Speedrunning Copy Kitty
These Notes Are (Or Soon Will Be) Deprecated
These notes apply to Copy Kitty 1.8. As of this writing, 1.9 is in development and presents SIGNIFICANT changes that invalidate almost everything.
A Game in Development
Copy Kitty is (as of the beginning of 2015) in active development and still being changed. There's a pretty clear start and finish to the game but more levels will be added in the future and new patches are still rolling out with bug fixes and mechanic changes.
The most recent patches significantly changed Marathon Mode by making it easier. Namely: you no longer have to restart a mission if you die. You simply take a time penalty in the form of a death animation and respawn with reduced weapon ammo. We can expect similar changes in the future that will completely shake up strategies and routes.
For this reason, the World Records in Copy Kitty should not be taken too seriously. It's a foregone conclusion that a patch in the future will invalidate WRs, or introduce mechanics that make the WRs sub-optimal and easier to take.
Two Versions of the Game
At present there's two versions of Copy Kitty: The Free/Demo Version (which I call Free), and the paid version (Turbo).
Unfortunately, racing or comparing times between them is not possible at the moment because the Turbo version introduces a bunch of new levels that are put into the middle of the free version. A Turbo runner cannot simply stop their run at a specific point and have completed all the Free levels. For this reason the two should be considered completely different games with different categories (except for individual levels. Those are exactly the same).
With some work, you could race Mission Mode between a Free and Turbo runner, but the Turbo runner would be at a disadvantage in that they'd have to skip Turbo-only levels. Also the Free version changes the order of a few worlds to fill gaps in the play experience left by the absence of their Turbo counterparts. A race in Mission Mode between a Free and Turbo runner would end at the stage "Showdown" for the Free runner, and at "Cosmic Decimator" for the Turbo runner. The route diverge begins at World 8.
Categories and Run Types
I'm experimenting with a few run categories at the moment. For Turbo players, each category can have a sub-category for Boki and another for Savant; the game's two playable characters. In no particular order...
Unlocks after you finish all missions in the core game (Worlds 1 through 9 in Free, 1 through 11 in Turbo). Keeps a constantly running in-game time (IGT) clock which seems to be pretty accurate and reliable. I'm using IGT but running an RTA (real-time) timer along-side just in case we find a problem with IGT. One down side of Marathon Mode is it could be considered a little too forgiving. Deaths cost maybe 10 seconds and some of your ammo, and you keep weapons and vehicles between levels (with hilarious results in some cases, as noted in the actual run notes below). I feel this is fine, personally.
Start at 1-1, skip all the cutscenes, and go as fast as you can through the game. This is a little bit harder since deaths force you to replay the current level and you can't cheese the game in some places by taking vehicles and weapons into boss fights and gimmick levels. Since you don't have a run-wide IGT clock, RTA is required and load times and cutscenes and menuing become a factor. OR, you can wipe your savefile and run through the game, and reference your "Total time" from the main menu. This will be your IGT.
Run a single level as fast as you can, using IGT exclusively. The game keeps track of your best runs in each level, but there's no internet leaderboard. The game also automatically saves replays of your individual levels, so if you grab a really good IL time, you could go back and record it after the fact.
Basic Game Mechanics
The game consists of either 9 or 11 worlds (depending on version), with anywhere from 5 to 12 levels each. In each level you goal is to kill all the monsters marked with a red "Target" reticle. Once the last target falls, all the remaining enemies in the level explode and you proceed to the next level.
Sometimes to reach a target enemy, you'll need to pass through a green glowing block that blocks your path. These are opened by hunting down enemies with green "Key" reticles and killing them.
Your actual methods of attack are powers stolen from your enemies. Certain enemies, when killed, will drop a glowing rune that represents ammo for one of three weapons you can have equipped at a time. There are ten base weapons and you can switch between them freely. Additionally, you can fire a super shot that combines your current three weapons into one of over a hundred special attacks. Every combination provides a different super shot. Most attacks are projectiles, though there's a few that are more specialized, such as swords, mines, and screen-clearing tornadoes.
In addition to the ten base types and their super shot counterparts, there are also special "solo weapons" that are dropped in the form of steel plates with runes on them. These solo shots cannot be combined into super shots and, if you fire a super shot, any solo weapons you have will be ignored in the composition of the attack. Solo weapons, instead, are very powerful on their own and do special things to boot. These include more effective melee attacks, terrain-ignoring homing shots, summons, and the mighty Supernova.
There's about 200 attacks in the game, so detailing them all would be pointless. Largely, a run is approached not in a manner of getting perfect weapon combinations, but understanding what you have and making it work best. There are some exceptions, of course, where you'll want specific weapons.
On top of copied abilities, you also have the ability to kick, which does a fair amount of damage on its own and can deflect projectiles, dodge-roll, double-jump, and hijack enemy vehicles for your own use.
SPOILERS BEGIN HERE
No seriously, this game is awesome, and some of the boss fights are truly deserving of the word "Epic". Azure and Raibys put a ton of love and work into this game and you owe it to them and yourself to go play it before reading about all the fun meaty bits, or even really watching my streams. When discussing the game in public I try to use vague terms like "World 11's boss" so as not to spoil because I feel the game is worth experiencing on your own. Go check it out.
Marathon Mode Strategies
Most of a run of Marathon Mode consists of moving to targets as fast as you can and destroying them with stolen powers. In Mission Mode, your weapons are reset every level and you're given a set of powers appropriate for the level. In Marathon Mode, though, you carry weapons forward with you, so you can break some levels by having powers the game doesn't expect.
This is a disorganized brain dump at the moment. Apologies!
Virs (The stone Ra golem) and Dengrahx (The tank with a chain chomp) are vehicles you can board and drive once you've defeated them. In most levels they're accessible, you're meant to board them and use them to complete the level. However in Marathon Mode you can carry them forward into future levels. This gets especially useful closer to the end of the game. The main use is to carry a Virs into the boss fight at the end of (Turbo) World 8 and just beat the tar out of the boss while ignoring his armor and phases. As a general rule, Virs and Dengrahx give you power at the cost of speed and vertical mobility. The later in the game you can steal one, the more time you'll save using it, unless the level you're going into is heavily vertical-- in which case you may be better without.
Weapon combinations can go "Stale" if overused. As a weapon combination gets stale, its damage begins to drop. According to the devs, the more frequent a specific weapon combination is in a list of the most recent 50 kills, the weaker that weapon gets. By how much exactly is unknown, but there is a noticeable decrease in power if you get 50 straight kills with a weapon combination.
In most cases this isn't a big deal because you're switching weapons during a run as things run out of ammo, but it's worth thinking about in situations where you've used one combination a lot, or you're going into a boss. It may be worth switching things up in those cases to get a fresh weapon set.
Worth noting: This freshness only applies to weapon combinations in their entirety. For example, if you get 50 kills with Plasma + Quick + Force, that specific weapon will be weak, but if you drop Quick and use only Plasma + Force, that weapon will be at full strength.
Weapons to Look Out For
Astral (Boki Only)
You get Astral during the boss battle of World 9. It's intended to be used only for that fight, but in Marathon Mode you don't lose it when the fight is over.
Astral is one of the best powers in the game and, on its own, provides you with a complete suite of mobility and damage powers. If you're running Turbo and have the two hardest worlds in the game left ahead of you, bringing Astral with you makes them far easier. The problem is once you leave the Arikan fight, Astral begins losing ammo like every other weapon. You should be able to find enough base ammo pickups to keep it topped off, but you won't recover if you take a death. Keep yourself deathless as long as possible to keep Astral in your hands; you can't get it back if you lose it.
Keep in mind when using Astral that each of its five attacks has a cooldown during which the attack is weaker. You can see what's cooled down by looking at the colored orbs circling your character. If an orb is big and geometric shaped instead of round, that attack is cooled down. Granted, you won't be able to stop and look during the carnage, so you should just focus on using attacks in an attack cycle. Mine is Incinerator (The basic attack combo), Rising Bolt (The dragon punch), Zephyr Scythe (The divekick), Polar Vortex (The blue projectile), Shadow Break (the purple dash). This lets me get hits in, get out before the enemy hits me, come back in once it's safe with zephyr scythe, drop a polar vortex, and get out again with shadow break.
If your attack is fully cooled down, the screen will flash that attack's color and the attack will have an additional effect. Most of these provide more range to an otherwise low-range attack, so keep the cycle up when you can.
Supernova is an extremely rare solo power that lets you emit a shower of sparks that takes up about half the screen. Supernova is extremely powerful and can kill almost anything in one shot, but it's a one-shot weapon so it cannot be refilled with standard ammo refills. If you happen to pick one up, save it for a vehicle. It'll shave seconds off that level and may save your life.
One unintentional feature of Supernova: If you're at full combo (Boki is flashing rainbow colors), weapons cost less ammo to use. This applies to Supernova and you'll actually be able to get two shots from one pick-up. Unloading a flurry of shots into some enemies to get a combo before using Supernova will double your bang for your buck.
Remote + Explode + Plasma. You have to micro-manage its detonations but this is by far one of the strongest powers in the game. It leaves a huge explosion and a shower of plasma that does further damage and will one-shot almost anything, even if it's weakened from over-use.
If you run out of one of the components, Corona Flash also breaks down into three pretty powerful dual-weapon shots on its own, so you won't be gimped while looking for a refill.
Cavitation Beam/Cannon and Devestator
These deserve mention in that I feel they look favorable but should be avoided. Cavitation Beam and Cannon are extremely powerful abilities that hit like a train, but have a cooldown time in the multiple second range. If you miss a shot, that's literally 3 seconds lost. They're also expensive and kind of hard to aim. Cavitation Cannon has a few uses; namely when you need to blow away a huge chunk terrain at once, or are fighting a slow, large boss like the World 5 boss. With combo up, this power actually become quick enough to be usable.
Their distant cousin, Devestator- however is excellent. You have the power and piercing of Cavitation Beam with a much more manageable cooldown.
Light + Bounce + Plasma. This is a super solid "Anytime" weapon that shines in narrow corridors and against walls. It fires a cone of semi-random rays that will bounce several times before petering out. Since it's semi-random and a wide cone, you don't have to aim as carefully as some other powers, making it perfect for shooting on the move. Since it combines Plasma and Bounce, you can also hit enemies multiple times with one shot by banking them off a solid wall.
This will SHRED the World 4 boss before he even gets to move.
Pretty basic fight. The boss can do exactly one thing: charge at you with a telegraphed charge. Dodge it and light him up with whatever super shot you have. I usually end up here with Plasma, Force, and Explode. Your goal should be to get combo as soon as possible to maximize your damage.
Remember you can kick your way through the vines the boss shoots. If the boss has a bubble at the end of his tail, he himself is immune until you kill it. This doesn't take effect until the bubble is fully formed. Your ideal result here is to catch the boss generating a bubble while in reach of your attacks. When the bubble finishes an attack cycle, it drops a Whip solo power, if you need it.
Plasma attacks will still damage the boss, even if he's shielded. Furthermore, if you pick up the summon power the bubble drops when killed, you can fling draining monsters at the boss that will damage it through its shield too.
The first boss a first-time player may consider tough. There's a trick: The one-tile wide platform to the right is a deadzone of sorts. Get over there and don't move. When the boss fires his purple laser, just jump it. When he fires the green laser, dodge it and the resulting explosion by doing a delayed double jump straight up. When he spin-attacks, you can either jump over him with a delayed double jump if he's low, or drop down into the one-tile chasm to the right if he's high.
9 times out of 10 when I fight him from this position, his attack pattern puts him under the floating block in the middle after his second spin. This lets me stand on the magic platform and shoot him safely with Force homing shots. From there, neither of his lasers can get out.
I end up here with either Devestator or Corona Flash, so I end up finding a rhythm where I fire, slightly reposition during the cooldown, and fire again.
This boss only does three things: fires a slow homing bullet, fires either a red or blue laser, and charges you to dragon punch you. He's the easiest boss in the game-- easier than even World 1.
If you don't have a good loadout, immediately jumpkick when you start the fight. If you're fast enough, you'll pop a target before it gets shielded and get Typhoon, the dragon punch solo power. This will do fair damage to the boss, but you're probably better off with a powerful three-power super shot.
If you have Scramble Ray, you can unload into him right from the start and he'll die before he can even do anything. Just make sure one ray of the cone passes through his head.
Wait for him to stop posing then unload into him until he fires the bullet. Let it fly past you then hop up on the platform above. From here you're safe and can shoot him with downward angled shots. Once he stops firing, he'll charge forward to dragon punch you. Just jump forward over him and he'll miss, and the cycle will repeat.
You should aim for headshots unless you have a massive exploding or splitting weapon. Headshots do extra damage. If you have Corona Flash, a hit anywhere on the boss will be a headshot due to the explosion radius.
This boss is also very easy, but how long it takes you to kill him depends on your weapon loadout. Your instinct may be to take bursty, high damage weapons, but don't. Fast firing weapons with Plasma are better.
Immediately drop to the floor and stand directly in front of his center. He'll swing one of his four weapons forward. Dodge it by running a little bit in the opposite direction, then shoot it. If you want to squeeze out a few more shots, you can up-angle shot when he's brandishing a weapon to hit it there too.
Once all four weapons are destroyed, he'll begin jumping up and trying to fall on you. Wait until the red target arrow moves, then run away from it. Once the boss lands, shoot it and dodge the falling debris. Easy, but could be slow if your weapons are trash.
If you're having trouble, head up to the top of the screen and find Lightning, Quick, Force, and Explode as drops and assemble a not-trash weapon.
This is the first boss you can really Supernova. You should try to come into the fight with a combo already and just double-nova him. If you can't, you need to decide if it's worth trying to combo up for it, or if you want to just blow Supernova and finish him off with normal shots. You'll get more supernova than you need next World, so don't worry about conserving what you have. Go all out.
The main trick to this boss is being able to shoot while missiles are flying around. When the boss attacks, he swings a chain forward in a very short arc, while simultaneously firing slow homing missiles. If you stand just out of reach of his chain, 90% of these missiles will miss you. He can also charge up and fire a ball of black energy, which you can destroy with shots.
When he teleports up onto a platform, you can stand under the platform, about half a character width away from the edge, and shoot up. It may be tempting to jump up onto the other platform, but most weapons won't reach the boss because his hitbox will be barely off screen.
Another option is to carry a Supernova in from prior levels. This'll take a third of his life off in one shot. If you come in with a combo, you can double supernova him for almost all his health before he even moves.
World 8 (Turbo, not in free)
This boss is either ridiculously easy, or a pain in the ass. If you bring in the Eclipse Virs from two levels ago, you can just walk up and spam both X and RB to shoot and claw him, ignoring his armor, his weapons, and his shields. Done. He'll try to move into you in a position where your claw won't hit him. If you're not taking noticeable chunks off his health bar with each slash, you're not hitting him. Step back a bit and go back to swinging.
If you don't have the Eclipse Virs, this is far more complicated. You should use the weapon combination you bring in to kill three weapons so you can get a full loadout, then drop your normal weapons and pick up his medieval ones. I'd prioritize using Axe, Sword, or Bow, but any three will work. In any case, get as close to the boss as you can and don't stop firing super shots to swing all three weapons at once. You may die, but it's the fastest way if all else fails. Playing his defend-and-attack game will waste a ton of time and you can hit-stun him effectively by just surrounding him in a whirling helix of steel.
If you're okay with melee mode, these weapons are decent going forward, but not better than some of the big hitters like Devastator and Corona Flash.
It's not really worth using Supernova here. I don't know if it'd even work.
The Astral fight. This was so hype the first time I did it.
Read my write-up on Astral in the Strategy section above. Use my attack cycle if you don't know what to do. This lets you get in, attack, and get out before any of his attacks can really hurt you.
If you have other weapons for this, don't bother. Astral really is better. The exception of course is Supernova, but it's hard to land on Arikan because if you're unlucky he'll just jump out of it. You need to dive into him and activate supernova when he's unlikely to jump. I've found that the best time to do this is when he's just starting to fire green bullets. That is pretty much the only time you're guaranteed to land it when he won't move.
One note: do NOT try to prime any kind of attack against the boss before you pick up Astral. If he takes any damage, he'll destroy Astral and attack. This is a mistake I made... once. It'll add several minutes to the end of your run.
World 10 (Turbo, World 8 Free)
Bring Mirror. It's a huge time saver. You can mirror his light balls and his vertical beams to do damage to the boss. You can also flick mirror on quickly to bounce the satellite laser beams back to their senders, instantly killing them. The big use though is to Mirror his orbital cannon. Yup. You can do that. If you do, the game freezes for a moment and the boss instantly drops to 1/3rd. It's a huge hit, and prevents him from doing his second orbital barrage entirely.
If you still have Astral, a few rotations will cut the other 2/3rd of its life off. Your MO should be to drop him to the 2/3rd orbital cannon mark ASAP, Mirror it, then kill the boss with Astral.
World 11 (Turbo, not in free)
This is a three phase final battle. Run right to begin the fight.
You should bring Astral (Or Typhoon if you lost Astral, get it in the previous stage), Explode, and Remote. Now you have two choices. You can kill the enemies he spawns and wait for a lance swing to jump up on the lance, or you can bring a Virs, jump, exit it at the apex, and use Astral/Typhoon to leap up onto the lance and skip that. Which is faster is a matter of debate. Once on the lance, you should use Astral to destroy the eye, conserving your Remote and Explode for later. You can dodge the laser by either leaping up out of range with a triple jump, or dashing through it with Astral.
Once you start phase 2, drop Astral in the core chamber. You should spam Remote + Explode on the core until it drops Plasma, giving you... yup... Corona Flash. You should have the core dead before your ammo runs out, and this saves literally a minute over any other method of fighting the boss; especially since Corona Flash should be fully "Fresh" since you've been killing everything with Astral for 2 worlds!
Once you begin Phase 3, just run left and shoot the ground with Meteor Cannon (X).Enemies are coded to do 0 damage and will blow up as soon as you touch them. Some of your powers in this phase will cause lag, which will inflate your RTA time. Once you reach the boss, you need to keep a few things in mind. Each attack serves an important purpose:
- Charge Eye of Odin as soon as the battle starts and approach. You'll instantly blow his shield off. If not, finish it with Meteor Cannon shots.
- Immediately charge an Earthquaker jump and in mid air, swing Gunguir. You'll take a huge chunk off the boss's health.
- Once you land, start charging Eye of Odin again. If you time it right, one blow from Eye will hit the boss, the other two will knock his shield down to red.
- Around now, the boss should attack with his chain chomp attack. Hit it with Gunguir to stop that.
- Once the chomp has attacked, repeat the cycle with another jump-slash.
Anywhere the cycle gets disrupted, kill the shield by using Eye of Odin if it's green, or Meteor Cannon if it's orange or red. Try to time killing the shield so it goes down soon after the chomp attacks.
In the event that the boss starts firing his own laser, his shield will stop taking damage. Charge an Eye of Odin and an Earthquaker at the same time. Wait until the shield falls, then jump slash as normal.