Beyond Hero Mode ++ - How many stars is possible?


Just a note - I’m fairly sure the recall psi is scaled linearly on remaining health. Sometimes the recall button displays this, sometimes it doesn’t, but if I watch the psi impact it seems to always be true. (A bug afaik) As such, recalling just before death only serves to remove the short cooldown, not actually to preserve psi.
On the flip side, casting heal just before recalling a damaged boost 5 Markos actually gains psi vs. simply recalling. I think even at just 1 level of heal.

Reading more carefully, it looks like you actually mean you pull him out for that last small bit of psi when you see the incoming attack animation. Yikes, I wasn’t that dedicated to micro! (I did eventually remember the trick of boosting to 4, letting him hit with lunge, then boosting to 5, though I don’t know if it actually helps, especially with the Evni speed buff.) Good luck, sounds like you are on track.

Edit: TFoME is down on the 2nd (and a half) try. It can be done with Blood and Plague. Key seems to be ok with letting most stuff run till the Red/Blue junction to soften up a bit, with Wrenna (ice spear off, sleet maxed/on) on the right (point 3) and Markos on the left. Due to the amount of jumping and incoming damage, Furious Start is probably stronger, but the plague setup might be a little more forgiving since some of your damage is passive.

If you try the plague route on this one, make sure to run the first dragonfire 2-3 before the end of the RGB darks - the cycle is slightly shorter than the dragonfire cooldown, and you want the timing to be good later on. Also, due to the later setup point, use fury right at the start, you’ll have it back in time. Sometimes had to jump Niru and Slak back onto the throat though - roar + whirlwind => really good meat-grinder.

Somewhat crazily, I forgot to swap to Beast Weapon+ for Wrenna, had the chill one instead. More raw damage, but 3x against worms is huge, so I bet that’d make it easier. Guess it proves you can get this even if you didn’t upgrade the Beast Weapon yet. Did retune my Wrenna after looking more at the cast delays, that did matter a surprising amount.


Recalling psi is based on psi spent on the defender AND the health left. You still get some psi if you recall right before a defender dies down.


Wow, I always expected to see other strats for TFoME, but not ones that used chill wand and book of plagues! Congrats on being the 1st to 200 gold stars. I’d say that I’ll race you to 201, but even if it is possible, it would take more time to figure out than I have. Best of luck should you try to do it.

In case you haven’t tried them yet, Endless 1 and all five challenges are definitely possible (actually easy in comparison). I tried Endless 2 with only using 1 character of each type in a different save where I wasn’t using hero mode, and I did not succeed… at all.


Everest has fallen!

(You’d lose the race BTW - sorry)
A bit like Everest IRL, TGKWAE is a “walk up” compared to the other two, although the shear spam of stuff coming at you makes for a very complicated fight. At root, book of plagues + Zelemir’s pushback tends to buy plenty of time and DPS - the main thing to watch out for is the set of spawns that drop down the green slot and head straight at Azra - you’ll want Wrenna and Markos there, and you need to put Ketta back onto first from strongest (=boss damage). Otherwise, just keep bouncing Slak around after the boss, and Markos wherever you need him - ripping armor isn’t actually hugely required with all the spells. (Except those short green spawns - are we sure those aren’t a mistake?) I would have had it on the first try but something slipped by and got Azra - not even sure what. Was only about 1/4 of the way done so I just reset then. I’d bet you’d have it within 2 or 3 tries with blood and plague - it is a level almost made for plague due to all the big HP enemies.

I think I got clobbered on challenge 5 last time I tried, but didn’t have Blood or Plague at the time, so I’ll take another shot tomorrow. I bet Endless 2 is simply beyond what can be done in hero mode - which is sad since it’ll be the only thing standing in the way of 100% completionist in hero mode. Pure DPS check is the single most lacking thing though, so not sure how that could be “fixed”.

I do think Chill wand was a mistake for TFoME, and would recommend anyone trying it, even with plague, use the Worm Wand (beast weapon?) instead. For TGKWAE the Chill Wand is better because of the higher raw damage and the need to slow stuff on the green lane.

Edit: Challenge 5 is “easy”? I got obliterated on that one again! I guess if I stay as far forward as possible it might not be too bad, but yikes, I was losing people all over the place, couldn’t keep anyone up at all. Challenge 5 seems harder than TFoME so far. I’ll give it a rest tonight, maybe I’ll be better tomorrow.


It is done. 30/30 on 1 game. No H-bomb. (Yes secret books.)

Challenge 5 was brutal, the second hardest of them all I think. Switching to the Beast weapon finally let me get past all the spawns at the end, but it was still close, grinding, and lots of lightning. If I’m not mistaken Challenge 5 took 2.5 hours to complete.

TWOE remains the most insane because there is no room for error, while Challenge 5 clearly has slack (and Slak!), but the shear scale of it is was mind-numbing. Others in this thread implied this wasn’t that hard - is there some trick I didn’t get to this? Blood seemed required, plague seems strong still since the crux has lots of high damage enemies - and pushback was critical to give plague more time to work (stole if from crystal).

Endless 2 is also cleared to 1-2 waves beyond required - I got that on the first try, much easier. Didn’t expect that, but plague book scales with enemy strength, so I just needed to be good on cleanup from the spawns. The last few did have me chasing them across the whole map, and I actually used that “next” button as it got near the end, but had more to spare than I thought.

So, of the 5 “impossible” levels I’d put them in this order for difficulty:
Challenge 5
Endless 2

Also - Lars… I know the lightest touch to make true hero mode possible. Don’t change anything lol! Been a long time since I’ve felt as good about winning a computer game as this feels - congrats on the excellent game.

Defender's Quest DX release is imminent

Ethan - CONGRATULATIONS! :smiley: And kudos! That is some very nice work :slight_smile:

Do you feel like posting a screenshot of your star count just so we can see how cool it looks? :wink:

Thanks to you all for posting details on your strategies. I’m not sure I have the time right now to sit down and follow in your footsteps, but perhaps in the future and with the release of DQDX :slight_smile:


Congrats, Ethan!

Like Culix, I have no time but will make some to try to 100% DQDX in hero mode. Hopefully it will release by June 20, because I will pretty much have that whole week “free.”


I’ve just been informed of this, well done, wow.

Now that we know this is possible, I think it’s clear that I don’t have to rebalance DQDX. I am doing my best to make sure all the stats and timing play out the same, but I would appreciate someone replicating the attempt in DQDX, to make sure I didn’t introduce some kind of bug that invalidates it.

That said I know it’s a huge ask so it’s okay if no one’s up for it :slight_smile:


Is getting all stars still heavily reliant on abusing explosive start to summon/desummon healers? If so I wouldn’t mind the game getting a tiny rebalancing. :stuck_out_tongue: There’s nothing too fun about summon/desumming Bakal over, and over, and over.


Not according to Ethan:


I just saw this thread (I’m the original 198 star guy without the secret books :)) and this is amazing, grats! I’m just now playing through DX and plague+blood already makes everything a lot easier, but beating hero mode+++ on the original is fantastic work!


yeah, I wish I could downgrade to the original, because 201 gold stars in DQDX was not challenging at all. I only made it to 199 in the original version of DQ. The bonus level Challenge 5 is still fairly difficult, as is endless 2, but I expect them to only take 2 or 3 tries.


It being so hard was most likely an unintended side effect of unique armor bonuses not working correctly.

Try the same setups in the old DQ (the DX version is stored in a \dx\ folder so the old version doesn’t get wiped).


I’m unclear about what didn’t work about armor bonuses in the original. Can’t seem to find a listed bug either (but I’m known to be bad at looking for anything). Mind laying out what wasn’t working about them? Maybe I was already partially compensating by using pure survivability armor before, since I’m not quite clear how that could have a bug when I saw it make a big difference.

In general it seems strange that armor improvements could account for the difference reported between old and new for TWOE difficulty, but I guess if it were a drastic enough problem before maybe that’s the whole story?


It’s not the armor bonuses making DQDX easier, as none of them correspond to “increase DPS by approximately 20%.” The new engine must treat either damage or timing differently than the old one.