- 1 Items to collect
- 2 Mission Requirements
- 3 EX Skill walkthrough
- 3.1 Through the furnace
- 3.2 Smelter skelter
- 3.3 Watch the timing!
- 3.4 Proving ground for fast reflexes
- 3.5 Extremely close calls
- 3.6 Beating the buckets
- 3.7 Crank the heat to eleven
- 3.8 Defying gravity???
- 3.9 Pure suicide
- 3.10 Into the frying pan
- 3.11 Stop, drop, and roll
- 3.12 Boss: Fighting Fefnir
- 4 Cyber-elves walkthrough
- 5 Afterword
Items to collect
Elves to obtain (4):
- Clear Time Limit: 3:30
- Enemies Killed: 23
EX Skill walkthrough
Elpizo has suddenly pulled a curveball with his covert missions. He just barged into an ordinary, general-grade shuttle factory, leaving Ciel questioning his motives. Nothing about the place jumps out at her, but she still wants Zero to continue to go after their wayward fellow.
Ciel gives Zero a simple reminder to stay alert at the start of this mission.
Through the furnace
It's not easy getting through the Shuttle Factory in a cinch. Many places in a row present intense levels of danger, mixed with brutal kinds of enemies. There's even one place with absurd amounts of danger that make this area a contender for most difficult. Zero can't just waltz in the normal way, so he takes the route where anyone would be crazy to go. Hopefully, you can keep a clear head through all this mayhem. Fortunately, get Cyber-Elves is super easy for once.
The first part of the factory looks stunningly identical to the Power Room. However, a smashed generator, and huge section of ravaged floor paneling is a good indicator Elpizo broke in through here. Drop down the hole, but hug the wall: Panel Cannons are set in place thanks to Elpizo's ruckus. You may collide in mid-air trying to make a blind free-fall. After a little memorization, it's a simple drop anyway. E-Crystals in some places aren't really worth the extra trouble.
When you get past three Panel Cannons, control your fall so you go left. A Top Gabyoall resides in a crevise to the right, and the way out is all the way to the left.
This is a moment where trouble rears its ugly head. If you remember, the Power Room had smelter buckets going through one area. This place has many more clogging up the path. You can't touch them without getting burned, and in the wrong place, you can be crushed underneath the floor or ceiling, or even pushed under them with knockback. Although it's not advised for the sake of a good rank, you can use Fubuffa to stop the knockback effect.
Watch the timing!
Use of any Ice-Element attacks on the buckets still freezes them long enough tho slip by. The first bucket can be frozen and/or jumped over easily. The trickier part is slipping past the watchful eyes of Panel Cannons, so you probably need to take them out of the picture as you go on.
When you get to the second bucket, the short gap makes things confusing, but you can get through. Wait just long enough for it to drop into the floor and dash by before another arrives. For the third, wait for one to go up just high enough so you can dash under so another one can't get you.
Proving ground for fast reflexes
This next part calls for a wicked amount of timing. Pantheon Hammers obstruct any hope of a quick dash through. Using Kougenjin or a charged slash are your best bets.
When the first Pantheon Hammer is gone, slide under the buckets just after it passes. Now, the fun part begins. You've just reached an assembly line of buckets, each with specific timing that makes it dangerous to dash under them. For the first pair of buckets, don't try to freeze them. Instead, try to dash-jump over both before they get too high. Simple, right? Not so when three more bucket lines coming down threaten to crush you. You have to go under this time, but again, don't freeze any buckets. Give yourself just enough time to dash under the first bucket and get through. If you mess up, you'll hit the edge of a bucket just disappearing, or bump your head on the incoming ones, and the chance of dying is very high. All you can really do is gun it and hope for the best. It's just another reason to give Fefnir a smackdown when you reach him.
Extremely close calls
You've now reached a brewing ground of maniacal danger. What you're about to attempt involve some of the hairiest escapes this game can throw at you. Fittingly, you need hair-trigger reflexes.
Beating the buckets
Instant-death slag pits are scattered at every gap, and Signaloids or Pantheon Hammers punctuate the gaps over them. Dash-jump over when the Signaloids are destroyed.
Stacking on another piece of difficulty, the smelter buckets have returned. You should definitely try to freeze these as they come up. You should use them as platforms to clear the pits, get the timing right to avoid disaster, crushed or scorched. You can also attempt to jump over the buckets to save time. If all else fails, but you really shouldn't, pull a fast one and take a hit from the buckets if you're going to fall to your death. You can then abuse the invincibility period, but that's underhanded.
Crank the heat to eleven
It only gets more rough-and-tumble past the first few buckets. Soon, you have to make bigger jumps and bet it all in one go-around. Beware one set of buckets going down instead of up: for these, freeze a bucket, hitch a ride, then jump before it hits the slag. Next up is a tricky jump over buckets going up. Finally, there's a big pit with no buckets taking up space, but it's a brush with death. You have to dash-jump far enough to catch the pillar on the other side and wall-jump to the top.
After this, there's still no end to your worries, as Top Gabyoall patrol the ceilings. It sounds crazy, but by merely dashing without jumping, you can cross safely without getting whacked by the Top Gabyoalls. Remeber: these suckers can only be stunned, not destroyed.
A broken pipe (no doubt Elpizo's handiwork) is jutting out from above after the Top Gabyoalls. You'll have to dash one more time to make it.
Suprise, suprise! The buckets are back AGAIN! But it's not just that...
The difficult level finally becomes seismic at this point of the Shuttle Factory. The unstable girders in the Power Room are the only means of getting through the final, humongous slag pit ahead. You have to have flawless skills, or you'll be dunked in the slag below. Worse, you can be struck by a girder and die as well.
Beware the first Panel Cannon above the start of the deathtrap. Get rid of it. After going over the first three girders, you've got to jump to two more above, then one more, and one by a wall. What now? Ride the girder down far enough below the wall to make a last-second jump to the two girders underneath. Charge up the Z-Saber as you do this.
The danger has almost reached it worst. You have to jump to a girder by smelter buckets and jump through immediately. Luck allowing, you can make it through perfectly. If not, you have to freeze the bucket and cross that way. Cheating the invincibility can save you if there's no other option. This time, it's excusable, but kills the ranking you'll get.
Into the frying pan
Here comes the piece de resistance of danger. You've probably gotten tired of hearing that word so much by now, but there's no other way to describe a tribulating death pit only the devil could enjoy. Thankfully, it's almost over. Once more, you need to pre-charge your Z-Saber to deal with the oncoming buckets.
You've got to get through a few more slag buckets, two more jumps onto girders, then a true test of your skills and luck combined: a leap of faith to a girder far off to the right. Nothing comes closer to death than this: you can't actually reach the girder, you have to catch the edge and wall-jump to the top, then make your escape. The Chain Rod, if wielded correctly, can allow you to swing across safely onto the girder. Afterward, you have to jump onto MORE girders, and fly through the buckets, most likely having to freeze one or two if you get lucky and strike at the right time. All that's left is to cross onto more girders and quickly blast a Panel Cannon stuck at the very end of the works. If you made it, you deserve a standing ovation. The final strech isn't anything so horrible.
Stop, drop, and roll
The firey slag is a thing of the past in the final section of the Shuttle Factory. You even get a kind refill of health to help. As you climb the ladders, you'll find 3 Signaloids.
After going beyond the third Signaloid, watch out for a Top Gabyoall above the ladder. Following this, wall-jump up the strutted wall to the right. Dash-jump from the wall to reach the ladder, minding a second Top Gabyoall above.
Another kind of Pantheon, called Pantheon Launcher, makes it debut. It's a sitting duck, but it has a huge assault cannon. The Pantheon needs time to charge it to full power, giving you ample time to strike back. If it does get the cannon going, it launches several rounds of energy spheres that do heavy damage. At the moment, there's no Cyber-Elf to get.
A strutted wall on your left provides a way up, but a Top Gabyoall is guarding it. Let it come down far enough to jump over it, then race up before it can get you. It will eventually get out of range. When you have to go over to the next strut, do this again for its Top Gabyoall.
Keep the Fire Chip equipped to avoid the hidden Signaloid way off to the right. Ignore it and go up the strut after the Top Gabyoall comes down. The same thing goes for jumping to the other one.
At the very top of the Shuttle Factory is the loading hangar. You're nearly to it, and you can refill more health again. Two Pantheon Hammers and a Panel Cannon are all that's left to bug you on your way to Fefnir.
Boss: Fighting Fefnir
When Zero steps into the hangar, several Tentolancers are docked in back. Fighting Fefnir, unlike the other Guardians, is already here to greet his best opponent. He was chasing Elpizo, but given the chance for combat, nothing matters. Fired up, nothing's stopping this bruiser from his rematch!
Fefnir and his extra-armored body have been fine-tuned for this moment. He's got a lower health bar like the others, but got gusto inside him. His superhuman strength and heavy-hitter attacks just don't let up, not even once. Suprisingly, you can't utilize the room's walls in this fight. Fefnir is ultra-weak to the Thunder Chip, his Achilles heel.
A walking combat zone
Fefnir's old attacks with his Knuckle Buster, Sodom, are still his main reliance. He can shoot up to three fireballs out at once, requiring swift dash-jumps for dodging them. The more he shoots, the faster he does so. Ocassionally, he might leap into the air and point his Buster down, straight, or diagonally. Dash away to avoid the incoming fireblast. These also linger briefly before dissipating.
Fefnir's fists have kept that earthshaking quality only he has. Punching the ground sets off powerful tremors you must jump above and over. Sometimes, his punches create rock spires that keep you from getting a hit in. They don't last long.
Another problematic attack is Fefnir's ability to build up power. He gets coated by a white-hot flash, and every atttack he inflicts is twice as strong. Huge fireblasts, sweeping shockwaves, and increased speed all come into play. Thunder attacks usually keep him from laying into you with his own.
Knowing his love for combat, Fefnir has die-hard secrets. One is a special program in his Knuckle Buster that morphs into a bazooka. He uses it to drop solar bombs that disperse into smaller hits. In the time it takes for him to make it change shape, back off as far as you can go. He can't move while lugging that thing, giving you a chance to perform a Charge Shot, courtesy of the Buster.
The most troublesome thing he can do is lunge for you. If he grabs Zero, he catapults him into the air with Knuckle Buster like a bottle rocket, and might just leap up and grab him a second time for an extra helping of pain. You can avoid this attack if it hits, so stay sharp!
EX Skill: Hell Fire
Fefnir's A-Rank plus EX Skill is the most severe attack he can dish out. After his health meter slips below the halfway mark, he'll gear into Overdrive with a red flame, and the aura will shield him with a temporary invincible phase. He follows up by summoning Gomorrah, his second Knuckle Buster, the one he saves for special opponents that don't go down so easy. Fefnir's Hell Fire tecnhique is similar to his original EX Skill move, Meteor Rain, but reverses the target of attack. Instead of a meteoric assault, Hell Fire comes from below.
Fefnir jams both Busters deep underground and triggers a massive earthquake, launching columns of lava left and right. There's a very tricky timing to them. Watch the eruption two spaces ahead. the floor reveals when and where the blasts hit. After it goes off, the one before it will follow, and then, MOVE! Dash-jump two spaces forward or backward from the offending eruption. You are now in the predicament of playing hot potato with Hell Fire. Keep jumping two spaces in either direction before the blasts go off, and you should catch onto the alternating pattern.
Fefnir's already proven to you that he's a hardcore warrior. He is thrilled to engage in combat and battles Zero without holding back. But his relentless attacks are easily quashed by a Thunder-element attack on his broad side. He's pretty gutsy, and wants the same wild charge out of his opponent to satisfy his hot-blooded streak of hidebound enthusiasm. Do whatever you can to match his skills with your own and emerge on top!
Though he might be obsessed with battle, Fefnir is humbled just like any other warrior who has been blinded by the allure of battle. Try and avoid it as he might, he can still be brought down by enough wounds. When the injuries become too great to ignore any longer, like it or not, he must face the harsh reality that the battle is over, but it was worth it to face his rival. Despite the battle scars, he's satisfied that he could clash with a worthy opponent. Fefnir's had a splendid fight with Zero which slaked his thirst for an adrenaline rush. Fefnir's life as a protector of Neo Arcadia doesn't provide him that much excitement, so he's ready to go for broke the next time, and leaves pumped up with the promise of another no holds brawl.
Keeping your A-Rank alive will get you the explosive EX Skill Blast Shot. This will replace Zero's Fire-element Charge Shot with a concussive shot that creates smaller blasts when it smashes into an enemy or object, or goes quite a distance. It's not super-strong, but it's great at roasting enemies who try to approach Zero.
- Now, besting three Pantheon Hammers gets you Cyber-Elf Jettah, the cheetah Cyber-Elf. Using it will double the max running and dash speed of Zero. You can speed up mission times with this Elf, and quickly escape danger as it approaches. This gets even better with the Active Form.
- Just for now, the buckets aren't around, but the Pantheon Hammers are back, in packs. Avoid the first at the ledge, and go down the ladder slowly: There's an Elf in hiding. Jump off to the left to the little niche in the wall just above the lower pipe crossing the screen. You should enter a secret area with a hidden Cyber-Elf Box. Break it open, albeit blocked, and you'll unknowingly free Cyber-Elf Stoctem. Right below, Pantheon Hammers are in a line of scrimmage, maces at the ready. Ignore them and go by if you already got Jettah.
- You can pull off a reward by destroying three Signaloids, which makes Cyber-Elf M-orossa appear. Switch to the Fire Chip to get them all switched to Fire Element. The wild Ice attack gives them excessive range, and the smart Thunder attack blocks you from climbing up.
- Notice the Cyber-Elf box in the area of the vertical Gabyoall. Eliminate the Pantheon Launcher and go down the ladder, but not completely. Jump off to the left to get to the box and get Cyber-Elf Euppie, last of the four Cyber-Elves that adds four more bars of health to your HP.
After Zero returns to base, Ciel alerts him that Elpizo stole a shuttle from the factory and went of to Neo Arcadia. It's the only way in with a protective anti-teleport mesh blocking all unauthorized transfers. She's fully convinced he's attempting to break into the city alone.