I won't lie, this is my favorite archive. On Hard, it's a different story as this is the other contender for hardest archive to gold star. This guide will be written for the normal playthrough with additional notes pertaining to hard in bold. Items to pick up are underlined.
If you've played through this a few times, it's a bit easier to follow the beat here. You'll want to get your multiplier up as high as possible on the combined cores and afterwards the orange core while shooting down the bullets; with a little practice, getting to x8 here won't be too difficult. Aside from that, nothing to really mention here.
Ideal score: 30k
Three groups of mini gears will show up in waves of four. Lock on to the first four, then wait for the next wave to complete the octalock. Spam the third wave, and one will drop Health Orb #1. (01/10) On Hard, the first wave of mini gears becomes fliers. Octalock each of them, then wait for all eight to appear before octalocking. When the gears change color to a red center, octalock the gate to open it.
In the next area, you'll get a group of mini gears to spam, but don't forget the large gears on the sides. These take four hits to purify, so one octalock covers two. On Hard, each gear requires a full octalock. To the right of these gears, two fliers come in; each takes a full octalock and will fire on you if you take too long. Alternate between a new flier and a large gear on Hard. The one on the right carries Euphoria Orb #1. (02/10) By this point, the next set of gears will change color. After these two comes another cycle of mini gears to spam, fliers and large gears to octalock. Before the gate, another group of mini gears will come by, but hold onto it for a moment for the octalock, then get the gate as well.
From here, the enemies are mostly fliers, but there are also four large gears to your right. In the first group of fliers, one starts on the left and crosses to the right: this one is carrying Health Orb #2. (03/10) Take out the first two fliers, then get the gears as quickly as possible before the rest start shooting.
Ideal score: 150k
Ideal Hard score: 175k
The city is pretty straightforward: it's mostly glitches that need purifying. After the first two sets of four, six show up in a diamond formation; the bottom one holds Health Orb #3. (04/10) The set directly after this starts right to left and gives the first octalock.
The gates are the real trouble. There are eight nodes on the gate that need to be purified. Octalock if you can, spam if you can't. On Hard, there are 16 nodes. Octalocking may prove troublesome, spam if needed. After this first gate, another eight glitches show up, one of which drops Health Orb #4 (05/10) before the next gate appears.
The next part involves 12 glitches, meaning you can octalock and spam, before the next gate shows up with eight more glitches zooming in from behind. This is one of the few places it's recommended to use a euphoria if you're having trouble; just save the euphoria for right before you hit the gate to get the next glitches as well. It's almost expected to use the Euphoria on Hard, but with a healthy dose of luck, you can get through without it, which makes the boss much easier. Don't bank on it. If you can get through without it, take it; it's the equivalent of getting an extra 50k here.
Ideal score: 250k
Ideal Hard score: 225k. Spamming gates leads to less points.
You can get maybe one or two octalocks on the orange core before they start firing. After three rounds, they morph into humans. The purple one must be traced, the orange one can be octalocked. Importantly, it is possible to run out of time here, so a bit of practice will let you know when to speed up. It comes down to personal preference as to which one to take down first; I start with purple so that when the bullets come, I'm already tracing.
Ideal score: 325k
Ideal Hard score: 275k
The first thing will be a train to your right. Each car will open up with the beat, so don't get too far behind on the octalocks. A second train shows up on the left before too long. Eight racecars zoom by next, and those can be octalocked all together. The last holds Health Orb #5. (06/10) I prefer to spam the biplanes, as each one takes four hits and they fire before too long.
The rockets are next, and it's best to wait until they're on screen to octalock all three primary boosters at once. On Hard, each set takes an octalock, so you can focus on one, then the other. Then focus on one at a time to octalock into submission. The first to show up has Health Orb #6. (07/10)
Ideal score: 500k
Ideal Hard score: 425k
Each complete shape makes for a slideshow of invention. Orange needs to be locked on, purple is traced. If a node is shining, it's about to fire. Unlike some like this, it's still possible to 100% here if they do. It's difficult to miss something here.
The second purple grouping holds Euphoria Orb #2. (08/10) Right after this, a group of two four-node objects pop up to be octalocked, but you may not see the second one at first. Health Orb #7 (09/10) comes from another purple object, where all eight nodes are in a vertical line. Health Orb #8 (10/10) comes from an orange obejct with four nodes shaped somewhat like a hand.
From here, it's pretty straightforward.
Ideal score: 600k
Ideal Hard score: 570k
Another straightforward area, the video makes for a better description of what's happening. Orange to octalock, purple to trace, but now if they flash and fire at you, you've lost 100%. Before each pattern shows up, the wing will flash. If only one wing flashes, the pattern will be on that one. If both wings flash, it'll be on both. There's three satellite wings to go through, and you can check your progress on the back; a green hexagon fills up and spins you to the next wing when you're done.
Ideal score: 675k
Ideal Hard score: 650k
Most likely, you don't have enough points to finish up here, and if you rush through the boss, you'll end up just shy of 800k. The boss shares a health bar, and you can only purify the colored core. You'll want to octalock the orange core, but only fire the tracer when bullets are fired, do not fire on the purple core. Because of this, you'll need to spend some practice time on this core getting used to the bullet patterns, as you'll be subjecting yourself to it by prolonging the fight until you hit the pre-Euphoria bonus points. Remember, if you used the euphoria during the city earlier, you need to get to 750k, not 700k.
Obviously, once it hits the proper score, go nuts with the tracer as well.
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