Transistor doesn’t exactly go out of its way to explain some things, or does so in ways that are not super-obvious. Here are some tips you may have missed.
Table of Contents
Function Loadout Hints
Passive function slots tend to be overlooked, but there are some pretty nifty abilities there, so don’t forget about them when you’re setting up your loadout.
There are several ways that you can increase the amount of damage inflicted by a function:
- Position yourself behind the enemy before you attack to backstab them. Backstabbing increases the amount of damage inflicted by 50%. Crash(), Breach(), Bounce(), Ping(), and Cull() all work with backstabbing.
- Attacking while Mask()ed amplifies the damage inflicted. However, this also removes Mask()’s effect, so only your first attack will benefit.
- Starting your attack with Crash() will make them vulnerable to combos. Using function abilities in combos inflict more damage than they would individually.
- Applying Void() to the target greatly decreases their attack, but it also amplifies subsequent attacks by 150%, and can be stacked three times. Backstabbing with Crash(), stacking three Void()s, then finishing with Cull() can do astounding amounts of damage.
- When building your loadout, consider using these functions as upgrades to make your active attack functions to do more damage or affect more targets: Cull(), Void(), Mask(), Load(), Spark(), Bounce(), Purge(), and Flood().
The Practice Test in the Sandbox is a great place to try out different function loadouts without having to worry about the consequences if it doesn’t work out. The other tests are also useful for helping you learn how to make the most of your functions.
Getting the Most Out of Turn()
When your plan bar is full, you can’t perform any more actions during Turn(), but as long as there is even a sliver of planning potential left, you can perform another function, no matter how expensive. A great way to make the most of your planning potential is to use up almost all of it, then make your last function something really expensive, like Cull().
When Help() is installed as an active function, use it to summon a Fetch outside of Turn(). This will allow you to command the Fetch during Turn(), which you can use to do more attacks or collect cells.
Installing Ping() and Breach() as passive functions will let you do a lot more during Turn(). You can also install Jaunt() as a passive function to make the Turn() cooldown shorter.
Don’t forget that you can use Jaunt() outside of Turn(), even when Turn() is on cooldown. You can also bind Jaunt() to another active function to make that function usable during Turn() cooldown.
The ability to use Kill() when binding Help() as a passive function sounds awesome, but isn’t so great in practice. First off, SuperUser mode only activates 25% of the time that you enter Turn(). Second of all, as a SuperUser, your normal functions are all disabled. Finally, Kill() consumes your entire planning bar, meaning that you can’t do anything else (like run away) afterward.
When Red’s health is depleted, the active function which cost the most memory overloads, unless it is your only remaining installed damage-dealing slot, in which case, the next most expensive one overloads instead.
Both the active function and any upgrading functions bound to it are considered when determining the cost and damage. However, only the active function itself overloads; the upgrades are simply uninstalled.
You can tell which function will overload because it will have four glowing wires at the top, connecting it to your life bar.
Only the installed copy of a function will overload; if you’ve gotten another copy via recursion, it is not affected.
A overloaded function is restored when you use two new access points. If more than one function is overloaded in the same encounter and the Priority limiter is equipped, only one function will be restored. You will have to visit the next new access point to restore another.
Hints for Certain Regular Enemies
Cluckers have to be some distance away from you to attack; they are absolutely harmless at close range (although the slowing trails version 2.0 leaves behind can be problematic). Without Jaunt() installed as an active function, you will probably have to use Turn() to dodge their artillery. If you are able to stay on your toes, you can probably leave Cluckers for later and focus on more high-priority targets.
Watch out for the distruption fields left by version 3.0; it will cancel your Turn() if you wander into one.
Fetches run faster than Red, and become particularly dangerous once they get to version 2.0, since they can mask themselves, and even more so at version 3.0 when they gain a stunning Bark(). They can only attack at melee range, and must unmask to do so; use that moment to trigger Turn() and inflict as much damage as possible.
Each Man has an attribute which it shares with other Man enemies. Two varieties are particularly annoying: “Stealthy” (which masks them when they’re not attacking) and “Sturdy” (which causes them to regenerate health). You should prioritize Man enemies with these attributes over the “Speedy” and “Shooty” varieties; once a Man is terminated, all surviving Man enemies lose its shared ability.
A masked Man will unmask shortly before it attacks, and will mask again shortly afterward. Capitalize on this moment of vulnerability to attack.
The “Haircuts” Man spawns, while having very low health, do enormous amounts of damage if their kamikaze attack connects. However, they damage Man just as much as they damage you. Destroy them immediately upon spawning to cause the Man to be caught in the blast. Breach() and Ping() are great for setting off Haircuts from a distance. Another option is to use Turn() to move in, hit the Haircut, and retreat. Switch() will cause the Haircut to turn against the Process. However, Switch() tends to be less useful against Stealthy Man, because by the time the Haircut reaches one, it’s likely to be masked. It may still be useful if there are non-Man enemies around, though.
If you are far enough away, Man will not move or attack. It is safest to avoid drawing aggro from more than one Man at a time, and to not draw aggro from any of them while dealing with other enemies.
An Operator has a limited number of spawns. It’s best to kill it as fast as possible to reduce the number of enemies summoned. However, once its spawns are exhausted, you might as well ignore it and focus on other enemies, since aside from summoning enemies it is completely harmless.
Operators can’t be backstabbed or Switch()ed.
Weeds will damage you if you are close them and heal any nearby Process. However, you can Switch() them, which will cause them to heal you and damage Process!
YoungLady teleports as soon as she is struck. Don’t waste your time hitting her with weak attacks; backstab her with the strongest single attack you can make, preferably while Mask()ed.
Every time she teleports, she leaves behind a shadow copy. The copies die with a single hit, but their attacks hurt just as much as the real thing. If you ignore them and allow them to accumulate, you can find yourself quickly overwhelmed.
YoungLady spews a large number of cells on death, which hatch into Badcells if they’re not collected, so try to pick them up quickly.
Hints for Facing Bosses
- Sybil’s fight has three phases:
- Phase 1: Sybil faces you alone. She floats around and periodically charges with her parasol.
- Phase 2: She summons several Weeds, which she will use to heal herself if her health gets low. She charges twice in a row.
- Phase 3: She summons Creeps and Cheerleaders to assist her. Any remaining Weeds from phase 2 will still be present. She charges three times in a row.
- You can tell when Sybil’s attack is coming because you will see her draw back her parasol to stab you. This attack will also temporarily remove Process walls, so hiding behind one won’t protect you from her double/triple charges.
- Sybil is not susceptible to Switch(), so it’s worthless during phase 1, but it can come in useful during the later two phases. Use it on Weeds and they will heal you. Use it on Creeps and they will attack Sybil or other Process. Use it on Cheerleaders and they will shield you.
- Sybil’s range of vision is long but not limitless. If you stand far enough away from her, she will ignore you. This may be useful for allowing Turn() to recharge, dispatching other Process, or for Switch()ing a Weed to heal you.
- Backstabbing is your friend. Activate Turn(), get behind her, unload on her, then Jaunt() away.
- If you’re in phase 3 and Sybil’s almost dead, just focus on finishing her off. Any other remaining Process will be automatically terminated when she’s beaten.
- At the end of phase 3, it looks like another phase is coming, but she’ll just spit out a bunch of cells that never hatch and crawl helplessly on the floor. Hit her once more to put her out of her misery.
- This battle becomes ridiculously easy during Recursion, as Sybil is no match for your full function arsenal. Cull() in particular not only does lots of damage, but throws her away from you so that she can’t counterattack.
- Right when you get off the gondola, the Transistor will say, “Wait!” Heed his advice and go to the Access Point to adjust your function loadout for the encounter.
- The Spine has three attacks:
- It shoots rapid-fire laser bolts from its head. You can use the white walls for cover, but they will eventually fall to the Spine’s barrage.
- It attempts to stab you from above with its tail. The tail is invulnerable, so don’t bother to attack it.
- When it incurs about 800 damage, it will spew a bunch of cells all over the battlefield. These will turn into Badcells if they are not collected.
- The Spine is not susceptible to Switch() or Get(). Bounce() might be useful when there are Badcells around, but otherwise you’d be better off with another function, as there aren’t any other targets to Bounce() to.
- Load() and Jaunt() are particularly useful in this fight. Set packets next to the Spine’s head, set them off, then Jaunt() away. Use Jaunt() to stay away from the Spine’s laser and tail attacks.
- When the Spine reaches 0 HP, any Badcells still present will be automatically terminated. Climb inside its corpse and slash its heart to finish the battle.
- Just before you fight Royce, your function loadout will be cleared and you will have the chance to customize your loadout for the fight.
- Until you get good at beating Royce, he is likely to overload at least one of your functions. Make sure that your loadout considers this.
- Like you, Royce has access to Turn() with limited planning potential, and his Turn() must cool down before he can use it again.
- Royce starts out with 1,000 HP. Like you, when his health reaches 0, one of his functions overloads and his health bar refills. When you deplete his health bar, the UI will show how many “second chances” he has left; this is how many more times you have to get him down to 0. You win when you deplete his health bar while he has no more second chances (in other words, you’ve overloaded all his functions).
- Royce uses Breach(), Bounce(), Crash(), Jaunt(), Mask(), Flood(), and Spark(). He does not appear to have access to any other functions.
- Royce is not susceptible to Switch(), and Bounce() is not particularly useful because there are no other targets to hit.
- Although Mask() prevents Royce from attacking you, he can still see you.
- Royce is capable of inflicting backstab damage on you, so try to avoid having your back to him when he activates Turn().
- You can move (slowly) while Royce’s turn is executing. Run perpendicular to his attacks and you may be able to avoid some of them.
- Royce will try to keep away from you while his Turn() is on cooldown. You should do the same.
- It can be helpful to try to keep trace banks between yourself and Royce. While not reliable as barriers, they will sometimes block Royce’s attacks. Royce will somtimes be smart enough to walk around them, though.
- Royce will usually wait to activate his Turn() until he judges that he is close enough to you. If you do a good enough job of keeping away from him, he may delay long enough for you to get an extra Turn() against him.
- By the time you encounter Royce, you should have experimented enough with your functions that you will have discovered a loadout that allows you to do 1K+ damage per turn. This should allow you to one-shot Royce’s health bar. Combine this with the tips in this section, and you should be able to defeat Royce without overloading any functions.
- The Agency test in the Sandbox is a good way to practice against an enemy wielding a Transistor.