|1-1||Descent||Heavy Freight Elevator||50|
Level 1-1 takes place on an elevator shaft that lowers gradually onto a stationary platform. As the first campaign level, the player is given a lot of free space to move around and play with their primary and secondary weapons. There are only 2 main enemy types throughout the whole level, Kegs and Drones, until a Bomber Titan surprises you out of a box as the final challenge. This is a good level to practice learning new Assault Androids as you unlock them.
Wave 1: 6 Kegs drop from above, 1 at a time.
Wave 2: 20 Kegs drop in, 4 at a time.
Wave 3: 6 Drones fly in. 3 at a time.
Wave 4: 16 Kegs and 8 Drones, 4 Kegs and 2 Drones drop at a time. The elevator will only reach the bottom when this wave is fully cleared.
Wave 5: 14 Kegs drop from above, with an additional 10 Kegs dropping in whenever the player kills the first 10.
Wave 6: 24 Drones spawn, starting with 8 and increasing by 4 as Drones are defeated. 2 Kegs spawn at a time, up to a maximum of 15.
Wave 7: 18 kegs spawn, 6 at a time. When there are no remaining kegs onscreen, the box will burst open to reveal 1 Bomber Titan and 4 more Kegs will drop. These are the remaining 5 enemies to complete the level.
There are 134 Enemies in Total.
The first half of this level is very slowly paced, with the first 4 waves of small enemies being introduced sparsely to give the player room to dodge / shoot from afar. This means the first half of this level might be kind of annoying for Assault Androids without area damage primary weapons, as you often have to whip your aiming reticle around to hit enemies that aren't close to each other. Some general advice for all levels from here-on would also be to pick up weapon energy from the first destroyed enemies as quickly as possible, because it will make it so that enemies take less time to kill, keeping your chain counter going for a higher score.
That problem doesn't exist in the latter half of the stage, however, as enemies are often packed closely together, and the only way you'd miss them is if they are hiding behind a wall or the box at the top of the room. While this may seem a bit overwhelming to newer players as the enemy count is increased, by this point in the level, you should be able to deal with the Kegs and Drones rather easily. Try to defeat the Bomber Titan as soon as the box opens, before it has a chance to launch any Mines.
Peanut has an easy time with this level, as her magma hits every enemy on the ground and her drill can clear through the final few waves very quickly. Coral has powerful AoE tools to help her through both the early waves and the late waves, making her an excellent choice as well.
Developer Commentary (paraphrased)
S: Hello and welcome to the developer commentary for Assault Android Cactus. I'm Sanatana Mishra...
T: ...I'm Tim Dawson...
J: ...and I'm Jeff Van Dyck.
S: We're going to be talking throughout the entire campaign about stuff that we find interesting.
T: So, this is the first level, and we put it on an elevator to give you something interesting to look at, even if the gameplay is fairly simple at this point.
S: Yeah, it's really important to keep the first level accessible, so using a small space like the elevator lets us bring in enemies in really small numbers while not overwhelming you, and even still, a lot of players when they get here go "Wow, why are there so many enemies straight away?!"
J: Mm. I've always really liked how the elevator accelerates there, it just adds a nice sense of pace.
T: Yeah, it's a good way of adding movement and action to a level that's actually fairly static.
S: It can get very intense, especially when it crashes down at the end, that moment shocks a lot of people because it's the first truly dynamic element across the entire campaign. Also, a lot of people don't even notice it because there's so much happening. I like it, it's one of my favourite moments in the game.
T: It's got a nice action beat.
S: I think this is the first time people get to experience the dynamic music as well. The intro, the main menu and the tutorial are all kind of standard fare, but by now they should be ramping up into that high intensity / low intensity kind of stuff.
J: Yeah, we wanted to make the music follow your playstyle and the quality of your play.
S: Yeah, that was your idea originally, wasn't it?
J: Yeah, it's an idea that's been around for ages, but I just thought it would really apply to this game.
S: I think it adds a lot, I'm very, very happy that you came up with that.
J: Yeah, cool.