By HowlingSnailHowlingSnail. Last updated
This is a guide to the Any% route of this game. It will be updated over time as I finish it, and as new strategies are developed. Any questions, ask me on Twitter or Discord. First of all, some general points:
• Play on a completed save file via mission replays. We do this because we can skip cutscenes that way.
• If you want to get into running this game, learn 1 level at a time. Don't try and learn the whole run at once. Master one aspect before moving on.
• This is the route I use, as I personally believe it to be the best, but obviously you don't have to follow it. If you believe you've found a better strategy, by all means, use that!
• In general, you should watch the World Record run for a level and learn from that. It will show you what to do better than a text explanation will. This guide is to explain things the videos might not.
And a few things that apply to multiple levels or the game in general:
• If playing as an infantry unit, doing combat rolls sideways is faster than normal movement.
• All units in your faction have a stat buff, but as well, the unit you're playing as gets a bigger one. Bare this in mind if you want to keep a specific unit safe. (The player character is also most of the time going to be smarter than AI units)
• Different vehicles give off different jerry cans. One from a Battlestation will heal way more than one from a Recon, for example.
1-1 Combat Patrol:
Begin the level jumping and running into the area with the dummies. Take out one batch, then move to take the other out. As soon as they're dead, combat roll into the next area, and look up at one of the Grunts, then combat roll out of Fort Gridiron. Roll across the bridge (Make sure you don't get stuck behind the fence) and keep rolling. Almost all of the level now is rolling, and you really just have to learn the route, as you obviously can't see where you're going. Remember you don't have to shoot any of the targets in this level.
When you get to the dead Frontier Grunt, jump into the water for extra distance, and swim as fast as possible. Meet up with the grunts, and mash X a few times to get the gate open. Go through to where the Tundran Grunts are waiting. As soon as possible, use the D-pad to change camera mode, to send your troops to attack the Ammo Dump. Run to the ammo dump and help them shoot it. Transfer to the Recon and dash off to the end.
1-2 Behind Enemy Lines
This level is, I believe, unique in this game as you can move during the black screen fade in after the opening cutscene. Meaning as soon as you press to skip the cutscene, move the analogue stick forward. As soon as possible, press Z to transfer to another grunt, and start rolling, making sure your Grunts are following you. It is important that you keep your Grunts close during this. Make sure they don't get distracted killing Tundrans.
When you reach the MG Nest, perform the Fence Clip glitch, which is detailed in another guide on this site.
Afterwards, run at the enemy position, and transfer to the Light Tank, and assault the enemy position, destroying the recons and Ammo Dumps as quickly as possible.
1-3 Assault on Windbreak Ridge
Combat roll through the level until you reach the Bazooka Vets. Place the Bazooka vets in position near the river, where they'll be able to take out the Recons, but won't be threatened by the Tundran Grunts. While the Bazookas do that, keep rolling up the hill with your Grunts to Capture Point. Put Grunts in the MG Nests, and position all your Grunts ready to defend from the Grunts. Leaving them in Wait mode, transfer to a Bazooka Vet.
Use this Bazooka Vet to wipe out all the Tundran Grunts as fast as possible, which is easier than it sounds. Around when you finish, your Grunts should finish stopping the first assault, and the Recons will spawn. Kill the recons, then leave your Bazookas in wait mode at the spawn point.
Transfer back to a Grunt, and kill the next wave of attacking Tundrans. Then transfer back to a Bazooka Vet, and kill the next lot of Recons, which you should be right next to. Then go back to the Grunts, for the next wave. During all of this, make sure your troops don't go into follow mode, lest they accidentally leave their post and mess things up.
Once the Tundrans are dead, send everyone to the Capture Point to defend against the Air Transport. You can't destroy this transport, as it magically heals itself every few seconds. Kill all the Grunts, then transfer back to the Bazookas to wipe out the Light Tanks and end the mission.
1-4 Operation POW
Side-roll towards the POw camp at the start. Shoot the ammo dump and transfer to the Recon. Drive the route, the only real advice I can give being to learn the route and practice it.
When you arrive, transfer to the tank and immediately look up to kill the gunship with your Missile Vets. Then advance to kill the remaining troops. WARNING: The enemy troops will advance towards the parked recon and try to destroy it. Don't let any of them sneak past you, otherwise you will have to waste time travelling back to kill them.
Remember to send your troops ahead to take out the Gunship, you don't need to wait for it to fly in.
1-5 Plan of Attack
Switch to the Light Recon, and zoon ahead with your troops in follow mode. Take out as many of the Bazooka Vets as possible before they arrive. When you die or your troops arrive, switch to your Light Tank and storm the castle. Send your Grunts to capture the flag, while you and the Bazooka Vets take out the Heavy Tank and MG Nest. Once they're gone, send the Bazookas to help the Grunts capture the flag.
1-6 Titans of Tundra
Switch to one of your tanks, and immediately head for the first Heavy Tank. You don't want it to get too far away, so get it to notice you quickly. Once it's dead, head left for the next tank. In general, just follow the path as laid out in the WR video for the tanks, there's little more I can do with text.
Don't worry about the Gunships, they're much less of a threat than Herman makes out. They're not worth the time it takes to deal with them. Just focus on getting rid of the tanks. Pick up every jerry can you find on the way though.
1-7 Striking Distance
Roll towards the Artillery, keeping out of the way of the Tundran Flame Vets. Once you have the Artillery, head to the right and have them shoot the MG Towers from across the river. While they do that, take your infantry across to capture the flag. Take out the Tundran Flame Vets her ASAP, as they will rip through your infantry if you're not careful. As soon as the MG Towers are destroyed, put your Artillery in Follow mode so they cross the river to join you.
Once it's captured, use Bazookas and your Artillery to clear the Light Tanks and MG placements near the 2nd flag. Capture it, and do a similar thing with them on the 3rd one. Once the MG Towers and Nests are gone, you can just storm the capture point with your infantry.
Drive to the objective and take out the Light Tank. Now begin set-up. Place all your troops by the entrance to the radar station, as this is where all the Xylvanians will try and get through. Fill the MG Nests, and place an Artillery on either side.
Switch to an Assault Vet and attempt to take out infantry as they run up the beach, to give your troops guarding the capture point an easier time. Give priority to killing enemy Acid Gas Vets, as they will burn through your infantry quickly. At one point Light Tanks will come, make sure you've brought your Bazooka Vets down for them.
Once reinforcements come, position them as before, but keep the AA Vehicle in next to the flag. Once the Bombers start coming, switch to it so that you can easily take them down.
2-2 Invasion Force
This is an awful level to speedrun, because aside from the first part, it's all on a fixed timer.
Advance, killing all the Xylvanians you find. Once you cross the bridge, you'll need to kill some troops and gunships. Then you'll need to move to the other bridges and kill troops and tanks. Not much advice here except learn how to do it quickly.
You then have to go back to the 1st bridge. Leave your AA vehicles on this side of the bridge, and the rest of your troops on the bridge itself. Now take a tank and cross the bridge, following the road, where you'll find the Xylvanians waiting to come. Kill them, with your bridge troops taking out the stragglers.
The rest of the level is on a fixed timer, so just complete the level without failing.
2-3 Gunships of the Desert
Command your Missile Vets to destroy the first Gunship, and then just drive ahead to the Frontier mechanised division, leaving the infantry behind. Switch to the Gunship, and fly ahead, clearing the path for your tanks. Move them to join the infantry (Take out the Minigun Vets as they can shoot your Gunship down).
Switch to a tank, and advance, leaving the Gunship behind. Take out the AA Vehicles, and then when you reach the capture points, take out the tanks by the entrance, and capture the first flag. Clear a way around the 2nd and capture it. At this point, prioritise taking out the AA Vehicles. Once they're gone, call your Gunship in and take out as many of the Minigun Vets as possible. Send your infantry to capture the flag while you distract the remaining enemy troops with your Gunship.
This last section is very challenging and will require a lot of practice.
2-4 Black Gold
For this opening section, I highly recommend consulting the WR video, as it gets complex. Switch to a gunship, and fly ahead. Send all your troops to the AA emplacement on the left, EXCEPT your Gunships. Take your Gunships and slowly take out the other emplacements. You only need to kill the Ack-Ack Vets and the Searchlights. You should hopefully get to where only 1 is left. Take everyone there and destroy it.
Once the Bombers spawn, switch to one and fly to one of the Extraction Towers. Have a bombing run on it while you leave the AI Bomber back to blow it up. Meanwhile you fly off to take the other 2 out.
Advance up the beach with a Light Tank, and take out the Artillery. Once they're dead, leave your entire Battalion on the beach, and advance in your lone Light Tank towards the Fighter POWs. On the way, Colonel Austin should declare the beach secure. This dialogue is necessary to trigger the Strato Destroyer at the end, and is believed to trigger when their are few enough Xylvanians on the beach, including destroying the Artillery, which is why we did those things earlier.
Free the Fighter POWs, and switch to one of them with your tank. Take out the first wave of Gunships. When the second wave come in, tell the AI Fighter to shoot the Strato Destroyer, while you take out the Gunships, as it's better to give the AI a single target than to have it keep changing.
3-2 Herman's Heroes
Put all your troops in follow mode, and roll up the hill to the Communications Tower. Destroy the MG Tower with your mortar shots, and send your troops to capture the flag. Free the POWs, and then kill all the MG Nests and Minigun Vets as quickly as possible.
Once it's captured, switch to the Heavy Recon. Make sure everyone's in follow mode, and drive down to the Fuel Refinery. Free the POWs, and send everyone to capture the flag. While they do that, drive off to the Munitions Dump, and free the POWs. Once you've done that, transfer back to a unit as the Fuel Refinery, as the Solar Empire can easily destroy the Munitions Dump on their own.
Capture the flag, and head to the extraction point. A Bazooka Vet is recommended for the MG Towers. Wipe out the troops and finish the level.
3-3 Call Sign Eagle
For most of this level you're waiting for Herman's Grunts to advance, so options for increasing speed are limited. However, speed is still key, as once you're done setting up, you can focus on wiping out enemy Fighters that might threaten you.
Ignore the Air Transports, instead take some shots at their escort Fighters, but in general, just focus on flying to the island. Free the Gunship POWs, and send them to attack the Artillery that are near the capture points. Around this time, the Xylvanian Bombers should spawn. Shoot them down and transfer to a Gunship.
Fly over to the beach and use the Gunships and Bombers to destroy the enemy Artillery. Then do the same for the Heavy Tanks up the road. Wipe out all the MG Nests on the road, and the Heavy Tank by the capture points. Once there, move all your troops to guard the capture points.
At this point you simply have to wait for the Grunts to arrive. While waiting, use your Fighters to kill enemy Fighters, as they can be a nuisance. Once the Grunts arrive, Fighters and Air Transports will come, but these are easy to shoot down.
When the Strato Destroyers spawn, wait for them to fly inland before attacking. If you fly right at them you'll keep going out of bounds, which is bad.
3-4 The Guns of Tiki Bay
Advance up the beach, and take out the MG Nest and the Ack-Acks. Once the Gunship spawns, take out the MG Towers before focusing on the Battlestation.
Leave the Gunship behind and advance along the beach. Get to the bridge and make your way to the reinforcements. Now advance towards the Solar base, and use the AA Vehicles to take the Fighters out. Once you have the extra Gunships, concentrate all fire on the Battlestation.
Note that you don't NEED the extra gunships, but they're a massive help.
3-5 Battle of the Coral Atolls
Switch to the Bomber, and leave your troops behind. Bomb out the Artillery battery, and then the Heavy Tank on that island. Switch back to the Battlestation, and wipe out the troops ahead, calling the Bomber back to help. Take out all the Gunships that come for you.
Advance onto the next island, leaving the Bomber behind. Make your way to the bridge to the Solar POWs (The ones on an island on their own). Leave your Battlestation behind, and take all your infantry across. Free the POWs, and go the the capture point to get it. Now cross onto the final island. Go left after the bridge, where you will find a part of the land you can climb (See video for exact location). While climbing, call your Bomber into Follow mode.
You should now be able to sneak up the capture point, and due to bad AI, capture the flag alone without being hit. Use the Bomber on the Battlestation to distract it.
4-1 Bridges on the River Styx
There is little to say about this level really, other than go ahead killing things with your Heavy Tanks. Look at the video for more info.
The only thing to remember is at the last bit, send some Grunts into the final pathway, so that when you destroy everything, you can transfer to one of them and immediately end the level.
4-2 Road to Xylvania
This is one of the hardest levels in the series casually, but it has a huge skip. Leave all troops behind, and switch to an Assault Vet. Roll up the hill, and go around the fence, jumping down the cliff. Get out of the acid ASAP, and run ahead, killing an Xylvanian if needed for health. Run up the hill, and advance towards the objective. DO NOT STOP. If you mess up here, a Legion Gunship will kill you almost certainly.
When you get to a Heavy Tank blocking the way, run past it, timing jumps to avoid its shells. Go off to the side and make it to the final section. Shoot the Vlad statues as quickly as possible.
4-3 Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers*
Advance with a Heavy Tank, killing anyone who stands in your way. The import things here are to heal whenever possible, and kill the Gunships ASAP. We aren't getting the Fighters, so our AA Vehicles are the only hope, and they are idiots unless you tell them what to do. Legion Gunships will seriously ruin your day if not dealt with right away.
When you reach the Cenotaph, send your troops to one of the Obelisks while you circle round for the others. Then just concentrate all fire on your target.
4-4 Siege of thee Vladstag
Very little of note here, just don't dawdle. When you get to the capture points, split your troops up, so you can capture both together.