How to complete the ace mission

Aerial view of ace mission at start of play

Black, grey & white objectives Look to your left and find what looks like a teleporter... but isn't yet. Remember this - you'll have the option of using it for cheaty perks later in the game. Now go the opposite way, in front of the power station until you find a switch, and press it to make ramps appear up to the raised areas to your left and right. Go up to the one on your right and press the switch, then cross to the opposite raised area where that switch has made the black key accessible. Pick up the key and cross over again back to the first raised area, and find a walkway over the ice lake. Now you have the black key you can just drive through the black section of wall to get to it. You might want to use these high viewpoints to get some idea of the route through the maze below. Collect the extra life on the walkway, go up to the control tower at the far end and press both switches, to add in some missing sections of walkway over the ice. This will also hide some extra lives, but don't worry for now - it'll be easier to get them later... Go back down, head to your right, all the way to the end, and find a narrow walkway which also requires the black key. Go all the way down to the ice lake.

The ice is pretty slippery, so take it slowly until you get the hang of things! Ahead of you is a hexagonal area containing the grey key, but you'll have to go the long way round to get to it! Go ahead, left, right, all the way to the 'sunset' end of the lake. Now go to your right, all the way along this edge of the lake to its corner, turn right and then all the way along this much longer edge to another corner. Turn 90 degrees right and you'll see the ends of two walls pointing towards you - the one on the left slightly nearer. Go to the right of both those walls and you should be able to make your way round the control tower, under the walkway that leads to it. There's nothing to stop you falling into the gap between the ice and the tower! Once you're past the tower, turn left and you'll again see the grey key area. Keep going left at every corner until you find yourself at the bottom end of a raised walkway. Go up and all the way along (it can be easier to take the corners if you slow down for them a bit) and finally, moving forwards very slowly, drop down to where the grey key is. If you missed the key and got pushed away by the forcefields, the only way back into the middle is to find the weaker forcefield (the one with the paler purple arrow) and drive over it with as much speed as you can get. Once you have the grey key, none of the grey walls in this ice maze will obstruct you, so the strong forcefields are likely to push you right through any walls and off the edge of the ice! So you need to find the weaker forcefield and use that as your route out of the ring of forcefields, right through any grey walls that happen to be in your way, and go back up the same ramp that you used earlier to get down to the lake.

You can now go back up to the control tower, and turn left to look along the ice lake towards where you got the grey key from. Switch off the right switch to make the extra lives reappear on the walkway. Leave the left switch on because you'll still need the ramp section at the start of the walkway. Now when you go down to the ice lake for the last time to collect the lives, you don't need to go round the whole maze again because your grey key allows you to force your way through any of the walls and go wherever you like!

Now, on the ramp between the ice lake and the rest of the game, allow the forcefield arrows on the corners to push you through the locked walls that are open to you now you have the grey key. Make your way up one of the ramps to the spiral section. Be careful on the spiral because there are almost no walls to keep you safe. Don't try to jump from a higher level down to a lower one, because the lower floor is rubber and you'll just bounce off! All you can do at the moment is head to the right and make your way round to the top level of the structure on the far side of the spiral. Press all three switches to make the missing parts of the spiral appear. Go all the way round and down to the bottom level below where you just pressed the switches, and collect the white key. Return to the top level and now you've got the key, use the teleporter.

The teleporter near the back of the power station that you've just been beamed to, has a switch next to it to change its destination. When this teleporter's white arrow points right it takes you back to the spiral. Switch it now to make the arrow point up, and then teleport yourself up to the dam and lava lake. Don't fall into the lava at this point because it will kill you unless you're driving one of the three very large robots that you'll see on a ramp above the far end of the dam! Also the dark grey slope along the dam is too steep for any robot to climb up - the only way back from the lava is by teleporter. Now you have the first three keys and access to the dam, you can also start switching on the asexual pride flag colours! Just find the four pipes from the dam down to the power station. Pick any other than the purple, for which you don't yet have the key, and roll down it - you'll automatically hit the colour switch on your way down, adding a generator to the power station and painting some parts of the Prideworld in that colour. Use the teleporter again to get back up to the dam, and keep at it until you've switched on all the three that you can. Later in this mission you'll have a chance to drive those other robots, but you must use your old faithful blue one to get to the black, grey and white pride colour switches because it's the robot you used to collect the keys of those colours.

Purple objective Go from the dam up the narrow walkway to a control tower similar to the one over the ice lake earlier in the game. You'll need a bit of speed to get up the steep bits. On the control tower, press the furthest away switch on the left first, which adds a walled 'landing area' to the dam near the ramp with the friendly robots. Now when the robots are released, there'll be no chance of any of them falling onto the lava out of reach, so you can safely press all the remaining switches in any order. The switch looking towards the friendly robots releases them from their ramp. The one looking towards the setting sun builds a sloping walkway you'll need later to get to the hexagonal platform with the purple key on it. The other powers up a teleporter at the very start of the game, near the curved end of the power station.

If you want to use that cheat, now is the time, so once the last switch on the control tower is on, go back along the dam and beam yourself down to the back of the power station. Switch the teleporter to its right arrow mode and use it to return to the spiral. Make your way right back to the very start of this mission, where the floor goes round outside the curved end of the power station. The teleporter here is now switched on and showing a right arrow, and you have the grey key you need to get to it, so use it! It'll take you to a precarious spot under the ice where you first got the grey key from. Carefully without falling off (all the grey floor here is on a slight outward slope so it will throw you off if you let it) press all three switches and beam back to where you came from. Go all the way back to the dam and you'll now see that each of the three cheat switches has provided an extra life (or more than that if you're playing in easy mode) and put a wall in the way of an enemy robot to stop it chasing you. Don't pick up the lives now though - the robot you're currently driving isn't the one that will need them!

Before saying anything about how actually to get the purple key, here are an unreasonable number of words about how to survive an attempt to get the purple key! While your robot is at maximum size, lava can't harm it, but you might fall off the edge - or be pushed by an enemy. The only way to get off the lava here is by teleporting, but big robots shrink in the teleporting process, becoming too small to survive the lava any more! So once you hit the first teleporter (deliberately or otherwise; with or without the purple key you came for) you must beam yourself all the way back to the dam to have any chance of completing the mission. The first teleporter of the three (the one closest to the platform with the purple key on it) sends you to a second one inside a walled area that's actually fairly safe from enemy robots - even if it doesn't feel like it! So once you get in there, don't rush and accidentally jump back on the same teleporter and beam yourself back to where there might be enemy robots and lava that can now kill you! Instead, move away from the key platform to the final teleporter which takes you back to the dam. If you didn't manage to get the purple key on this attempt, you'll need to go and take control of a new robot that's never been shrunk by teleportation, before you have another go. It's much harder to use a teleporter with enemies about; you might need to move away from the teleporter to lure the enemy in the same direction, then return to it and be ready to push back against the approaching robot, briefly letting go of your forwards or backwards thrust from time to time to give the teleporter a chance to notice just one instant of your being stationary on it. If you get into a pushing fight with an enemy robot, you can't really win, but you might be able to work your way around it to escape. While one robot on its own can't push through a wall (unless it's a flickery wall or unlockable with a key) if two or more robots are pushing or bouncing each other in a confined space, at least one of them will inevitably get pushed right through the wall... eventually! If you do get pursued into a tight corner, this can sometimes be your only means of escape.

So, to get through the lava maze, bump into one of the friendly robots to take control of it. At this point in the game they're all the same - the biggest allowed size which is the only size that can survive lava, and each carrying three lives and no keys. Between those new robots and any cheat extra lives you may have ready for them to pick up (now's the time!) that's a lot of lives available. Take your big robot down the dark grey slope of the dam and onto the lava. Turn left and go to the end of the dam below the friendly robot ramp, then right and along the edge to the corner of the lava lake. At the end turn right again, and keep your distance while the two enemy robots ahead notice you and come as close as they can before the walls get in their way. From this position they'll find it harder to chase after you, because while turning towards your new direction as you run away, they'll be slowed down by friction with the wall. Now head quickly towards the right side of the control tower and round it (not falling through the gap in the lava of course) until a wall stops you. If either of those robots did manage to keep up the chase, it'll probably now fall into the hole! If even that fails to get rid of it, you might be able to lure it behind the nearby L-shaped wall from where it can't follow you any further into the maze. Now go under the walkway that leads up to the control tower, and get the attention of the two robots ahead in the same way as before. Now go left-right-left and head away from the dam, towards a light grey section of floor with a switch in the middle, as quickly as possible. The switch makes the whole lava area you've just crossed disappear; any robots on it will fall to oblivion. For that to work, you need to be far enough ahead of the enemy that they can't get to the safe grey floor before you reach the switch! If after all that you're still being followed, you can hit the switch again to restore that lava area, and lure the robot back out towards the dam, quickly do a u-turn and have another go at switching the lava away from underneath it. Whenever an enemy robot accidentally drives over a switch, it'll press it too. Sometimes that benefits you; sometimes the enemy...

Now point towards the setting sun and the last two robots near the corner of the lava lake... but don't get close yet. Wait for the dark grey one on the right to reach the left side of its patrol area, then drive towards them, go close enough to get noticed and as before, wait for them to come to a stop with the wall in their way. Go right-left-right, quickly again as you're trying to reach the next switch before the enemy catches up. Just like last time, the switch will drop any robots behind you into oblivion if you were quick enough. If you weren't quick enough, just keep going ahead till you reach the far wall near the dam, turn right and go to the far corner. These robots aren't allowed to follow you this far from their starting position, so will return home. Now go up the walkway at a medium speed and drop down onto the platform to collect the purple key. If you missed the key, you won't get enough of a runup in this confined space to get back up on the platform... so with or without the key, you must now use the first teleporter to get to the second, then use the third to get back to the dam. If you didn't manage to pick up the key on that attempt, go and take control of another friendly robot that still has all its three lives and hasn't been shrunk by teleportation, and have another go. Just like the ice maze, when you do finally get the key you can walk through the purple walls throughout the maze... but this time it isn't useful - it just makes you more likely to meet old enemies again! Finally with this same robot when it's successfully got hold of the purple key, go down the purple pipe towards the power station, to switch on that colour and complete the mission!

Mission info

Pride flag colour switches: 4
Keys: 4

Extra lives: 8
Friendly robots: 3
Enemy robots: 6

Switches: 21 (total including pride flag colour switches)
Lifts: 0
Teleporters: 8
Hazards: ice, forcefields, rubber, lava
Secret areas: 1 (see cheat under purple objective, above)

Complexity: 1085 polygons, average 4.17 vertices per polygon, 622 walls, 2 vertices per wall

Published: 25-10-2020 (first day of Ace Week, formerly known as Asexual Awareness Week)

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