A guide for getting S+ ranks on the absurdly difficult gauntlet levels.
Table of Contents
Guide to Gauntlet S+
So, you feel ready to tackle the Gauntlet, do you? First, make sure you’ve gotten every S+ rank prior as a skill check. All done? Good, let’s start talking.
The first thing to go over is gear. This guide is for babies. All the YouTube videos I’ve seen covering these levels do the things with basic equipment, but we aren’t clinically insane, so we’re going in with an actual build.
The specifics vary from player to player, but generally you want something both versatile and comfortable for you. The easiest place to start is the pendant. Lethal Lavaliere+. 20% more Kudos for no drawback (since you can’t get hit anyway, so not only is instadeath meaningless, prevasion is as well). Overcharge Pendant is not worth it in my opinion, as we’re going to abuse Septimal Surge like nobody’s business. If you somehow don’t have Septimal Surge (Level 65) unlocked yet, do so now. For your ring, you want something for mobility.
I use Duple (Double?) Boost Band+. 3 Jumps makes a lot of things infinitely easier. Not just platforming, but enemy configurations and boss fights. I think there’s one that gives you both air dash and air jumps, but the air jumps seem to be plenty for me, and in the event that other equip has higher EP usage as a tradeoff, I much prefer just the jumps.
As for the eyes, the name of the game is making your EP meter last. Dynamo Eye+ and Flash Focus+ are both excellent options, I use 2 of the latter. Lastly, our Skills. Really, I only ever use Septimal Surge and Luxcalibur. However, some of the others might have situational uses. If you don’t find them useful and would rather not risk fat fingering the right stick (I’ve lost a couple runs to that) you can always not equip anything other than those two.
As for the actual meat of this guide, I will be going through every stage with a play-by-play of all of the enemy configurations. I have no idea what any of the official enemy names are, but you probably don’t know either, so I’ll just use informal names that are fairly obvious as to who is who.
You should have Naga equipped in 95% of all scenarios. If I require another gun I will let you know. When talking multiple enemies, I will list the shot ratios as 1/1/3 or something of that nature, to tell you how many tags you should have per enemy. Every time I tell you to triple tag something, I expect an Air Strike bonus out of it. They rack up fast, so be sure to do it whenever you can, especially against single targets.
Messing up is okay. Worry about passing the point thresholds I provide, not the micro-optimizations.
Bosses are all covered in Gauntlet 5 (Boss Rush).
My last foreword advice is to make sure you are very practiced on the platforming and boss in each level. The last thing you need to be doing is messing up a jump that was in the original stage. You can’t practice the Gauntlets well as they don’t have checkpoints, so be sure to do that in the normal stages. Play each level at least 5 times for practice before starting your “real” runs. This is especially true for the second half of the stage as you cannot quickly access it.
The first of the Gauntlet stages, tackling Biochem Plant and Subaquatic Base.
Time is not much of an issue here, you have 6:40 to get the bonus and I usually finished with 6:00 or less.
Triple tag the first Mine. When single targeting, be sure to get the Air Strike bonus. This also tends to apply to any non-dangerous situation where you have triple tagged an enemy. It’s okay to not get the bonus on your earlier runs, and start trying to do it as you get more comfortable. Then, triple tag the Plasma Turret and single tag the Mine and Bombing Drone (3/1/1). Remember, we want to maximize points, especially early on. If you mess up in the first minute on your real run I would highly recommend restarting. Obviously after tagging you use the Flashfield. I don’t need to say that every time.
Run down the conveyor belt into the corner against the Plasma Turret, triple tagging. Wait for the second Turret to fire, then double jump over the first Turret, tag the second Turret, then tag the Mine (3/1/1). Tagging order is extremely important in this stage, as in any stage with a lot of Mines. Not only do you not get the kill bonus if the Mine explodes, but it might also mess up enemy health proportions.
Break your way out of the stack of boxes, then stand on the first ledge below. Fire once, then run off, and fire once more. This is to single tag both Bombing Drones. Then double jump over them and Flashfield, double- or triple-tagging the Mine on the way down (1/1/3). If you don’t get the triple here it’s fine, but at least get the double.
Run down the conveyor and triple tag the Plasma Turret, then double jump over it and double tag the Flamethrower Guy (3/2). Break exactly one box, the one you can barely touch on top. Tag the Bombing Drone, and with it in your view, Flashfield while tagging the Mines (1/2/2). Triple tag the Mine in the alcove along the conveyor belt with the unbreakable boxes.
Now we get to a tricky yet profitable gold mine of Mines and two Gun Guys. Order here is important and we want a 4- and 5- bonus on the 9 enemies here. Shoot the 3 Mines on the left flank, and as you are jumping up to tag the top one, activate Flashfield and turn around and shoot 2 shots at the Mine on the right (the center mine) (1/1/1/2). Be sure to not get hit by the Gun Guy, air jumping if necessary. When shooting Mines, sometimes activating the Flashfield early helps, as the multi-kill bonus is a window with some leeway for error. Again, you want to kill the Mines with the Flashfield so they do not explode. Now tag each Gun Guy, then the three Mines (1/1/1/1/1).
This nets 660 Kudos, which is extremely valuable. Enter the conveyor section, wait until 2 Mines are on screen, then shoot each and get the double (3/2). Triple tag the last one. Stand on a box, dash jump right, and fire at the apex, tagging the Bombing Drone. Single tag the Flamethrower Guy, then double tag the Mine (2/1/2). Hold a charge shot before entering the formerly-a-siren-room, then fire at the Shield Guy, and tag both Mines (1/1/3).
At this point you should have at least 3000 Kudos, preferably 3300. Break all of the boxes, then Flashfield hover down the shaft. Triple tag the Gun Guy. Flashfield down the second shaft, and single tag the Ninja. Ninjas are annoying, but with an air jump you can reach them before you activate them, so you can tag them easily. If you miss one, don’t worry about it. Remember, this is to show you the near-optimal Kudos gain, so it’s fine to miss some. Tag the other Ninja.
Triple tag the moving platform and jump over the Plasma Turret. Single tag the Turret, triple tag the Flamethrower Guy, and dash jump right to single or double tag the Mine. (1/3/1). If you feel uncomfortable doing this, just spam shots while on the platform and kill the Turret on its own, then double kill the others. Spam shots while moving to the next Flamethrower Guy.
Tag the platform to call it over, then jump into the middle of the 3 Mines. I tag them top-left-right, as I feel most comfortable doing that. Spam shots for the next Flamethrower Guy. Wait for the steam to go away, then spam shots as you Flashfield to kill the Gun Guy.
Triple tag the next moving platform so you make it through the steam without getting hit. Spam shots to hit the next enemy set, trying to get all of them, but if you don’t get the triple it’s fine. Double jump to hit the left ninja, then still in the air, quickly turn around to hit the one on the right, and kill both together for the double bonus.
We have reached the midpoint of the stage. I would have bare minimum 4000 Kudos at this point, preferably 4400+. If you were optimal, you can get upwards of 5000.
Now, the scenery changes, and we enter the second half of Subaquatic Base. Triple tag the Missile Turret and double tag the Laser Turret (3/2). Dash jump up the right wall, and once again 3/2 the same enemy configuration. Activate the next trio of Laser Turrets one at a time, being sure to dodge the lasers, of course, as they will all redirect at you (1/1/3). Make it to the top and kill the Gun Guy.
Ignore the Tank and switch weapons to Technos (RT once or pause menu). Fire at the Zombie and kill it, then back to Naga. Flashfield the Floor Sentry to disable it. Hug the right wall and the Zombies should not attack you, but try to tag one on the way up. Disable the next Floor Sentry, then triple tag the Plasma Turret and use your air mobility to pass the Pink Guys (I don’t have a better name for them).
I should mention that you should be trying to go fast here to avoid the water. You won’t lose your Kudos, but you can’t Flashfield underwater, so try your best to stay ahead of it. Hug the left wall and bait the Laser Turret, then when the coast is clear, 3/2 the Gun Guy and Laser Turret.
Activate Septimal Surge and kill all of the Shutter Cannons. Hug the right wall of the next vertical shaft, disabling the Floor Sentries. If you accidentally activate the Zombie, you’ll have to wait until it jumps. Kill the Missile Turret. Be sure you have a constantly full EP bar here so you can take all of the Missile Turrets out. Take out the first Laser Turret, then the second with the Plasma Turret (3/2). We can afford to be sub-optimal here as we overcompensated in the first half of the stage and just want to not get hit.
Kill all of the Missile Turrets on your way up, or if the water is too close, just focus on escaping. Kill the last Laser Turret and exit the rising water segment.
Triple tag the next Missile Turret and double tag the Laser Turret above water (3/2), dodging the laser of the Laser Turret underwater. Be absolutely sure all of the missiles have been destroyed by the Flashfield. You have spare time, you can take it a little slow. Don’t worry about Air Strikes.
Charge a Naga and tag the Shield Guy, then the underwater Laser Turret and finally the Gun Guy, using Flashfield ABOVE THE WATER. Your extra jumps are essential here, or you can wall jump.
Tag the underwater Laser Turret and the Missile Turret, then the second Laser Turret. If you don’t kill the Missile Turret, that’s fine. Remember, not getting hit is what matters. Tag the Flying Turret once or twice and the Missile Turret 3 times (2/3). Triple tag the next Missile Turret, then kill both the Gun Guy and the Laser Turret.
Break the end gate and HOLD DOWN (direction) The entire time until the boss room loads. You do not want to fight viper, f viper, merak is way easier to be consistent with. I’m not the best with Merak either, but Viper is a 10% chance of making it out alive and Merak is a 50% chance. By holding a direction, you can guarantee a boss, up for the first half’s boss, down for the second half’s. This holds for all Gauntlets.
I don’t have room in this section to write about fighting Merak, so just make sure you have at least 7000 Kudos upon entering, use Septimal Surge at the start, and finish with Luxcalibur.
Next up is Datastore and Stratacombs.
Unfortunately, this level is much more difficult than the previous. To save space, I will start shorthanding, so let’s get right in.
We are greeted with an already tricky jump in an opening volley of two Flamethrower Guys and a Mine. Hit the bottom Flamethrower Guy and double jump to the ledge instead of using Flashfield. Predamage him a tiny bit with flashfield and triple tag the second Flame guy. Then go back for the Mine (1/3/1).
Now for a tough platforming section, if this even qualifies as one, given the severe lack thereof. Hold Flashfield, then drop it and IMMEDIATELY reactivate it at ALL of the points you cannot pass. It works, just trust me. Land on the conveyor and dash off it while activating the Flashfield at the last second. You should go around the Pink Guy. Do the same release to insta-reactivate trick from before on the next Pink Guy, then drop down the opening, making sure you reactivate Flashfield to not land on the spikes.
Go down the belts to reach 3 Mines, easy 1/1/1. Proceed, then charge Naga and fire it at the Gun Guy through the wall, and tag the Mine above you (1/2).
There is a lot of tricky platform moving ahead. If you would prefer a video the base equipment stuff on YouTube does the job here. Otherwise, start by bringing the platform left. Ride it until it blocks the diagonal bullets, then drop down. Attract the platform to the right and slip in the crack to the left of the platform. Dispose of the Mine and travel over the two floor Rapid Turrets, and then drag the platform right a bit and slip on the left and kill the Gun Guy. If you do not feel comfortable doing this, instead use Septimal Surge to just take the Rapid Turret on the ceiling out.
In the next section, 3x tag the first Mine. Cover yourself using the platforms, then jump up to the right of the platform and get over the Pink Guys. Keep moving the platforms and take out the next pairs of Mines. Slip between the bullets and the platform on the right, then drag the platform right to block the bullets.Take out the next two pairs of Mines.
Tag the following Gun Guy and Flame Guys together for a triple, using a double jump to not have to activate Flashfield early. Charge Naga and approach the Shield Guy, destroy his bomb with Flashfield, then fire to get him, Gun Guy, and Rocket Guy all at once. (1/1/1).
More platforms, then charge Naga to get the two Mines in a row and then tag the third (1/1/1). If the next two Mines scare you, take them out first, then do more platform shenanigans. This is a tricky one, as you need to move the platform left, enter the space under it between the bullet streams, then drag the platform right.
Pull over the platform blocking your way, then fire a bullet before dropping in the hole to tag the first Flame Guy, tag the Mine, and the second Flame Guy, in that order (1/1/1).
Tag the next Flame Guy, Mine, and other Flame Guy (1/1/1). Make sure your EP meter is full here for the next bit. This next segment is a bit tricky, as you have to maintain your verticality while dodging Pink Guys. Your top priority is hitting the Flame Guy, then the Mine, then the Shield Guy, in that order. If the Flame Guy can’t attack he can’t hurt you unless you walk into him.
Enter the platform sandwich, taking out the Mine. drop to the left of the diagonal bullet stream and wait for the bullets to stop, taking out Gun Guy in the process. If a Rapid Turret is too far off screen it cannot shoot you. Get the next two Flame Guys, and if you’re good, the third guy on top in the same set by triple jumping to the movable platform above you and shooting him off screen. This concludes the first half.
Aim for 3500 Kudos and sub 3 minutes at this point, 2:45 if you can muster it.
Stratacombs is kind of annoying. First, you start in the dark, with no illuminating enemies. You are also punished by using Flashfield by the Root Hands. Start by jumping right then running forward and firing Naga quickly. This should take out the Electric Leech. Double tag the Gun Guy and triple tag the Armor Guy (2/3).
Every time you see a Root Hand, there is danger. The first one requires you to dash jump. Stop before Chainsaw Man and triple tag him. Hold Flashfield and dash off the right under the second Root Hand. Quickly shoot the Plasma Turret and the Gun Guy, minding the ceiling spikes. Potentially the Mine as well if you can. Dash under the third Root Hand and spam shots to hit the Flame Guy, then take out the Mine. Be wary of the next Electric Leech in the air, then the one after on the ground.
Dash jump with Flashfield active after the next Root Hand and tag the blue light to open the barrier. Get between the Plasma Turrets and take them out (3/2). Make the room green and kill the next Plasma Turret below. Unfortunately, Technos’ low tag count makes it difficult to use in this section, as we need point bonuses here. Tag the first Zombie and Acid Zombie together, then make the room purple. Try to get a double between the next Acid Zombie and Zombies. Dash jump to get down the right, make the room green, and air jump to make it to the next safe spot.
Triple tag the Flame Guy and single the two mines (3/1/1). Dash jump right while spamming fire to kill the Electric Leech. You can either pre-fire to hit the red light or dash and Flashfield to stand on it and hit the one on the other side of the wall with a charged Naga.
This next part is kind of a puzzle. Go down the right and make the room blue and kill the Gun Guy. Disable the Floor Sentry and kill the Flame Guy and Plasma Turret after. If you’re good you can push the Gun Guy down and get a triple off of them.
Make the room cyan and go back up, go left and make it yellow, and then go back down, but be sure to be under the blue barrier before activating the yellow. Run down the hall to the left in the dark and spam fire to kill two Electric Leeches. Push the Gun Guy behind the next Chainsaw Man to get a double. Keep the next Mine and Plasma Turret alive and go down, then right. Hit the red light and start getting triples with the Zombies, Mines, and other enemies. Make the room yellow.
Continue through the bottom, being careful of the Zombies. Try to multi-tag them. Make the room normal color, spam to kill two Electric Leeches, and it’s onto the boss.
Unfortunately, while Elise is a joke with Septimal Surge, it’s much harder to get the overkill bonus on her due to her resurrection gimmick. I tried hitting them both in the center with Luxcalibur and that did not work, so instead you will have to not use Septimal Surge and use Voltaic Chains instead. Down for Elise, up for Carrera, I prefer Carrera. I’ll go over bosses fully in Gauntlet 5.
The final of the main stages, Pharma Lab and Media Tower.
This one has less tricky platforming but a lot more enemy spam. If nothing else, this makes Kudos less of a pain.
The first thing you’ll notice is this is Pharma Lab 1, not 2. For whatever reason, this one is the first half of the stage. Now, as for the actual level…
Start off by tagging the first Flying Turret. Flashfield a couple times to push it right, then tag the second Flying Turret and the Chainsaw Man (1/1/3). Triple tag the following Chainsaw Man and single tag the Flying Turret after (3/1). You want to be on the floor when making these kills, as you don’t want to get hit by the Root Hands. Preemptively shoot so that you tag both Flower Nests and kill them together. Then tag the Flying Turret, Flower Nest, and Flamethrower Guy all at once for a triple. Don’t bother with triple tagging for the most part here, it’s not worth it as you can’t get the Air Strike bonus easily. Kill the next Flamethrower Guy and move on.
This part is annoying. Flower Nests are everywhere and above you so their spawns are always falling. I would snake around the Root Hands while always keeping the Flashfield active and just kill as you go up. Tag the first Flower Nest and activate Flashfield, then go up the left side and tag the Flying Turret and Flower Nest. If you’re efficient, you won’t get shot at, and the spawns will die to the Flashfield. Recharge, hold down Flashfield, and double jump to go up the left side, killing the Flower Nests once more. Triples are nice, but Doubles are sufficient. Get the last two Flying Turrets.
Shoot both of the next Flower Nests, then disable the Floor Sentries and open the door. Wait for the two spawn waves from the next Flower Nest, tag it, then go down and tag the next one to get the double.
Once you hit the bottom, triple tag the first Flower Nest and kill it. Then single tag the Flying Turret, and shoot 3 shots at the Flower Nest, expecting one or two to miss and hit the one behind it (1/2/1). Triple tag the Flower Nest in the hallway.
Tag the Flying Turret and next two Flower Nests for a triple (1/2/2). Get the next Flower nest behind the Rapid Turret and the Flying Turret below for a double (2/1). Triple tag the next Flower Nest. Tag the Flying Turrets, but don’t activate Flashfield until you tag the next Flower Nest AND are on the other side of the Rapid Turret. Flashfield to the next platform, going faster than the bullets can hit you. Kill the next Flower Nest, then the Flower Nest and Flying Turret for a double. Get the last Flying Turret before the miniboss, and switch to Cerberus.
The miniboss is a little tough to get down, but the general idea is to get to the highest platforms, activate Septimal Surge, and shoot it a bunch (holding fire) until it opens, dodging the yellow pollen. Triple tag the boss and get to the center, and then hold down Flashfield, air jumping to stay in range. You can usually one-cycle it. Switch back to naga after.
After the miniboss, you should have at least 3500 Kudos on an ideal run.
The Media Tower portion of this stage, AKA “Surprise! Enemies!”. You will be constantly flung into the path of danger and have to know how to deal with each micro-obstacle as it comes.
Take out the Gun Guy, Missile Turret, and Laser Turret together, then the Shield Guy, Gun Guy, and Laser Turret that follow. Every section with Launchers has some form of danger, so be sure to follow instructions to the letter here. Jump into the LEFT CORNER of the first one while holding Flashfield so you make it past the Rapid Turrets before their bullets get you. Kill the Laser Turret, then take the next Launcher up. Shoot the Laser Turret and then triple tag the Big Gun Guy. Do the same for the double Laser Turret setup and the Chainsaw Man.
Triple Jump (or take the left launcher) to get into the MIDDLE-RIGHT (error low) of the TOP Launcher and hold Flashfield. Take out the Laser Turret.
Take the next Launcher up and immediately stand to the RIGHT of the Gun Guy underneath the right Laser Turret. You can try to tag the Laser Turret on the left if you want, but the safest place when dealing with two Laser Turrets is to stand directly under one of them.
In the next set of enemies, run towards the Missile Turret, tagging it, then jump left to get over the Laser Turret’s laser, and kill both of those enemies. You don’t need to get all of the point bonuses in this level, there are plenty to spare, so if a section is too hard to get max points ignore it and just get through no damage.
Take the next Launcher and go into the upper-right of the MIDDLE Launcher when presented with options. Stop using Flashfield right as you get through the bullets, as if you take the top Launcher you will get launched into a Laser Turret. Take the bottom Launcher and kill them. Take the vertical Launchers up and when you get to the diagonal one hit the RIGHT corner with the middle of your body while holding Flashfield.
Take the next Launcher, then once again hit the far side of the MIDDLE option when presented. Kill the Laser Turret. Go up and be ready to tag the Missile Turret and thread the needle between the two laser shots. With the next group of enemies, tag the Missile Turret, Laser Turret, and Gun Guy.
Go up and be ready to dodge. Kill all of the enemies. Go up. Be ready for the Laser Turrets. Finally, reach the next platform and kill all of those enemies as well, being sure to dodge the Gun Guys and Laser Turret shots. Evade the Pink Guys on the way up and we finally reached the end.
Shoot for about 7000 Kudos at this point, it’s ok to be a little under. You should have plenty of time, at least a minute and a half.
Stratos and Jota are actually both pretty easy, especially with an Offensive Skill finisher. If you did S+ on Babel (which you should have by now) you should have them down. Up for Stratos, down for Jota.
Welcome to the last stage-based Gauntlet, featuring Sinner’s Row and Eridu. Naturally, it is the most difficult, and enemies are absolutely everywhere. At least points aren’t hard to come by, but you will need to move quickly and precisely, as the time limit is 5:50. Triple tagging is exclusively for keeping enemies in sync with their deaths for combos.
Start by tagging both the Laser Turret and Gun Guy, dash jumping through the gap. Wait for the platforms to line up so the one closest to you is at the top, and fire off screen to hit the Plasma Turret while dodging the Laser Turret, and get the triple.
Hit the Flamethrower Guy and Flashfield him so he falls off the ledge. Triple tag the Shielded Tank and single tag the Gun Guy (1/3/1) for the triple.
Tag the Plasma Turret, and from a distance, tag the Flame Guy and Flower nest for another triple.
Maneuver into the center of the next trio of enemies and get a triple. Knock the Missile Guy over a bit to be closer to the enemies after, and tag all four of them at once, five if you can snag the Plasma turret. Otherwise, tag the last Plasma Turret.
Use a charged Naga shot to hit both the Flame Guy and Flower Nest, and get the Shielded Tank.
Skip the Double Tank and triple tag the Chainsaw Man, then double tag the Flower Nest after it and get the double.
Tag the Bombing Drone and Big Gun Guy together. Kill the next Flower Nest on its own, it’s obnoxious to get into either combo. Get the Shielded Tank and Flame Guy together.
Get a triple with the Gun Guy, Missile Guy, and Laser Turret. Get a triple with the next set of Gun Guys, either by knocking the middle one into the pit and standing where he did or using charged Naga. Get the next Flame Guys together.
Bait the next Flame Guy and Laser Turret into attacking, get past them, and get the other Laser Turret and Gun Guy after them for an electric bonus. Cross the gap and kill the Laser Turret (and double tank if you want since it’s right there).
Take out the sole Flame Guy on his own. Dash jump into the far side of the pit, not getting hit by the Laser Turret or Root Hands. Activate the cables, tag all the turrets, and Flashfield from the bottom-center to not get hit by Root Hands.
Watch the skies for the Bombing Drones, and try to get as many bonuses as you can between them and the ground enemies. This concludes Sinner’s Row. You’ll want at least 5000 Kudos at this point, and be there no later than 3 minutes in.
Double kill the Missile Turret and Wheelie, then the Missile Turret and Mine. Then double the Mine and Shield Guy. Get the electric bonus with the next two Mines and Wheelies.
Try to triple the Shield Guy, Missile Turret, and Flame Guy. Skip the Double Tank, then triple the two Wheelies and Flying Turret. Triple the following Wheelie, Flying Turret, and Shield Guy. Use charged Naga to tag the Shield Guy and Flame Guy, then tag the Flying Turret.
Skip the Double Tanks and kill the Missile Turret. Charge a Naga to hit the Shield Guy and Zombie, then tag the Laser Turret. Follow up with the Zombie, Wheelie, and Chainsaw Man. Kill the next Laser Turret from a distance and pass the Rolling Tank.
From here, ignore the enemies and dash to the end. You should have high enough Kudos. Though the final Wheelie and Missile Turret shouldn’t be too bad if you want a little more.
Up for Copen (obvious pick), down for… Azimov? Yea, you fight Azimov instead of Merak 2. Honestly, though, this makes it a prime place to practice him, since you will need to beat him in Gauntlet 5, and Gauntlet 4 is only about half as long, especially if you are going fast. But yea, beat Copen, much easier.
Gauntlet 5 (Boss Rush)
And so, we have made it to the final stage, the boss rush.
The bosses in boss rush are slightly different from their regular-stage counterparts. I will at least review both forms of the ones that I told you to fight in the previous sections, however, I will be discussing them in Boss Rush order rather than the order you fight them in stages. Our goal is 1.3M points, or 867K pre-time multiplier.
In addition, you will want a bunch of extra gear at your disposal. The must-haves are 2 Adrenaline Lens+, 2 Cooldown Lens+, and a Skytether Band (and your starter QUILL Signet). If you don’t have them unlocked, keep crafting related items, air jump items for Skytether, lenses for the others. We are going to cheese the boss rush.
I also request that you get in some practice to where you can start beating these bosses somewhat consistently. The first four are mandatory to where you should get them at least 80% of the time each, barring the occasional fat finger, dead controller, random interruption destroying your concentration, etc. Prevasion is a godsend for this, abuse the crap out of it. You can fight Viper for 10 minutes and take no damage whatsoever. So go do it.
The general formula for boss fights is this: Equip your Adrenaline Lenses+, activate Septimal Surge, swap to Flash Focus+ (or your preferred lenses of choice), fight fight fight, and win. However, the specifics do vary from boss to boss, and there is a chain of command as to whether you should use it or not if you did not get back your Skill Point. Generally, I try to get you to finish with a Septimal Surge about to run out where possible, as it is usually better to spend 3 more seconds at the start than the end. If fighting in Gauntlets 1-4, don’t bother with the lens swapping, your default loadout with 3 Skill Points on entry will do fine.
Start with Cerberus unless I say otherwise.
Merak: Merak always leads with some punches. Jump up immediately and then run underneath him and activate Septimal Surge after a couple seconds. Swap lenses. He’ll charge at you, then go back to the air, then fire some bullets out of portals. He should die before the portals go away, if not before they appear. This leads to phase 2.
He will punch you more, but through portals this time. The number of times is random. I would try to jump over the first punch, land, and air jump if he does it a third time. He might charge at you. As for phase 3, be sure to tag him before he fires his ultimate. If he charges first, great. Be sure to have a triple tag ready to go. Stand underneath him so the Lazy Laser starts on one end and leaves you room on the other. This should be about when he dies, so try to get the Air Strike bonus. Of course, if this is in Gauntlet 1, finish with Luxcalibur.
Stratos: First, he’ll come at you from the side. Tag and jump over and get some Flashfield in. After about half to two thirds of the first phase, pop Septimal Surge and swap lenses. If he does the digging attack, run away twice then double jump over the third attack. If he does the egg attack, break the eggs. Phase 2. If he does the split and clamp attack, you can probably move him to phase 3 before he will clamp. Phase 3. score as many tags as possible and get right next to him before he activates Nemesis Fang. Dash around, dodging the projectiles. Don’t bother with the things on the side, beat him before that matters. If this is Gauntlet 3, you can take the side things out, and finish with Luxcalibur.
Jota: This depends on if you are full on Skill Points or not. Pop if you have 3, not if you have 2. To be honest I shouldn’t have to explain this fight at this point. Just know that you want to activate Septimal Surge right after he fires Phosporatorium and hold down fire with Cerberus until he dies.
Carrera: This should be the freest fight as long as you don’t choke it. He follows the same pattern for the most part. You should still have Jota’s Septimal Surge up. If you have 3 SP, pop a Septimal after phase 1. Dodge his tackles, but he won’t get more than a few attacks off per phase. Gauntlet 2 finish with Luxcalibur blah blah blah.
Viper: Be sure to start with 2 and a half SP minimum. Wait before him if you need to, you have plenty of time, on a good run you get here by 2:40, 3:00 for a less good run. Ah, yes, the jerkwad of this set. This one gets a full writeup. Pop Septimal immediately. Phase 1 has only 2 attacks, Charge Kick and Ora Ora Ora. The key here is manipulating the direction he is facing. At start, you will always have enough room to not get hit by the first Charge Kick.
Tag and Flashfield, make sure he faces the wall, and jump over. Do this until phase 2. Be less spammy with Flashfield here, turn it off after every wave and only attack on turns where you get a good opening. By staying in the opposite corner to him, you’re safe from most attacks other than Charge Kick when he is close, or if he telegraphs a finisher. It’s less bad than it looks. He should only get a few attacks off in the first place. As soon as phase 3 starts, predamage him a little, and hit him with a Septimal-boosted Luxcalibur before he can start firing bullets. This cashes you into just over 50k points.
Elise: Only thing of note here is you might want to farm her for Kudos as long as you have a Septimal ready. Let it recharge a little after, at least one and a half.
Copen: Pop a Septimal and dodge his attacks. He telegraphs each one by name, only real danger is Elise’s petrifying attack. On the third wave, finish with Astrasphere. This cashes in your second round of points, and for the most part, you should be set as long as you finish each boss after with a Skill. Gauntlet 4 finish Lux obv.
Nova 1: Wait for at least 2 and a half SP before entering. Pop a Septimal, dodge the rings, and melt him. For his special, dodge to the side, then diagonal, side, diagonal, side, jump over the ball every time. If you can finish with bonus Kudos, great. Finish with Astrasphere (it will disable Lumen even if you haven’t).
Nova 2: Tag both of his, er, animal claw things. Simultaneous tag, hit the core, blah blah blah, pop a Septimal if you have at least 1 and a half SP, finish with Astrasphere. If you want me to explain more leave a comment, otherwise the patterns are fairly easy to dodge if you have extra jumps.
Azimov: The other fight of note in this gauntlet. At the start, equip both Cooldown Lenses+ and QUILL Signet. Because we did all that cashing in, Cooldown Lens’ Kudos cap is meaningless. Jump over his round shots 3 at a time 4 times. Flashfield to counter his. You will recharge very quickly after this as you have your gear. Tag him a bunch, but not too m any times to activate his prevasion and wail on him with Flashfield.
Do this without Septimal to give your SP more time to recharge. We want to finish with Luxcalibur or at least Astrasphere. Swap lenses to get the most of your SP. Once phase 2 starts, he has a few new attacks. Jump over his initial ground shock. For the radial attack, stand in the far corner and jump to dodge only the one coming right at you. The rest will miss. For the 5-reticle attack, dash jump into the side over all of the shots. Assuming you were successful, repeat the whole clash and flash process until phase 3, possibly with Septimal if you can afford it.
Dodge the ground shock again, don’t get touched by his body, and equip Skytether Band and Flash Focuses+. Once the chains are all up, go to the top where a hole is and stay there until his attack is over. Once he is somewhat low (half his health or lower), finish with an offensive Skill you can afford. This should net you the 867K you need to finish with, even if you got hit a lot. 13 minutes is very generous. I finished in under 11 even with SP refill time and Elise farming.
And there you have it! All S+ ranks finished, and likely the game. I hope my guide was helpful!