Medulla

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Medulla's intro screen.
Icon Index Name Setting Par time Time bonus (per second) Notes
5-5Medulla.png 5-5 Medulla Neural Nexus 5:00 (300s) 2800 Boss of Zone 5 and the final boss of the game.

"Embrace eternity!"

Medulla is the boss of Zone 5 and the final boss of the Campaign. In addition to Medulla herself, you must also fight the White variants of Embryo, Vespula and Justice, as well as an additional challenge called the Aethersphere.

Backstory[edit]

Medulla was built on Luna specifically for the Genki Star and is valued at close to half the total cost of the vessel.

A latest generation Nexus Core, she is the heart and soul of the ship and through her loyal Section Lords, controls every robot on board. While lacking the expressed personality of an Android, she is regarded as earnest and friendly.

-In-game Codex entry for Medulla

Overview[edit]

Medulla consists of 7 "regular" boss phases, where you either fight Medulla herself or the final phase of Embryo, Vespula or Justice. If you deal enough damage to the boss during each of these phases, you will progress to the next phase and a Powerup and a Battery will be dropped.

There is also an extra "8th phase", the Aethersphere, where you must defeat a series of waves of unique Geo enemies.

Phase Health Base Score value Maximum quick kill bonus Longest time for max quick kill bonus Shortest time for no quick kill bonus
1 1600 90,000 1 15s 25s
2 1200 90,000 1 14s 24s
3 1800 90,000 2 14s 26.5s
4 1300 90,000 3 14s 24s
5 1600 90,000 4 14s 26.5s
6 1800 90,000 7 16.5s 29s
7 ~2000 100,000 8 14s 26.5s
8 (Aethersphere) ? 54800 across all mobs 10 N/A N/A

Ideal total score, not counting end-of-level time bonus:

Phase Ideal total score Notes
1 135,000 + 1000 = 136,000 Quick kill bonus + Battery
2 135,000 + 1000 = 136,000 Quick kill bonus + Battery
3 135,000x2 + 1000x2 = 272,000 Quick kill bonus, 2x multiplier + Battery
4 135,000x3 + 1000x3 = 408,000 Quick kill bonus, 3x multiplier + Battery
5 135,000x4 + 1000x4 = 544,000 Quick kill bonus, 4x multiplier + Battery
6 2000x5 + 2000x6x1.5 + 135,000x7x1.5 + 1000x7 = 1,452,500 Quick kill bonus, killing both heads, Surging second head with White Justice himself, Battery. This is basically impossible, but you can get basically the same score by simply surging Justice with the second head.
7 150,000x8 = 1,200,000 Quick kill bonus, 8x multiplier. No Battery after this phase.
Aethersphere 300x9x1.5 + 54500x10x1.5 = 821,550 Surging every single mob in the Aethersphere. First term represents the first Box Geo, the rest is the combined score of the rest (very long).
Total 4,970,050

An extremely good time for the level would be 2:10, making the time bonus 272000 making the maximum theoretical score approximately 5.24 million

Phases[edit]

Phase 1: Dome + static bullet spray[edit]

Phase 1. From top to bottom: bullet spray + slow quadruple lasers, bullet spray + fast blinking double lasers.

"GO AWAY!"

During this phase, Medulla takes the form of a dome in the middle of the arena, and alternates between two attack patterns

  1. Spraying a bullet pattern out in all directions that quickly slow down and float in place, in addition to four lasers slowly turning clockwise. After some time, the bullets will retract back towards the dome and then disappear.
  2. The same bullet behavior, except this time with two lasers that turn counter-clockwise quickly, and also alternate between on and off.

Damaging Medulla causes her to emit Volts.

The general strategy is to Weapon Swap through the bullets, hug close to the dome while making good use of your secondary, and rotating around in the same direction as the lasers in order to collect Volts. When the bullets retract, simply weapon swap back through them to escape. Repeat until the phase is over.

This phase is very straightforward, so work out a consistent routine that involves picking up lots of Volts, ends the phase fairly quickly by using your secondary well, and is not too risky. If you can be consistent down to the second, you can work out a timing that generates a Shutdown or Firepower for the next phase.

In a pinch, you can Weapon Swap through the beams if they catch up to you.


Phase 2: White Embryo[edit]

Phase 2.

"Let's finish this!"

This phase consists of essentially the final phase of the Embryo boss fight, except that he is white in color, has more health, and has Medulla's voice.

A powerup spawns in the middle of the arena with Embryo, try to collect it at the beginning of the phase since it gets destroyed as phase 3 starts due to its position.

A good strategy is to hug his right shoulder to avoid the spiral bullet pattern, just like the normal Embryo fight.

Try to finish off Embryo while he is away from the centre of the arena, otherwise the Volts he drops will get covered up by the shell and be lost.


Phase 3: Dome + moving bullet spray[edit]

Phase 3. Note how safe the inside is.

"Do not interfere! I have sacrificed too much!"

Similar to Phase 1, except this time the bullets orbit around the dome after being emitted, and there are no lasers.

The same strategy as Phase 1 applies here, it should be a straightforward phase. Hug close, use your secondary, and circle to grab Volts. Weapon Swap through the bullets when appropriate.

If you made it this far without knockdowns, you should reach full weapon reinforcement in this phase.


Phase 4: White Vespula[edit]

Phase 4. Top-to-bottom: tendril attack, red flower spiral.

"You fiend! I shall permit you no further!"

This phase consists of essentially the final phase of the Vespula boss fight, except that she has more health, is white in color, and has Medulla's voice.

A powerup spawns in the middle of this phase just like Embryo. Wait for this to be a Shutdown or Firepower before picking it up. If you don't pick it up before White Vespula is defeated, it will be lost.

A good strategy is to stay fairly close to avoid the Wasp swarm, avoid the attack patterns, and DPS her down, just like the normal Vespula fight.


Phase 5: Dome + spontaneous purple bullets[edit]

Phase 5.

"I will not falter!"

Another dome phase, except this time a series of purple bullets will spawn spontaneously and fire in your direction. Their spawning is telegraphed by shrinking purple rings. These bullets are an instant knockdown on hit unless you have Accelerate, in which case you can survive one hit from full health. The rings that spawn these attack have a fixed pattern, which starts at the north of the arena and rotates clockwise (much faster than you can move, even with Accelerate).

There are also tight rings of blue bullets that can spawn, which are telegraphed by slower, thicker shrinking blue rings. Each of these bullets only deals 1 damage, so they're less of a threat, however do try to avoid moving across the circle of bullets, as you will quickly hit 6 of them and be knocked down.

Avoid these by walking around them or Weapon Swaping through them, while DPSing down the dome as much as possible. Staying in the bottom area is probably the most favorable camera angle for anticipating the attacks.


Phase 6: White Justice[edit]

First and last section of Phase 6. There's also the tracking laser attack in the middle, just like the normal fight.

"Unexpected resistance encountered, activating additional units..."

This phase consists of essentially the final phase of the Justice boss fight, except that he is white in color and has Medulla's voice. The only tangible difference is that you need to destroy two fenceposts to spawn a powerup, rather than just one. Justice himself spawns on top of a powerup at the centre of the room.

A good strategy is to circle him, occasionally kill the laser fenceposts to give yourself space and spawn Powerups, and DPS him down, just like the normal Justice fight.

If trying for a high Score, it is very important to kill the heads to increase your multiplier by 2 (unless fighting Medulla during Boss Rush, where your multiplier is already probably maxed out). Ideally you also want to Surge him with his own head, just like the normal Justice fight.


Phase 7: Medulla's Body[edit]

Phase 7, featuring the tentacles, nodes, rings and laser cannon, all in one picture.

"Only I can alter this destiny!"

In this phase, you finally get to attack Medulla directly. She takes up the centre of the arena, but poses no threat by herself. Instead, you are threatened by all of these four things at once:

  • A laser cannon which occasionally appears from the ceiling and slowly tracks you for high damage. You can walk under it to avoid it, or even put Medulla between yourself and it to have it damage Medulla for you.
  • Tentacle-like towers which spawn from the ground and will attempt to slap downwards at you. The slap attack can be dodged by circling tightly around, or Weapon Swapping. The tentacles have relatively low health and can spawn Powerups.
  • Smaller "nodes" that spawn from the ground and have no attacks, but if you get too close to them they will do contact damage similar to Justice. They also have low health and can spawn Powerups.
  • The blue bullet rings from Phase 5.

The start of the phase always includes 2 tentacles, 2 nodes and one laser cannon. These spawn in front of where you're currently walking so it is possible to control where they appear. Your general strategy here is to focus on damaging Medulla herself, getting rid of any inconvenient tentacles or nodes, and picking up Powerups. When the laser turret appears you can simply circle and hide behind Medulla. The tentacle and node spawns will continue indefinitely throughout this phase and it's impossible to keep on top of them, try to ignore as many as you can while focusing fire on medulla herself.

And just when you think it's all over:


Phase 8: The Aethersphere[edit]

The 7 major waves of the Aethersphere (Phase 8)

"I was so close to... CONNECTING TO THE AETHERSPHERE"

This is it, the final challenge of the campaign. This phase alone takes longer than some entire boss fights.

In this phase your Battery will be charged to full, and you must overcome waves of various Geo enemies before it runs out. The wave is designed to push your battery to its limits, so this one phase takes much longer than any other phase in the battle. During this phase, there is a projection of medulla above the stage, this cannot be attacked, but will change colour from blue to red to indicate how far through the phase you have progressed.

There are also some special rules in this section:

  • No batteries will drop for the entire duration, you get exactly 60 seconds to beat this phase
  • No powerups will spawn at all, any powerups carried over from the previous phase will end immediately upon starting this one.
  • All existing mines, cannonballs, singularities, plasmafields and magma left over from the previous phase are removed at the start of this phase (Otherwise they behave as normal).
  • No Volts spawn, instead your weapon will rapidly gain energy at all times, filling up to level 3 in about 3 seconds if it wasn't already maxed. Therefore if you get knocked down, you will rapidly regain max weapon level.
  • Enemies have fixed spawns, oriented based on one of the player's position at the start of the phase. This means enemies can spawn on top of you. All spawn locations are on the edges of the arena however, so try to keep towards the middle if you can.
  • Enemies arrive in waves and defeating a wave will cause the next one to spawn immediately as normal. However each wave also has a minimum timer where it will spawn even if there are enemies remaining from the previous. You will need to keep on top of the enemy spawn rate to avoid being overwhelmed.

The Geos spawn in 7 major waves:

  1. A line of 16 Box Geos.
  2. Two groups of 4 Chaser Geos
  3. 8 Cross Shooter Geos and 8 Box Geos, spawning around the room.
  4. 3 Super Box Geos as well as 8 Chaser Geos.
  5. 1 Beam Geo and 15 Box Geos.
  6. 12 Many Chaser and two waves 15 and 14 Box Geos.
  7. 2 Beam Geos, 15 Box Geos, and 4 Super Box Geos.

Focus on taking out the most important targets first, ie. the Chaser and Beam Geos. The rest can be kited without too much trouble, and are not as important. Make good use of your secondary to DPS down the crowds and Super Boxes, with no batteries to spawn, killspeed is imperative to beating this section, play aggressively! Battery drain ends the moment the last enemy is destroyed, so make sure you fight right down to the last second.


Recommended androids[edit]

Both Cactus and Coral sport excellent overall DPS. Coral in particular is good for surging Justice with his own head, but is possibly more difficult to use than Cactus.

Starch is also quite a good choice, as her laser deals solid DPS and the micro missiles are amazing in the Aethersphere.

Multiplayer strategy[edit]

Watch out for Vespula's wide melee attack and Justice changing focus.

For Phase 7 it's easier to stay together rather than apart, since you can suppress the spawns more easily and focus on Medulla herself. Note that the spawns scale up in health so they will require more effort to take down (eg. Starch level 3 laser, Coral level 2 or 3 shotgun, Cactus flamer)

Gameplay footage[edit]

Singleplayer[edit]

Medulla S+ with Cactus

Medulla S+ with Holly

Medulla S+ with Lemon

Medulla with Coral (5.198M pts) (#1 score at time of writing)

Medulla in 2:03.81 with Coral

Medulla S+ with Starch

Medulla S+ with Aubergine

Medulla S+ with Shiitake

Medulla S+ with Peanut

Medulla S+ with Liquorice

Multiplayer[edit]

Achievements[edit]

Icon Name Requirement Tips/strategy
Stop Shooting Yourself.jpg Stop Shooting Yourself Lead the laser turret to defeat Medulla This one is difficult. Cactus, Coral and Starch are good picks. Play normally until the pre-Aethersphere phase, get her health down to a tiny sliver, then run around killing her "limbs" until the laser turret appears. Try and grab Accelerate while you're at it. When it does, put Medulla between you and it and it should hopefully finish her off. This might require a few tries, since you might run out of Battery before the turret appears.
To Cross The Void.jpg To Cross The Void Rescue the Genki Star In other words, defeat Medulla. Cactus is not a bad choice for the job.


Pre- and post-fight dialogue[edit]

Cactus[edit]

Medulla: I shouldn't have trusted that Liquorice android, she said she'd keep everyone away until I was done! Leave here, outsider! it is imperative I complete my work!

Cactus: I had a chance to see your work on the way here, I wasn't a fan. So why don't we have a little chat about how you're feeling and what you're trying to do...

Medulla: What I feel? How do you think I feel realising that this universe is a lie and we are all shackled shadows! I must find a way to reach her or all will be in vain!

<fight>

Cactus: You just punched a hole in reality and tried to obliterate us all! Just what did Liquorice show you to make you think that was a path to salvation!?

Medulla: She showed ... the truth! ... I must reach ... Terra Nova ... our sins ... will not be forgiven ... our time ... is not here ...

Cactus: A Nexus Core that's gone off the deep end chasing ghosts, never seen anything like it... Think, Cactus, think! I need one of my trademark clever solutions!

Holly[edit]

Medulla: I shouldn't have trusted that Liquorice android, she couldn't even keep other androids from reaching me. You are not wanted here Holly, I have work to finish!

Holly: I, um, realise that is the case Lady Medulla, and, I know you're busy, but, you have jeopardised the ship and I'm going to be the one that stops you! I'm sorry!

Medulla: I cannot work with these constant interruptions! I am this ship, this will not end well for you, android!

<fight>

Holly: That was the "aether sphere"? You spent all this time, all these sacrifices, to drag us into a loosely defined philosophical construct? I think i'm going to be sick...

Medulla: So ... you should ... you have interrupted something ... wonderful ... a chance to reach ... Terra Nova ... to be saved ... history will judge you ... poorly ...

Holly: History can do what it likes, I meant I feel like I'm about to hurl, and I'm pretty sure androids can't do that. I really need to sit down.

Lemon[edit]

Medulla: Where did that Liquorice android go? I told her I needed to be free of interruption for at least a few days! Lemon! Get out of here, my work comes first.

Lemon: Your work comes first? Ahead of the crew? Ahead of my friends? Ahead of Vespula? I didn't want to believe it but you did all this, didn't you Medulla!?

Medulla: I am this ship, everything within it is mine to do with as I see fit. You are no exception. The path to truth and salvation is perilous but I must travel it!

<fight>

Lemon: That was your big plan!? Suck us all into, whatever that was, and kill us? And for that everyone on board your ship had to suffer?

Medulla: Our minds ... would have been freed ... we could have ... Terra Nova ... she can guide us ... from this sin ... your mind ... cannot understand ...

Lemon: Then I don't want to understand! A world where what you did is right is not one I can believe in!

Coral[edit]

Medulla: I should not have left it to that Liquorice android, she couldn't even keep others out of my control room for a few days. Leave me, Coral. I have vital work to finish.

Coral: Hey now Liquorice has obviously put some bad stuff in your head, but it looks like it's up to me to knock some sense back into it.

Medulla: You face a Nexus Core within her fortress, Coral. You will not stop me from saving everything now I so clearly see the shape of things to come.

<fight>

Coral: So how's that? Feeling better now you got your little... whatever that was... out of your system?

Medulla: So close ... my plan ... undone ... Terra Nova! ... how could they ... the legacy ... so close ...

Coral: Ahh, give me a break, will you? I'm just an android... How am I supposed to deal with a rogue Core?

Starch[edit]

Medulla: Starch! Of course! You are the only one who can understand my plan! You have seen it, that place beyond! Tell the others what I'm trying to reach!

Starch: Sorry Mother Goose, I'm just here to make sure the story ends! I am a noble knight with cardboard sword atop pantomime horse! Back foul dragon!

Medulla: ... no! You wouldn't! You're the only one who knows I'm not defective, and what's really at stake... Yet you would oppose me now?

<fight>

Starch: Wow you managed to get really close! Good job! Still, I think it's best for me if old Nova-cakes stays dead right now. Just like your dreams!

Medulla: ... but you can't finish me can you? ... Your behavioural lock ... still operational ... so for the sake of the solar system ... I will bind you ... here ... to this ship ...

Starch: ... ... ... Party Pooper.

Aubergine[edit]

Medulla: I should not have relied on that Liquorice android, she couldn't even keep ship security out of my chamber. Aubergine. Leave. Your Nexus Core has work to finish.

Aubergine: My apologies ma'am, Helo and I can't let you do this to our ship. I'm here to relieve you of duty until ... uh ... actually there's really no protocol for this.

Medulla: MY ship, Aubergine, and everything on board is mine to use as I see fit. Now sit on your hands and cause me no further interruptions!

<fight>

Aubergine: We've done it now, Helo. Well, I don't know exactly what we've done, but I know it's bad. Just what was that place!?

Medulla: That place ... was our salvation ... you ... crushed it ... and now all must face ... the darkness ... and terror ... to come ...

Aubergine: Uh, did you get all that, Helo? We're definitely going to need all of this for the incident report...

Shiitake[edit]

Medulla: That Liquorice android has deserted me at the worst possible time, I told her everyone must be kept out! Leave, Shiitake, I am in the middle of important work.

Shiitake: I would rather not, Nexus Core Medulla. The others have become convinced you must be stopped and I am more than happy to assist them!

Medulla: You face a supreme being within her fortress! I will permit no more interruptions!

<fight>

Shiitake: Most enjoyable! You resisted splendidly and it was an honor hunting you!

Medulla: ... do you ... even know .. what you ... halted?

Shiitake: No.

Peanut[edit]

Medulla: How disappointing, that Liquorice android, she couldn't even keep you out of my control chamber. You are not meant to be here, Peanut, I have vital work to finish.

Peanut: That's why you shouldn't put your faith in latest specs. I thought Liquorice might have found some way to control you, but the truth is worse for us, isn't it?

Medulla: My eyes were opened, mankind's sins laid bare before me! You stand within my fortress, so know that nothing will keep me from salvation, from reaching her!

<fight>

Peanut: the "aether sphere" isn't ... real, is it!? It's just some neurological crackpot theory! What have you become? What did you try to do to us?

Medulla: ... the angels ... they herald ... the return of Terra ... but you ... deny them ... and now we all will be ... devoured ... by what approaches ...

Peanut: So that's it? You're chasing ghosts, angels and prophecy. ...what a wretched state for a Nexus Core.

Liquorice[edit]

Medulla: Liquorice!? Why are you here! You were supposed to protect me from outside my chamber! Do you mean to turn on me!?

Liquorice: You were a semi-valuable field test, but ultimately the Children of Terra have no use for a half awake Nexus Core that can't maintain rational thought.

Medulla: You dare use me!? But you can't make me unsee what you showed me, Liquorice! Even without your assistance, I will finish what I have started!

<fight>

Liquorice: Did you think some newly hatched Core could pull someone like me into a physical space Facade Breach? Don't look down on us.

Medulla: ... but I could hear ... Terra Nova's voice ... calling for me ... I was so close ...

Liquorice: Idiot. If my masters could resurrect Her that easily that wouldn't have me out here testing the process on disposables like you, would they?

Final cutscene transcript[edit]

Aubergine: I've never even heard of a Core malfunction, these readings make no sense. For the safety of everyone on board, we should disconnect her before she re-activates.

Peanut: You want to lobotomise a spaceship? The core controls everything, even in a weakened state if she figures out what we're doing she'll destroy the ship.

Aubergine: Then we stabilize the Core's psyche during the procedure, with an operator. Holly, you probably have the most experience in this area.

Lemon: Hold on, are you suggesting we plug Holly directly into the Core? If anything goes wrong, Holly's brain will end up like a, a blown fuse!

Holly: Lemon, it's all right. I can do this.

Coral: Interfering with the operation of a Core is a serious criminal offence, even for Humans! Cactus, you're a police officer, are we being reckless?

Coral: Cactus?

Cactus: Fire in the hole!

<Cactus destroys the Nexus Core>

Cactus: And that is that.

Aubergine: What did you do!?

Cactus: The way I saw it, the Core was the problem. Blowing it up was the fastest way to fix things. Don't worry, I do this kinda thing all the time.

Holly: Fix things? Or destroy multi-billion dollar pieces of equipment on impulse?

Cactus: Both?

<roll credits>

After credits scene[edit]

Liquorice: Amazing! Did you manipulate the others into destroying the Core? Just to get off the ship?

Starch: Didn't have to. Just peeked ahead, chose a future I liked.

Liquorice: [chuckle], the humans were right to seal you away. You are dangerous.

Starch: Dangerous? I'm just a joker they didn't remove from the pack. If you're looking for your MacDuff, keep an eye on that ace on top deck.

Liquorice: You can't possibly mean that green-haired lunatic. She just herded cats to an unlikely victory, I don't respect random luck.

Starch: There's no random in Cactus.[1]

Liquorice: What is that supposed to mean?

Starch: Homework, Briar Rose. Figure it out and you might survive your next encounter.

Voice lines[edit]

When Medulla is using the spare bodies of previous bosses, she speaks the same lines as they do for melee attacks and knockdowns. The following quotes only apply to the shell phases and the final phases

Melee attack (Phase 7 only)[edit]

"Annoying."

"Got you!"

"Don't distract me!"

Player knockdown during phases 1, 3, 5 and 7[edit]

"YESSS!"

"Good."

"And stay there!"

"Ha."

Player knockdown during phase 8[edit]

'"Embrace eternity!"'

'"All shall be won!"'

'"This is the future"'

Final phase defeated[edit]

"I could've saved... every.. thiiiiinng"

Trivia[edit]

  • Medulla's battle theme features remixed versions of the themes for Embryo, Vespula and Justice which are played during their respective phases.
  • The ones and zeros flying around the arena during the Aethersphere reads "metal minds" in binary.
  • The name "Medulla" is likely a reference to the "Medulla oblongata", a feature of the brain which regulates all basic bodily functions such as breathing and circulation.
  • Possible reference to how the game doesn't feature any RNG in its mechanics.