Tips and strategies for completing the game with a gold star in every category to unlock “The Impossible Dream” achievement in SteamWorld Dig 2.
A gold star in the time category isn’t difficult to obtain on its own. Trying to get all four, on the other hand, quickly becomes more difficult.
The time limit we have here is four hours. Based on my own experiences, I know this can get a little tight in the end, but trust me, if you hurry a little, it is doable without too much trouble.
Things you can do to save time include:
- By pressing Y on your gamepad, you can bypass dialogues.
- By using the Portal of Pardon mod, you can avoid going back to pipes.
- Prioritize pickaxe upgrades to dig faster (still, the second priority after backpack as discussed in wealth section).
- Instead of farming resources, concentrate on progressing through the story until your sell bonus is sufficiently high. If you just want to dig your way through the rocks as quickly as possible, the Criss-Cross Combustion engine mod comes in handy.
- Attempt to collect all of the secrets you come across along the way so you don’t have to return later.
You don’t need to take any optimized speedrun routes to succeed here, but I recommend following the story as written at least until you get the ignition pickaxe upgrade. I then proceeded to ignite the three braziers scattered around the Temple of the Destroyer in preparation for the extended grapple. Following the story has the big advantage of allowing you to pick up most of the secrets along the way right away, rather than having to return later when you’ve found the necessary upgrades.
Along with the time star, this category definitely brings the most pressure with it. If you die just once your run is over as the gold star is only granted if you have exactly 0 deaths in the end.
Fortunately, there is a way to cheat death:
If you die your death will only be registered when you have been reassembled in town. This means in principle you can always just crash your game by pressing ALT+F4 and your progress will be reset to the last checkpoint as if nothing had happened.
this feels a bit unlegitimate as you have to be aware that this is cheating. Honestly though, if you are like me not always an absolute pro gamer and you still want this achievement without restarting every few hours this trick (or abuse as we should rather call it) will be your best friend at some point.
Regardless of what you think about this abuse, you will most likely agree with me that avoiding death altogether remains our best option. That’s why I have put together some survival tips below:
- When you are in low health try to use the Portal of Pardon or a nearby pipe to retreat to town as soon as possible.
- Armor upgrades should be given the third highest priority after backpack and pickaxe. Also, get the Gordon Reflexes mod and the Aramid Armor mod as soon as possible to avoid getting crushed by rocks or blown up by projectiles respectively. Temporary lava and acid resistance from the Vidar Boots mod will also come in handy.
Important to know:
- When you die by falling into the void in some caves, this will not be counted towards your death count.
- Don’t die in Vectron. When dying there you will be respawned immediately without a chance to reset your save file. The same might be true for other situations like in the end boss fight (?).
For a gold star in the Wealth category you will have to accumulate no less than $15000.
Again, this would be quite easy on a normal run but combined with the time category you now have two problems to solve:
- How do you get enough money before the time runs out?
- How do you even know when you have reached the $15000 necessary for the gold star?
(1) To answer our first question, here are some tips:
- Wait until you have reached at least around level 15 before you start farming money as your sell bonus percentage stat will scale with your level. Equip the Thrillseeker’s Tale mod you get from the Yonker brother in Yarrow to boost your XP rewards for killing creatures.
- Prioritize backpack upgrades above anything else as the last tier will grant you an additional sell bonus of 30% on all your resources.
- Besides the gems, we get from caves the most valuable resources can be found at the bottom of Yarrow and the Temple of the Destroyer respectively. Both areas are also very efficient for farming XP from killing enemies.
(2) Don’t worry too much about your wealth until you have found all the secrets and completed the story. Then get a calculator and add up all the prizes for the upgrade tiers you have purchased at this point (I had a backpack, pickaxe, armor, and jetpack upgrades maxed out when I did this). You can look up the prize for each upgrade in the upgrade table by Demajen from his 100% map guide I have linked in the secrets category section. Now you can easily calculate how much money you still need before you can finish the playthrough.
Doing most of the resource farming just in the end has several advantages:
- The longer we wait the higher our level will be and therefore our sell bonus percentage. Especially when the backpack is fully maxed out at this point.
- Due to the higher pickaxe level and all the other upgrades, we already unlocked it is less time-consuming and you are way less likely to die in the process.
For a gold rating in this category, you will have to find 100% of the secrets. This means in the end you need to have completed all caves, met all three Yonker brothers, found all 84 upgrade cogs, and excavated all 42 hidden artifacts. In addition, there are even a few more secret areas you have to discover.
And that concludes this SteamWorld Dig 2 guide. Help us improve this guide by leaving your suggestions in the comment section below.