TxK: A Beginner’s Guide to Vita’s Trippy New Shooter

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TxK: A Beginner’s Guide to Vita’s Trippy New Shooter

TxK is an arcade-style shooting game. The basic idea is simple: shoot all the enemies that arrive on each playing surface. When the surface is clear or all enemies arrive at the top, the surface explodes and you transition to the next level.

Use the left analog stick or the d-pad to move the player entity left and right (or clockwise and anticlockwise on connected surfaces). Hold down the x button to shoot. Tap the screen to smart bomb. You get one smart bomb per level. When enabled, press the R shoulder button to jump. Collect Powerups to gain score bonuses and capability upgrades.

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I’d recommend starting at level 1 while learning the basics. Starting at this level enables labels on many game elements for the first few levels.

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Enemies move quite slowly on early levels. Hold down x and move your ship to shoot them.

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Collect Powerups by just moving your ship to intercept them as they move up the surface.

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It’ll be obvious when you successfully collect one!

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If enemies arrive at the top don’t panic. Your shots come out of the “leg” of your ship that’s in the direction of its motion.

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Often if you “walk” slowly towards enemies they’ll flip right onto your shots and be destroyed. Use the analog stick gently to move precisely.

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Collecting Powerups will enable Jump. Then, by pressing the R shoulder button, you can jump up above the edge of the surface and rain shots down on enemies below.

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Sometimes it’s good to use your Smart Bomb while jumping. Tap the screen to set it off.

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The Smart Bomb destroys any enemies on the surface. You score 2x for all enemies that are killed in this way.

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The Smart Bomb moves down the surface, destroying newly arrived enemies too.

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Sometimes enemies at the edge of the surface will catch you.

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Tap the screen! Use your Smart Bomb before they drag you away to who knows what foul fate!

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Collect the special 1UP powerup to gain an extra life.

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Keep collecting powerups to gain the AI Droid, an indestructible ally who fights alongside you until the end of the current level.

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Some powerups yield a Warp Triangle. Collect 4 of these to go into a Bonus Round.

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Between levels, tilt the Vita gently and try to keep the soul-spark in the middle of the warp tunnel.

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Divide the defensive work between you and your AI Droid.

Those are the basics! As you progress through the game’s 100 levels you will meet many different enemies with many different behaviours. I hope you enjoy getting to know them and blasting them into a million glowing particles!

For a much deeper analysis of the history and design of TxK I wrote a detailed essay about it on the Llamasoft development blog.

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