Monday, July 11, 2011

Beat Hazard Ultra Achievement Guide

Since I've now gotten 100% achievements, I thought I'd type up a bit about what you might need to know to get each.  Most are self-explanatory, but a couple are tricky.  I've categorized each by what portions of the game they can be earned in, so you'll know exactly what you can get without touching the new features, or without buying Ultra.

Any of the ones that don't technically require the new features or Ultra can of course be done with the new features/Ultra.  They may be more difficult, and my suggestions are written assuming you have Ultra.  If an achievement that can be done in Classic is just too hard in Ultra, you can always step down to Classic (Just choose Beat Hazard Classic when launching the game).  In that case, be aware that Ultra changed the enemy wave generation (to factor in all the new enemies), so the song will play entirely differently.  It won't even have bosses in the same spots.

And of course, if you're playing with mouse and keyboard, please be aware that this game plays a lot better with a dual analog stick gamepad (like a PS2 or Xbox 360 controller).  Wired Xbox 360 controllers are plug-and-play on Windows, by the way, and there is an official receiver for the wireless ones.

Jump break here for convenience.
  • Achievements that can be done in Classic (25/43)
    • The First Step - Install the game, find your music, and play a song.  Did you level up at the end?  Yes?  There you go.
    • 1st Track Cleared - You'll get this one either at the same time as The First Step, or before it.  Why it's less globally achieved, I don't know.
    • Millionare - This is cumulative, so just play tracks and you'll get it.
    • Perfect - Well, it's restricted to 3 minute tracks or longer, so if you're unsure of yourself, pick a 3 minute long track.  Set your perks for survivability rather than points.
    • Half Way There - Just keep playing the game and ranking up.
    • x100 - Perks: Chart Topper, The Devil Pays Well, I Don't Die, Multiplier Rain, Spawn More Multipliers, Goodie Bag, Pump up the VOL, POW POW POW.  Notice a theme here?  You get two extra perks to play with, I recommend against taking weapon perks, as taking any weapons will replace Goodie Bag multipliers with weapon powerups.  Daredevil a bit, don't die, get that x5 from the Multiplier Rain (at the very least), and don't forget about the occasional x10 multiplier powerup.  With any luck you can get close to x100 while you're still dodging asteroids.
    • The First Hour - Play for an hour, just like it says.
    • Multi-Millionare - Just like with Millionare, this one is cumulative.  You'll get it if you keep playing.
    • A Real Dare Devil - Do this at the beginning of the track, and pick one that's relatively slow-paced at the beginning.  The trick is that it needs to be fast-paced enough for the gauge to fill at the proper speed.  Dodge stuff until you get it.  Don't forget to go in on Normal.  No sense making it harder on yourself than it needs to be.  Do it in Classic where the daredevil gauge doesn't change fill speeds according to the music if it's just too hard in Ultra.
    • Dude of Hazard - Just like with Multi-Millionare, this one is cumulative, and you'll get it eventually.
    • Go Platinum - Pick a song you're decent at, set your perks for score, and have at it.
    • Pwnage - Don't die.  As a last resort, do the "death blossom" technique, where you spin around scattering shots everywhere.  Don't forget about bombs or other powerups.
    • I'm Just Starting - The first and easiest of the Survival mode achievements.  Set your perks for survivability.  It may be best to go for all of these in one sitting.
    • Brutal Boss Kill - This sounds difficult, but it's really, really not.  Do it on the small bosses that come at you in pairs.  Often they will rotate onto the screen one turret at a time, so focus fire on one of them.  Turrets that aren't on the screen can't fire, so as long as you take out the visible turrets quickly, it's easy.  Your best friend here is the Ultra Beam, which can flat-out kill one of the small bosses in one or two deployments when it's fully on screen.  If all else fails, do it in Classic where there's fewer turret types to worry about.
    • Elite! - Just like with Half Way There, just keep playing the game and ranking up.
    • 25! - You'll probably get this in the normal course of gameplay.  If you really feel the need to cheese this series of achievements, play shorter tracks.
    • Don't Panic - If you're smart, you'll realize you can get it 10 seconds after getting A Real Dare Devil.
    • Don't Stop Me Now - The second of the Survival mode achievement series.  Just like before, set yourself up for survivability.  If doing this in Classic where the soft parts can mean death, remember the mantra: "bomb the transition".  Otherwise, Ultra Beam or Micro Missiles or something.  The transitions are what the Ultra Beam was designed for anyway.
    • Boss Slayer - By "in one game", it really means "in one song".  Pick a long song that's fairly active.  Remember that the two small bosses count as two bosses, so if you have a song where you encounter them four times, then there you go.
    • 50! - Just keep playing the game.
    • High 5 - This one's all in the description.  5 hours of total playtime.
    • Coming Through! - 15 minutes in survival mode.  Just don't die.
    • Survival Champion! - 20 minutes in Survival Mode.  This is the last Survival milestone, after that, it's just pride.
    • 100! - Just. Keep. Playing. The. Game.
    • Veteran - Just. Keep. Playing. The. Game.
  • Achievements that can't be done in Classic, but don't require Ultra (7/43, for a total of 32/43)
    • Perk MAXED - Save up a bunch of cash, then upgrade a perk all the way.  If in Ultra and you still don't have it, pick one of the ones that needs less upgrading, just to make it easier on yourself.
    • Tug of War - The stalkers are the ones whose beams push and pull you around the screen.  Pick one, get caught in its beams, and resist for 10 seconds.  Don't fire at the stalker you're doing this with.  There you go.
    • Cool Tracks - Bring up the credits screen, scroll down to the first URL, click.  Done.
    • Completely Insane - If you're unsure of yourself, take a track that's exactly 4 minutes.  Set the visuals down to 50%, and set your perks for survivability.  If you know what you're doing, adjust accordingly.  This doesn't stack with the Suicidal one, sadly, so you'll have to do two runs.  They can be the same song, though.
    • Tough Guy - See notes for Completely Insane.  And yes, they really don't stack.  If you do Completely Insane and Tough Guy back-to-back, you may have to play Chill Out mode for a while to relax and let the adrenaline rush go away, like I did.
    • Cash Grab - See those triangular $10 powerups?  Keep collecting them.  Don't spend them.  Eventually you'll get it.  Now go buy a bunch of stuff.
    • Music Tour - I did this on 50% visuals, on Normal for most of them, stepping up to Hardcore or Insane when Normal or Hardcore wasn't enough.  So basically, it's easy.  The only hard part: most of the tracks are terribly generic techno.
  • Achievements that require Ultra (11/43, of course rounding it out at 43/43)
    • Striptease - This could conceivably be done without Ultra's Boss Rush mode, but Boss Rush is the perfect place to do it.  Strip those turrets with the Ultra Beam and then forget about the bosses.  This depends heavily on the bosses that spawn after the ones you strip.  Also, avoid reflecting projectiles, using micro missiles, and using bombs while going for this one.
    • Boss Dance - You can very easily get this by accident, simply by not defeating bosses fast enough.  As the waves progress and you have less and less time, it becomes more and more likely you'll get it.
    • Reflection - Stockpile Reflect Shield powerups, then when there's a lot of projectiles, use them all.  Wait until you start buzzing to use each successive powerup.  Your goal is to just keep the shield active until you've reflected 150 projectiles.  Depending on the turret configuration, bosses can make this really easy.
    • Perks! - Save your money and buy every perk.  Simple as that.
    • Boss King - Set your perks for survivability, and play it smart until that wave number reaches 30.  Then you can suicide if you want.
    • Death By A Thousand Cuts - The easiest of the "10000 kills with X powerup" achievements.  Micro Missiles are so nice that you can just fire and forget, and you'll have it in no time.
    • Untouchable - The mid-range difficulty of the "10000 kills with X powerup" achievements.  While going for this, you'll discover how awesome the Reflect Shield is.  Some bosses, depending on their turret setup, can be defeated with one or two deployments of the Reflect Shield.
    • Mad MAXED - Get lots of money and max out all the perks.  You can do this while going for the play time and songs played achievements if you don't already have those.
    • Death Star - The hardest of the "10000 kills with X powerup" achievements.  The Ultra Beam is great for transitions and ripping boss turrets off of bosses, but you need to remember to turn your ship slowly if you want it to be useful.  Use it on the smaller enemies for the purpose of getting the achievement, as it takes longer to kill the bigger ones.
    • Ultra Beam of Death - Just like with Reflection, stockpile Ultra Beam powerups, then use them all.  Don't let the Ultra Beam stop until the achievement pops up on the screen.
    • A Real Mine Sweeper - This one is really tricky.  First off, what the heck is a mine?  Well, it's those things that when you hit them, rather than killing you directly, they just prevent you from firing.  You have to hit 50 of those in one song, and finish the track without losing a life.  Don't try to hit too many of them at once.  Some songs go absolutely nuts spawning these things, so find one that does that and purposefully fly into some every time they come up.  The achievement won't unlock until you finish the track.  If you die once, it's all over.  Good luck.
Yes, I know I spelled "millionaire" wrong.  These are the verbatim achievement names.  Also, it seems a bit weird that some of Ultra's achievements don't actually require having purchased Ultra, but it's true.  Anyone who owns Beat Hazard but not Ultra can get some of Ultra's achievements and perks.  The perks that can be obtained without Ultra reasonably approximate what you get by ranking up in Classic.

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