend the former. Ride a GAD up; stand atop the fence; get on the moving line of GADs; look around you for the platform you need to reach; run across to it when your platform aligns with it the closest. Don’t rush for the switch in there; it’s flanked by 2 enforcers who want you in pieces. You most likely will have to drop off from up here, lure them down and kill them before being able to safely hit the switch.
After you hit the switch, take the asbestos vest to its left. Hopefully you still have Dark Staff shots left. The northeast and southeast parts of this room have opened, the latter is a small alcove with 2 enforcers. The former consists of a stretch of 2 each of high fences and low clearings that alternate. The far end of this has 2 enforcers that will see you the moment you reach this area (check your automap to track their positions).
Proceed through the fences and clearings, but STOP when you see the opening on your right; this is a narrow corridor with the exit, but it’s lined with enforcers. Break out the Dark Staff, time a charged shot and wipe the corridor clean for the home stretch.
Nothing about the level is difficult by way of level design and dangers. It all comes from fighting the Triad Enforcers in a very camouflaging background, limited ammo and the level being so large that it takes a while to get through. The vast level size, though, provides plenty of space to take on the enemies. The monotonous texture selection can be a problem for anyone.
E4A13: Welcome To The Machine (Continued – Secrets)
- Not truly a secret. From where you get the gold key, fall off into the southwest corner to reach the enclosed area behind the spin blades. There’s health and an MP-40.
- When taking the southeast path in the main hub, the room after the one with the silver key door has a small door in a booth. Past this door is a touch plate. After hitting it, go back and follow the southeast path. The south wall of the room with the iron key door has receded, revealing a path to a bulletproof vest.
- From the high GAD platform you drop down to get the silver key, drop into the enclosed area at the west end of the room for health and a Flame Wall.
- The next secret is visible as you get to it. Up the GAD lift past the silver key door, you ride a GAD platform and you can see a 1-Up during the ride. Just get to the end of the line of GADs leading to the iron key; when you drop off, quickly turn left and stay along the middle space of that adjacent wall to take the 1-Up as you fall.
- The next secret requires any missile weapon you came across up until this point. Back in the starting room, take the left (south) door instead of the right (north). Take out that lawn sprinkler turret. Then press along the right (south) wall starting from the gold key door to reveal a hidden path. This long, narrow corridor has health and a Triad Enforcer waiting to ambush you. When you reach the end of this corridor, you’ll hit a touch plate that opens a connection to the spin blade enclosure with the MP-40.
- In the northeast iron key door path, you’ll come to a long hallway where 4 Robot Guards move in a circuit through side areas. The right side area has an opening blocked off by a Healing Basin. Past it is a narrow corridor where you climb upwards; you’ll encounter 5 Triad Enforcers, 2 atop fences, along the way. This path leads to a 1-Up.
- Not much of a secret, but easily overlooked. In the final room with all the fire pits, ride a GAD lift and ride the platform that goes across the room. Get onto the platform it passes by along its path and fall into the fence alcove for a Large Monk Crystal.
E4A14: Fire Flight
I don’t think this monk-only level is that bad. The worst of it is that there are tons upon tons of them. If you know the safe methods, then it’s all about patience as you get through it. A play on fire fight, the gimmick is all Deathfire Monks and flying, as there are many trampolines and some Mercury Mode powerups.
Contrary to common assumption, this is not actually a warp-only level.
As soon as you start, strafe to the right onto a trampoline and then reverse to land on a GAD platform. There’s a Bazooka in the right corner. Littered all around the ground in this area are Deathfire Monks. Watch out as they can also bounce up on trampolines. Another thing to really look out for in this level are the fire pits; seriously, don’t get careless where you run.
Just stick to a wall while you’re in their sight and let them kill themselves by their own blasts; you can navigate across the platforms up here, but try not to fall off. Also watch out for monks already on platforms, or on high fences along walls. Listen for that satisfying whoosh as each one fades away.
Once this area’s clear, you need to get across the fence; before you do, make sure there are little to no monks on the other side of it. Hit the switch there, return to the other side for another switch near the fence, then finally switch sides again for the gold key.
As a side note, whenever you find weapons on high fences, drop them along the ground for easier availability later on.
Next door, there are several monks spanning across this long open area; they camouflage well with the surroundings, so can easily get cheap shots on you. Duck for cover often. Also, just to the right, past the gold key door is a high fence, lined with more monks. Most high fences in this room can be reached with the trampoline. Explore the area thoroughly to reach the Mercury Mode; this is for a switch in the southwest corner of the area. I recommend getting the asbestos vest atop the northwest fence at this point.
The next area is heavily packed with monks; there’s another asbestos vest in the first high fence to your right if you run out. A bit further down is another high fence to the right with a Bazooka. Get the Mercury Mode and hit the switch just nearby it; this moves columns out of the way to access another switch (actually, you can just use a trampoline to hit this switch beforehand); then fly along the walls at the northwest for the next switch to advance.
Next section has a small path of fences at the start; stay behind these and check your automap to see where the crowds of monks are. There are tons of monks behind the columns just ahead; these fences are your safety net to fall back on if you’re overwhelmed. In fact, use many of the fences along the way for cover. Whenever you choose to open the door to the left of the gold key, immediately retreat for cover!
There’s a bit of fencing to do. Just run nonstop from the first fence to the second one and then to the other side of the columns. Use the rightmost trampoline to reach the silver key. Take the Dark Staff; next up is the final area. There’s a rather big crowd of monks just past the curving wall. When you finally open up the exit area, there are obviously tons of monks here. Note that there is a Firebomb floating in the air, visible from atop the GAD stairs.
This stage goes by faster than you realize. If you utilize the explosive weapons properly, you never run short. If you didn’t like it, perhaps the next 2 levels will be more fun to you.
There aren’t really any secrets. Even the areas/items closest to being secrets, you end up getting as part of the regular level progression anyway. Just look around thoroughly for sufficient weapon and health supplies; use your automap.
- The closest thing to a secret is in the third area, you can directly hit the switch behind the columns instead of flying up to a switch beforehand to clear those columns. Use the nearby trampoline to hit it while in the air.
- Maybe if you aren’t quite observant: after crossing the fences to get behind the line of columns, look to the right end of that section for a little alcove with a 1-Up.
- Perhaps also, atop the stairs to the Drunk Missile Launcher in the final area, look into the alcove (south) for a floating Firebomb.
E4A15: Run Like Heaven
I’m pretty sure this was meant to be a warp-only level. It definitely has the quality of one. It’s quite a short level, size-wise. Most of the time spent on it will be dealing with the aggressive swarm of enemies. The name is a play on the expression “run like hell”; here, you’re racing to the end before your God Mode powerup runs out, so that’s the gimmick.
Contrary to common assumption, this is not actually a warp-only level.
There are 2 ways to go about it. The fast and slow way.
Run straight through the doors. After the right turn, hit the switch on the pillar at the left end of the room to open the door at the right end. 2 rooms ahead, the first switch is at the second right turn in the area; then go to the first right turn for the next switch; finally, the exit is accessible back in the second right turn.
Take each room one step at a time. You still need to progress with some speed, as it’s ideal to reach a certain point before the God Mode runs out. The third room has 3 doors to the right that have stairs connecting to the next section; you’ll want to get up here and clear as much of that next room as you can while the powerup is still in effect, without dropping from the stairs.
Once it wears out, Move around the 3 groups of stairs and let the remaining enforcers kill themselves against the barriers. Then, head back towards the start, skipping over the asbestos vest for now. Look around carefully for any remaining monks. The start has an extra pistol, if you need; there could be monks in the 2 bridging structures in the starting area, which also have weapons. Take the Bazooka in the second room.
Now take the vest and reach the next room. Quickly press the switch on your left and head for the door at the right end. Kill as many monks as you can with the Bazooka, then get the Firebomb above the switch you pressed to continue with the monks. Atop the GAD stairs, the platform goes to both sides of the room. The south end has health, a Dark Staff and some sneaky monks; the north has a passage connecting to the second room and a Drunk Missile Launcher guarded by monks.
When you’re fully equipped, head through the next door, to the final area. Once you clear the monks, take the second right turn for the first switch; then the first right for the second switch; finally, back to the second right for the exit. Note that new nests of monks will be opened each step of the way. Even the area past the exit arches is crowded with them. There’s also a connection to the starting room from here. Don’t forget the Heat Seeker atop the GADs if you’re running short.
Again, I feel like this should have been a warp-only level. I prefer clearing everything in the level before exiting. Of course, there is more than just 1 way of going about it. For example, you can rush to the end, clear that area until God Mode runs out and work backwards from there.
Also no true secrets.
- There is a weapon in each of the structures in the starting section.
- In the fifth section, check the north side area atop the fences for a path connecting to the second section.
- In the final section, the area opened by the first switch connects back to the level’s starting section.
E4A16: Stupid Dog Tricks
Named after the eponymous David Letterman segment, you’ll be racing through most of this level in Dog Mode, as the gimmick. Seriously, why is this level even in here.
Contrary to common assumption, this is not actually a warp-only level.
There is seriously not much to it. In the starting areas, use missile weapons to dispatch the Monks quicker, after luring them to one end.
As the dog, to reach over the fences, hit the fire key and when you reach the highest, press the use key; you’ll be propelled even higher. You can actually run from one fence to the next with some characters. I recommend killing some enemies in the next area, then quickly returning to the nearest Dog Mode in case your current one runs out. Alternatively, you can rush straight to the end with a single Dog Mode powerup.
Feels even like it should be a warp-only level than the previous one. Also, this really doesn’t belong in an add-on that is supposed to be all about the extreme. It would be so fitting if it was swapped with Dead in Two Seconds, one of the Dark War’s warp-only levels.
Anyway, savor this break because most of the rest of the levels are going to get rough.
- Walk into the alcove right beside the first Dog Mode powerup you come across. It has a touch plate that will reveal an excessive stash of Dog Mode powerups.
- If you waste time, for whatever reason, and revert to human form between the first sandwich of 10 columns, you can get out. Press the northeast column.
- Likewise, if you do the same between the second sandwich of 10 columns, press the northwest one to get out.
- Finally, if you waste all the visible Dog Mode powerups in the long stretch before the low clearings to the exit, there is some hope. Right after the fireball traps is a pink door. Press along the wall to its left (east) to get another Dog Mode powerup.
E5A1: Gods Of Annihilation (WARP-ONLY)
That’s right, on a scale of 1 to 5 stars for difficulty, this gets a 10. That’s five more than 1-shotting Triadagio’s secret exit route. Part of the reason is just how overwhelming of a level this is, indicated by the name.
All I can really say is once you take out the enemy in front of you and activate the touchplate, the rest is all on you. Good luck.
Not much of a strategy, I know, especially not for a level that I deem more difficult to beat than Triadagio, mentioned above. But just like that one, it’s one of those cases where the tactic is just too ridiculous. I will say that the level is beatable.
If you can reach the exit, you know the secret to this level.
A5A2: The Grand Vomitorium (WARP-ONLY)
No, this is not the hardest level in the game. Also, the first ~half of the level is mostly the same as The Vomitorium from the main game, so the same strategy applies. I’ll still include it for completion. The music is changed to Here Boy, which was probably intentional to make it more infuriating. Technically, this is a facultative warp or semi-warp level since Gods of Annihilation’s exit leads here.
Activate the left wall of the narrow path to the elevator to find an extra pistol; the right wall for an MP-40. Not really needed, it’s just to speed up clearing the enemies in the area past the elevator if you want. The enemies are at the other half of the big area, right around the fire pillars. As soon as you step out of the elevator, you hit a touch plate that sets these pillars into motion.
If you want to make entering/exiting the start elevator less of a hassle, go back and switch from Elasto Mode to Shrooms Mode so you don’t bounce everywhere. It isn’t less of a headache though.
You now have to painfully scan above you in this large room for a single GAD roaming the skies. There’s a trampoline along the left wall from when you exit the elevator; it is aligned with an opening in the wall on the right side of the room. Stand near it and look upwards down the hall; or keep bouncing on it until you see the single GAD approach or pass by. It is REALLY annoying to land on. The best I can say is when it approaches you, face the opening in the right wall; it’s going right over the trampoline and through that opening, so wait and estimate when it’ll pass over you and then launch yourself up and forward, adjusting your position and hope to land on it. If you miss, you have to wait a good bit before it cycles around back to your bus stop.
When you land on it, hope that you’re in its center because you could be blocked by the walls of the opening and just fall right off. Likewise, the player tends to get pushed a bit whenever the GAD changes direction (either that, or their movement doesn’t keep up properly on the GAD); so actively re-center yourself. After the opening, it’ll make a left turn; strafe a bit outwards then back in during the turn so you don’t get stuck on the left wall. Facing its new direction, strafe a bit left to avoid the right wall, then back to the right to avoid the left one. At the dead end, it’ll make a left turn; stick to that far wall to avoid another block-off, then re-center yourself for the next few turns it makes. It’ll get back out of that side room and into the main one.
Note that if you fall into that side room past the opening, you can’t get back out. So you must restart at that point. There’s a Bazooka in this blocked-off area to make that task easier for you. If you fall off near the start or end of the opening, you might be able to run through the air while you’re falling and get out of the side room before you hit the ground.
Anyway, the GAD will soon reach the far end of the large area, where you’ll see 2 openings that are blocked off at ground level by columns. Run off your ride, through the right opening and keep following it in the air until you must pass the low arch as the ground here is coated in fire pits. Just past the door is a touch plate; quickly strafe left when you hit it to avoid a moving fire pillar.
Once you flip the Oscurovator switch, stand where you are and face the switch to avoid teleporting to your death. Step forward to hit a touch plate that will activate some trippy moving walls in the sky. Go to the back-left corner of this area relative to the direction you entered for a very thin path through the sky, between the moving walls.
CAUTION! At the start of the right turn is an invisible Elasto Mode powerup to really drive you nuts. This part requires your patience and precision. Some suggestions:
-Slowly strafe left into it and then and strafe left and right in the space until the powerup wears off.
-Same, but with forward and backward direction.
-Just before contacting the powerup, turn right to diagonally face the long stretch rightwards, then walk forward. You have a longer distance to alternate forward and back.
-After taking the powerup, cancel your motion or slow yourself down at the right moment. This is very difficult to do and involves how much you press each directional key.
Once it wears out, follow the long path; to the right will be an opening about halfway through that leads to a bunch of items. This also has an invisible Elasto Mode, but it’s easier to survive. When you press the Oscurovator switch, stay where you are, facing the switch. You’ll teleport to a spot surrounded by a touch plate on all 4 sides. The ones behind and to your left are safe/ good ones, though I’m not sure what the former does.
The left one will activate a line of floating GADs to cross the area from your right, pushing you off the level. 2 ways to avoid this. One is to run to the east end of the moving GAD line; the line ends one space before the edge*. The other is to walk across the 2 floor grates that are horizontally aligned near the northeast side of the area; you’ll take an invisible Mercury Mode.
*Addendum (credit to Siegler): The GAD missing at the end of the line is unintentional, meaning the intended, non-cheating way to escape this was to get the Mercury Mode powerup by luck.
The end passageway is at the southeast corner. After pushing the wall segment and following it, you’ll set off a touch plate gas attack that’s so dense it kills you very quickly; just by running straight to the exit, you’ll make it. There is a gas mask floating in the air in the main large area a bit north of the southeast passage (check your automap), but it’s not worth getting.
Completing this level just loops you back to the start of it. Fortunately, the music changes to How’d I Do? Not worth going through it again, though.
- Not really a secret, more of a curiosity. In the starting room, check the north wall for a smaller and narrower, yet long side room full of candles. Even in the original version (The Vomitorium), I wonder what this is for. Update: Joe Siegler has informed me that it just serves to reduce the lighting by destroying the candles. So there’s really not much to it.
- Activate the left wall along the first elevator to find an extra pistol.
- Activate the right wall along the first elevator to find an MP-40.
- After surviving the first invisible Elasto Mode trap, pay attention to the right while you’re walking along the narrow, unsafe path for an opening. This leads to a bunch of items, but also another invisible Elasto Mode trap, so watch out.
- In the final area, look all around you and then check your automap. The northeast corner of the area has 2 horizontally aligned floor gates that are somewhat close to each other. There is an invisible Mercury Mode powerup between them. It’s useful for the next secret.
- With the Mercury Mode from the previous secret, go to the southeast corner of the area, face north and fly up. You’ll find a gas mask. This obviously makes the final trap nearly harmless.
E5A3-E5A5: Ludicrous Additions (WARP-ONLY)
E5A3 – E5A5 were not originally part of Extreme ROTT. They were added in for Ludicrous Edition and are various assorted maps that Joe Siegler had released online. As they weren’t part of the initial EROTT package, and aren’t really “Extreme” (except for E5A5), they don’t each have dedicated sections.
E3A3 (This Causes Error Too):
The level ends automatically when the moving wall leaves the level boundaries. You don’t even need to kill any enemies. It would be advisable to at least pick up the God Mode powerup, however, because the sheer number of enemies means you may die before the end trigger.
E5A4 (Say “Aardwolf”):
Look familiar? Keeping in mind the secret in the room with the exit, just know that hidden areas such as even in the starting room should more than help with what awaits.
E5A5 (You And Spray):
While the previous 2 levels are very simple, this would fit in EROTT. Just play it for a little bit and also view the whole level in your automap. You may soon make the reasonable assumption that it is impossible to beat without cheating: 2 NME bosses and practically no cover in a wide open rectangular area.
It turns out that it is actually not impossible… in fact, it’s quite manageable, even. I’ve figured out 2 ways to do it, one much easier and much more recommended than the other. But both do work.
For now, though, I won’t spoil them just for a little bit of fun, to see if anybody might even be curious enough to try it out. After a little while since the time of its release, I’ll get the 2 strategies up.
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