- Estimated achievement difficulty: 6/10 [skill and luck dependent] [Achievement Difficulty Rating]
- Offline: 12 [1000gs.png]
- Online:
- Approximate amount of time to 1000gs.png: 8-12+ hours [highly luck dependent] [Estimated Time to 100%]
- Minimum number of playthroughs needed: 3 on paper, but plan on 20-30
- Missable achievements: We Don't Need Roads! (100G) is the only achievement you can void on an individual run, but nothing is truly missable
- Does difficulty affect achievements: No difficulty option
- Unobtainable/glitched achievements: None

The 'Save and Exit' option on the pause menu does NOT work as you would expect. You CAN NOT quit the game and resume from where you left off. On top of that, Quick Resume doesn't work with this game. You therefore need to complete each run in a single sitting. If you choose to Save and Exit, you just keep the money you got, but you still have to start over. This makes no sense, because even if you die you still keep everything you got, so the Save and Quit function is completely pointless. 

Welcome to Vertical Drop Heroes HD, an action platformer roguelite where you'll be dropping down levels, beating enemies and bosses, while collecting money and buying new abilities to use for later runs to make them easier. Like all roguelite games, the difficulty is high when you start and gradually lessens as you learn the gameplay and enemies, and more importantly, as you buy permanent upgrades between runs to make yourself stronger. Even with the usual roguelite upgrade loop, the end of this game can be quite challenging. Thankfully, there is a set strategy that all but guarantees success. Let's get started. 

Abbreviated Walkthrough:
*IMPORTANT* As you do runs of the game, you'll come across the Merchant (red haired guy) who offers to sell you a new skill or ability. DO NOT just buy each one you see. Every skill and ability you buy gets added to the pool of what your character can have. The more "bad" ones you buy, the harder it will be to generate a character with the good ones that you want/need to be successful. Here's what you ultimately want to look out for, buying as few others as possible:
  • Skills - Gifted (50% more abilities), Lockpicks (open chests without keys), Slayer (50% more damage to big enemies and bosses) 
  • Abilities - Dwarf Turret, Lightning
The absolute most critical thing to success in this game is to get the Dwarf Turret ability. Everything else is nice, but without Dwarf Turret you won't get this completion. You therefore want to check every merchant you find in every run, and make sure to always have a couple hundred coins in you in case you find it to buy. It's up to you if you want to buy anything else, but I caution against it. It may help you out in the short term, but as you get to the end of this completion and need a specific build to succeed, you may get frustrated not being able to get the build you want because you've diluted your ability and skill pool down. 

Unfortunately, the Merchant items are completely RNG. To put it in perspective, it took me easily 20 runs to finally find the Dwarf Turret for purchase, and even after 10 hours or so with this game, I never found Lightning. Dwarf Turret is all you really need to ensure success, especially since Gifted doesn't even give you more Dwarf Turrets. 

One last note: turn off Auto Attack in the options menu. No clue why this defaults to being on, but it ruins Pacifist Mode and is just a general annoyance. 

With that out of the way, jump in and start doing runs to get used to the gameplay. In all of your early runs, don't waste coins on the shrines that cost money. Save your coins for upgrades in between runs. The way to maximize XP and coins in each run is to go down each level in Pacifist Mode (don't kill any enemies yet) and collect all the Pacifist Orbs you can. Once you get to the bottom where the boss is, hop in a teleporter to go back to the top of the level. Now go down and kill all the enemies to get their XP and drops too. This will get you a lot more coins and XP per run. Never put yourself at risk of dying though. If there are just too many enemies, give up on Pacifism and just kill them so you don't die. 

Between runs, you should be spending your coins on upgrades at the Blacksmith and Apothecary. I found the Pacifist upgrades to not be worth it at all. Instead, dump all your coins into Blacksmith and Apothecary upgrades equally. You may be tempted to go all in on the Blacksmith, but don't underestimate the Apothecary. Having a high health pool is extremely useful in later levels. 

That's all there is to know about gameplay. Now it's just a matter of playing over and over to get enough coins to level up enough, and hope to get lucky to find the skills and abilities you want/need. You'll end up getting most of the achievements in the first two or three hours of the game, and then will likely spend at least five hours improving your stats with coin grinding as you try to beat the game. You ultimately want to keep working towards We Don't Need Roads! (100G)​​​​​, as that's the hardest achievement in the game. Once you get the Dwarf Turret, you've got the ability you need to beat it. Refer to that achievement solution for more details. 

Once you beat the game once and unlock that achievement, you now need to beat the game two more times to unlock Weapon Unlocked: Infinity Sword! (150G). Fortunately, there's an easier way to get those last two victories. Refer to that achievement solution for more information. 

Lastly, you need to do a score attack session, which the game calls New Game+. This mostly comes down to luck, but after everything you've just been through to unlock the previous two achievements, this shouldn't be too bad. Refer to Weapon Unlocked: Musket Gun! (150G) for information on what to do. 

That should wrap up this completion, but if you're still missing any Pacifist achievements, refer to those solutions to quickly mop them up. 

This is a pretty fun game, and the roguelite gameplay loop is always addicting, but the extremely unfair final boss fight is really frustrating, considering there's only one viable way to really beat him consistently. That coupled with the very uneven achievement distribution makes this game feel longer and grindier than it should be. It's still a fun and short little game, but if you don't get good RNG you might find yourself stuck and frustrated for a while.
[XBA would like to thank Necrophage33 for this Roadmap]

Vertical Drop Heroes HD Achievement Guide

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There are 12 achievements with a total of 1000 points

  • Rescue a friendly hero from a cage.

    This will likely be your first achievement. Caged heroes are randomly generated in levels, but you're guaranteed to find at least one per level (usually three or more though). It's just a matter of finding a key so you can unlock the cage. You'll find plenty of keys along the way as your travel down through levels, so just unlock the first caged hero to unlock this achievement. 
  • Defeat 25 Goblin Spearmen.

    This is cumulative across all playthroughs, and will likely be your second achievement. Goblin Spearmen are the most basic enemies in the first level of the game. You'll easily kill over ten on your first playthrough, and will likely unlock this achievement on your second run. 
  • Complete any of the mini side-quests given by an NPC in a level.

    There are four different NPCs that can show up randomly during a level, and each has a yellow glowing outline around them. If you stand on them, they'll give you a little dialogue bubble about what side quest they'd like you to complete for them. This can range from finding items (such as red roses, green flasks, or a diamond ring) to killing certain enemies. Regardless of the requirements, it's practically a guarantee that you'll need to continue down past the NPC to complete the quest. Make sure you look out for a teleporter so you can get sent back to the top to reach the NPC and turn in the quest.

    I recommend aiming to complete every NPC's quest just because they all give good rewards, such as XP and coins. 
  • Defeat 9 enemies in a level while remaining in Pacifist Mode.

    You start every level in Pacifist Mode by default, and it lasts until you kill your first enemy (hitting enemies is fine, as long as you don't kill them). The blue banner at the bottom of the screen will indicate you are in Pacifist Mode. As soon as you kill an enemy, the banner disappears and you're out of Pacifist Mode.

    This achievement requires you to have nine enemies die while you stay in Pacifist Mode. There are two ways to kill enemies while staying in Pacifist Mode:
    • Free allies from cages, and let them kill enemies. While this is possible, and they can definitely contribute, I've found that allies rarely kill more than an enemy or two before they die, especially in later levels. 
    • Use passive abilities that can get kills, such as the Dwarf Turret. This is the most reliable way to get this achievement. 
    Since it's essentially mandatory to get the Dwarf Turret to beat the game, it's easy enough to get this achievement with it. New Game+ is even easier to get this achievement, because you get three times as many abilities, meaning you can drop Dwarf Turrets all over and easily get nine kills in a level without having to do anything else. 
  • Complete a level without triggering any alarms.

    There are two ways to trigger alarms in this game:
    • Stand on the same piece of land that a black flag is on
    • Hit an enemy carrying a black flag
    The latter type of enemy tends to show up more in later levels, but they're always worth watching out for. As for the flags, the reason I worded the bullet point like that is because you can touch flags and jump through them, you just can't make contact with the ground they're touching, so it's actually easier to avoid them than you'd think. 

    As the description says, get to the bottom of any level and complete it without triggering an alarm. As long as you keep on the lookout for flags (some are hard to see if there is land directly above one), this shouldn't be difficult to do at all. You may need to rely on a bit of luck though, as the game will often stick you in situations where you're forced to cross a flag to proceed through the level. 
  • Complete a level without using any Skills or Powers.

    As the description says, you need to complete a level without using button-b.png or button-y.png​​​​​​. You can easily do this on the first level, as no enemies are strong enough to pose a problem with just simple melee attacks. Even the boss isn't bad to beat with just melee attacks. However, if you have five keys built up, you can get to the bottom, killing or avoiding enemies as you see fit, and then use five keys to open the exit and bypass the boss. 
  • Open a total of 20 Treasure Chests in a single game.

    As the description says, you need to open 20 chests in a single run. This is theoretically possible on any run, but RNG can make it far easier on some runs compared to others. The other thing you can do to make this way easier is to buy the Lockpicks skill from a Merchant and then play as a character with that skill. This lets you open all chests without a key. This makes this achievement significantly easier (meaning less luck based), and really just relies on you getting to the sixth or seventh level just so you come across 20 chests.

    That skill isn't mandatory though. I got this achievement "legit" by just finding keys and opening chests. In addition to finding keys just lying around, kill all enemies to see if any drop keys. Additionally, trigger all alarms and use all shrines that spawn more enemies, as this means more chance of keys. Open all crates as well, since there's a chance for keys in them too. Basically, be thorough and you'll find plenty of keys, then just don't waste them on cages. Save them for chests only, and this is completely reasonable to do the normal way. 
  • Collect 12 Pacifist Orbs in a level.

    Every level starts with you in Pacifist Mode, and that only ends if you kill an enemy directly. While in Pacifist Mode, there will be blue orbs scattered randomly around each level. As the description says, you need to collect 12 Pacifist Orbs in a single level.

    It's easier to stay in Pacifist Mode in earlier levels, but those levels are short enough that it's unlikely you'll have 12 Orbs available to collect. If you follow the advice of how to approach each level in the roadmap, you should be starting every level by going down and collecting as many Pacifist Orbs as you can. If you follow that strategy, you'll likely be able to get enough Orbs by the fourth or fifth level. If you follow the roadmap strategy, you'll likely get this naturally, and pretty early on in your time with this game. 
  • Complete a game in without using the Teleportation Shrine.

    This is the hardest achievement in the game. You need to play from Level 1 and complete the game, avoiding the use of the Teleportation Shrines that show up in levels, and never using the one at the temple you're in between runs. This will be virtually impossible without a few things.

    First and most important is the Dwarf Turret ability. The final boss of the game is so unbelievably unfair that I can't see how it's possible to beat him without the Dwarf Turret. I got to him three times without the Dwarf Turret, and I don't think I even landed a hit or two on him before dying. You need to beat him six times in a row to beat the game. That's how ridiculous the final fight is. The Dwarf Turret makes the final fight a cake walk. Unfortunately, you're entirely reliant on RNG to unlock the Dwarf Turret in the first place. The red haired Merchant that shows up randomly in levels will be selling a single skill or ability. You just have to cross your fingers and hope it's the Dwarf Turret. Always carry a few hundred coins on you just in case you find it, to be sure you can afford it. You may get lucky and find the Dwarf Turret early for purchase. I didn't find it until a solid 8 hours into the game. Once you unlock it, DO NOT buy any other abilities from the Merchant. Doing so will only make it harder to roll a character with the Dwarf Turret ability. Once you have the ability, it should go without saying, but reroll your characters at the start of each run until you get one with the Dwarf Turret ability. 

    The second thing you'll need to do is level up the Blacksmith and Apothecary quite a bit, just so you have a chance of surviving all ten levels to get to the final fight. Blacksmith upgrades are obvious why they're important, but don't overlook the Apothecary. Enemies and especially environmental hazards do huge damage in later levels, so if you don't have your health upgraded, it's really easy to Die in only a couple hits. The more your health is upgraded, the more mistakes you can make and the more crappy RNG you can get through. The amount of upgrades that'll make the game easy enough to beat will vary based on personal skill. I would say there's virtually no way you're going to succeed with each under level 15. I was level 25-30 on both when I succeeded in unlocking this achievement, but most of that time was spent trying to find the Dwarf Turret (and sometimes getting to the final fight but failing miserably, as noted above). Getting each to level 20 is a solid goal to aim for. 

    With those two necessities done, there are a few other things you can try for to make this easier:
    • Getting the Lightning ability from the Merchant is great. It's extremely powerful, and can make many crappy RNG parts of levels much easier to get through. Unfortunately, you're once again at the mercy of RNG to get it. I personally spent over 10 hours getting the completion in this game and still never got Lightning from a Merchant. 
    • The Lockpicks ability is great to have. Not only does it allow you to open all chests you find, without needing to use keys, which is great for getting coins so you can use shrines, but also because there's almost always a health potion inside chests too, and these heal you significantly. The other good thing about this skill is that it means that all the keys you do pick up can be used to unlock cages, freeing allies to help you in each level. 
    • Other helpful skills are Slayer (50% more damage to big enemies and bosses) and Gifted (double the abilities), but neither is really necessary, so don't fret over them. I got Gifted right away, but never found Slayer in my time with this game. 
    As for the actual strategy, I have outlined the basic gameplay strategy in the roadmap, and by now you likely know what you're doing, but here is some more advice for attempting this achievement. 
    • Level up as much as possible in the early levels, where the risk is low of dying. Enemies and traps don't do much damage, so focus on getting Pacifist Orbs and then killing everything, activating all alarms and all shrines to spawn more enemies. 
    • In the last few levels, especially the last two, focus only on getting to the bottom. Don't go out of your way for anything, especially Pacifist Orbs and enemies. Take the safest route downward and take zero risks. It's not worth losing a run at this point. 
    • If you've built up keys, either because you have Lockpicks or just generally amassed them, skip the boss of level 10 for sure, and consider skipping the bosses of levels 8 and 9 too. It's not worth risking dying. 
    • In the later levels, descend very slowly and pay extremely close attention to what is visible as you descend. In particular, watch out for fire traps that count down and explode. These destroy the ground, and if you aren't paying attention they can drop you down and completely ruin your run. 
    • The other extremely important thing to look out for is the white electricity node enemies that can spawn. I've only seen these in the later levels, but they aren't relegated to a specific level, unfortunately. These enemies are stationary and shoot a bolt of electricity at you. It does absolutely massive damage and goes through everything on screen to hit you. There is absolutely no way to avoid it. Literally all you can do is, if you see one become visible as you descend, make a beeline right for it to destroy it, or go down even farther to push it off the top of the screen. Unfortunately, if you see one, it means you're going to encounter a bunch throughout the level. I've literally never survived a level with these extremely OP and unfair enemies, so good luck if you encounter them. 
    • If you're flush on keys and plan to unlock cages to free allies to help you, be extremely careful with the winged shield ally. This guy shoots straight down and destroys the ground. Like with the fire traps, this can catch you off guard and completely ruin a run if you get dropped into a really bad situation. If you do free him, stay away from him. 
    Even with the Dwarf Turret, very upgraded Blacksmith and Apothecary, and all the advice above, you still have to hope for good RNG in the later levels. Sometimes the levels put you in barely winnable situations, whether it's lava, spikes, or sheer enemy density. It's so easy to make one mistake and die in seconds, losing your entire run. That's why you need to make the most of the earlier levels, and treat the later levels with extreme care, avoiding as much as you can. 

    Once you finally reach the final fight with the Dwarf Turret, it should be clean sailing from there. Place your two turrets, hide, let them do their thing, and after each wave, place another two turrets. The first wave will be the tightest since you'll only have two turrets, but as you keep amassing turrets after each wave, they'll get easier and faster. Don't attempt to fight any enemies yourself. Stay hidden and let your turrets do all the work. The following video shows a playthrough as well as the final fight. Full credit to the creator of the video. 
  • Complete at least 3 levels in Pacifist mode to unlock the Bone Dagger!

    Note: This achievement MUST be done in a single run (it's not cumulative), but the levels DO NOT need to be consecutive. During a single run, you need to finish any three levels in Pacifist Mode.

    By the time you're getting through all the levels to the final fight, this achievement should be no problem. The only barrier will be actually getting enough keys to leave each level without fighting the boss. Having Dwarf Turret and/or Lockpicks makes this achievement a breeze. With Dwarf Turret, you can get to the bottom of each level, starting with the first one, avoiding all enemies, and then drop your turrets to let them kill the boss. If you have Lockpicks, that makes it really easy to save up keys. For the first two or three levels, kill all the enemies (as well as the ones you can spawn via alarms and shrines) to maximize the amount of keys you get. After three or so levels like this, you should have saved up enough keys to bypass the boss of the next three levels. 

    You may need a little RNG luck with either method, but this is very manageable once you have a handful of upgrades from doing runs. 
  • Achieve a score of 25,000 in New Game Plus to unlock the Musket Gun!

    After beating the game for the first time, you unlock what the game calls New Game Plus. In reality, it's an endless score attack mode. It's accessed at any time from the red crystal in the temple, directly under the portal. 

    How this "New Game Plus" Mode works is that you progress through levels like normal, but the level you're on and the enemies present are random, meaning the first level could be the ice level but the enemies could be zombies, spiders, and vampire bats. To offset the higher difficulty enemies and levels, all enemies scale to your level, so you never have to worry about being underpowered. On top of that, you get triple the amount of abilities. The last additional thing, which is what ties into this achievement, is that you get a score on the bottom of the screen now too. You need to reach a score of 25,000 in this mode, and the achievement will unlock immediately.

    You get points for picking up coins, picking up Pacifist Orbs, killing enemies, opening cages, and opening chests. You could, therefore, approach these levels the same way as levels in the regular game, and maximize points that way. However, RNG is an even bigger issue in this mode, since the enemies and levels are randomly selected. It's also impossible to be overleveled, meaning it's even easier to get caught off guard and die quickly. Plus, those damn lightning node enemies can show up anywhere and ruin your run. 

    Assuming you have the Dwarf Turret ability, since you likely used it to beat the game and unlock this mode, this mode becomes way easier. Having the Lockpicks skill is also huge for this mode, since you can get lots of points from opening everything and collecting all the coins. What I did in this mode was progress down like normal, but don't try to stay Pacifist. The orbs don't give huge points, and there's virtually no way you're getting to the bottom in Pacifist and then teleporting back to the top. So, just kill all the enemies you come across. If you reach a situation where enemies are too great in number, or traps are in your way, or whatever (this was practically a guarantee, in my experience), drop two of your Dwarf Turrets, let them kill but follow them down as they break the ground. You'll likely plummet quickly down to the boss level. Quickly drop your other four Dwarf Turrets and let them annihilate everything. Collect all the coins you can, and then head to the next level and repeat. Basically, progress like normal, killing enemies, as long and safely as you can, but if you aren't confident or safe, drop a couple Dwarf Turrets and follow them down, spamming the rest of your Turrets to finish off the boss.

    Doing this, it should only take around five or six levels to reach the score needed to unlock this achievement. You just have to hope to not get any really bad RNG, but otherwise, this achievement isn't that bad. 
  • Complete the game 3 times to unlock the Infinity Sword!

    As the description says, you need to beat the game three times in total. Your first time beating the game should obviously be for We Don't Need Roads! (100G), but don't worry, the next two will be easier than that first one, because now we can use the Teleportation Shrine to skip levels.

    You're going to want to keep a solid 1,000 - 2,000 coins on hand so you can spend them on Teleportation as needed. How it works is that, on a fresh playthrough, you'll find a Teleportation Shrine on level 2, and you'll need two keys to open the way to it, plus 100 coins to unlock it. That's the only Shrine you'll find on this run. After you die (or win), you can pay 8 coins to start on level 2 and be leveled up a bit. Now, on this run, you'll find a Shrine on level 3 only, and if you die or succeed, you can spend an increasing amount of coins to start at level 3. Progression with the Teleportation Shrine works like this, so unfortunately you can't just get to level 10 on a run and unlock the Shrine there to always start there. This makes it a little slower than it would be, but it's still a way to guarantee progression on every run. 

    The last couple levels will be tougher because using the Teleportation Shrine means you'll be a bit underleveled compared to if you got there from the first level, but play safely and stealthily just to get through. Once you make it to the final fight, your Dwarf Turrets can do all the work and you'll able to knock out two more victories relatively easily. 

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