machaesthetic

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Everything posted by machaesthetic

  1. 4.5k hidden trophies is definitely strange, but it's significantly more suspicious when he hid them after users literally called him out (but unfortunately never reported in time) for cheating multiple games in a previous dispute for CFW cheating. Which is funny because he claims he only claimed he cheated on one game. He has dozens of games with 3-8 year gaps where he went back and finished up multiple incomplete games in the span of a couple days (which is very commmon with CFW cheaters since you can't change the original timestamps of earlier trophies if they are already synced to PSNP). He keeps saying he wants absolutely definitive proof of cheating, when there is no way to absolutely definitively prove someone as cheating if the timestamps are not out of order or changed after being submitted. How cheaters are typically found is: 1) they cheated in multiple games but only slipped up the timestamps in a few games 2) they don't appear on in-game leaderboards 3) their statements aren't consistent and indicate lack of knowledge of the game 4) their trophy log is inconsistent (multiple trophies earned simultaneously among different games can be teams but is also a frequent sign of shoddy timestamps) He ticks all of these boxes. By themselves, each of these circumstances (well, except for hiding 4.5k trophies after being explicitly called out for CFW cheating is just unacceptable and there is no defense for that) are explainable, but as a whole, it points to there being multiple CFW cheated games on the account, hidden and public. If he wants to prove us wrong, it is as simple as unhiding the games he was accused of cheating on (at least 3) in the prior thread that he quickly hid before reports were filed. At this point I don't believe there is any chance at all that he completed this game (or the others) legitimately, and at best he is convincing us that he simply purchased someone to earn it for him rather than just cheating it directly through CFW. Also I think it's pretty funny that he had his buddies rep his posts to try to give credibility to his statements. I don't get why you are in every thread like this advocating for people who have previous flags for CFW cheating... this isn't the SOCOM and FUEL save that thousands of people did, this is actual CFW cheating and he hid other games after it was mentioned in the thread. There is a reason there is a three flag rule. Typically people who cheat (outside of autopoppers) are not caught for every single game they cheat, so if there is a handful of games they cheated, there is likely more cheated games where the timestamps are inconclusive since people rarely ever cheat just one or two times (especially when it comes to CFW custom time stamps).
  2. This is a very strange statement from somebody who has supposedly platinumed the game. Top 2000 and even top 1000-500 for multiple CA stages are a complete joke if you have ironman'ed the stages. There are many stages where you will be running them dozens of times and you will get high leaderboard spots through just completing the level multiple times for ironman. For example, XOXO should have pretty much every single person who has run it a few times for ironman runs to be top 500 or at the very least top 1000, and you are not there. That strange statement seems to be at odds with your very low deaths (3.5k is very low for full 100% + all ironmans) and the fact that you did every difficult trophy in the game in 10 days which is extremely fast. This is of course in combination with the 4.5k hidden trophies, history of cheating, and I also think it's funny that it seems like every suspicious list has this "brother" that is playing whenever they are doing a very difficult game (or perhaps they just don't plan their timestamps out carefully enough). Unfortunately, there is really just no way to know if someone has cheated, getting 100% game completion is relatively easy, while getting the ironman trophies is extremely difficult. And someone who has given up could easily just cheat these remaining trophies with custom time stamps. I think the flag should be lifted, but I think your several thousand hidden trophies should be unhidden for transparency considering the very abnormal circumstances of the situation and your profile should be examined closely since cheaters seem to rarely ever do it in 1-2 games. Personally, based on the circumstances of the situations, I think he purchased someone to do the platinum for him from a third party site, but that isn't technically flaggable or against leaderboard rules unfortunately.
  3. As far as I know, there is no way to do custom time stamps on games that are PS4 only, you can only do them for games that share a list with either PS3 or PSV. Cheats still exist for PS4, but these are third party game saves and PS4 save wizard (which includes saves as well as a small variety of cheats for specific games, although, according to the site, there are no cheats for GTAV, only saves). I don't believe that there is even an autopop method (aside from downloading a save) like there was previously for PS3 games (when everything pops in 10-30 seconds) because all the cheating profiles I see only have these on games that are shared list with either PS3 or PSV (both of which can be custom time stamp cheated). Also, some trophies do not unlock simply from a save file, and furthermore some PS4 games have locked saves (can't upload from a USB). Anyways, if the proof is there that skipping missions counts towards completion, but doesn't grant individual trophies, then this should be lifted. Someone going for the fastest time (especially in a game as popular as GTAV) is obviously going to use tricks (and this is not a trick that violates any rules, it's just an in-game mechanic) to delay the first trophy pop as long as possible, and this is standard practice for speedrunning trophy lists. As for why the 100% times are all so much longer is because the game has had multiple DLC packs added, because character transfers are no longer possible between PS3 -> PS4, so you must manually rank up your character which takes quite a while, and the Doomsday CMM2, CMM3, and CMM4 are very frustrating and a bit glitchy if you don't have a competent crew who knows what they are doing. Especially if you are going for speed where you are underleveled, you would need a good crew to basically carry you through missions due to you being underleveled, although you can buy shark cards or do money glitches (of which there are multiple money glitches, and more discovered regularly, that usually require a few people to help) which can alleviate this issue a bit. There are many games on the leaderboard that are not even close to being optimized fully, and one week is not even that close to truly optimized. There are 100% speedruns for GTAV in 10 hours (although you will still need to do a few tasks for trophies that aren't needed for 100% completion), so even a slower run that is not well optimized could be about 15 hours for singleplayer. The speedrun for all heists is under 4 hours (and that is CMM so they do it without dying) so 5 hours is generous since you don't need CMM but you might need to grind out some platinum medals. Rockstar Editor DLC takes about 2-3 hours. With a good crew, each Doomsday CMM run can probably be done in about 6 hours each (18h total). You do still have miscellaneous and online trophies, but the only one that takes more than a couple hours max is reaching rank 100, of which all these heists and activities contribute to, and if you do this during a 2x exp time where you are playing nonstop, I don't see it taking very long. Considering you can start your run during a double exp period or right after a lucrative exp glitch is discovered and you have a competent crew working with you, I would say overall time is about 50-60 hours, but it could be as low as 40 hours or less.
  4. The reasoning for the report is inaccurate, but it's probably not legitimate regardless considering: A. He is not on any in-game leaderboards, and I checked top 2000 for multiple levels that you would need to be on. B. He earned trophy for beating Cotton Alley light simultaneously with first time beating Cotton Alley light. While that is technically possible, that is very strange and there is no reason to do that or benefit to doing that, and it makes it a lot more difficult to practice (considering Cotton Alley light is the second hardest ironman and takes many hours to practice) when you aren't beating a certain level, which makes it quite a bit more difficult and suspicious for no gain whatsoever. C. He has prior valid reports for CFW trophies (which you can do for custom timestamps on Super Meat Boy since it is on PSV) and 5k hidden trophies D. He earns trophies simultaneously in other games while playing this. https://gyazo.com/efdb0c14a2adbac9964d2e9d89887d11 I didn't report this, but probably not be a coincidence that the last five or so people who met similar criteria were all cheaters. Cheaters seem to be drawn to Super Meat Boy especially due to its extreme difficulty, ability to be cheated with custom time stamps because it's on PSV, and the open ended nature of the trophy list makes it so that it is difficult to tell from timestamps.
  5. This is a pretty weird statement considering you have the Orcs Must Die and Star Ocean 4 plats, both of which are extremely boring and tedious platinums where you just grind for hundreds of hours in a mediocre game lol. Also as a full time college student myself who also works part time, I still have over 80 hours of free time a week. Obviously you won't use all or most of that time gaming, but I'm not sure how people are so bad with time management. Also this networking and internships are not some massive time investment; you can just make a LinkedIn and attend job fairs and other college events, and that's a couple hours a week max, and a lot of internships you can just take the whole college semester off, or do it over the summer, or work part-time and classes part-time, or some offer credits, etc. Even with a 9-5, you have about the same amount of time you had as a kid/teen while in k-12 (which was about 35-40 hours a week + a few hours homework/studying) so again, unless you are working 60+ hours a week or have some ridiculous commute time, I don't get how you can have so little free time. Obviously there is family and other obligations as you get older, but I literally see single guys working 40 hours a week or less complain how they have no free time and it's just kinda mind boggling.
  6. Just a heads-up to anyone who plans on playing this, that this game has the most glitched trophies I have ever seen in a game. I have never once had a trophy glitch on me (that wasn't just a misleading/vague trophy description or requirement), but in this game alone I have had SIX separate, progression-based, straightforward trophies that are just bugged upon completion of requirements.The following are confirmed to be bugged by me: Character completion trophies (The Idiot, The Clawed Girl, Valentine, and Plucky have all personally glitched for me) Endless Hat Trick Arcade completion trophies (clearing arcade on easy personally glitched for me) For the character trophies, two of them popped as I replayed the story the second time through with those characters (on completion of the first and fifth chapters respectively), for another character trophy, it popped randomly on a completely different character as I finished the second to last stage, and for the last character trophy, I couldn't get it to pop had to delete application data and start from scratch and complete the requirements again. For Endless Hat Trick, I did three streak, then did one more to four streak, then died and completed one streak and it finally unlocked. For the arcade trophy that glitched, I had to complete arcade mode again and it popped.As far as what has caused this, I have no clue. For the arcade trophy, it may have been that I met the requirements for four trophies simultaneously that caused it to bug out (chapter 7 S rank, chapter 7 SSS rank, arcade complete easy, and arcade complete no health pickups), and for the character ones I played continuously from chapter 1 to chapter 7 without stopping in story mode, and some just randomly bugged out for no discernible reason.
  7. I am not done yet, but the difficulty of this game is way overstated. It's probably about a 4 or 5 in difficulty. However, it is an extremely time consuming, boring, and horribly designed game with absolutely awful level design, one the worst cameras I have ever experienced in a game, invisible walls everywhere, constantly wandering aimlessly and backtracking throughout bland environments with obnoxious camera switches every five seconds, you need to grind for hours to even get half of the abilities/upgrades, janky and awkward and stiff controls, a horrible directional based combo system that is very frustrating and clunky considering how bad the camera and lock-on are, completely nonsensical cringeworthy story, some of the worst boss designs I have ever experienced in a game, the same garbage "the time has come and so have I" song loop playing on repeat nonstop for combat, and S ranks and style system in general is really poorly designed. I think this might be where people conflate poor game design with difficulty. Basically, the game gives you the tools to make everything as easy as you want (and even most of the speedruns and top players are just spamming the same abilities) For S-ranks, they are very easy with Lady/Trish, you don't even need to get all the red orbs, I don't recommend using a guide for them because that's just tedious, just make sure to destroy all the environmental pieces you see for their orbs. I usually just got an A or B on orbs, but the time is extremely generous, especially on higher difficulties, and you can easily complete them in half of what it asks for S-rank, and the style is also very easy since apparently "style" is spamming the same attacks over and over (it's a poorly designed system) and also you can just farm style from repeatable fights (you probably won't need to, but it would allow you to easily get the S-rank if you missed it the first time). Even using items, you can regularly get 1.5-2x the requirements for S-rank with minimal effort on your first try. The whole ranking system is just a completely unbalanced joke. For style, just spam CS3 as Lady and round trip + fully charged colider as Trish. For the boss trophies, you can just spam holy waters as soon as you reach the SSS rank and it even lets you use supers if you want, so a complete joke. For the Bloody Palace you can use supers, so the only difficult part will be Trish and Lady which is why I would recommend doing all S-ranks on them for practice so you can do BP with them more easily. For Lady, you literally spam CS3 while jumping around with camera away for every single enemy and boss. CS3 is both the fastest, safest, and most stylish way to kill enemies so you do absolutely nothing else. Never use your DT and just save it for bosses and as an emergency to escape in case you get grabbed by a red blitz (I believe this always one shots you). You should never need it otherwise so you should always be able to use it on bosses and should have just in case for all the blitzes, even though you probably won't need to use it. You will need the DT for the frog boss though, as only melee works on the blue tentacle ladies, and there is no consistent way I could find to not get hit or grabbed by them considering how barebones Lady's melee options are. So just use DT if they freeze you as that attack does a ton of damage. For Trish, all you need to learn is Pandora cancelling. The game is a broken piece of shit so ideal "gameplay" as Trish consists of spamming your Pandora moves in air to recharge your DT and then use your giant death beam. This is literally how you do every boss in the entire game; you just sit there in the air and spam death beam while pandora cancelling to get DT. For regular enemies in bloody palace use round trip + bare knuckle combo C/electrical dance. Occasionally you can use V-divider for nimble enemies. For Fausts/Mephisto use DT pistols to decloak and then round trip + bare knuckle combo D. For all bosses (including Blitz) use death beam and Pandora cancelling as stated. I don't recommend using collider much in bloody palace since it's very inconsistent as it is a directional move. For Dante/Nero/Vergil, just use super costumes, but I'm sure they have similar moves you just spam while occasionally just jumping whenever an enemy does an attack (since jumping is not really for mobility but you just i-frame clip through moves). You can also just use their super costumes for HaH runs too.
  8. According to the rules outlined: "Using a save file to auto-unlock trophies - If you use an external save file to auto-unlock trophies or advance you further into the game and the impossibility of normal circumstance can be proven via the timestamps, it's flaggable. This includes using your own save file to unlock trophies at an impossible time frame, be careful with this, always sync your trophies, and do not use your save file to earn trophies impossibly out of order." This is not auto-unlocking trophies nor is it doing it out of order. I don't see how this any different than backing up a save and reloading to get different ending trophies (which is quite common in many games).
  9. AAA games in general are getting more shallow, homogenized, and cinematic so the big single-player games on PS4 have simpler trophy lists to match. Also there is a lot more indie games this gen so you have more games on both extremes (very easy and brutallty difficult). Online games and sports game are grindy as ever, perhaps even worse (in a bad way), requiring excessive grinding, microtransactions, and DLC. I don't really think any of the games listed in OP are difficult, nor do I think they is that big of a difference in difficulty between the AAA games of this gen and last gen, I think we have just trophy hunted for years and it starts to become a routine where we know how to approach a game and its trophies. Although, there certainly is a lot of bad, low effort games with no other appeal than to attract trophy hunters for easy and meaningless platinums, but aside from inflating the leaderboard, I don't really see that as being a serious issue. Honestly, it really just floods your profile with junk and completely misses the entire appeal of trophy hunting so I don't know why people do it. If you are looking for good, difficult games or difficult trophy lists, I don't think they are hard to find at all, and you just have to look beyond only the AAA multi-million sellers. Rhythm games, racing games, action games, platformers, and sidescrollers/shmups tend to be consistently difficult genres and typically have more difficult lists.
  10. There are literally thousands of pages and tens of thousands of pages of people who pay for custom timestamps or who pay others to login into their account and earn trophies on forums out there for this stuff. Completely diminishes the point of trophies and removes all sense of competitive integrity but when you see people who will spend hundreds of dollars on junk games solely for easy trophies, I guess it is not really surprising that others may pay to cheat their trophies to have others think they legitimately earned prestigious trophies. There are thousands of people who are incompetent and obvious with their cheating and are removed, but it does just make you wonder how many more there are out there that are very meticulous and never get caught. This is not even mentioning all the teaming on the leaderboard, which I don't believe is against PSNP rules, but it's still pretty much impossible for a single person to compete/compare against a team of skilled players who all share an account.
  11. Custom time stamps on another account is proof of nothing, we know you can get custom time stamps which is why you have two flags already.
  12. You say you don't cheat, yet you have two games hidden for custom timestamps. You say you do all your hard games yourself, yet you are in DMs asking others to do them for you. We ask for proof, you wait for well over an hour and finally post some mobile screenshot thing. When I searched custom trophy tiles from the site that sells custom trophy time stamps, it seems they do have them, but the comments said they won't "sync" which makes me think you can have the custom trophy image as a screenshot saved on your hard drive (which appears to be how you are viewing it in the screen) but you can't have it as your trophy tile as you can't edit those. Now I do wonder why it's so difficult to simply take a five second camera picture of the SMB list on your account with trophy screenshot tiles as I have shown, which cannot really be faked.
  13. Obviously this is just he said/she said without the message but yes, there are websites out there with literally thousands of people who pay for people to platinum games for them and for custom time stamps, so I don't think that is hard to believe at all considering he has basically zero presence online and his games and timings are very strange. Not to mention that he has literally been flagged for custom time stamps in the past, and has many times that are extremely fast and simultaneously unlocked while playing other games and not appearing on leaderboards. So all we ask for is very simple proof that takes 1-2 minutes to provide, he claims he can provide proof, is lurking the thread and posts nothing.
  14. Right, so because you had one glitch for one game for one trophy that excuses three consistently and substantially wrong timestamps for another game from a player who has two flags for custom time stamps. And despite him saying he can provide proof, he has read this thread over an hour ago and multiple times and still has not responded or posted anything. He has over 50 games that are also on Vita. Any game that is also on PS3 or Vita can be exploited with custom time stamps. Still waiting on proof, let's see how long it takes and how convincing his edited image is.
  15. Actually that alone proves quite a lot. It proves that you have trophy screenshots which afaik no custom time stamp editor can add to your account. You can not edit or add the trophy screenshot in any way. Alternatively, he could just prove with a local leaderboard of a Cotton Alley Dark Level, for example. which would prove he has actually played the game and has a time consistent with someone who had to do many runs for Impossible Boy. While this would not be definitive proof, it shows that you at least played and beat the game up until Cotton Alley Dark and would be very difficult to edit or fake especially given most CFW custom time stamp cheaters probably never played the game. The former photo could only be faked through very good editing and the latter could only be faked through very good editing or running through the entire game, and considering he is sitting here reading this thread and not responding, we will know based on how long the response is.
  16. Here is an example of just how simple it is to prove. This took about a minute. But I guess it's much easier to just talk about how you have proof instead of posting any.
  17. Your PS3 being slowed down doesn't make any sense when the times are totally off-base and not even close to what anyone else on the leaderboards has for the trophy unlock times. As I stated, your time delay for every single one of the three trophies is nearly quadruple the next highest I saw from even a single trophy from any other user. Seems much more likely that it is a shoddy CFW custom timestamp job. You say your internet was conveniently down while you were doing Super Meat Boy yet you are simultaneously earning online trophies for CoD WaW while you were doing Super Meat Boy. Provide timely screenshots of your Super Meat Boy game, showing your 100% progress and that it is your account as well as showing your local leaderboard times for some Cotton Alley Dark levels. You keep saying you can provide proof, but no time in any of these disputes have you provided any. No, why would I have anything against him? I am just saying that when you are flagged for cheating with custom time stamps, then perhaps post some proof about how it is legitimate (and there is plenty of it if he actually played and platinumed the game as he claims) instead of just saying how he goes fast and plays offline. The last 4-5 players who were reported for similar circumstances with Super Meat Boy all had custom timestamps and the same excuses, and in this case he has previous flags (he can deny Okami, but the trophies unlocked out of order while he is achieving top speedrun time and he provides no reasoning or proof otherwise) Trials Fusion is a PS4 only game so it cannot be exploited with custom time stamps.. Not really relevant. You keep mentioning PS4 only games that can't be exploited with custom time stamps, furthermore you not cheating on one game doesn't mean you did not cheat on another. This is not proof of anything or relevant to the topic at hand. I'd also like to add, that given B1rvine said he was paying others for custom time stamps, it is also entirely possible he is paying others for PS4 platinums on the same site, given that these cannot be earned through custom timestamps (which is obviously more expensive since someone is actually earning it for you instead of just editing some timestamps with CFW). So him having other difficult platinums on PS4-only games or appearing on certain PS4-only game leaderboards is not proof.
  18. Super Meat Boy has very open trophies, with even a basic understanding of the game, you can pretty much put anything you want for the times as long as you aren't blatantly putting them out of order, and now you have one of the hardest platinums in existence new and shiny in your profile. Unfortunately instead of asking for evidence for these highly suspicious conditions, people would rather say "well, it's not technically impossible" and pin the CFW timestamp cheater with two previous flags as the victim.
  19. Perhaps you should try to understand the difference between the context of a situation or the many underlying factors that have led to this flag and "gut feeling" instead of getting on your soapbox about something completely unrelated to this case. When you have highly suspicious times, multiple games unlocking trophies simultaneously, not in-game leaderboards, two previous custom timestamps flags that had to be hidden, and the cheater removal team has you trying to pay/paying people for custom timestamps, and you don't even make any effort to provide evidence and just say how you play games fast and not even remembering what systems you own, then that is far more than "gut feeling." I'm not really sure what you're even trying to discuss here and you are just making up some hypothetical scenario in your head.
  20. Actually, no, that's not how it works. This is not a court of law. If you have highly suspicious circumstances around many of your trophies and a history of cheating, it's up to YOU to provide reasoning and evidence for the inconsistencies. Do you realize just how easy it is to do custom time stamps on any game that has PS3/PSV version? Especially when you are paying for a professional to do it. So unless you are incompetent enough to put them out of order, it's very hard to catch them. Fortunately, you won't appear on in-game leaderboards, you won't have trophy screenshot tiles (I don't believe these can be faked, not sure), you won't have in-game data of your accomplishments, your timestamps are all in your log, and you can't exactly just appear out of nowhere, and if you are caught for even a single game, people know that you are a cheater and you will be examined with a fine tooth comb for anything else that can be possibly cheated. Again, this is a user who has already previously cheated with custom time stamps and been flagged twice for it who has multiple extremely difficult games done very quickly, without breaks, simultaneously unlocking trophies in multiple games, while not appearing on in-game leaderboards, and with highly questionable timestamps in others. Instead of providing explanations, trophy screenshots, videos, local save data, etc. but he provides NONE of this and just babbles on some nonsense about how he doesn't own a Vita, but oh wait he actually does.. what?? This is what B1rvine said on his previous dispute and now he has more highly suspicious timestamps, and this even with him going to third parties who edit time stamps and make sure they are consistent. Additionally, he has highly suspicious time stamps with CoD Classic. Nobody else on the leaderboard is even close. As I said, I have checked DOZENS of users on the leaderboard, and they are all 6-7 seconds, with the highest single instance I saw being 10 seconds and 12 seconds for a single instance (for both users, the other two unlocks were normal ranges). None of them are even close to 20 seconds for even a single one of these trophies, but he is 45+ seconds for all three. A PS3 doesn't just randomly slow down and unlock three trophies 40 seconds later than it should while everything else and all other games unlocks normal. This is knowing his history of paying for custom timestamps.
  21. These are progression based trophies that pop at the same time upon beating the mission. I have checked dozens on the leaderboard and all are within 6-10 seconds (I saw one 12 second for one of the three for a single person, but the others were 6 and 7). And here you are at 45 seconds with nearly quadruple the single highest time of another user on all three of your trophies. You are a known CFW custom time stamp cheater who is already flagged for at least two other games and had to hide these.
  22. https://psnprofiles.com/trophies/299-call-of-duty-classic/The_Hunter_Fr?order=date I wonder what your excuse is for 45 second gap for region (US, UK, Russia) trophies in CoD Classic when everyone else on the leaderboard was 6-10 seconds. Seems like yet another shoddy custom time stamp job. Just another example of a user who has multiple extremely difficult games done very quickly, without breaks, simultaneously with other games, while not appearing on leaderboards, and with highly questionable timestamps. And your only excuse is "I liek to play da game rly fast" lol Not to mention your completely nonsensical story about your Vita and being caught in a web of lies, and to top it off you have two prior flags for this same thing (custom time stamp cheating) and B1rvine has proof of you paying for people to edit time stamps for similar hardcore games as stated in your previous dispute. I'm honestly surprised you lasted this long.
  23. Probably wouldn't play singleplayer games or nearly as much variety of games as I do now. So I would probably just play League and other competitive multiplayer games.
  24. Notice he is also 0% completion and 0 bandages
  25. Just platinumed this and there is very little info on this so just thought it might help some people out. I used arm spin for most of my runs, but tried boulder and actually beat hard mode with it (and found I got more consistent runs with it) Styles Arm Spin Style: Allows you to have a better ideal, and to get more energy and more health if you are a top-tier player. I am fairly sure that with all of the side rooms that you should technically get more health than boulder, and certainly more energy, in addition to more upgrade options (although I think the advantage of this is overstated, as there are a dozen great upgrades that you want). Boulder Style: Safe style that allows you to have more consistent runs if you are not an absolute top-tier player. Typically when going into the final boss you want 6-8 health. With boulder style, you will always have 6 health, and almost always have 7 health. This will allow you to just focus on survival and a bit on energy. Energy is a lot less important once you have many upgrades since upgrades greatly increase your DPS and Gem Sick/Gem Attractor with Gem-Powered allows you almost always have ammo available (with Safety Jetpack helping if you run out). Because caverns and catacombs are so brutal and will single-handedly kill many runs, boulder can really help you with beating hard for the first time. Even runs you think are doomed can easily be turned around with an apple. Youth really helps this style since it gives you 1.5x more upgrade options, however since there are basically 12-14 useful upgrades out of 20, you should not really need to grab many useless upgrades if any (depending on when you get Youth and RNG). Other styles: Not really useful. Floaty style may help with learning the game but ultimately you handicap yourself in the long run. Quick Tips As a general rule, energy is more useful if you are full health, health is more useful if you are not full health, and max HP should be used whenever you can afford it. Know the combo tiers. 8 is +100 gems, 15 is +1 energy, and 25 is +1 life. These are cumulative (so 25 gives all three bonuses). However, note that there is absolutely no difference between 8 and 14, 15 and 24, or 25 and 125. Know when to end your combos based on what you need, and going for risky combos is quite dangerous and can lead to unnecessary health loss. You can use the shopkeeper's air bubble to recharge your own. Running out of air doesn't actually kill you, it merely takes away a health point and then resets you with enough air for another 5-10 seconds. Know how much ammo enemies approximately take to kill. Some red enemies die very quickly, while some enemies like ghosts and angry skulls take a ton of bullets to kill. You want to generally go down as fast as you can without being reckless, and without missing side rooms. If you are being chased by the clear orbs from above in the caverns, then your pace is too slow. Strength comes from upgrades, side rooms, and from limbo farming; the gems you get while going through the first three areas is largely irrelevant, so go as fast as you can without rushing and causing yourself to play reckless. Note that if you have knife and fork you may want to go slow and take corpses, but I don't recommend this. Knife and fork is great, but you want to use it passively and not change your playstyle, as going for corpses can oftentimes lead to you taking extra damage. You can wall jump by jumping against a wall and flicking the other direction when on full energy, this can be useful in some scenarios. The biggest difference between a decent and great player is being able to read the enemy placements and know what the best way to get through is. The worst place you can be is stuck in a corner with a lot of enemies above you. Sometimes you may want to just stay on a ledge and clear out a particularly heavy area before proceeding, but depending on placement (e.g. multiple enemies that can only be jumped on, enemies hiding behind ledges, etc.) it may be easier to simply just run right past them. Upgrades (Ordered from most to least useful) Top-tier: Gem-powered: Game changer, allows you to spam shots excessively, especially when you have high energy. Becomes quite a bit more useful when you get to limbo and the boss where you both need constant firepower and there is a constant stream of gems to support this. Popping gems: There are three upwards shooting items (this, gunpowder blocks, and hot casings). I think this is definitely the most useful of the three. It does a ton of DPS and later in the game (and especially with Gem Attractor), you will be getting a huge stream of gems that allow you to kill or at least push away almost every enemy above you. Blast Module: This helps so much in every stage, but especially in Aquifer and limbo. Basically instantly kills enemies, and is especially useful in hard where enemies group together. Apple: This is situational but is almost always taken every run. +4 hp is just amazing in a pinch and can save so many runs. Even if you are full health, I will sometimes grab this later in the game where most good upgrades are taken because max health capacity is so useful for the final boss. You will almost always want this item, although I wouldn't always just take it the first chance. Drone: This is a ton of DPS increase while also giving you a much bigger AoE. The only small issue with this, is that the drone can be mistaken for your character and adds a lot of visual noise. Regardless, this item is very strong especially in limbo and for the boss. Youth: This is more useful early on, but it basically ensures you will never have to grab a useless upgrade unless you get quite unlucky. The +1 hp is also quite useful. Safety Jetpack: this item is so great early when you are low on energy or if you spam a lot, and can save your ass a ton. Its usefulness goes down later or if you have a ton of energy, but almost always a safe choice because when you start spamming as you will need to late game, ammo can run out very fast and you don't want to just go plummeting down. Gem Attractor: This is a great item that has really strong synergy with Gem Powered and Popping Gems, as well as just giving you a bit more gems to help you afford more items. This item is not very useful unless you have one of the two aforementioned upgrades though, so feel free to temporarily skip this one for a more useful upgrade. Laser Sight: A universally strong item, range is great on later stages and the QoL improvement from a sight helps with aiming. Can't really ever go wrong with this. Knife and Fork: Good especially when you get this early. Do not go out of your way to try to kill more enemies or collect more corpses, simply play normally and it should give you a few health points worth of extra health across the run. It's basically like apple except more spread out. Mid-tier: Hot Casing: Another option for upwards damage. It is a bit less useful than Popping Gems but nonetheless, upwards damage becomes increasingly important in later stages. Gunpowder Blocks: An interesting choice that can really help with rapidly dispatching of any enemies near or on top of blocks and also instantly clears out an entire gruop of blocks with a single shot. This is useful in Catacombs and Aquifer especially. However, it has limited use later in the game, and can be a bit of a double-edged sword if you want to land on top of blocks. A situational item for sure. Gem Sick: While Gem High is obviously great because it increases both your range and damage, Gem Sick doesn't really add much. It doesn't increase damage or range, and merely increases the length, and as you get into later stages you will basically never run out. Certainly better than the never use options, but very limited use. Member's Card: A very situational item. Can be marginally useful in Aquifer since you can fill up air from the shopkeeper. However, prices are very expensive on hard, and a 10% discount does little to change that. It's best utilized early when prices are still low. It does allow you to be more picky with shop choices since you can choose what works best, but ultimately you need to have a big stockpile to buy anything from the shop, so a shop every level is very redundant. Never use: Reverse Engineering: I just don't find any use for this. All of the weapons are decent with only the shotgun and Noppy being slightly worse than the others. You can maybe get +1 HP instead of energy if you really needed in a pinch, but ultimately though, there is just a lot more useful upgrades. For late game (Limbo + boss), DPS hardly even matters since you will shred enemies in each phase and it's mostly about avoiding damage. Candle: There may be times when you are newer and get trapped in a corner and you may get hit twice, but ultimately, this is quite uncommon even on the final boss or in Limbo. Rocket Jump: You will mostly be in the air, and increased jump height is not that useful in my experience. Rest in Pieces: Not many enemies drop corpses, having to locate the corpse and shoot it is just not very practicical and very limited use. There are much better AoE/DPS options such as Drone, Laser Sight, and Gunpowder Blocks. Heart Balloon: Slows down your movement and just very limited in usefulness. Hot Casing and Popping Gems do the same role but much, much better and with no drawbacks. Timeout: Just never found any use for this whatsoever. Items that require you to get hit in the first place aren't particularly useful and given how every single area has you constantly moving down, this is just incredibly limited in use. Upgrade paths (These are what upgrades are helpful to have by what point) Caverns: Youth is very useful since it is quite early. Knife and Fork is very useful at this point. Member's Card is more useful early since prices are still low. Safety Jetpack is useful throughout, but a bit more useful when you have low energy. Catacombs: Gunpowder Blocks is incredibly useful in this stage. Safety Jetpack is useful in this stage since there is so much safe landing space with all the spikes. Aquifer: This is where you will start needing upwards firepower. Popping Gems and Hot Casings are both very useful for upwards firepower. Gunpowder blocks is incredibly useful for quickly getting down. Safety Jetpack is incredibly useful since you will be spending a lot of ammo avoiding the hazards and going for bubbles. Limbo: Significant upwards firepower is a must here (Popping Gems and Hot Casings). Gem Powered is an absolute must by this point as well since you will rarely be able to land (even jumping on top of enemies is quite risky). Laser Sight is incredibly useful. Blast Module is incredibly useful since there is so many clustered enemies. Drone is incredibly useful. Weapons Puncher: Probably my favorite weapon in the game. Deals a good bit of damage, nice AoE, doesn't use too much ammo, and it seems to really push enemies away. Laser: One of my favorite weapons. Basically a better form of the shotgun. Just destroys and basically one shots everything in its path, and the ammo costs are not too high given the damage. Triple: An interesting weapon. Very weak bordering on pea shooter early, although if you can hit the enemy with more than one bullet with each shot, the DPS will increase quite a bit. However, it is a decent item late-game where there is a lot of enemies and you have a very high DPS. You can just spam it constantly and keep enemies at bay and not have to constantly adjust like with other weapons. Machine Gun: Pretty decent early game, allows controlled fire. Not very much DPS or AoE in the late-game, but a decent all-around weapon if you can aim Burst: Basically like the Machine Gun, but slightly higher DPS while going through ammo quite a bit faster. It can be a bit tedious having to mash though. Shotgun: Horrible weapon early on. Is basically the laser with much less range, and consumes ammo faster. This weapon is not too bad later when you have tons of energy to spare, but it really feels awful early game. Pretty strong in Limbo though and the final boss if you have the energy to spare. Noppy: Probably the worst weapon, it's not even the weird aiming style, it just doesn't really seem to deal very much damage at all. I wouldn't necessarily avoid it though because your weapon is not really that big of a deal with Gem High, Drone, Blast Module, etc. but this is definitely on the weaker side. Final Words Beating hard mode is ultimately made or broken at Limbo. Being able to avoid enemies from the top and being able to manage your ammo while finding safe opportunities to bounce on enemies to restore your ammo to full is vital. You will oftentimes be quite low going into limbo, but the multiple combos should allow you to heal to full before the boss. The boss can be quite intimidating, but ultimately is not much different on hard. The most important tip is to TAKE IT SLOW. You will not beat the boss by spamming DPS, it's all about avoiding his shots and killing the enemies. Know the cues for the shots and stand about 2/3 the way above him and you should have no problem avoiding them. Kill his enemies quickly and then focus on DPSing him. Remember to watch out for spikes from above. Be ready for the transitional phases and just keep going down and keep your distance a bit above him and be ready to get into position when he stops. There will be multiple heart gun modules available through the fight so you can get hit actually quite a bit and still win. The hardest part is definitely the Aquifer phase of the fight managing oxygen and the annoying red enemies that you can barely see. Good luck!