An enemy of the same species/variety with a higher level awards more EXP than one with a lower level. If you do not have Ami[or access to her VR Visor], looking at the Star next to their life-meters is one of the only ways to get an idea of how high a monster's level is. Remember also, higher level monsters are stronger than lower level monsters.

Although ESS-rank monsters are rare, they are extremely relentless and tend to hammer your characters with sheer firepower and numbers in projectile fire. Your best bet is to use any cover you can find if you face them, especially at higher levels.

When one character dies, your 'incoming' character will be invulnerable to damage for 1.5 seconds. If your last character died at the hands of an ESS-rank monster or even the Octanine, try to use this 1.5 seconds to either flee the fight or hammer that monster relentlessly with [hopefully] your best weapon.

If you are near a body of water over a high altitude, attempt to force your enemies over the side and into the water. More than likely they'll fall under and never be able to resurface, and will likely drown after a few seconds. This even works on the Boss/Mini-Boss/ESS-rank enemies[except the Queen-class monsters, who are naturally aquatic and won't drown].

Never, ever, EVER under any circumstance pass up a Continue Item unless you know there is absolutely no way to get to it. This should be painfully obvious though to even the densest player. Only if you're truly challenging yourself should you pass up the Continues you find. However remember you can only hold 5 at a time!

Stay away from crushers if you can help it. Depending on it's speed or if it works like a piston, one crusher can possibly spell doom to your ENTIRE GROUP in one fell swoop(even REGARDLESS of if anyone is Invulnerable or not), so be extremely cautious if you have to pass through a group of crushers. 

However, in the same light, crushers work just as effectively against Invulnerable monsters, however more than likely their Icon of the Defender and anything else they would drop will be crushed along with them and you won't be able to grab them.

If you see the icon of a Rook next to a monster this means they are holding an Icon of the Defender[invulnerability]. Keep your distance from these guys. Getting too close will expose you to their instant-death bio-aura(created by the Icon they're carrying), and you'll lose your current character(however the 1.5 second invulnerability for the incoming character still works against this to allow you to get away).

Although the old-school method of "Shrink-n-Stomp" will still help you through the game, be warned that it will not grant you much EXP or RANK award for doing so. Only if the situation is desperate should you rely on using the Shrinker. Additionally, sometimes the enemy can reflect the Shrinker's bolts off of themselves, usually back in YOUR direction. Some monsters can't be shrunk at all, or have substantially high resistance to being shrunk[Shrink Trooper, Octanine, Mini-Bosses, ESS-ranks, etc].

DO NOT use Steroids if your character is poisoned. This simply makes the damage from the poison rack up faster as a nasty side effect.

ESS-rank enemies all have one crippling weakness, however you will have to discover this weakness for yourself.

SAVE YOUR GAME OFTEN. Your group has only one 'life' so to say. This means once your characters all die for good and you have no continue items, it's completely Game Over. You will have to return to the Title Screen or reload a saved game, and you will not be able to just restart the current level.


Duke is stronger when he is standing in Toxic Waste or Purple Lava/Hyper Acid (but not when standing on electrified floors, plasma or lava). This affects both how much damage he receives from attacks and how much damage he inflicts on enemies.

Jack cannot be poisoned. Additionally, he will absorb the damage of the Enforcer-class enemies' poison spit attacks into healing.

Bubsy is extremely useful for aerial fighting and getting around above-water areas quickly. He has both the advantage of the highest jumping strength and added with his ability to glide (although you must actively make him glide) allows him to avoid fall damage/death all together. 

However be warned, Bubsy does NOT like the water, and his defense against attacks DECREASES if he's in the water(and especially if he is UNDERWATER.)

When using Ami, it is worthwhile to know that her VR Visor has unlimited energy so it can be used all the time to light up the map and detect enemies. Additionally, if you directly point the crosshair on the Visor at a monster or other specific NPCs, you can see their name and their stats. This is also the only way to know their exact level. This will also reveal any powerup timers they have, their First Aid amount (if any) and their Armor Absorbsion rate.

Additionally, in contrast to Bubsy, who hates the water, Ami is the exact opposite and will become much stronger in both her defense against attacks and her own damage against enemies. This is especially true if she is submerged. Additionally she has 3 minutes of lung air (before factoring in a Scuba Tank) , so she is the ideal underwater character and probably the Queen-class monsters' worst nightmare.

ESSence is a walking tank. His HP is much higher than most of the other characters, and he has a -60% damage bonus against all attacks on top of it, at least while he is wearing his special armor. He can be shifted out of his armor for increased jump strength, but it's not terribly useful for other purposes yet.

Ted is ideal when handling explosive weapons and dealing with explosive-using monsters. He inflicts more damage with and takes less from explosive attacks.

When Lisa is selected and her level is above 10, more money will drop from monsters than usual.

Additionally, Lisa's Bio-Cell Energy Shield acts as a second defense which protects her HP and AP from damage while it is active and she has the energy cells to use it. The maximum number of Energy Cells you can carry however depends on Lisa's level, and the overall damage it can withstand depends on the number of Cells and the "Damage-Per-Cell" factor. Upgrade the DPC factor as much as possible to make the shield as effective as it can be.

The Bio-Energy Shield also protects Lisa from being Shrunken, but each Shrinker bolt drains one Energy Cell upon contact.

Lisa is ideal for using energy-weapons/projectiles, since she will deal 75% more damage with them than the other characters.

Nethra, when in her default form (Protector Drone form) can absorb the electrical attacks of Protector Drone-class and Queen-class monsters. This means she HEALS instead of taking damage. This makes her ideal (at least in her default form) when fighting swaths of Protector Drones/Naferiaites as along as she can keep her distance from their scratching attacks.

Additionally, giving Nethra the Freezethrower and then shifting her into her Human Form is beneficial for her when no other healing items are around or you want to use them on other injured characters. This is because she heals from Ice-based attacks in her Human form, and the Freezethrower's shots will bounce off walls. You do the math. However she will not keep her electrical absorbsion as her human form, and her Protector Drone form will not absorb ice-based attacks.

If fighting Octabrains[and the Octanines] and Cycloid-class monsters, Paula is the best candidate for dealing with their mindblasts, as she only receives 25% of the usual damage and has a much less chance of being confused by one upon impact. Paula also has this resistance against the Dragonic Rip's rockets [which are also a psychic attack in nature].

If Lori is able to activate her Triad Refractor ability, it will shield her from 50% of all attack damage, and will return the other 50%, plus bonus damage dependant on her Level back to the attacking monster.

If Lori is able to activate her Triad Ragnarok ability, it will allow her to absorb high enough amounts of attack damage into stat boosts which can affect her Max HP, her Max AP, her Attack or her Defense. However it also makes her receive 50% more damage from attacks to offset this(however on the flipside this makes receiving enough damage to gain stat boosts more likely).

Bullet-type attacks are only 25% as effective against Minako, so she's a good candidate for fighting Enforcers, Green/Blue Riot Tanks and the Battlelords. Minako also receives 33% less damage from missiles and explosives making her somewhat good against various monsters.

Remember: Ami and Minako have THREE different forms to choose from.

The "Mystery Woman" holds a powerful ability which is passive but will play a great role if she should be dead for too long at a time...

The "Mystery Woman" also has the highest HP/AP of all the characters in the game, despite having a lower leveling curve for those stats.

The "Mystery Woman" also only suffers 1/3 as much overall damage from enemy attacks.

Maken possesses a natural form of "Hacker Vision", which allows her to see the proper position for dipswitches, as well as the correct access codes on keypads, and all the characters who can use a specific handscanner.