This is a written guide for the Wave 100 achievement. There are videos out there of people getting that far but a written guide will tell you many things to keep in mind that a video can't.
Before we start, I want to take a moment to thank my friend SCOTTLAND1986 for all the insight and tips he's given me. Parts of this guide wouldn't exist without his help.
The following two pointers are imperative to keep in mind, so read them carefully.
1. This game is extremely hard. This is not your average game at all. Getting 200/200 in Robotron is way, way harder than getting 200 in, say, Ikaruga or Super Meat Boy.
2. There is no quick way to get to Wave 100. Practice and dedication will be required and there are no shortcuts, aside from cheating. Don't go down that road. Real men do it legit!
Thus, this guide will not automatically make you play better. What it will do, is to create the right mindset for you, so you know what to expect and how your gameplay will improve as you continue to practise.
Alright, let's begin:
Achievement-wise there are three milestones to this game. Wave 10, 30 and 100. First I'll give you some useful tips for playing the game and after that there will be a section where I'll explain the milestones in greater detail.
On Brain Waves 5, 25, 45, 65 and 85 there will always be one boy(Mikey) and many women(Moms). If you finished the previous wave with no humans left on the screen, the Brains will go after Mikey, and until they get him or you pick him up they'll not touch any of the Moms on the screen. Thus, you'll want to shoot as many Brains as you possibly can, protecting Mikey at the same time. When all Brains are gone, feel free to pick up the remaining humans in any order you see fit. Leave an Enforcer to succeed with this as a Grunt will, in most cases, get too fast for you.
This is called the 'Mikey trick'. It won't always work as sometimes he will spawn on a Brain or very close to a group of Brains.
If you're new to the game I highly recommend not starting over whenever you don't get it to work on Wave 5. You'll benefit far more from continuing to play and getting familiar with the game. Even when you're not new to the game anymore, you'll notice that even if you didn't succeed with the 'Mikey Trick' on Wave 5 you can still have a great game, building up alot of lives as you press on.
When it comes to how to deal with the enemies, there is no strategy that always seems to work for certain waves.
Sometimes you'll move close to the walls and sometimes you'll be out in the open. There is no right place to always hang around in to avoid all the dangers.
The Quarks and Spheroids are very important to get rid of as fast as possible. But you can't make it a point to always get rid of every single Spheroid and Quark. They'll pretty much always manage to spawn a few Tanks and Enforcers. Try your best to minimize that number.
One tip I see from some other players out there is to focus on shooting the Tanks and Quarks on the Tank Waves and ignore the humans.
I strongly disagree with that. One of the most important aspects of playing this game well is to grab as many humans as you possibly can. Not only will it make you better at the game but it will also give you many extra lives.
No human is worth dying for though, since it's at most worth 5,000 points.
Now we'll discuss movement and shooting. For movement you can use the d-pad or the left stick. It's a personal preference and you can become really good at the game regardless of what you choose.
For shooting, you can use the A,B,X,Y buttons or the right stick. Again, choose what feels comfortable for you. Shooting plays a central role in this game and it will serve as your shield alot of the time.
The three milestone achievements:
Wave 10- This will feel hard in the beginning. If you don't immediately give up though, this one will come with just a little bit of practice.
Wave 30- This is where most people give up. It'll feel daunting at first. You now need to increase the amount of practice you're putting in. Playing one or two games every other day is not going to get you to Wave 30 anytime soon.
I'd recommend playing for at least 1 hour every day. The more the better, and 1 hour is what I'd call an absolute minimum.
If you can't do it every day, don't fret. Missing one day is not a big deal but see to it that you get consistency in your training. Robotron is like sports. You need to warm up before you start. You warm up by just playing the game(duh!).
That's why playing just one or two games isn't really what I'd call a good practice session.
Don't expect to get this achievement in one day. If you practise alot you could potentially get it in 3 days or so, but it's more realistic to expect it to take a week or more.
Wave 100- Ok, now here's the big one. Getting to Wave 100 is much, MUCH harder than getting to Wave 30. This is where the men are separated from the boys so to speak.
As you've probably noticed by now; getting to Wave 30 once doesn't mean you'll get to Wave 30 all the time or even most of the time. This is normal. This leads us into how progression works in this game.
To improve further, it's imperative that you keep practising the way I told you about above. In Robotron you won't feel that you're improving constantly even if you practise alot. In other words you may not feel like you're playing better now than, say, 5 days ago. This is also normal. You'll have MANY bad runs mixed in with average games. Every now and then you'll begin playing as if on fire and possibly set a new personal record.
If you feel like you're not in the zone at all I'd recommend taking a short break so as not to continue feeling like you're bashing your head against a wall.
With that said; if you continue to practise, your overall skill will increase. It just doesn't show immediately. You'll have to deal with the constant ups and downs as that's just how the game works.
You WILL be frustrated at times. If you don't ever get frustrated while playing this game something must be wrong with you;)
If you've never played Robotron before in any of its iterations expect it to take at the very least 3 months to get to Wave 100. Like I said before, this achievement is WAY harder than any other you've seen.
Don't worry about other players having unlock dates for Wave 100 close to the Wave 30 achievement. It's not the first time for them or they've practised on a different profile. In reality it really will take you months to do it from scratch.
Personally I played many other games at the same time so don't feel like you have to limit yourself to only playing Robotron all the time.
If you take a break from the game for a week or two, or even a month, you won't really lose any skill. You might feel a little rusty coming back but after just an hour or so you'll be back to your old self.
Ok, with all this talk I'm sure it might seem daunting. I won't lie to you; it is. I can, however, guarantee you that the feeling you'll get from unlocking this achievement will be totally worth it! Bragging rights are included!
Here's a video of me getting to Wave 100: