Pokémon may be Game Freak’s flagship title, but the developer has made other games, too, like Drill Dozer and Yoshi. Its latest is HarmoKnight, a rhythm-action game releasing Thursday, March 28 on the 3DS eShop. Before you dive in, here are a few pointers as well as everything you need to know about unlocking and surviving the secret eighth world.
Before you begin
HarmoKnight is essentially a runner where you swing a musical staff to hit enemies or jump over gaps and obstacles to progress safely. It’s a nice cross between Pokémon and Rhythm Heaven. It’s a lot harder than it looks, though, and careful timing is key to attaining “good” or “great” status at the end of levels, which earns you the Royal Notes you need to continue forward. Some even require a perfect score. Listen to the beat and watch for any patterns.
After the credits roll, you should have obtained almost all the Royal Notes, but the “pinklefs” your buddy Tappy the Rabbit tells you about early on in Symphony City are more of a mystery. Five of them are necessary to unlock the barred path that leads to a tough eighth world called “Sky Roost,” which contains seven trials that incorporate the toughest enemies and trickiest elements from across the land of Melodia. Waiting at the end is the “Final Trial,” which could take you nearly as long to beat as it did to finish most of the game.
Collecting the pinklefs
“Pinklefs” are actually pink birds that resemble the musical symbol the treble clef. One is hidden in every major world, and these special stages are marked by feathers on the overworld map. Once you figure this out, the rest is easy.
The first pinklef is located in World 1 in “Springtime Stroll.” Advance through the level until Tappy says, “I sense a secret path …” and then spring off the next drum. (Hint: If you have trouble bouncing successfully, try waiting a little longer to push the B button.)
White and pink platforms indicate the location of the giant pinklef eggs in every one of these areas. Break the shell with your staff like you would a normal heart-containing egg and reach the end, and the first pinklef is yours. At this point, it’ll be called “a bird,” but the resemblance should tip you off.
Next up is World 2. Head to “Rockin’ Dragorn” and take the higher path as soon as Tappy instructs you to. Veering away from the trail of music notes is how you’ll find most of these birds; don’t worry about missing points.
Another pinklef resides in World 3. Enter “Revisiting the Shore” and take the lower path (after passing the dragon and the normal egg).
You’ll need to hold off until the very end for this next one. In World 5, go to “Looking for Birds.” After the second drum, keep to the middle path whenever possible until you find the signature white platforms.
Finally, “Crossing the Crater” in World 7 conceals the fifth pinklef. At the second set of pillars (before the dragon appears), climb and jump across them and hop up again to reach your goal.
Now venture back to Symphony City and unlock the eighth world.
None of the trials in “Sky Roost” contain any health boosts, so you’ll have to collect as many music notes as possible without taking more than five hits total. All of them involve frequent and often tricky leaps over pits and obstructions like flames, and unexpected shifts in the perspective — from side-scrolling to a rear view or a close-up zoom — or the path that the hero Tempo runs along mean that you’ll need to listen carefully for telltale cues.
For example, before open flames sprout from the ground, they audibly ignite. And the ghost-like enemies cast a moving shadow prior to popping up and making a whooshing sound. Memorizing these signals will help you learn when and how to react. It’s the same with other perils. Master the pattern and you’ll make it through unharmed.
The “Baroque Trial” is one of the most rigorous and intense, as is the “Clock Tower Trial,” which slows down and speeds up the pace more dramatically than in any other level. A couple trials put the playable side characters Lyla and Tyko to work.
But the “Final Trial” is the most difficult of all, demanding near-perfection. Master Woodwin shares a story with you after you finish.
If you conquer those challenges and want more, try aiming for a “great” performance in every level, including the boss and miniboss stages.