Welcome to our guide for all things Dust: An Elysian Tail! Dust is without doubt my pick of the games released on XBLA this summer and an all-around fantastic game. While it’s almost impossible that you haven’t heard of this game by now, definitely check out our review for the game.
Dust can be pretty challenging at times, with a few tough bosses to defeat and a whole host of hidden content. In an identical way to classic games such as Castlevania and Metroid, Dust expects that players will revisit previously completed levels in order to unlock new areas and secrets.
In this guide, I’ll be providing some general tips and some combat hints on this page as well as a boss guide (beware spoilers) and a guide for the Bakers Dozen achievement (for finding all the hidden characters) on separate pages.
Use the map and pay attention to the speech bubble above Fidget whenever you enter a new area. Areas which feature a circle on the map contain treasures such as keys, chests or even the elusive hidden characters. Just as important though are save areas and shops (highlighted blue and green respectively) which can really help Dust out of a tough spot. Finally, remember that an ‘open sided block’ on the map indicates an adjacent area for you to explore, so remember to return to that spot later once you gain the necessary move.
Explore each area carefully if the map/Fidget indicates that it contains treasure. Often, the treasure is just a key which is easy to find (but very useful) and it’s well worth the time jumping or dropping to locations which are slightly off the obvious path to get them. Even if you don’t find the treasure you’re seeking, you’ll often reach a point where you can’t proceed further without the ability to climb or slide, which you can then note for later.
Check back the locations you have already visited whenever Dust receives a new ability. Abilities allow Dust to slide, climb and double jump meaning he can access new areas which were previously inaccessible. This is an essential tactic for the Bakers Dozen achievement which is detailed later on.
Stock up on valuable items such as the revival serum and any food which provides a strong boost to health. I found items like nuts, berries and muffins to be useful when found, but they were too weak to be worth paying for. Once you find the Blacksmith, remember that you can craft items at any time from your Inventory if you have the blueprint and all required components.
Keep moving in order to maintain the combo multiplier and to avoid being overwhelmed by large groups of enemies. I use a stick and move tactic which involves dropping a combo or two on average enemies, then I jump and use the whirlwind attack to ‘strafe’ flying or ground based enemies before attempting a further standing combo. Remember to parry against large or slow opponents such as Giants and use Dust’s dodge or slide attack to quickly move behind overwhelming foes.
Experiment with Dust’s expanding arsenal of moves. Fidgets magical attacks become extremely potent when manipulated by Dust’s whirlwind attack, meanwhile the slide and parry moves open up new ways of hurting enemies and escaping from overwhelming odds. Different enemies are more susceptible to being stunned or are slow to turn when hit from the rear, so feel free to see what works on each enemy and remember to change tactic if your first attempt was not effective.