What do you need help on? Cancel X

Jump to:
Would you recommend this Guide? Yes No Hide
Send Skip Hide

Power-Up/Unlockable Guide by MotherKojiro

Version: 1.0 | Updated: 11/13/18

A Guide to Power-Ups and Unlockables

By: Alice Kojiro (MotherKojiro(AT)gmail(DOT)com)

Note: This work is mine exclusively.  I've spent several hours writing it.  If
you don't believe me, try writing one yourself.  Anyway, if you need to contact
me, just send me an e-mail.  E-mails have 3 main criteria.  First of all, they
need a subject line that tells me that the message is about my walkthrough.
Another important criterion is that it needs to be suggestions about the
walkthrough.  I don't appreciate invitations to blogs, invites to chat rooms,
flaming, or anything like that.  Your suggestions can be anything from spelling
and grammatical errors to new sections you think I should add.  The only other
reason you should be writing to me is to ask me to use this guide on your
website.  You cannot do so without my consent, as it is illegal.  All you need
to do is ask and it is highly unlikely that I will deny you the use of this
guide.  You also have to give me credit for writing this.  Failure to do so is
plagiarism.  I appreciate your cooperation.  Thanks for choosing this guide.

Version 1.0 - A guide to unlockables and basic functions.

Table of Contents
I.     Intro
II.    Thanks
III.   Power-Ups
  A.   Weapons
  B.   Upgrades
  C.   Combos
IV.    Unlockables
  A.   Styles
  B.   Palettes

I. Intro
I got this game pretty cheap, because it looked interesting, but I wasn't
completely sure about it at first.  Playing this for a while, I came to realize
that it is a GLORIOUS tribute to the Game Boy.  The music, the sounds, the
visuals, and even certain subtleties in the design all make this something that
could almost have come out on the original or possibly Super Game Boy.  Even
beneath that, the game is fast-paced and addictive; I found myself constantly
going back for more, even though I'm not the biggest fan of Roguelikes, which
this partially is.  It's kind of a Roguelike... Fall-and-Gun?  Anyway, there
weren't any real guides for this or complete information on the unlockables and
when you get them, so here we are.

II. Thanks
Devolver Digital for making this game.
My lady for putting up with me.
Nintendo for making the Game Boy.
GameFAQs for hosting this guide.
You, the reader.

III. Power-Ups
Surviving a run of Downwell is difficult at first, as the game is brutal and
relentless.  Fortunately, there are a number of different power-ups along the
way to help you out.  Everything is random, of course, but knowing what you're
getting makes a huge difference in how well you're going to do.  It's important
to establish some favorites early on, but even more important to realize which
ones are actually detrimental to your playstyle.  Also important to know is
that whenever you recover health while at full HP, one segment of a gauge at
the top of the screen will light up.  Once all 4 segments light up, they all go
out, and your maximum HP will increase by one.  A lot is going to be left to
chance, but the more you master, the easier it will be to make it to the
bottom.  It seemed impossible to me at first, but now, I can consistently blow
through Normal Mode, regardless of what it throws at me.

A. Weapons
There are a number of different weapons to be found in Downwell, and you keep
them until you grab another, or until you die.  As these are modules to your
gunboots, they shoot in a generally downward direction.  Each module is shaped
either like a heart or a battery; the heart will restore 1 HP, whereas a
battery will increase your maximum charge by 2.  This can make things a bit
complicated, as you may have to choose between keeping a weapon that you like
and taking one that you don't, because you're desperate for some healing.  The
format for the weapons is as follows:

(the letter that appears on the module) Weapon Name [the charge cost per shot]

(B) Burst [3] - Burst of several shots.
(L) Laser [4] - Powerful beam that cuts through everything.
(M) Machine Gun [1] - Single shots straight down.
(N) Noppy [1] - Single shots straight down; angles with your lateral movement.
(P) Puncher [2] - 3 straight shots grouped closely together.
(S) Shotgun [5] - Spray of shots.
(T) Triple Shot [2] - 3-way shot.

B. Upgrades
Between rounds, you will have a choice of upgrades that last for the entirety
of your run.  As expected, these vary in terms of usefulness, and even that
will vary, depending upon your playstyle.  Under normal circumstances, you can
choose one out of three possible options, but there is a style that reduces
your choices by one, and the Youth upgrade will increase them by one for the
remainder of your run, so this can vary from 2-4.  These are here not only to
let you know what might become available, but also because the in-game
descriptions do not always adequately describe what they do.  The only
unsolicited advice that I will give about these is that Knife and Fork is very
helpful for building up your maximum HP - especially early on - and that Rest
in Pieces is counterproductive to that.

Apple - Restores 4 HP; overflow fills up your gauge.
Blast Module - Stomping enemies causes a downward explosion.
Candle - Longer post-hit invincibility.
Drone - Shoots in tandem with you; cannot fire if you're out of charge.
Gem Attractor - Gems magnetize toward you.
Gem Powered - Restore 1 point of charge per 2 gems collected.  Little gems
              restore 1 charge; big gems restore 5.
Gem Sick - Gem High lasts longer.
Gunpowder Blocks - Destroyed blocks shoot one bullet straight upward.
Heart Balloon - Gives you a balloon for every level; if touched, it explodes.
Hot Casing - Bullet casings cause damage.
Knife and Fork - Eat dead bodies to restore HP (10 per HP); will fill gauge.
Laser Sight - Line of fire is shown; shots go further.
Member's Card - Shop at the start of every level; 10% discount on all items.
Popping Gems - Collecting a gem shoots a bullet straight upward; larger gems
               fire "Gem High" bullets.
Rest in Pieces - Shooting dead bodies causes them to explode.
Reverse Engineering - Shooting a gun power-up will change its contents one time;
                      can also change heart to battery and vice versa.
Rocket Jump - Jumps cause explosions.
Safety Jetpack - Use a jetpack when firing while charge is zero to slow descent.
Timeout - Creates time bubble when damaged.
Youth - One additional choice of upgrade at the end of each level.  Restores
        1 HP when chosen; not 1 HP at the end of each round.

C. Combos
While not exactly a power-up, combos are extremely useful not only for
increasing your score, which is helpful for unlocking features more quickly,
but also for increasing your stats.  The number of the combo is determined by
how many enemies you kill without touching solid ground; stomping enemies does
not end this.  The best way to do this is by stomping enemies, since that will
fully refill your charge, so that you can keep shooting the ones that you
cannot touch.  Naturally, this is easiest to do in the fourth area, since
you're in free-fall for most of it (landing on the trash also does not end a
combo), but I've gotten high combos even in the first area.  You also will not
end a combo by touching the ground in the side rooms that exist in a time
bubble, so you can still shop and pick up gun modules.

The payout occurs once the combo ends, i.e. when you touch solid ground.  Once
the combo hits 8, you will receive a bonus of 100 gems.  At 15, you will add 1
to your maximum charge.  Finally, 25 kills in a combo will restore 1 HP.  Your
bonuses will stack, too, so you don't have to make the choice; just go for the
gold!  The amount of kills in a combo is technically limited only to the number
of enemies in the well, since your total carries over between stages, but
unless you care about achievements, there is absolutely no reason to go above
25; one 50 combo gives you only half the payout of two 25 combos.  To simplify,
the rewards are as follows:

 8 - 100 gems
15 - 100 gems and +1 max charge
25 - 100 gems, +1 max charge, and +1 HP

IV. Unlockables
Aside from the inherent goal of reaching the bottom of the well to get your
well-deserved ending, the over-arching goal is to earn gems to unlock cool
stuff.  As you earn gems, a bar will fill, telling you how close you are to
your next reward.  Keep in mind that this is your gem total for that run; not
how many you have at the end, so buying items at a shop will not count against
you.  The vast majority of these are just different palettes, which usually
aren't extremely helpful, but there are different styles to unlock, as well.
Hard as it can be, the best way to earn gems is by beating a run, as you
receive a large sum upon completion; I wasn't able to nail down the exact
amount.  There is no difference in the number of gems you receive for anything
between Normal and Hard Mode, but Hard Mode generally throws more enemies at
you, so if you are adept at it, it may be faster to unlock everything there.
Personally, though I did beat Hard Mode, I didn't reach that level of skill
before I'd unlocked everything, but your mileage may vary.

A. Styles
Styles are almost like warrior classes; they affect various parameters of
gameplay, often both positively and negatively.  It is wise to experiment with
different playstyles, and frequently; as you become more skilled and unravel
different techniques during play, you might find that a different style now
suits you better.  Originally, I'd assumed Boulder Style to be the best, due to
the higher HP to start, but once I'd gotten better at increasing my maximum HP
by other methods, I came to prefer Arm Spin Style.  I had a friend swear by
Levitate Style, but I didn't see much of a difference.  The only one with which
I have very little experience is Handstand Style.

Usual Style - 0
As you'd expect, given that this is your only option at the start, this is the
normal way to play.  Not bad, but to do your best, it's usually beneficial to
take advantage of pros and overcome cons that come with a different style.

Arm Spin Style - 3000
All side caverns have gun modules in them, but shops are rare.  This means no
gem piles, but you will be drowning in gun modules, and that means lots of stat
boosts.  I was consistently finishing runs with my charge over 40 and my HP in
double digits.  The lack of shops can be a problem before you get good at
avoiding damage, but the Member's Card upgrade takes care of that.

Boulder Style - 10000
You start out with 6 HP, rather than the usual 4, making this great for
beginners... well, beginners that have earned 10,000 gems.  The drawback is
that you only have 2 choices for upgrades at the end of each round, but that's
not always a problem, since sometimes, you get as many as 4 crap choices, and
others, you'll find something to like with just 2.  You can also bump this back
up to the standard 3 choices, if you get the Youth upgrade.

Levitate Style - 20000
This makes your jumps floatier, which can be both a pro and a con.  The pro
should be obvious for a game in which you're always fighting gravity (it's in
the title!), but the con is that you have to retrain your muscle memory to new
mechanics, and for something like this, that's harder than it sounds.  I
actually didn't notice any difference with this until someone told me what it
did; I was only able to tell once I was looking for it, so it's subtle.

Handstand Style - 30000
Shop items are cheaper, but you will not receive any upgrades.  The lack of
upgrades can be a huge problem, especially for building your HP; you will have
to rely very heavily on combos and purchases.  I didn't find this style to be
worth the benefits, since the shop prices aren't brought low enough to
compensate for the lack of upgrades.

B. Palettes
There isn't much to be said about these, aside from the obvious.  Some can help
in that they're easier on the eyes (some will make them bleed), but not much
beyond that.  Here, I've laid out the gem total at which they're unlocked, as
well as the RGB values for each.  The values are in this order:

Palette Name - Gem Total
Character and "Safe" Color
Gems and "Danger" Color

Downwell - 0
  5-  5-  5
249-  0-  0

Matcha - 1000
  5-  5-  5
102-180-  0

Aqua - 2000
  0-  0-  0
254-  0-  0

GBoy - 4000
 50- 59- 39
 98-114- 78
109-127- 86

VBoy - 5000
254- 17- 17
  0-  0-  0
171-  0-  0

Pastel - 7500
 29- 80-194
254-113- 96

Umekobcha - 12500
146-164- 95
254- 53- 99

Nuclear - 15000
 15- 58-  0
143-204- 62
  0-  0-  0

Grandma - 17500
 99- 14- 52
 83-159- 62

Grayscale - 25000
  0-  0-  0

1Bit - 35000
  0-  0-  0

Mars - 40000
 97-  0- 29
234- 69- 86

Bokju - 45000
 70- 70- 70
  0-  0-  0

Purply - 50000
 52- 26- 18

Vivid - 55000
  0- 48- 70
201-  0-  0

Oldncold - 60000
  4- 30- 55

Mossy - 65000
 85- 47-  0

Glow - 70000
255-  0-  0
  0-  0-  0

Lavender - 75000
 96- 93-107

Forest - 80000
126-103- 49
  0-  0- 52
 45- 93- 53

Winter - 85000
 60- 08-124
  0-  0-  0

Antique - 90000
166- 90- 53
 49- 41- 22
239-139- 85
210-126- 42

Dirtsnow - 95000
 75- 75- 75
196- 59- 59

Jungle - 100000
  0- 57- 38
155- 52- 76
 86-148- 50

Sleepy - 110000
 27- 49- 77
225- 79-127

Zennyan - 120000
 84-182- 55
234- 11-197

Rhenium - 130000
 36- 44- 66
254- 76- 67

Sewers - 140000
  4- 30- 55

Mad - 150000
 34- 31- 59
238-154- 51
242- 38-234

Nikaido - 175000
 26- 26- 12
254-147-  0

Molybdenum - 200000
 30- 57- 69
 11-  7- 10

Sepia - 225000
 85- 30-  0
 43- 75-111

Wetland - 250000
 14- 84- 63
169-125- 57
 43- 75-111

RGB - 300000
 22- 43-157
222-  0- 48
  0-  0-111

Nostalgia - 350000
 52- 90-121

Charcoal - 400000
 37- 38- 39
  0-  0-  0

Aerial - 450000 
118- 54- 58

Hell - 500000
211-  0-  0
  0-  0-  0
254-124-  1

View in: