Infinity Drive

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"Nobody entirely knows what an Android experiences deep within their own minds. How far does it go? Where does it end? Why are there so many robots in here?"[1]

Infinity Drive is an endurance mode where the player must overcome waves of increasing difficulty for as long as they can.

Despite the name, Infinity Drive is finite and can be finished - there are 49 layers in total, but doing so is a near-inhuman feat.

Basic premise[edit]

Infinity Drive begins on layer 1. Each layer (numbered 1-49) consists of either a boss, or wave(s) of enemies. All waves/layers are hardcoded, and not randomly generated.

To advance to the next layer, one must overcome every wave (or defeat that layer's boss).

Between layers, the environment often changes (holes, walls, rotating floors etc). All layers are the same overall size and circular shape.

The drive is over when the player runs out of Battery, or completes layer 49.

Like Daily Drive, players are ranked in terms of which layer they failed on (finishing is awarded an ∞ symbol rather than a layer number). Score is only taken into account if two players failed on the same layer.

Layer color[edit]

Like Daily Drive, the color of the text displaying the current layer number directly corresponds to your current performance.

  • Blue: Easy path.
  • Green: Same as Blue.
  • Red: Difficult path.

Holding the combo chain for an entire wave changes the color from blue to green, or from green to red. Note that a layer can consist of multiple waves, hence there are potentially multiple chances per layer to move up in layer color.

All three colours give similar compositions of enemies, but the harder path will include additional enemies of different types and some enemies will be replaced with harder versions. The exact changes in composition is dependent on the wave in question and is fixed for each wave

For example Layer 20 has a wave that spawns white turrets on the blue and green path but has Maser turrets on the red path. Wave 4 of Layer 31 adds Banshee spectres for the Hard path and buster titans for wave 5.

The net result is that when on the red path, the more challenging each wave becomes, however the greater density of targets will mean you will be able to kill faster and spawn more batteries, particularly if you're using a character with area of effect weapons.

Dropping the combo chain at any time results in the layer color indicator turning blue, however the current wave will continue as whatever difficulty it was, and then the next wave will be its blue composition.

Holding the red layer color becomes more and more important as the Drive progresses and waves become more difficult, and is all but necessary past Layer 30.

Strategy[edit]

Your ultimate goal is to prevent the Battery from running out, which means:

  • Killing enemies as quickly as possible, in order to spawn the battery quickly,
  • Killing enemies in any way possible, it doesn't matter how enemies are destroyed, they all count towards the battery. Often it can be useful to let laser turrets destroy and soften up other enemies for example.
  • Holding onto the combo chain as much as possible, in order to maintain red layer color and thus densest enemy spawns to get faster kills,
  • Always collecting the battery as soon as possible, since progress towards the next battery is slowed significantly while one is present in the level,
  • And not getting knocked down.

Unless you're capable of clearing all 49 layers, getting surge kills is relatively unimportant, since layer number primarily determines your leader-board spot and not score.

Starch is recommended for this mode, as survival is much easier due to her high-DPS laser and versatile micro missiles. Cactus is also a decent choice due to her well-rounded primary and high-DPS flamethrower.

Try to keep both Firepower and Accelerate topped up as much as possible (30 seconds is the maximum, with each instance of a powerup granting 15 secs), and use Shutdowns when caught in a difficult situation. During a Shutdown, focus down the enemies that are giving you the most trouble.

Make good use of the invincibility frames granted by a weapon swap, e.g. dodging through mines as they explode, hopping through lasers, or dodging into a crowd of enemies to grab a Shutdown.

Use your secondary a lot to maximise DPS. This applies to everything, but particularly so in Infinity Drive. The most DPS-efficient way to use your secondary is to wait for it to fully cool down, then unload it all at once. If you're in a dangerous situation, consider using less than all of it at a time, so you can still dodge soon after. Similarly, there's no point in unlocking all of your secondary (or using it at all) if there's only a few enemies left in a wave.

Spectres and Turrets of all types will make your life a hell if you don't get rid of them quickly, especially on later layers. Accelerate is useful for hunting them down.

When battery is super-critical (less than 5 seconds or so left), DPS down close targets to make the battery spawn on you, rather than across the screen.

Infinity Drive takes around 45-60 minutes for a typical run, which can be mentally draining and result in a lack of focus when it's most important. Consider pausing and taking a short break around the halfway mark.

Powerupless[edit]

The Powerupless strategy greatly increases your ability to push into deeper layers, but is much slower (50+ minutes over a full clear) and more difficult to score highly.

It takes advantage of these facts:

  1. A maximum of 3 powerups can be on the field at any one time.
  2. You can accrue surplus credit for Powerups indefinitely by leaving powerups on the field and not picking them up.
  3. Powerups on the inner or outer rings are not destroyed on configuration changes, since only the middle ring can change.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Get 3 powerups on either the very inner or outer rings. If a powerup spawns in the very centre or in the middle ring, use it.
  2. Play without using the powerups at all.
  3. Spend some of your powerups when a boss appears, so the ones that the boss spawns aren't wasted.
  4. After a boss is defeated, repeat from Step 1. Continue this strategy until you are forced to use powerups to survive.
  5. Use the immense surplus of powerups you have built up on the later layers. They should keep your Firepower and Accelerate perpetually topped up, as well as allowing for frequent shutdowns.

Notes:

  • Maintaining the chain early on will mean you get Red layers which will earn you more powerups due to the higher value of the enemies, allowing you to be more reckless with powerups when you really need them.
  • If you start using powerups on Layer 28 you should have enough surplus to last you to Layer 49. Possibly earlier depending on how frequently you burn through those Shutdowns.
  • Once you start using powerups, you will have 3 on the field practically at all times. Don't get cut off from them, or you could lose your momentum.

Arena Design[edit]

Infinity drive takes place in a single arena that changes configuration based on the layer. The overall layout is a circle the same size as the boss arenas to accommodate bosses appearing during certain layers.

The configurable elements are:

  • A central ring which can be normal flooring, a pit, a pit with an island on it for turrets and a solid pillar
  • The very central platform which usually matches the central ring, but can also be a small island to support turrets.
  • Dividing the middle and outer areas are two adjacent rings each containing 32 segments. Each segment can be configured as floor, a wall or a pit, and the entire ring can rotate clockwise or anticlockwise.
  • The overall colour scheme, with each configuration having a unique colour scheme.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the configurations that feature the most complex layouts, particularly spinning layouts, tend to be where players have the most trouble.

Spawn Locations[edit]

Due to the reconfigurable nature of the level, enemy spawn locations will activate and deactivate based on the current configuration. While the locations are fairly well distrubuted, a few rules apply:

  • Rotating configurations disable all spawn locations on the rotating section of the level, leading to spawns occuring in a much wider pattern than normal.
  • Wasps may only ever spawn from non-moving pits or Wasp Tanks.
  • If there is a central island in the current configuration, all other turret locations are disabled and all turrets must use that one location. This rule does not apply to layer 26.
  • If a wall or pillar is prevented from changing from a normal floor, its associated spawn locations won't be disabled until it is allowed to change. For example, it is possible to block the central pillar on Layer 18 from rising up, and then have a Laser turret spawn in the very centre of it.

Layers[edit]

Layers 1-6: The Warmup[edit]

Waves consisting of mostly basic enemies like Kegs, Fidos, Drones, Wasps, Mega Kegs, Titans, Bullet Turrets, etc. Overall difficulty is roughly equivalent to an Area 1 or 2 level. Basically no-one fails during these first layers and they serve simply as a warmup.

Interestingly, Layer 6 features a configuration that is unique for the entirety of Infinity Drive.

Layer 7: Embryo[edit]

The entire layer consists of the Embryo boss fight.

Since you can have a maxed weapon and/or powerups coming into the fight, the fight is a bit easier than in Campaign mode, and usually serves as a battery top-up.

Layers 8-12: Picking up the Pace[edit]

Turbo Drones, Laser Turrets, Jumbo Fidos, Reaper Spectres, Vector Factories, Super Mines and Maser Turrets are gradually added to the pool of mobs that can spawn, in roughly that order.

Overall difficulty is roughly equivalent to an Area 3 or 4 level.

Layers 13-14: The Wakeup Call[edit]

Layer 13 is a common point of failure for new players, due to its awkward rotating configuration with long walls enemies get stuck behind and with turrets placed in the middle.

Layer 14 is comparatively easy to deal with and should allow you to get back ahead of the battery spawn curve. It's advisable to save up powerups during this layer to make dealing with Vespula in the next layer quicker to deal with.

Layer 15: Vespula[edit]

The entire layer consists of the Vespula boss fight. Merely entering this layer is sufficient to get the "We need to go Deeper" achievement.

Since you can have a maxed weapon and/or powerups coming into the fight, the fight is a bit easier than in Campaign mode, and usually serves as a battery top-up.

Beware that as soon as Vespula dies, the next layer will start spawning in, and on the red path this will feature a Laser turret and Blaster titans, so watch out!

Layer 16-20: Plain Sailing[edit]

Fetch Fidos, Orbital Factories, Mine Tanks and Tendril Factories are gradually added to the pool of mobs that can spawn, in roughly that order.

Overall difficulty is roughly equivalent to an Area 4 or 5 level.

Layer 20 is a particularly long layer with many factories and turrets, and has a wave with over 200 robots alone (mostly wasps).

Layer 21: Sticking Point[edit]

One of the first major sticking points for more advanced players due to being a long layer on arguably the most awkward configuration there is. Try to stay in the middle and deal with the reapers and turrets early as their lasers are easily the most deadly thing here. Keeping accelerate up is vital to keeping the chain while navigating the spinning walls and the enemies that invariably get stuck on them.

Layer 22: Recovery[edit]

This layer is where you recover from the previous layer, not normally a sticking point since ending this layer will always spawn a battery ready for the Justice battle.

Layer 23: Justice[edit]

The entire layer consists of the Justice boss fight.

Since you can have a maxed weapon and/or powerups coming into the fight, the fight is a bit easier than in Campaign mode, and usually serves as a battery top-up.

Beware that as you you finish this layer, the following layer will spawn Maser Turrets and Fetcher Fidos if you're on the red path which can catch you off guard.

Layers 24-25: End of the free ride[edit]

The difficulty increases higher, up to Area 5-level difficulty and beyond. This is the point where you can no longer rely on bosses appearing to get a full refill, you need to stay on top of your killspeed from now on if you wish to go far. While these two layers are intense in terms of enemies, the layouts are generally friendly towards players with no rotating parts.

Beating Layer 24 for the first time will unlock the Out of your Depth Achievement.

In 25 there are layers where Laser Turrets and Wasps spawn where you can hide behind the south wall safely dealing with other enemies while the laser turret easily cleans up the wasps. This should let you get a good leg up on the battery curve. Don't forget to leave time to destroy the turrets though!

Layer 26: Mean Green[edit]

Layer 26 is a long layer featuring a unique rotating configuration with many holes combined with many factories and turrets, making staying out of danger extremely difficult. It is a common point to lose a lot of time or fail completely for many players. Staying on the moving floors while there are turrets active is often suicidal so try to stay towards the middle so that you can deal with the turrets more easily.

Fortunately this nasty layer is followed by layer 27, featuring a flat layout and lots of Mine Tanks, allowing you to work yourself back ahead of the curve if you can stay up.

Layer 27: Breather[edit]

A short recovery layer after 26, featuring only two waves on a completely flat layout. The first wave has the greatest recovery potential due to lits large number of mine tanks, but due to that, the mega kegs and white turrets, also makes it very dangerous. It's well worth using a shutdown to speed through all of those tanks to get some nice battery gain.

Layers 28-30: Intensity[edit]

A brutal few layers with large numbers of enemies in each wave, these waves feature the last chance you really get to get ahead of the battery curve in time for when the difficulty really increases. Each layer has a fairly friendly layout in that none of them rotate, but there are a few spots where enemies can get stuck behind walls, costing you valuable time. Simply not getting downed during these layers is a pretty big achievement, and simply beating these layers puts you in the top 1% of players. Each layer takes around 2 minutes to complete if you're going at a good pace.

It is just about possible to keep your battery maxed out through these layers, however a single knockdown will put an end to that almost immediately.

28 Shows the last new configuration for all of Infinity drive, and is a long layer featuring a lot of spectres and awkwardly placed turrets.

29 and 30 feature a lot of solid walls, making it difficult to fight in safe areas while also preventing enemies from getting hidden behind walls and slowing you down.

Banshee Spectres are added to the pool of mobs that can spawn at Layer 28, completing the list.

Layer 31: Dark Embryo's test[edit]

This layer is especially important because in order to access the Dark Embryo fight, you must be red layer color when finishing this layer. In other words, it is necessary to hold chain for the final two waves.

However there are a total of five waves, and only the last of them is vaguely tolerable. The first two waves feature a wide selection of heavy enemies which must be quickly dealt with before overwheling you, and Spectres of both types will spawn throughout. The third of which features a large number of tough enemy types and laser turrets.

The second to last wave is notable for being a large number of all three types of titan, combined with some normal drones. Trying to avoid all of the attacks coming your way without powerups is nearly impossible, and using them liberally at this point is highly recommended.

If you're already on the red path, there will be additional Banshee Spectres. The wave after that primarily consists of wasps and Reaper Spectres, however additional buster titans will also be added on the red path.

If you even beat this layer, congratulate yourself, not even Sycle, one of the game's developers, has beaten this far.

Layer 32: Dark Embryo[edit]

If your layer color is red after completing Layer 31, this layer will consist of the Dark Embryo boss fight. Otherwise, it will consist of a single wave of enemies of typical difficulty of the layer depth.

The boss fight is difficult, but gives you a hefty battery advantage if you can overcome it without dropping the combo chain, granting you a battery advantage that is often critical in the coming waves.

A good strategy is to save both of your powerups from Phases 1 and 3 (as Phases 1-4 are not difficult) and use both of them on Phase 5 (the hardest phase). The goal is to end Phase 5 quickly before you have to contend too much with. Ideally you will want a Shutdown plus a Firepower, then another Shutdown for Phase 6, but you'll have to take what you can get.

Layer 33: Inner circle of hell[edit]

Layer 33 is particularly difficult as it contains both a spinning floor and a central hole, a large number of waves and many difficult enemies. Essentially it's a harder version of layer 21. This is made particularly difficult by reapers being pushed by walls as they fire their laser, and the nasty combination of fetcher fidos, maser turrets, Buster titans and mines appearing in one wave.

It is an extremely common sticking point for many players, and coming into this layer on Red layer color with a topped up battery from Dark Embryo is a huge leg-up to get you through (But it's still entirely possible to be seeing low battery warnings by the end of the layer in spite of this).

Layers 34-36: Recovery?[edit]

Very difficult in terms of enemy spawns, but the environment is static and easy to move around. It's important these layers are done fast and without downs as you'll need as much battery as possible to make it through the next layers. Getting a few downs here will likely cause your run to end in the coming layers.

Layer 37: The Slowdown[edit]

A very awkward layer consisting of just two waves, but very slow as it features a layout where enemies easily get stuck behind the outer ring. Try to stay towards the centre if you can and be wary of enemies spawning on the outer ring as they can be annoying to clean up at the end of a wave.

Layer 38: The Cursed Layer[edit]

The biggest roadblock so far a relatively slow layer right after dealing with 37. While not a rotating layout, the wall design coupled with low-energy waves and quite a few nasty enemies means that if you only managed to limp through layer 37, you'll likely end your run here.

Layer 39: Gateway to the finale[edit]

The longest layer with a huge 5 waves, but features a fairly friendly layout using only the central pillar and the north wall and is the last place to get any kind of battery gain. The enemies are no easy ride however with lots of brutal high level enemies to keep on top of. Do beware of the many laser turrets that spawn near the centre, particularly as their beams peek out from behind the central pillar.

Layers 40-48: The Ascent[edit]

The last layers are strangely very short, each one only featuring one wave each but nonetheless need to be pushed through rapidly to keep on top of the battery drain. Thankfully layers 40 and 41 both contain simple layouts with generous enemies in terms of battery gain to get you started.

Of particular note is layer 42, which features the pink, narrow corridors of layer 5 and buster titans, getting knocked down during this layer is virtually instant failure due to the small playable area, however it is a potentially very rapid layer due to the densely packed enemies and laser turrets.

Layers 43, 44, 45, 46 and 48 all include multiple maser turrets which need to be dealt with quickly. Trying to avoid them will slow you down too much to let you finish.

Also noteworthy is Layer 45 which returns with the awkward layout of layer 13, leading to enemies getting stuck behind walls.

Layer 49: Finale[edit]

The finale, using the Boss arena configuration, this layer features a massive of Mega kegs, Super mines, Bullet Turrets and all kinds of Titan, Spectre, Factory and Tank. Getting a shutdown near the beginning is virtually essential to be able to deal with the sudden onslaught of attacks and robots nearby. The saving grace here is that the enemy swarm is so thick that even with the absurd battery requirement, you may still be able to pull yourself out of needing loaner batteries simply by grabbing a shutdown and running through the crowd, particularly targeting Mine Tanks and Super mines.

For single player, the spawns and their limits are:

  • 5 Mega Kegs (Max 2)
  • 3 Jumbo Fidos (Max 1)
  • 5 Bomber titans (Max 2)
  • 5 Blaster Titans (Max 1)
  • 5 Buster Titans (Max 1)
  • 6 Bullet turrets (Max 2)
  • 8 Wasp tanks (Max 2)
  • 6 Mine tanks (Max 1)
  • 5 Super mines (Max 1)
  • 5 Orbital factories (Max 2)
  • 4 Tendril Factories (Max 1)
  • 3 Vector factories (Max 1)
  • 5 Reaper Spectres (Max 2)
  • 3 Banshee Spectres (Max 1)

The spawns for this layer do not change based on what layer colour you are on.

Good Luck.

Unique victory animation[edit]

Upon completing layer 49, rather than the usual victory animation, the player android will exclaim "Are you not entertained?!", drop their weapon on the ground, and walk off.

Starch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owIUSaw4PSM&t=57m26s

Cactus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOmrkTL1JoU&t=51m31s

This is a reference to the film Gladiator, in which Maximus exclaims the same phrase at the spectators after slaying his opponents.

Music[edit]

Infinity drive does not have its own music, but instead cycles through most of the soundtrack of the game, in the following order:

  • Divine (Tutorial)
  • Automation (Zone 3)
  • Vespula
  • Assault (Zone 2)
  • Embryo
  • Gamma (Zone 4)
  • Gonna Kick your ass (Zone 1)
  • Into the Droid (Zone 5)
  • Justice
  • Fingerstyle (character Select)
  • Venom
  • Liquorice
  • Medulla

If somehow you're still playing after hearing the final track, the entire playlist will loop.

Trivia[edit]

  • The IndieBox instruction manual (see the top of this article) contextualizes the Infinity Drive as an internal experience, a type of dream or hallucination perhaps.

Statistics[edit]

The following is a histogram depicting how many players have gotten to each layer (as of January 2017, but it's unlikely to change too much).

As you can see, Layers 13 and 21 are particular sticking points. Barely anyone at all gets past the 31-32-33 gauntlet.

InfinityDriveHistogram.png

Achievements[edit]

Icon Name Requirement Tips/strategy
Out Of Your Depth.jpg Out Of Your Depth Reach layer 25 in Infinity Drive mode There's no easy way around this one. Use Starch, she has the best survivability of the androids. See the Infinity Drive page for more information.
We Have To Go Deeper.jpg We Have To Go Deeper Reach Layer 15 in Infinity Drive mode Like "Out Of Your Depth" but significantly easier.

Gameplay footage[edit]

  1. IndieBox instruction manual