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Hardcore Guide by danielbradburry

Updated: 06/02/11

Hard Core FAQ

Written by: Daniel Bradburry
Email: daniel@mckinneyit.com

About this document

This is perhaps the second real 'achievement' I have obtained in my 360 
history.  Given that at present there was no FAQ posted for this online, I felt
compelled to write one up.  Please note that I will not hesitate to spoil 
anything here, so if you happen to be reading this before you have even 
finished the game once, be forewarned.

I finally added some reader advice that I have been sitting on.  I've been
working around the clock getting my business going, so sorry people! 

About me

I've been playing games now for 33 years, the first of which I 'beat' was
Pitfall II for the Atari 2600.  My god that was a long time ago.  By now, I 
have completed hundreds, if not thousands of titles on dozens of systems.

I own an onsite IT support company here in McKinney, TX where I live with my

Back in 1997, I would run through the original Resident Evil, and even Resident
Evil 2 without saving in under 3 hours.  I was pretty consistent with my pace, 
as long as I managed the inventory well enough it was pretty easy to do.  This 
challenge is basically the same concept, done three times in a row.

Table of Contents

What is Hard Core?  ............[01]
About the Guide  ...............[02]
General Advice  ................[03]
Weapon Advice  .................[04]
Enemy Advice  ..................[05]
Chapter Advice  ................[06]

Chapter 1  ....................[C01]
Chapter 2  ....................[C02]
Chapter 3  ....................[C03]
Chapter 4  ....................[C04]
Chapter 5  ....................[C05]
Chapter 6  ....................[C06]
Chapter 7  ....................[C07]
Chapter 8  ....................[C08]
Chapter 9  ....................[C09]
Chapter 10  ...................[C10]
Chapter 11  ...................[C11]
Chapter 12  ...................[C12]
Chapter 13  ...................[C13]
Chapter 14  ...................[C14]
Chapter 15  ...................[C15]

Final Thought - A Theory........[07]
Credits  .......................[08]

[01] What is Hard Core?

The buzz about this mode is out there.  No kidding, you have limited 
ammunition, decently tough enemies and only 3 saves during what is known as a 
6 hour campaign.  Hard Core mode is not physically tough to complete; rather, 
it is the constant stress and panic that can be overwhelming.  I highly 
recommend that you finish the campaign on a basic level, and then again on 
Zealot mode before starting the craziness.

You can expect Zealot-level quantity of ammo per pickup, and about Hard-level 
weapon-damage-to-enemy and enemy-damage-to-you.  This is not Zealot as you will
come to experience it, but on the whole it can be much, much tougher due to the
necessary precision under intense pressure.

[02] What this guide will and will not do

I am not going to tell you how to fight, as you should know before starting.  
I am not going to tell you where all of the enemies or items are, as everything
is where it is in other modes.  I won't be breaking down damage specs from the 
weapons to pinpoint which is best.  What I will do is offer you advice on how I
ran the campaign, including where and when I saved, the weapons I brought to 
the table, and how to tackle each enemy type reliably.  You will find that I 
advocate heavily for carrying both the Plasma Cutter and the Ripper, and I will
break down the reasons why (and why I didn't go with the others).

I will not be spelling out every step of the campaign; rather, only sections 
that can be particularly troubling and suggested tactics for 'mini-bosses' and 
certain enemy types.

[03] General Advice

There are certain things to know immediately.  

	If you die, quit playing and come back later, unless you are 5 minutes
	from your save point.  Let the wasted time slip from your mind and get 
	back at it.  If you start over again immediately, you will be 
	frustrated and cavalier, neither of which you want.

	Target your first save at the end of level 5 (I saved at the beginning
	of 6) in case you fail the do-or-die dragging section.  He takes a good 
	number of shots, and you don't want to start over from the beginning.  
	I was literally one second from failing before I blew him away.  If you
	want to risk it, the Tormentor section after is terribly easy.

	Target your second at the end of 9 for the same reason, with the nest
	of Tripods.  I will give you advice for blowing through this later, but
	its best to save just before it.

	Target the final save at the end of 13, before the eye poke machine.

	You will need to buy your ammo from the start - the drops just won't
	cut it.  They will keep you alive in the interim until you find a 
	store, but I tended to carry 50-60 extra plasma rounds at all times.  
	Once I started using the Ripper, I carried about 20-30 blades at once.  
	Reliance on the Ripper cut the plasma usage down hard, as one blade 
	would tear through multiple enemies, as opposed to 15-20 plasma rounds 
	for the same encounter.

        Buy the rigs as they come available.  You will certainly need the space
        and armor.  Money isn't so much of an issue as long as you become a 
        packrat and pick everything up that drops.

	Stomp your enemies after they die.  Make sure that they drop their
	items before moving on, or you will regret it quickly.

	Be liberal with healing.  In the regular campaign I would happily run
	around with 60% health, but here I was concerned if I only had 90% 
	filled.  Don't overuse and waste it, just don't leave it in your pack 
	as the unknown incoming swipe can erase a couple hours of work.

	Don't blow out the windows unless you have to.  There is a spot in
	Chapter 7 and Chapter 9 where you can safely detonate them and get away 
        with it.

	Abuse the respec-healing trick.  From Chapter 7 on, when you use the
	bench you have the option of respeccing your nodes for 5,000 credits.
	If you are in need of a full health kit, pay the respec fee for your
	rig and leave the bench.  Go back into it and reset all of your nodes,
	and BAM!  Full health.  Total cost for that is half of the price of a
	full health kit, so use this trick when you need it.  Make sure to
	walk away and reengage the bench, or the trick will not work.

[04] Weapon Advice:

You should know how to handle all of the weapons and enemies proficiently 
before you even start, that much is given.  I chose my weapons for their 
overall reliability and applicability to any given situation.  It's also about 
your placement for certain encounters, so that you can get a drop on the enemy 
before he kills you.

I am getting a lot of responses from people advocating for their favorite
weapons, which I can respect.  In fact, every weapon in the game has been
represented to me as a viable option.  If it works for you, then by all means 
go for it.  I wrote this guide, and this section in particular, from the 
perspective of what works best for me.  So ask yourself this - you are an hour 
and a half since your last save, and a brute has broken out of stasis and is 
now bearing down on you.  What weapon would you rather have in your hands? 

Plasma Cutter-

	This is the only weapon I ever used in DS1, because of the range, 
	immediate impact, rapid fire and decent damage.  At max damage here 
	(plus the added flame effect), you can take down most enemies with 4-5 
	precise shots.  This should be a powerful mainstay in your arsenal.  


	The Ripper needs to be number two because of the constant damage
	potential, and its ability to tear through multiple enemies at the
	same time.  Your ability to miss a primary fire, and then retrain the
	weapon on the enemy and chew it apart without taking damage cannot
	be overemphasized.  The definitive close quarters beast in terms of
	DPS, throw in the long distance range attack (for times of crisis), 
	and the Ripper is a must have.

Line Gun-

	Great, but you can't bring back a missed shot and there are too few 
	rounds in the chamber.  And the secondary file can kill you.  It comes 
	a decent third on my list.

Pulse Rifle-

	Decent, but chews up the ammo and doesn't do anything for reliably 
	holding back a tough crowd.


	Great in theory, but you better hope they walk over it.  And that you 

Force Gun- 

	This was something I played with in DS1, but for this mode I recommend
        that you shelve it.  It is competitive with the Ripper, but the damage
        isn't very dramatic, as the elites take 4-5 shots and several seconds 
        to kill.  Kill time is my problem here, as I can kill an elite slasher 
        in under a second with the Ripper.  When under pressure from multiple
        enemies and multiple directions, you want your enemies dead 

Contact Beam-

	The Contact Beam was great for Brutes in DS1.  The alt-fire gives great
	crowd control, but you don't even get it until Chapter 7.  No defense 
	against Spitters, Pukers or Lurkers.  It just feels like a one-trick 
	pony to me.

Seeker Rifle-

	Decent at range, but if you have it equipped when they invade your 
	personal space, get ready to turn off the machine.


	Throw it in the first trash can you find.  

Javelin Gun-

	For this mode, throw the Javelin Gun in there with it.

Node Application Advice-

	Spread your nodes evenly across your rig, stasis, Ripper and Plasma
	Cutter.  You have no need of air, so only apply one extra node for it.
	Ignore the TK damage increase.  Stasis needs duration and energy
	quite evenly, so spread them around here.  The Plasma Cutter needs
	damage, speed and some capacity and some reload.  Damage (and the
	special) is the easy priority.  The Ripper needs both duration and
	damage quickly, as both apply to DPS.  Everything else is secondary
	on this weapon.  By the end of the game you will be maxing out all
	nodes on all four pieces of hardware.

[05] Enemy Advice:


	Plasma Cutter- Put two rounds into the same leg with the Plasma Cutter, 
	and the two more into the same arm.  That should do it.

	Ripper- Aim for the legs to drop it immediately, then drag the blade 
	over its arms and face to kill it for good.  


	Plasma Cutter- Same as the Slasher.

	Ripper- Hide out of line of sight to get it to charge into your range.
	The approach is then the same as for the Slasher.  The Puker will still
	try to spit at you while on the ground, so work fast.


	Plasma Cutter- One shot anywhere.

	Ripper- Hold down the primary attack and saw through the whole group.  
	It's actually best to use this weapon, as you destroy the bodies 
	immediately this way causing them to drop their items on the spot.  
	When the Pack corpses start piling up, they will disappear when 5 or so
	are already on the ground and you lose the items they would have 
	dropped otherwise.

Stalker (raptors that hunt in packs)-

	Plasma Cutter- Blast the legs as he runs at you, then the arms.  
	Dangerous, as if you miss it will knock you down and he will still be 
	in your face when you get up.  Very easy to die this way, as two hits 
	will finish you.

	Ripper- Aim at the feet mid-run with primary fire (make sure you are 
	pretty low), which will drop him where he is.  Move the blade up across
	the body and arms, and he's done.  Once practiced, it's the safest and 
	easiest method to kill them.

	*note: In all cases, back up to a wall with an open pathway in front of
	you and wait for them to charge you.  Only one will come at a time, and
	you will know it by sound when they do.

Crawler (babies that explode)-

	Plasma Cutter- Hit the yellow spot to make them detonate and take out 
	other enemies.

	Ripper- DON'T!


	Plasma Cutter- One or two shots per tentacle, 2 or 3 tentacles to kill.

	Ripper- In some hallways where they can't get out of range this makes 
	sense, otherwise use the Plasma Cutter only.  Don't use secondary fire 
	on them.


	Plasma Cutter- One shot to the pus sac, and BAM.  In one area in 
	Chapter 9, go for his legs instead.

	Ripper- If he is bearing down on you, secondary shot the sac, but don't
	miss as	reloading isn't as quick as the Plasma Cutter is.

	*note: If he manages to detonate on or near you, it will wipe out 60%
	or so of your health.  This is great compared to Zealot mode where it
	would one-shot you no matter what.  Still, don't let it happen.


	Plasma Cutter- Put two rounds into the same leg, and then two more into
	the same arm.  Same as the Slasher.  Don't hit the belly or you will 
	regret it.

	Ripper- Charge into him with the primary fire, cutting his legs apart 
	and then his torso.  Chances are he will be dead before the babies pop 
	out, but if they do they will be instantly destroyed.  This is the best
	weapon to use on him - no panic, no tactics.

Leaper (scorpion)-

	Plasma Cutter- Open fire rapidly if you have this equipped.  Hope you 
	hit the arms and head, because you won't really get his tail.  He will 
	tear you apart in a matter of seconds, and he is rarely alone.  

	Ripper- Hide out of his line of sight, and make him come to you.  Hide 
	right behind the corner, and charge into him with primary fire and tear
	him to pieces.  It's the safest way to go.

	*note: In my opinion, this guy is easily your biggest threat in the 

Swarmer (babies in Pregnant's belly)-

	Plasma Cutter- One shot per, but expensive.

	Ripper- One blade will tear them all apart.


	Plasma Cutter- One to two rounds per.

	Ripper- Don't use, but secondary fire only if you have to.

	*note: TK bodies or objects at them to cause them to self destruct.


	Plasma Cutter- Multiple shots to drop it, 5-6 or so.

	Ripper- Chew it up with a single blade.  Ignore secondary fire.

	*note: Destroy any available dead bodies before the infector appears, 
	and it will walk up to you to be slaughtered instead.


	Plasma Cutter- The only weapon to use on him, as you need to keep your 
	distance.  Stasis him, and then blast off his arms.

	Ripper- For this mode, don't use it or you risk dying and reverting 
	back to an earlier save.


	There are four of them in the game, and I will deal with each encounter 
	as it comes up, as tactics differ.

Guardian (the guy stuck in the wall)-

	In every case, do one of two things:

	1. If there is an available explosive canister, grab it before he can 
	see you, stay out of sight and then pop out and throw it in his face 
	for an easy kill.

	2. If not, stay out of sight, pop out and stasis him.  Blast away at 
	his tentacles as they are all centered in his midsection and slowly 
	move out as he awakens.  He will be dead before he can do anything.

	Do not use the Ripper, as he will tear your head off before you get a 

Nest (stationary enemy in zero-G with three yellow pods, throws projectiles)-

	Plasma Cutter- 2-3 shots per sac will kill it.  Dodge the projectiles 
	at range.  This method is dangerous and unnecessary.

	Ripper- Dash straight at him (immediately!) while he is waking up, and 
	saw the sacs apart at close range with primary fire.  He will drop as 
	soon as your blade touches all three.  I have done this several times 
	and have never been hit.

Divider (tall lanky necro with smaller necros attached)-

	Plasma Cutter- Shoot it at range until it falls apart, then shoot each 
	smaller piece until they stop moving.  Uses a lot of ammo this way.

	Ripper- Charge up the main and cut out his legs, and then sweep over 
	the body until they are all dead.

Squiggly Necros (as I call em)-

	Um... really?

[06] Chapter Advice

The first five chapters are fairly easy, so I just have a few notes regarding.
Real details start to come at Chapter 6.

[C01] Chapter 1: 

	The only concern here is the Tripod.  This is something you should be 
	practiced with.

[C02] Chapter 2:

	When you start up the train, some enemies will rush through the 
	opposite door.	After they are dead, run to the door and turn around to
	ambush the two that bust in right where you were standing.

	When you are hanging upside down, I avoid using kinesis and just blast 
	them, as I can find it difficult to aim accurately with TK items.

[C03] Chapter 3:

	You can generally blast out the window here safely.  Overall, this 
	chapter is not hard.

[C04] Chapter 4:

	Coming to the rounded staircase just before the elevator, an infector 
	is in front of you making a new slasher.  Kill it and his new friend 
	right there, and then hesitate to charge down into the fray below you.  
	Let the infectors do their work, and kill everything as they funnel up 
	the stairs.  It's not worth charging into the group to get surrounded.
	Ammo is fairly cheap, as long as you are prepared to buy it.

	I avoid blasting out the window in this level, and make the slashers 
	funnel into the door.  It's not worth risking it this far into it 
	before your first save.

	In your first encounter with stalkers, stand at the door they break, 
	and take out their legs as they charge you.  Kinesis is a good idea 
	here, as they bee line for you, running straight at the screen.

[C05] Chapter 5:

	Nothing too critical in this chapter.  

	Make sure you grab the Ripper schematic here, but don't start using it 
	until you have a few nodes in it.

	Save before the do-or-die dragging sequence in the chapel.  The save 
	point is in the room where you have to TK the three objects to crawl 
	through the vent.

[C06] Chapter 6 (where things are starting to get tough):

	The first fight here can be a decent challenge if you are unprepared.  
	It's a giant open area with a huge statue of a marker to one side.  Run
	into the middle of the room to spawn a pregnant, and then run back into
	the hallway you came from.  Kill it here, a two leapers will spawn and 
	rush you.  Force them to come to you, and nail them when they round the
	corner into the hallway.  Once they are on you,	hope for the best.  
	Step out of the hallway, and as soon as you cross the threshold	into 
	the big room a second pregnant will spawn right behind you.  Kill it, 
	and then run back to where you fought the leapers.  Four more will show
	up, two at a time.  After all that, run across the big room towards the
	store.  Turn around and face back into the big room as a third pregnant
	shows up.  Blast it, and finally you can move on.

	The cysts here are no problem.

	After the fire sequence and two lurkers, remember that there is a puker
	waiting for you in the elevator!

	The stalker sequence should be your first real test with the Ripper.  
	Cause them to activate, and then stand in a corner where you have a 
	path in front of you and a path	to the side.  You should see several of
	their heads poking out looking at you.  They will mostly be coming at 
	you from the center of the room, so face in that direction.  If you 
	hear a scream and don't see one running at you, whip 90 degrees and 
	take out the one coming from your side.  It's rare, but happens.

	Advance to the meeting point with Ellie, and take the elevator.

	In the hallway before the school, 3 groups will charge you.  Take out 
	the cysts as you proceed, and watch for a the first two groups coming 
	from the front, and the third from behind.  They are all ranged 
	attackers, so keep the Plasma Cutter out until you get inside the 

	The only concern in the school is the gymnasium.  Make sure to stomp on
	all of the bodies before hacking the panel, as an infector will bring 
	them to life.  Keep the Plasma Cutter out until all of the crawlers are
	dead (4, I think) and then focus on using the Ripper to cut through 
	everything else.  Hold your ground on the stage and force them to come 
	to you.

	Exit the school and head to the transit station.  The fight with the 
	brute can go badly, or seriously quick if you are prepared for it.  
	Immediately grab all loose ammo	around the room, pick up the statis 
	canister by the door, and run over to the side of where he drops in.  	
	When he lands, I am facing his right shoulder.  Once he hits the 
	ground, fire the canister, close the distance and begin sawing into 
	his shoulder with the Ripper.  As the stasis wears off, reapply it 
	from your reserves and continue sawing into him.  After about three 
	stasis charges, he will collapse on the floor, never having been able 
	to move an inch.  Don't get smart and try to have him run into a
	support beam, as he will simply slide around it and happily kill

	Advance towards the elevator to Chapter 7, but stasis and kill the 
	Guardian before doing so.

[C07] Chapter 7:

	Use the Ripper to chop up the advancing enemies.  Repair the elevator, 
	and rip up the leaper that approaches you before you board.

	The elevator ride is crazy, so bring a lot of health, a lot of Plasma 
	Rounds and one or two stasis packs.  Once the first tripod bursts in, 
	he will do so in the window to the left of the switch that activates 
	it.  My technique is to run to the other side, stasis them and then 
	blast away.  Always keep moving, as they appear to spawn in different 
	places at different times around you.  Just hold on and survive, that's
	all I can say.  Don't worry about what you've used - there is a store 
	coming right up.

	Remember that there is a cyst right above the door when you exit the 
	room after the elevator, and another next to the store.  Don't get 
	blown up.

	In the next major encounter, proceeding across the floor will trap you 
	between lasers that detonate the opposite window.  This has the 
	potential of killing you if you miss the target, so before advancing 
	into the room, stand in the preceeding hallway and aim the glass with 
	the Plasma Cutter.  As the door starts to close between you and the 
	room, blast the glass.  You will hear the air being sucked out as the 
	room is locked down, and it will be safe to enter a few seconds later.
	This way you can control the encounter on your own terms.

	There is nothing more to really speak of until the section where life 
	support is shut	down, just keep the Ripper out for advancing enemies.

	When the life support is shut down in the hallway, stay put and let the
	two stalkers advance on you from the door.  Hack the panel and move on 
	to the mainframe.

	Remember to get the Peng treasure - everything in there is valued at 
	55,000 and trust me you will need it.  Keep the Ripper out and mow down
	the enemies as they funnel towards the mainframe hatch.  Blast the 
	mainframe circuits and move on.

	Blast the squiggly necros in the next room with the Plasma Cutter.

	Use the Ripper on the slasher and leaper that charge you, and switch to
	the Plasma Cutter to shoot down the three lurkers.  Move to the node 
	door and turn around to rip up the ambushing leaper.  He jumps onto the
	platform right in front of the hackable	door.

	Upon stepping out to fix the solar array, immediately launch and 
	dash/fly down to the left.  Engage the nest immediately with the Ripper
	before doing anything else.  There is a ton of air on the array, so 
	take your time and make sure to open every crate.  When ready, repair 
	it, use the ejector to fly back down to the transit station and	start 
	a really insane fight.

	Your air is running out, and the enemies are infinite.  You just have 
	to hold out until Ellie unlocks the door, so make sure to keep moving 
	in a circle around the room.  The Ripper is best for this, because 
	everyone will be running up to you to say hello.  The only problem with
	this idea are the pukers that nail you from out of nowhere, so just do 
	the best you can.  It's best to bring as much health as you can manage 
	before starting, as there is a store just before and after.  As Ellie 
	is wrapping up things up, get moving to the door and back into it when 
	she tells you its ready, but don't go early because they will surround
	and kill you if you are not careful.

        *Daniel Guzman wrote in about this encounter, which I felt I certainly
        should include:

        "All I did was start running clockwise around the perimeter of the 
        room, not hugging the wall mind you for fear of getting stuck on 
        the wall until Ellie unlocked the door for me.  I never had to take one
        shot, and I never got hurt!  The small necros aren't fast enough to 
        catch up to you, and the puker isn't able to hit you with its vomit 
        because you are constantly moving!  After about 5 laps the door is 
        unlocked and you can make a dash for it and never waste a single shot 
        or be hurt at all.  Don't even bother to aim, since Isaac moves slower 
        while aiming. Don't worry about what's behind you, just keep on jogging
        around the room."

[C08] Chapter 8:

	In the beginning you will see an infector through the window doing his 
	busy work - open the node-locked door and make the enemies funnel into
	it, and rip them up from there.  Don't chase them down hoping to make 
	things easier.

	After dashing through the rings of fire, charge right up to the nest 
	and saw it to pieces with the Ripper.
[C09] Chapter 9:

	The immediate beginning of this chapter has several leapers and a 
	slasher pounce on you.	Move far enough towards the opposite elevator 
	to activate them, then run back and turn the corner on the platform.  
	Unless they have a direct path to you on the walkway, they will treat 
	you as if their line of sight is broken, so use this to your advantage 
	and rip them up when they round the corner.

	A slasher busts out of the wall after you ride the elevator up.	

	Use the Plasma Cutter to blow away the Crawlers in front of you and on 
	the wall.  Ride	up the next elevator.

	Open the door and move in far enough to cause the puker to begin 
	walking toward you.  When he gets in your line of sight, take him out 
	with the Plasma Cutter, and then step further in the room to activate 
	the two lurkers.  Doing it this way splits up the fight.

        The room with the breakable window initially caused me some serious
        panic due to the presence of the exploder.  There is a simple way to
        deal with this room, however.  Stand in the elevator, and do not enter
        the room.  Ready the Ripper, and scoot as far to the left as you can
        while still being able to draw a bead on the window.  Use secondary 
        fire and blast it out while standing in the elevator.  Use the Ripper
        as the secondary fire has a bit of a delay before impact, whereas the
        Plasma Cutter is an instant hit.  This is just to be safe.  Just as you 
        fire, dash as far left as you can in the elevator.  The window will 
        shatter, the air will be sucked out and you will be perfectly safe in 
        there.  Once it seals up, take out the elite slasher up close with the 
        Ripper, and then blast the exploder from a distance.

	Make sure to use the explosive canister on the Guardian.

        While riding the final elevator up before the tram, it will get stuck
        a few feet below the walkway.  Back up against the wall, and nail the
        advancing slasher and exploder with the Plasma Cutter.  Do not let the
        exploder get too close, as the blast will catch you from a surprising
        distance.  You have very little time to take him out without injury,
        maybe a second.  Its a fairly cheap encounter.

	When you get to the place to repair the tram, remember that there is a 
	squiggly head under the big cog.  It will choke the heck out of you at 
	this difficulty.

	As soon as you summon the tram, hightail it back to the elevator and 
	stand in it.  Two elite slashers will spawn, and ordinarily would run 
	through both entrances at the same time and murder you, but this way 
	you ambush the ambushers.  One of them will drop right in front of you,
	only to be torn apart while his buddy will arrive too late to help.
	Ride the tram until you get off.

	The next section is decently hard, and your last challenge before save 
	#2.  Several stalkers and 2 exploders are hiding in here, and must be 
	systematically hunted down.  There are basically three waves.  The 
	first is two running stalkers and then a crawling stalker.  After 
	killing those three, an exploder will jump out of the left wall, with
	a couple more stalkers coming after you.  If you start running, chances
	are the stalkers will catch you, so its best if you pick a spot and 
	defend it.  Once you make it to the far right corner, another exploder
        will appear out of the wall in front of you (as you are facing towards
        the exit), and the final wave of stalkers (2-3) will appear to try to 
        chase you again.  Once cleared, prepare to stasis and kill another 
        guardian.  Head down the elevator and use save point #2 before the 
        final challenge of Chapter 9.

	Like the brute, this fight can go easy or really, really bad, so that's
	why I say save before.  The tank can take 6 shots at this level, and 
	you have no need to kill a single tripod.  There are two canisters
        sitting on the balcony with you before you ride the elevator down -
        bring them with you.  Once you descend to the floor, pull both 
        available canisters out of the machines and drop them, as the battle 
	will not start until the first one is fired.  If you brought the two
        down with you and pulled out the other two from the machines
        downstairs, then you should have four before starting.  Once a can 
        explodes, the timer to replace it starts ticking.  When ready, quickly 
        launch two of them, and prepare to deal with the first tripod.  My 
        sincere advice is to stasis it and rapidly blow off a single arm, which
        will impede its movement and threat level.  Don't fire all four until
        you have the tripod under control - it will kill you fast if you
        ignore it.  Keep it under stasis in this condition while racing around 
        to fire the last 4 shots.  Once successful, get to the tram before you 

[C10] Chapter 10:

	Ah, the Ishimura.  I love this level.  No threats at all until the 
	first brute, in the tram pit.

	Handle the brute basically in the same fashion as before - stasis it 
	quick and then move to his rear and saw up the arms to drop it quickly.
	You will need to have enough stasis in reserve to handle the second 
	that will charge you shortly.  Once you move forward enough to spawn 
	him, back up considerably, taking several shots at his shoulders with
	the Plasma Cutter at distance.  This will soften him up for the 
	statis/Ripper combo soon to come, but it also moves you out of the trap
	that springs right after he dies.  In the dark, several enemies spawn 
	in what would have been in front and behind you, but this way you keep 
	them all in front, only to run them all down with the Ripper.  Ride the
	elevator up and head to engineering.

	After decontamination, the hallway has enemies that come from both 
	sides, and they will not follow you back in the decon room.  My advice 
	is to pick off those in your immediate vicinity, and then run all the 
	way left with your Ripper leading the way.  Once there,	turn around and
	head all the way to the exit.  You may encounter a few popping up 
	behind you, so be forewarned.

	Fix the centrifuge, and then head back to decon.  Several pack will 
	bust in from opposite sides, and 4 pukers/slashers will drop from the 
	ceiling.  Rip everything, and leave.

	On your way out, an elite slasher will be playing dead on the floor.  
	Cut off his legs before he can even stand.

	Once you get back to the tram loading station, there will be two elite 
	slashers and swarmers in the area, and another enemy that climbs up 
	onto the platform.  Use the Plasma Cutter to keep everything at bay 

	After the ride to medical, keep the Plasma Cutter out killing 
	everything in the hall in front of you at range, as there is a lurker 
	in the mix.

	Once you enter the cryo chamber, move to the far side as two elite 
	slashers and two exploders will come at you, one at a time.  Use the 
	Plasma Cutter to kill everything, as the exploders need to be detonated

	Switch to the Ripper and hack the panel.  Before opening the door, you 
	will be rushed by four enemies that can be taken down at close range.  
	Wipe them out, and move on.

	Proceed until the section with the lightning pouring out of the 
	machine.  A lurker will crawl up the rail, which is not a problem, but 
	two leapers will attack when you ride the elevator down.  Use the 
	Ripper to tear the first one apart, but the second will spawn right
	above you and has a nasty habit of staying out of sight and picking you
	apart.  For that purpose, I recommend either running into the room 
	downstairs next to the elevator, or riding the elevator back up.  
	Either way forces him to chase you and puts the fight on your terms.

	Pull out the battery, and walk backwards through where the electricity 
	was.  Enemies will spawn in front and behind, so cut the legs off of 
	the one that you are now facing and run back to the door by the 
	elevator.  Take them down from here, but know that they will not follow
	you inside the room.  Once cleared, you are safe to move to the tram 
	loading area.

	Fly past all of the lurkers, not stopping for ammo and run to the door 
	leading to the bridge section. 

	You will be facing a short section of stalkers and pukers, so force the
	pukers to come to you by staying out of their line of sight, and 
	waiting for stalkers to charge.  Finish what you came for here, and 
	abandon ship to Chapter 11.

[C11] Chapter 11:

	The first threat is a short stalker section, which actually happens in 
	stages.  Kill the first two facing down slope, and then run all the way
	to the door to initiate stage two.  Once you are at the door, turn 
	around and take them out facing up slope.  The second group contains 
	stalkers and crawlers, so swap back and forth between the Ripper and 
	Plasma Cutter as necessary.

	In the next major area, while preparing to change out the battery, you 
	will be assaulted from several directions.  For the most part the 
	safest option is the Plasma Cutter, so stick with that unless it makes 
	sense otherwise.

	After moving to the next room, you will be dragged out into space.  
	Advance on the nest and rip it to pieces quickly.  Move on through the 
	small passageway in zero-G with cysts.

	Take the upper walkway section in stages.  The Plasma Cutter is good 
	to have for the initial part, but once the two lurkers are dead swap 
	back to the Ripper.  The latter half of the walkway has an elite 
	slasher quietly drop behind you.

	Stomp Stross's body for an audio log of him talking to his wife.

	The elevator up seems daunting, but its not bad if position yourself 
	well and apply a simple strategy.  If you position yourself across from
	the switch that activates it, and on the right hand side, then the 
	enemies will consistently drop in the corner on your left and the 
	corner on your right.  Keep the Ripper ready to go, and quickly sweep 
	the legs out from under one and then chew up and kill the other.  Once 
	they are dead, return to your position.  Do this consistently and you 
	will come out of this with very little damage.  Stasis is an option, 
	but don't rely on it.

[C12] Chapter 12:

	When you move across on the machine to get the new junction, keep the 
	Ripper out to saw up the two slashers that climb over the railing.  
	Once you grab the card and ride back, have the Plasma Cutter out to 
	take out the puker at range, as you are a sitting duck for several 

	You will have to quickly change weapons on this crazy ride, and I 
	highly advise blowing through your stash of plasma rounds hard, as a 
	store is available at the beginning of 13.  While riding the machine, 
	stand in front of Ellie the whole time.  Only a couple enemies ever 
	spawn on the left side, as most will climb up right next to you.  For 
	anything that climbs up, kill it fast and keep a solid watch for 
	lurkers.  It is these that will do the most damage to you here.  If
	you think you see one in the distance, unload with the Plasma Cutter.
	I say ignore the red canisters, as it takes too long to be really 
	accurate and if you hit with it you will kill one maybe two.  I tend 
	to get shot up while trying to aim with it here, so just blow em away.
	One less tentacle means one less projectile coming your way.

[C13] Chapter 13:

	Make sure that you have what you need from the store before attacking 
	the necros that are advancing on the door.  The Plasma Cutter is the 
	best option for the entire event here.  Hack the panel and continue on 
	until you have let the swarm into the facility.

	After the slaughter, poke your head out the door and have the enemies 
	funnel up in the doorway, ripping them up.

	In the round room just before the lab, open the door and watch an 
	infector run off to do its work.  Let it, because if you chase it an 
	exploder will drop in behind you and trap you against several elite 
	enemies.  This will no doubt kill you, so wait at the door and take 
	them down from here one at a time with the Ripper.

	If you open the node-locked door, a Divider will attack you when you 
	are outside.  If you don't mind the risk, take whats inside.

	Another section just like the end of the Ishimura, except that you 
	can't run.  Force the pukers to come to you, and wait out the stalkers 
	like always.

	Don't screw up the section with the spinning lasers.  Use whatever 
	weapon you feel you need, but expect slashers and the explosive 
	crawlers to give you a hard time.

	This is the last real challenge before your final save.  In the three 
	floor room, a veritable army will be coming after you, and you can't 
	get them to follow you back through the door.  I have watched my Ripper
	tear apart four of these guys at the same time here, which is nuts.  
	It makes no sense to just run for it, so stand your ground when 
	necessary and charge them when its a good idea.  Just remember that 
	they have to run or jump along the walkway and won't leap over it, so 
	use that to your advantage.  

	Eventually the endless tide will cease, and you can advance to the 
	bottom floor.

	The final obstacle is another brute, with the same style of entrance 
	as the first one in the transit station.  He will spawn when you near 
	the door, so charge him and stasis/Ripper him to pieces.   This time 
	you will be so overpowered that he goes down fast.  There is a
        stasis canister by the door if you want to lead with that.

	Resupply and use your third save.  The challenge of this mode is now 
	over, as the final leg will take 20-30 minutes to complete.

[C14] Chapter 14:

	Go slow and patient on the eye poke.  If Isaac is scared you will 
	screw up.

	As soon as the regenerator appears, saw off his legs and arms, 
	'killing' him and then place him into stasis.  This gives you plenty 
	of time to hack the panel.  If he is still 'alive', he will attack you
	while you are trying to hack it.

	In this entire chapter, your goal is to simply run, and ignore all 
	drops and enemies that aren't in your way.  Rip up those that are, and
	keep moving.  TK the body that opens the door and throw it in front of 
	it.  I knocked the regenerator over when I did it.

	Activate the zero-G section and rush through it.  Ignore the nest and 
	keep moving.

	The chapter is over before you know it.

[C15] Chapter 15:

	Now... slow down and be patient.  The regenerator, while deadly and 
	unceasing, cannot stand	against your Ripper and stasis unit.  It's 
	impatience that kills people here.  

	Buy everything you think you need from the store, and be liberal about 
	weapon fire.  There's no harm in buying everything you can carry.

	While outside, if you have an open path in front of you, keep running.
	If anything is in front of you, kill it.  If you are waiting for a 
	door to open, turn around and guard your rear, backing through the 
	door when it opens for you.  When you enter the indoor sections, use 
	the Ripper on everything that spawns before proceeding outside.  While
	outside, make it a point to keep moving.

	Once you reach the elevator you are home free.

	Unload everything you have on the final boss's forms.  You should be 
	pretty familiar with this part by now.  Hope your healing holds up, 
	and push through it.
	The final flying section is unchanged.

	MAKE SURE TO SAVE!  Your in-game rewards are well worth the time 
	spent, although it is a complete game breaker.

[07] Final Thought - A Theory

Watching Nicole's message in the medical wing of the Ishimura got me thinking.
The background in her message leads me to believe that it was filmed in the 
room where it is playing in DS2, and that this is her station.  DS1 veterans 
will recall what was found in that room, and her voice asking what happened 
to her body, well I think this might be the answer.  True, it was burned up by 
the ships engines, but then again it reappears in the final chapters of DS2.  
In fact, you can see it leading the charge upon GovSec when the power goes out 
and the soldiers are slaughtered.  Of course, it is all speculation and can 
only be confirmed by the writers of DS3, but that's my suspicion.  I definitely
would propose that there is some sort of connection.

[08] Credits

Feel free to repost anywhere, just please give me credit when doing so.

Any additional advice, suggestions or comments email them to me at:


Copyright 2011 Daniel Bradburry

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