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Hard to the Core

Complete the game on Hard Core setting

Hard to the Core0
13 guidesOffline Game ModeSingle PlayerDifficulty SpecificMultiple Playthroughs Required
01 Feb 2011 06 Mar 2011
308 8 110
This is an incredibly frustrating achievement, but if you do it right it will only get easier as you go along.

Here is a general overview of how to get this and retain your sanity:

*I talk about particular sections of the game in this guide in order to talk about how to survive them! If you haven't seen this whole game through to the end, please finish a playthrough on a lower difficulty before even considering Hardcore.*


- You'll need the Plasma Cutter and the Force Gun ASAP. If you don't have the Collector's Edition Force Gun or a DLC Force Gun, I would seriously contemplate downloading a force gun to make your life easier as you don't get the Force Gun until pretty late in the game. Otherwise, try to make do with the PC and get the FG schematic from the locker in Chapter 7 right after you get off the Tripod elevator.

- Consider kicking up the Brightness setting a couple of notches to take the edge off some of the darker sections of the game. (Thanks to Robotic Aquatic for this tip).

- At the first power-node-locked room (this is at the start of Chapter 2), be sure to open it up. The schematic for Power Nodes is in there. You'll need that so you can spend excess credits on upgrades for your stuff. As a general rule for store visits: once you feel satisfied you have enough health and ammo, consider buying a power node from the store.

- In the early game, you should upgrade your Rig's health and put down some moderate upgrades on your Plasma Cutter and Force Gun. Take advantage of the sparse amount of enemies to use Telekinesis impalement techniques on the enemies so you can conserve ammo and credits, increasing the amount of upgrading you can do by mid-game.


My saves were structured around places where I knew there were one-hit kills or tentacle grabbing sequences that I could easily die at. They weren't at the most ambitious locations but they can get the job done. If you want to try to get further on any one of these, go ahead, I've included some suggestions along with my actual save locations.

For instance, you might prefer more saves in the endgame. On the other hand, if you've played your cards right, the endgame should be easy enough to make the saves a non-issue. My suggestions are geared towards getting you in a situation where, by the drill ride, you're set to just blast through straight to the end.

So my suggestions are based on doing this in very moderate chunks.

First Save:
Near the start of Chapter 5. Before the Church section where you get grabbed by the Tripod and get attacked by the Pack. I saved before the Crypt, but you can save closer to the actual grab if you want to (i.e. at the save station where you move the hanging coffins out of the way, which is the last before the grab).

I had already died on the Train Brute part once and didn't want to have to deal with another tentacle grabbing instant kill.

Save One-and-a-Half:
At the disc switch, as many people have noted. As of this writing, they haven't patched out this trick. If you die after the disc switch, you'll start right before the solar array. This will hold true until you exit the single-player game or quit to the Dashboard, so you must save before you quit. This is a nice way to break up the more difficult middle portion of the hard core run.

Second Save:
Start of chapter 9, right after you reunite with Ellie and Stross in the mining room.

Frankly because I was so sick of doing the solar array. But also because the end of chapter 8 has that tricky zero-g trap navigation sequence (big bad government man turns on the rotor blades) where I didn't want to risk more one-hit kills.

Third Save:
End of chapter 11, right before the drill room. I don't believe there's a save station IN the drill room, so you should save at the store/bench area just before.

I didn't want to risk the drill ride, but in retrospect I could have been more ambitious because the drill ride was a piece of cake. If you had no trouble with the mining elevator you should be able to handle the drill ride (as long as you have health packs), so I'd say you have a good chance of saving your last save for the start of 13. If you were barely scraping through the mining elevator sequence right before this, then you might consider putting down a save here. Then again, if the mining elevator is trouble, you've got more serious problems on your hands, namely: WHY aren't you using the Force Gun?


- The Brute who grabs you after you are hanging upside down from the train at the end of Chapter 2. Have your plasma cutter loaded and ready to take his arm out fast. This is early on, but if you hate sitting through the opening sequence each time you fail as much as I do, you'll want to be ready for it.

- The Tripod elevator sequence in Chapter 7 before the Solar Array. If you've gotten a Force Gun, your life will be much easier. It knocks them right off the elevator. If you don't have the Force Gun, be sure to pick up the schematic for it from a locker right after you get off the elevator.

- End of Chapter 7 flying segment, after you reset the solar array. Just look up a video of this sequence and watch it before you do it so as to save yourself the embarrassment of smacking your face into the apartment block. Memorize what's coming up and where to fly.

- Mining elevator: Force gun it, you knock everyone off.

- Drill Ride: Force gun it, you knock everybody clean off the rails.

- Lasers in the Government Sector: If you have low health, you might not be able to run fast enough to avoid the lasers. All the more reason to stay stocked up with health packs from the Drill Ride on out.

- The Eye Machine: Follow this rule all the way down: if the reticule isn't blue, my finger is not on the A button. Not blue, finger off. Take it slow and you won't mess up.

- Last boss. If your Force Gun is significantly upgraded you can just hammer the trigger over and over again. Not only will it destroy the Pack, it will wear down Nicole's health. Don't worry so much about spinning around, focus on the pack in front of you and catching Nicole in the blast. If you take damage, heal.

As soon as the Marker's heart is exposed, switch to your Plasma Cutter and wail on it. This is the MOST IMPORTANT THING: when the Marker heart is done taking damage and it starts to close again, DO NOT RUN AROUND. Nicole might respawn right next to you and you will die instantly. This happened to me twice. Just sit tight, and wait to see where she spawns (usually a set distance in front of you).

My winning playthrough of the last boss, I think I barely took a step. Just Force Gun it, and then PC it.

- Anytime you see a Pregnant. Those swarm can really deplete your health. Deal with them carefully. Especially the one in Chapter 8 -- he's around a corner in a very tight room and a slasher spawns right behind you when you see him. Get your distance.

- Anytime you see an Exploder. If they land a hit on you, it's gonna be game over. Get your distance. When you hear their characteristic noise, instantly locate them and move away.

- And any section with ONE-HIT KILLS. You should know where most of these are from your initial playthrough(s). Lots of the Zero-G navigation sequences have these - spinning blades, fire rings, etc.


- Restricting yourself to two guns really helps you with upgrades, ammo, and credit collection. You will almost exclusively get ammo drops for those guns, and any other ammo you collect can be sold to help you upgrade.

-By the halfway mark, you should be attempting to get both your HP fully upgraded and your weapons' primary fire as upgraded as humanly possible. Every so often throw a point or two into Stasis, having a long Duration and a couple more Energy will help with Brute fights and with the Big Bad Regenerating Dude at the end.

-Somewhere around Chapter 8, the tides should start to turn in your favor and you should start having more credits than you know what to do with. Use it so that you always have health and ammo on hands. If you're feeling ambitious, buy some power nodes. But first priority is having ammo and health.

- In general, hang back (until the end). Let the enemies spawn, get your back to a wall (or run back into the previous room), and take them out from safety. This is important especially in Stalker sequences. In the last 3 chapters, this does not apply. Just stasis everything and run from Chapter 13 on, except for an initial room that you have to clear to be able to hack a console.

- From the drill ride on out, just stuff your inventory full of health packs and ammo. HEAL whenever you are hit. Don't risk getting in the red. Having the Advanced Suit helps you with inventory slots - you can find this suit in a power node locked room in Chapter 11.

- By the endgame (Ch. 12), you should be set. Force Gun will let you just barge your way through the last few chapters and then you just have to do the boss fight (see tips above). I saved kind of early, but the drill ride was an absolute cakewalk so I didn't mind doing it a few times until I got the hang of the last boss.

This is my first (and maybe only) solution for this site. Please be kind in your feedback. This is drawn entirely from my experience playing through Hardcore over the last three days. If it worked for me, it can work for you. I am not usually one for the hardest difficulty setting but since I'm a huge Dead Space fan I had to take on the challenge.
Mr Squishy2this is the best solution, its complete and coherent, its hard to find both on the internet much less on someones first solution, thanks alot ill use your startegy when i go for mine. what would you say is good to use on the pack? i wouldnt want to waste pc ammo
Posted by Mr Squishy2 on 02 Feb 11 at 16:58
CousinDangereuxFor the pack, I tried to angle myself so that a single force gun shot would take out three of them. But if they come slower, I would resort to using the PC. If your back is to a wall, it will help you be able to get more of them with a round of FG ammo.
Posted by CousinDangereux on 02 Feb 11 at 21:37
C4XSPLOSIVESI just had to add for the pack the ripper is the best weapon, for you can kill 5 ta 6 in one blade,and every one you kill will drop an item just back in to a wall and start mowing. The force gun just disintegrates there little bodies with no item drops sometimes so you cant stomp it out of them. The plasma cutter is risky as it might get you killed. Good luck squishy.
Posted by C4XSPLOSIVES on 03 Feb 11 at 00:29
CousinDangereuxThanks, Sideburns. Let me know how it goes.
Posted by CousinDangereux on 03 Feb 11 at 22:00
Neko PounceYou've made a great solution, but i know its stupid when i say Do you think you can add a spolier tag?
Posted by Neko Pounce on 04 Feb 11 at 15:50
CousinDangereuxSorry, I figured if people were trying for Hardcore, they would have played through once already. I'll add a spoiler tag at the beginning to just let people know that talking about different sections of the game necessitates some spoilers. I hope I didn't ruin any of this awesome game for you!
Posted by CousinDangereux on 04 Feb 11 at 20:48
CousinDangereuxYeah, my Chapter 5 save was me just getting frustrated and wanting some sort of foothold. Also, I wasn't sure I'd survive the Tormentor grab in that large hall. A save at Ch. 13 is great though! There's hardly anything after 13 - it may be tough, but at least it goes quick.
Posted by CousinDangereux on 05 Feb 11 at 08:01
THE FIRST 0RDERI would just like to say be carefull when using ALL DLC wether it be from ignition, collectors edition or downloaded from a pack because I have experienced many glitches surrounding them as have other people, these glitches include doors that dont just open, halting your progress. To counter this I left all dlc items in the safe or shop, I bought the hacker suit for an upgrade but placed it back in the safe afterwards. Using these precautions my hard core playthrough is actually the first of my 4 playthroughs not to glitch in any strange way.
Posted by THE FIRST 0RDER on 05 Feb 11 at 16:12
DynamiteJavvyThank you very much for the guide! I'm playing in hardcore now and I repeated the beginning of the game at least 10 times because I wasn't very carefull... Now, I did the first save in the end of chapter 5. I study your guide to have more luck in the future and to finish the game successfully :)
Posted by DynamiteJavvy on 05 Feb 11 at 20:31
VanekBeautiful solution.
Posted by Vanek on 05 Feb 11 at 22:17
connordavisjAs helpful as this is you know there's only one tormentor in the entire game right? The necro on the train is a Brute. and the ones in the hospital lobby/church/fuel mega storage are Tripods. The only Tormentor in the games attacks you when you drop through the vent after the gunship attack. Sorry to be all correctional but I've got some OCD when it comes to these kinda things, especially in a guide
Posted by connordavisj on 05 Feb 11 at 22:22
CousinDangereux@connordavisj: I have fixed it according to your specifications.
@Sideburns522: That is awesome! And he does kind of suck, so I removed it.
Posted by CousinDangereux on 06 Feb 11 at 01:28
demont101just an idea i noticed line gun secondary fire blows nicole up in 1 hit so u could buy tht right at the end and get 10 shots with tht ob zealot i onlly needed 3 shots with tht and about 38 shots with plasma cutter full damage
Posted by demont101 on 06 Feb 11 at 06:51
DresdenDilI truly do not understand how this could get a negative vote
Posted by DresdenDil on 06 Feb 11 at 11:13
K1d lcarusOn my zealot playthrough, I used the hacker contact gun which trivialised the nicole fight due to the free stasis from the alt fire which is great for crowd controlling nicole and the swarms and the primary fire which one/two shots the exposed marker heart. There were also quite a lot of areas where it was useful for crowd control/AOE damage. My question is, are there enough credits and power nodes to get it sufficiently upgraded at the end game?
Posted by K1d lcarus on 07 Feb 11 at 03:11
GHey I just want to say GREAT guide. Really helped me out.
Posted by G#2309 on 07 Feb 11 at 15:04
AvataGreat guide! Thumbs up. Isn't it funny how the thought of having to replay the last three hours can melt the resolve to push on? :)
Posted by Avata on 07 Feb 11 at 18:07
KarmaChangCouldn't get the collector's edition in the UK (would if I could). I can't tell what you get in each DLC pack, does anyone what what they specifically give and which is best for the hardcore playthrough?
Posted by KarmaChang on 08 Feb 11 at 23:19
SluggedVermin8great job the only thing i would add is the javelin gun and the refurbished plasma cutter so you will have two... call me weird but it has 10 in the clip even if you are out of ammo and have to reload the other one, and the javelin gun with the extra explosive effect really effective against brutes, and 100% agree with the zealot force gun thank god i bought the limited edition that alone made it worth it (screw the crappy plasma cutter, its for a baby)
Posted by SluggedVermin8 on 09 Feb 11 at 06:29
VestrideGreat guide. I would also add/remind people not to forget about the Peng Trophy stash room (chapter 7) and the power node door in chapter 8 because that one gives you the Vintage Suit Schematic, 2 Power Nodes, a Ruby Semiconductor, and some other stuff.
Posted by Vestride on 12 Feb 11 at 01:44
perfectdozenI would add a little more detail about the disc 2 save exploit. I wasn't really sure what to do when I got to that point... when it asks you to reload from your last save say yes. You will start at the beginning of chapter 7. This may sound dumb but I thought if I said yes I would screw everything up and it would force me to put in disc 1.

My save structure was a little different. If you are going to use the disc 2 exploit, which I did, you can save pretty much anywhere in chapters 4/5, wherever you had the most trouble in your first runthrough(s), unless you plan on going straight through till chapter 9 or 10, which I don't recommend because you would be making it too hard on yourself. Second save was right before the decontamination room in chapter 10, and the third was right before the eye poke machine. This is definitely one of those achievements that gets easier as you go along. I burned through the last five chapters without even dying. I didn't get the force gun until late and ended the game with about 140K and 12 medkits, so don't be afraid to buy ammo, health, or even power nodes early on.

From chapter 13 on, the enemies are harder (requiring more ammo) and the stores are more infrequent, so stock up on ammo. I would recommend at least 150 in PC ammo.

Oh, and for those of you wondering whether or not to buy every suit... I would recommend doing so. You will not need the credits for much else and the inventory slots are invaluable.

Multiple weapons may do the trick, but honestly stasis and the plasma cutter with lots of ammo simplifies things and makes the achievement that much easier. Good luck all.
Posted by perfectdozen on 18 Feb 11 at 00:33
CyphateDoes anybody know if the disc change glitch applies if you don't save before you change?
Posted by Cyphate on 19 Feb 11 at 00:08
Vestri SatorI have to say I followed this guide pretty much to the letter. Good guide my achievement hunting friend. Also for everyone else, the gun you unlock for beating Hardcore is not only amazing, but it's freaking hilarious. It;s a foam hand that has unlimited ammo and demolishes EVERYTHING. The best part is that when you shoot, Issac says bang,bang,bang, and for the alt fire he says pew,pew,pew. Best part of the whole game imo.
Posted by Vestri Sator on 20 Feb 11 at 18:12
perfectdozen@Cyphate It should, because it asks you the same question on disc 1 (do you want to revert to your last hard core save game?) even if you haven't saved yet. In that scenario, you just go straight to the beginning.

In my experience the beginning of the game was a lot harder than the last half, so hoarding your three saves for the last 5-7 chapters might make the achievement harder than it actually is.
Posted by perfectdozen on 21 Feb 11 at 17:42
RVMGreat guide! I pretty much had the same save structure. I would like to add a bit of information ( it was obvious to me, but may not be to others and you may want to possibly put it at the top of the guide in caps). Anyways, make sure to change the in game brightness in the settings to max it out, and also up the brightness on your tv a little. This saved me so many times in really dark areas so I could pick out where multiple enemies were. By this point you've already played through the game anyways so it won't ruin the experience by upping the brightness. Believe me, your heart will be pounding from not wanting to die and having to replay large chunks of the game...
Posted by RVM on 25 Feb 11 at 18:02
Wildboy WileyThank you very much. This guide helped me so much.....Kind of disappointed the difficulty achievements don't stack (didn't play Zealot, played Normal and jumped right to hard core). But it did help me to get this. So thank you, and thumbs up.
Posted by Wildboy Wiley on 25 Feb 11 at 21:51
DesolationPointGreat guide! Thanks for making it.

My saves were basically the same, except I saved before the mining elevator instead of after. Looking back, I definitely could have kept my last save until after the drill ride, or even up to the eye poke. The last 4 chapters or so go really fast though, and I didn't want to risk having to do the Ishimura part again.
Posted by DesolationPoint on 05 Mar 11 at 23:11
ElestianYou should mention that for the Eye Machine, there's actually a distance counter on the console to the side. Though I'm not sure if increasing your heart rate by moving too quickly can cause anything to happen, you can't slip-up until that counter goes "below" 0 (you can actually hit 0 and it wont do anything).

I didn't notice this till I played the game again on an HDTV, but it actually made the surgery difficult to mess up.
Posted by Elestian on 08 Mar 11 at 18:40
WoodenSheepI'm only worried about two things. How do i kill brutes without difficulty, because i always used the contact beam which would kill them almost instantly. However you said to only use the force gun and plasma cutter. I think i need atleast one other weapon until i get the force gun after the elevator. Second how do i kill the pack/glowing yellow babies. Especially since i wont have the force gun for a while. Could i use a pulse rifle?
Posted by WoodenSheep#2822 on 10 Mar 11 at 13:21
Lord MidasExcellent guide. Well written.
Shame you got votes down. I can only think that the votes down were by your m8s or something.. them having a laugh at your expense!!
Posted by Lord Midas on 10 Mar 11 at 14:47
aNotteeObjectone thing you guys might want to try at the end of the game is use the contact beam if anyone did the ignition game cause i've found that pretty much on any difficulty that the contact beam on the final boss takes one hit to get rid of it's defense and then 3 shots to take out the main boss i know what i'm saying might be confusing but i don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't finished it and the secondary shot helps knock out all surrounding enemies. hacker contact beam was the most useful weapon i had in my zealot play trough everything was a one hit kill for it
Posted by aNotteeObject on 18 Mar 11 at 06:15
JimboJambo86nicely done but as good as the game is i could never play this through on hardcore!
Posted by JimboJambo86 on 28 Mar 11 at 11:07
WanderSoul923If you can play through on Zeolot without dieing, then hardcore really shouldn't be too bad. I recommend playing through at least three times to memorize the areas that are more difficult for you as a player. This is the approach I am taking. Another great method sometimes is to simply run by certain enemies. Sure, it's nice to completely clean out an area before advancing, but when death results in such a drastic consequence, running doesn't seem so coward.
Posted by WanderSoul923 on 29 Mar 11 at 12:30
Posted by zhoban on 30 Mar 11 at 22:11
zhobanI liked your guide however what I am doing is a bit different now that I'm actually using the Force Gun. I kept the Plasma Cutter just for the Tripod in the church as well as the Tormentor. Aside from that I just use it for the Exploders, Crawlers and Cysts. Since I had downloaded the Martial Law Pack I also got the Seeker Rifle out before I had to go re-align the Solar Arrays just for the fact that one shot can destroy each bulb of the Nests. I used the Force Gun on everything else, especially Pregnants. If you can aim at the right spot it should kill them without letting them be alive enough to slash at their bellies.

On this time through my saves have so far been at Chapter 5 right before the Tripod in the church where there is a bench and a store. My second save was at Chapter 9 right before getting Ellie and Stross in the Transport, there is a bench right next to the save and if I backtrack a little bit I can get to a store. My last save will be at Chapter 13 even if that chapter is ridiculously easy. I have to say though, I had quite a bit of problems with the Drill Ride. Not so much with the enemies on the Drill Ride, more so with the Lurkers in the distance. So I have to ask, what is the best way to deal with the Lurkers?
Posted by zhoban on 30 Mar 11 at 22:18
CousinDangereux@zhoban: I plasma cuttered the Lurkers. Use your force gun to knock everyone off the rails as soon as they climb up, and then whip out your plasma cutter and work on them. If they have explosive barrels next to them, use them to your advantage. A dash of stasis wouldn't hurt either. But top priority is knocking the slashers off ASAP so you can focus on the lurkers on each side.
Posted by CousinDangereux on 30 Mar 11 at 22:35
zhobanCousinDangereux: Okay, thanks. I'm on my second run of Hardcore and that was one section I remembered having a hard time with. I didn't really have a hard time aside from that. I mean, yeah I died but that was due to me being stupid for the most part. My first time, my save structure was Chapter 7 right as you get off the elevator just cause I died before the Zero-G area in Chapter 8 and it pissed me off a lot so I saved as soon as the "checkpoint" was done. My second save was Chapter 10 right before the two Brutes and my final one was in Chapter 13 right after you send Ellie off. I did actually die once after my final save but that was right before the Zero-G sequence in Chapter 14 because I was trying to run to the exit but I forgot to destroy the Hunter's limbs before I stasised him so by the time the door had opened he got behind me and killed me.
Posted by zhoban on 30 Mar 11 at 22:43
DreamSmasher XI don't know why so many people think Hardcore is hard to do. Its really not. Nice guide though.
Posted by DreamSmasher X on 02 Apr 11 at 10:38
FuzzWaddleI would like to add the fourth weapon to weapons that are good: Contact Beam. It is almost a one hit kill could it be better than that?
Posted by FuzzWaddle on 02 Apr 11 at 13:06
DradusContactI used the Plasma Cutter as a general mid-long distance solution, the Ripper for closer stuff and the Contact Beam as an all purpose emergency weapon. All have their uses but in general i found myself using the Ripper more than anything else which is strange as i didnt like it in DS1. Combined with Stasis one blade can take out up to 3 slashers, in terms of value per credit its hard to beat. You can use one blade for an entire pack encounter too, once you have upgraded the duration.

I died twice on mine, once in chaper 13 in a lab area, just after you turn the power off. An exploder drops into the room and i was forced into a corner. Take your time in that room and stand in the doorway is my advice.

The second death was insanely frustrating as it was during the iron man flight at the end, went too far to the right and splattered. I could of cried. Glad i did it now though.
Posted by DradusContact on 05 Apr 11 at 10:14
HPDeskjetuse a force gun and plasma cutter for every part except for the last part , sell your PC and buy the pulse rifle so that you are sure to not run out of ammo to kill the marker . oh and health pack , lots of em
Posted by HPDeskjet on 16 Apr 11 at 17:49
i5centAfter reading this solution, I feel like I just might be able to pull this off. Great job.
Posted by i5cent on 01 May 11 at 03:46
Crimson DrifterContact Beam is a no brainer, especially after the eye poke machine. Go the Alt Fire path to the Special Node (adds Stasis) you can just run through everything and hit Alt Fire every once-in-a-while, and since its an area effect you don't really need to aim and gets anything that may be behind/ to the side of you.

I just need to finish from the eye poke machine, would have got it today, but stupid nicole vanished and appeared right next to me with the 1 hit kill :/
Posted by Crimson Drifter on 06 May 11 at 18:23
CousinDangereux@Crimson Drifter - Remember to just stay still during the last boss and take a deep breath. If you're running around, it increases the chances that you run right into Nicole's spawn point.
Posted by CousinDangereux on 06 May 11 at 20:36
Crimson Drifterlol I was standing still :D. it worked like a charm the second try though
Posted by Crimson Drifter on 08 May 11 at 09:03
Grimslinger19What kind of ammo do you get from drops? I know on Zealot you don't get much at all. Is it about the same as Zealot?
Posted by Grimslinger19 on 12 May 11 at 05:29
gammatron9000After dumping countless hours into this game (just to be killed in the most ridiculous ways), you get to know the levels and what triggers the necromorphs to pop out.

I am finding the Detonator to be an awesome asset in Hard Core, since you can plan things out and not have to panic when dudes start popping out of everywhere.
Great guide!
Posted by gammatron9000 on 29 May 11 at 22:47
BigSalad87Can you not save as many times as you want in hardcore mode?
Posted by BigSalad87 on 22 Jul 11 at 19:12
I AAR0N IWhats the best way to deal with that guy the regrows his limbs right after the eye poke machine guys ?
Posted by I AAR0N I on 11 Aug 11 at 08:29
tremberzI'm finding it really hard to keep ammo. My second save is at the start of chapter 9, and I just can't seem to get very far as im running out of ammo and health too easy. What's the best way of keeping ammo?
Posted by tremberz on 24 Aug 11 at 16:28
Frozen is SicKfor the small piece on the government section lasers you said to have some health packs so you can outrun them, I found an easier way, just keep the torso of the body you used to get in (it never disappears) with you every where and when the lasers pop up, just shoot the body at it and the lasers disappear and you come out untouched (I used the same torso through the whole section)
Posted by Frozen is SicK on 25 Aug 11 at 16:30
castaway guy619is no one else just gonna do it using only the plasma cutter? jesus =/ talk about not being completly hardcore . sigh
Posted by castaway guy619 on 12 Sep 11 at 13:55
Leo AscendentNot very hard, used the Force Gun and Plasma Cutter, saved every 4 chapters and died twice (from my own carelessness).
Posted by Leo Ascendent on 08 Oct 11 at 23:08
NonfaithRecommend the Javelin Gun against the end boss instead of the Force Gun and the Plasma Cutter combo. Just make sure you have its secondary fire jacked up or it won't help you any. Everything against Nicole is a one shot kill and the secondary fire kills the other enemies when you activate it.
Posted by Nonfaith on 09 Oct 11 at 02:30
Posted on 23 Oct 11 at 21:57
Lloyd BangsExploder cheat system....noob.
Posted by Lloyd Bangs on 24 Oct 11 at 13:54
Robster80I'm giving up on this achievement -_-. I cannot get past the Stasis room, I keep getting killed before I can kill the damn necromorph. This achievement... no, Hardcore mode, shoudl NOT have been made, not if it cuts back on the saves like it does. It sucks.

Call me a noob or a loser if you all want, but I beat this game on zealot mode, that is enough for me.
Posted by Robster80 on 13 Nov 11 at 22:38
Robster80Or at least allow checkpoints!
Posted by Robster80 on 13 Nov 11 at 22:39
LostMantella9This videos really helpful if anyone wants to get Infinite power nodes/credits in Chapter 1 of a Hardcore play through as it doesn't require saving, although it can not work sometimes, took me a good 10-20mins to get working but after that, got 99 power nodes in about an hour before i continued on!
Its not my video so i take no credit for it!

Note: if you die of course your gonna lose all the power nodes you farmed, but straight after where you do the glitch is a store and a bench, so you should max out your health and plasma cutter or whatever other gun your using, then you shouldn't have to much trouble making it to chapter 5 or more with fully maxed out weapons and health.
Posted by LostMantella9 on 27 Dec 11 at 01:42
justinman114DON'T GIVE UP ROBSTER! Anyways great guide, I netted this one long ago, but I was perusing and wanted to read it. Love it, but I still preferred the Contact Beam over the Force Gun. You have to wait a bit longer (ch. 9 i think) but it's so totally worth it. I forget when I used my saves, but I think that's mostly up to the player. Personally my favorite achievement ever, for the challenge, and for the fact that it makes the game MUCH scarier, as you are always on the edge of your seat!
Posted by justinman114 on 31 Dec 11 at 01:15
justinman114Also one more thing, I would add that a place to watch out for is at the VERY END, after defeating the boss, while you are flying through the air towards your ship and that woman (can't remember her name). You can be killed by flying shrapnel here and you actually have to move around to dodge it. It sucked when I beat finally beat it and put my controller down, only to regret forgetting the end sequence in my fit of joy.
Posted by justinman114 on 31 Dec 11 at 01:20
Draco719This might seem like a dumb questions but wouldnt most people have most of the stuff upgraded from the runs beforehand?
Posted by Draco719 on 12 Jan 12 at 01:50
CousinDangereuxYou can't carry any of your upgrades into Hardcore mode.
Posted by CousinDangereux on 13 Jan 12 at 01:31
DemonDuffehi already had this but this is a very gd guide and wud of helped me alot i just winged it and dint save till 10 (that groups of tripods got me to 5% health and i ran out of med kits so closeto dieing) game much scarier when u going for this i dont think i even died once but i was going very slowly i was thinking of coming here to add something or give ideas but u covered everything great job... just wish i had seen this wen i was goin for the achievment lol
Posted by DemonDuffeh on 17 Jan 12 at 10:56
ThaldorfAfter my last save in chapter 13 I would look at each save point and just wish I could have just once more, but I got through it (thanks to stasis and the force gun).
Posted by Thaldorf on 26 Feb 12 at 18:03
The Globalizerlol @ the gamesave losers.

Thanks for this solution, very thorough and I'll give this a crack soon. Been sitting on 950 for too long.
Posted by The Globalizer on 30 Mar 12 at 20:50
Jennitiger1138I carried both plasma cutters (Dead Space 1 carry thru, sell and rebuying when empty) contant beam and line gun saved at chapter 9 right b4 stalker room, chapter 12 b4 drill ride and 13 at eye poke, finished in 12 hours exactly and died 3 times, im not a great player by any standards but take time and stasis alot and its not too bad.
Great guide with excellent tips
Posted by Jennitiger1138 on 01 Apr 12 at 18:53
DawnchaysrThis is a great guide, I followed it (almost) to the letter and just got the achievement earlier today! I died about 5 times in really stupid ways; like spinning blades in zero-g or the drill blades when Ellie turns it around for you...but thanks for the great advice!
Posted by Dawnchaysr on 02 Jun 12 at 19:50
Orrinator ReduxNice guide. I saved at the same points to ease the tension on instant death sequences, but opted for the contact beam and its upgraded alt-fire instead of the force gun. Buy the vintage suit as soon as you can for more inventory space - it won't pay for itself in the store discounts, but the added items you can drag to sell back at a store just might. I purchased the advanced suit as soon as I unlocked it and the inventory was maxed out with 2 large medpacks, 10 medium medpacks, 4 stacks of plasma cutter ammo, 7 stacks of contact beam ammo, and 2 stacks of statis kits during the final levels. I was pretty much unstoppable.
Posted by Orrinator Redux on 11 Jun 12 at 21:38
NUBDGEgreat guide,and force gun is a mandatory weapon(imo),use it and succeed!!!
Posted by NUBDGE on 01 Sep 12 at 15:25
Thief44Isn't the game saving cheating and worthy of reporting on here i believe it is so if anybody wants to kind hint it towards the moderators on here by all means give these cheating asses there due it takes away form the ta score if every ass can get it by just saving rite at the end and cheating by downloading it.
Posted by Thief44 on 09 Sep 12 at 10:59
CxHxUxDI don't have internet. I had to make it through the game without a dlc weapon! That's BOSS!!! I ran through the game with the Plasma Cutter, Force Gun and Hacker Contact Beam until Ch. 10. I respec'd the Plasma Cutter, dumped the nodes in the Force Gun selling the Plasma Cutter, and then hit the road! First save Ch. 5, Second Ch. 9, Third Ch. 11. Contact Beam the crap out of Nicole. When the Pack came in use Seconday fire on Contact Beam and it kills/stasis' them! Repeat 3 times and BOOM! That bitch is dead!
Posted by CxHxUxD on 28 Dec 12 at 13:59
Lockerdown3I've been a bit more ambitious than where you have your saves (at least the first two), that drill ride's screwing me over even with the force gun (other runs I have line gun instead of force -_-)
there is a way to avoid an OHKO from the exploders though I think it's a bit picky, say some other enemy knocks you down and they explode while you're getting up, I don't think you take full damage (and yes he was in my face)
current loadout: PC, FG, SR (also useful in the elevator sequence, I had the bonus one so I'm not sure if normal one would be as powerful there, but it was knocking them off like it was nothing), and Detonator
Posted by Lockerdown3 on 31 Dec 12 at 05:38
LGbaybI have not unlocked this achievement and quite frankly, I won't be attempting it. That said, this guide is fantastic. If I ever get the urge to undertake this mammoth task, I'll be using your guide CousinDangereux.
Posted by LGbayb on 26 Jan 13 at 23:30
Par5n1pI'm in the middle of doing this achievement and have been using these guides along with a walk through on YT to aid at tough parts.

I'm about to do the drill ride tonight when I get in from work.. I only have 1 save left!
I'm saving that for the Poke machine!

One thing I will say.. why download a save for the last 10 minutes..

I hadn't played this game in over a year and I'm having so much fun replaying it!
Don't skip the game.. have fun!!!
Posted by Par5n1p on 28 Jan 13 at 08:43
Crimson DrifterWhat I found extremely helpful back when I did this is I played the game on Zealot to where I wanted to save the first time, then I played Hardcore up to that same point. Then back to Zealot to next save, then Hardcore. It helped keep things fresh in my mind so I didn't hit any surprises, and it worked! I only died once on Hardcore and that was on Nicole.
Posted by Crimson Drifter on 28 Jan 13 at 15:42
BATMAN DCUJust unlocked this achievement tonight after 2 gruelling nights and lots of coffee (Alfred serves a mean cup of joe). My success at unlocking this achievement was, in large part, due to following this amazing guide! Excellent job sir.

I used only the plasma cutter and the force gun. I was using the force gun almost exclusively by the end game. I did end up using my 3rd save on chapter 13 instead of right before the drill ride. Thank god because I got cut to ribbons by those godamn red spinning lasers shortly after saving. Anyways, great job on the guide.
I would like to add, that as of this moment the disc switch save glitch has been patched. I know this because I had the misfortune of dying about an hour after the disc switch and had the game take me back to my first save on disc 1. That's ok cause I just kept hearing "why do we fall master Bruce?"
Posted by BATMAN DCU on 19 Feb 13 at 11:14
caliguy3285Nice guide man. Pretty much followed it the whole way through with a few variations here and there. By the way, as of me writing this, the disc switch save glitch is still working. I found out on accident lol. Thanks for the guide
Posted by caliguy3285 on 01 Mar 13 at 06:03
UrsiformDisc switch is not in fact patched as of this post. You must have selected option "B."
Posted by Ursiform on 06 Mar 13 at 06:34
IDecreeTodayJust wonderin' how can i get a force gun dlc now? I only see upgrades but nothing like the Collector's Edition Force Gun... So is there another way to get it a the start?
Posted by IDecreeToday on 12 Mar 13 at 06:28
UpgradePolecatThis might be a useful tip for people who have some problems with the mission 9 decompression window right after the divider. What I do at this point, is stay in the elevator, trigger the button to go back and then, while the door is closing, quickly shoot at the window. Don't do it the other way around! You'll be too slow and sucked in.

Now, take the elevator back. If you hit the window, then the shutter should be in front of it by the time you get down, making it easy to get rid of the Exploder that spawns near it. I've tried this twice, with success.
Posted by UpgradePolecat on 24 Apr 13 at 07:46
MugenKairoGreat guide and useful comments but for a gamer who is rather noobish at 3rd person shooters, what would be the best DLC pack to get to help out with this tricky achievement?
Posted by MugenKairo on 18 Jun 13 at 02:49
I only used three PC, force gun and line gun theyre the best.
Posted on 27 Aug 13 at 22:25
KimievaI used the Plasma Cutter and the Line Gun until I was able to get the Force Gun, and then I used all three until the Chapter 15. There I respec'd the Line Gun so I could transfer the nodes to the Force Gun, as well as the Air nodes from my Rig. In the end, I took a fully upgraded Plasma Cutter and a Force Gun with everything upgraded except ALT Fire into the final fight, and made it.

Speaking of which, it is my opinion that unless you've significantly upgraded the Force Gun that you use the Plasma Cutter on the drill ride. I had not upgraded the Force Gun much by that point and it cost me a save by trying to use the Force Gun there. My Plasma Cutter was fully upgraded except one Speed upgrade by then, and it cut through everything quickly and efficiently where the Force Gun was failing.

Otherwise, this guide helped immensely. Thanks for compiling all of this!!
Posted by Kimieva on 14 Mar 14 at 03:46
FoogaWhat DLC pack has the Force Gun???
Posted by Fooga on 03 Sep 14 at 05:23
MugenKairo@ Fooga: I've been told the Martial Law pack is best for an attempt on Hard to the Core.
Posted by MugenKairo on 09 Feb 15 at 21:15
MugenKairoFor those enquiring about DLC packs:
Posted by MugenKairo on 09 Feb 15 at 21:18
When exactly is the disc switch save? I'd like to know ahead of time so I can do some Detonator ammo grinding for extra nodes, and I can't remember when the solar array bit was.
Posted on 30 Dec 15 at 11:26
EnhancedKanineI have confirmed that the disk switch checkpoint exists playing on Xbox One backwards compatibility using a physical copy. Given how bc works I would assume that the same goes for digital.
Posted by EnhancedKanine on 16 May 17 at 04:01
MassiveAssault5So I’m pretty pissed. Made it all the way to Chapter 7 without saving and was going to save at the point where I could do the power node room glitch, but I got stuck. In the room where you find the Peng treasure and destroy the circuits to shut off ANTI, I could not progress any further. As soon as ANTI shutoff and I went to the unlocked door, it continued to cycle indefinitely and wouldn’t open. I tried for 15 mins to get it to open to no avail. Four hours of progress wiped out because of a glitch. Going to restart and hope it doesn’t happen again but just in case I might save before that room to avoid being fucked again. Force gun and plasma cutter combo works magic
Posted by MassiveAssault5 on 25 Sep 17 at 20:04
MassiveAssault5Alright so I just finished my hardcore run. My saves were Chapter 7 at the node room before the solar array, Chapter 10 before I started down the long corridor with the two brutes, and Chapter 13 before the eye poke machine. Looking back, I would probably have tried to extend my second save to Chapter 13 before the eye poke and Chapter 14 right before the final boss battle. My second save was out of desperation since I had run out of medikits and I was about to take on those two brutes and tons of enemies. I’ll tell you what though, the bloody force gun wrecks just about everything in one or two hits. I only ever pulled out the plasma cutter for the space segments with the three yellow sack tentacle that spits out seekers at you.

The only part which got me was the lasers in Chapter 14. Set me back a good two hours to my Chapter 10 save. Even if you stasis one, do not get close to it or you will die. I ended up having a ton of excess money towards the end. Maxed out both weapons and had the advanced suit. Good luck to all. Only took me 6 years to get this achievement lol.
Posted by MassiveAssault5 on 26 Sep 17 at 23:26
MushaConvoyThumbs up for this:
"Anytime you see a Pregnant. Those swarm can really deplete your health. Deal with them carefully. "

True in real life too. cry
Posted by MushaConvoy on 16 Apr 18 at 05:49
I don't see how if you don't have to switch disc.
Posted on 27 Apr 18 at 02:11
AxelSteel15Can anybody confirm that the disc switch glitch works for the digital version? I may be attempting this soon.
Posted by AxelSteel15 on 27 Apr 18 at 18:25
RS01Thanks for the guide to this exciting challenge, it really helped!

If you have the time/patience: Use your last safe just AFTER the drill ride. I recommend getting through the drill ride and proceed to the cutscene where you send Ellie off. Then walk BACK to the drill and use your last save at the save point.


1. It's tedious (and a bit frustrating) to replay the drill area and the drill ride itself whenever you die. If you save after the drill ride and end up dying near the end of the game, it doesn't feel so bad if your last save is already inside the government sector. Plus the government sector sections can be done quite quickly if you are force gunning and running, so it doesn't take too long at all to get back to the point where you last died, now that the drill ride is out of the way!

2. Saving after the Ellie cutscene means that you don't have to watch it every time you die and respawn, which saves you quite a bit of time!

Note: To anyone that doesn't have the Force Gun, don't worry. Using the Plasma Cutter and Javelin Gun works very well throughout the entire game, but still make sure to pick up the Force Gun in Chapter 7 as it becomes super useful in the places that Cousin mentions.

Thanks again for the great guide.
Posted by RS01 on 29 Apr 18 at 19:53
Jhonathan PUNKThanks for the guide it really helped! wave
Posted by Jhonathan PUNK on 07 May 18 at 00:19
PorkyIt’s a great guide! I started this the other day and it really dials up the tension! I managed to get from the start of Chapter 6 to the start of Chapter 13 and I’ve only just used my 2nd save after sending Ellie on her way! I’ve spent 7 long chapters in terror making sure I don’t mess up, the Ishimura was the most tense part because of the Brutes but like the guide says, if you take your time you’ll be fine laugh final boss, here I come!
Posted by Porky on 26 Feb 20 at 23:35
YadamusGreat guide!

Just finished my hardcore play through with only one death! On the brute at the end of the train ride in chapter 2.

I primarily used force gun, detonator mines, line gun and the plasma cutter until I was able to get the contact beam which replaced the plasma cutter.

Save points were;
Chapter 5, just before the church grab
Chapter 9, at the part where you have to blow up the tentacle and get to the tram before everything blows up
Chapter 13, just after sending Ellie on her way

Also recommend watching Major Slacks hardcore playthrough on YouTube as you play along. Super helpful tips on how to beat each area.

Good luck, felt like giving up after my first death but not nearly as bad as you think once you get into it.

Just don’t play too cautious because you tend to overthink and mess up. At least I did laugh
Posted by Yadamus on 28 Apr 20 at 13:10
RapantThere's a WR speedrun named as "Maverick Hunter X" on You Tube. My 100% was inspired by this man. All tips, positions for combat and guns thanks by him.
Posted by Rapant on 27 Jul 20 at 14:25
CatTullythis is brutal got to my 2nd save at the beginning of chapter 9 and am struggling so much with ammo health and credits for weapon upgrades 💀
Posted by CatTully on 13 Nov 20 at 04:30
Teh SpearheadJust finished my hardcore run, not nearly as painful as I thought it was going to be. Only had one death, and that was from an infector right at the end of the game as the Ubermorph hunts you down.

Primarily used the Force Gun with Plasma Cutter and to make certain enemies like Brutes easier, the Javelin Gun with the explosive shot.

My saves were on Chapter 10, because I had already played through on Zealot and struggled in the decontamination chamber. Odd since I blasted through it on Hardcore. Followed by Chapter 13 just before you enter the multi-layered room with the Brute at the bottom, and my final save was Chapter 14 just before the final run to the final boss. I was planning on using it right before the final boss but I didn't want to chance it.

It was a fun experience and this whole guide really helped out, thank you.
Posted by Teh Spearhead on 10 May 21 at 22:27
dan0wnzThe CONTACT BEAM IS FAR SUPERIOR to the forcegun, check out Chad Doogle's guide below.

However, unlike him, I did not get the DLC for the contact beam early in the game, I got the DLC that had achievements only, and picked up the contact beam schematic in chapter 7 if I recall.

Up until chapter 7, I used only the plasma cutter and the pulse rifle (for the pack and tentacle enemies). I also did the node glitch trick in chapter 1 to make sure I'd max out my rig and plasma cutter, pulse rifle, and later hte contact beam, you can also sell weapons that have been upgraded with nodes for a large sum of money, then repurchase the weapon and put more nodes into it and sell more since you can't directly sell nodes, so avoid wasting time glitching credits in chapter 1 and just do nodes.

My saves were chapter 5, the beginning of chapter 9, and the beginning of chapter 13. I didn't die at all in my entire run with the contact beam just making the second half of the game far far easier. The secondary fire essentially is a 360 degree force gun but it also stasis enemies (huge help for the ishmura chapter and the cargo lift ride in chapter 12) AND it does major damage to them, it one-shots most enemies, for the enhanced enemies it takes two bursts to kill them, for the brutes I do one burst, and then use primary fire on the arms to kill them. I used primary fire to kill enemies at a distance (ie. exploders, crawlers, etc) which one shots them.

You really just have to nail the node glitch trick, I think I glitched 170 nodes and like 50k credits, although going back I would only do nodes, I would max up to 200-250 nodes if you can, forget the credits, to max my rig, plasma cutter, pulse rifle, and contact beam. I made sure I had many nodes left to sell upgraded weapons and get credits to keep purchasing the expensive ammo that contact beams usually require, even though you'll be seeing a lot of that ammo around with limited weapon purchases. I basically had at that point only been carrying around the contact beam and pulse rifle, ditched the plasma cutter, and all my other slots had medium/large health packs that I barely had to use. You don't need stasis packs since the weapon stasis enemies, you don't need to pick up anymore schematics besides the armor ones,.
Posted by dan0wnz on 07 Nov 21 at 00:50
FALLENANGELSEMOWould anyone be interested in doing this achievement for me I'd be eternally greatful to you ??
Posted by FALLENANGELSEMO on 27 Jan at 15:31
FALLENANGELSEMOWould anyone be interested in doing this achievement for me I'd be eternally greatful to you ??
Posted by FALLENANGELSEMO on 30 Jan at 15:37
sobadnomad@FALLENANGELSEMO sure message me
Posted by sobadnomad on 29 Jun at 03:18