Firegirl: Hack ‘n Splash Rescue

When I first jumped into Firegirl: Hack ‘n Splash Rescue, I had a hard time making sense of what the game was asking of me. I mean, I know it mostly wanted me to fight fires, but the deeper mechanics felt a bit murky. You only get one life per rescue mission, and the mission layouts themselves seem to be randomly generated, so it feels sort of like a rogue-lite. But as I began wrapping my head around these things, I came to realize that leveling up my character through attribute upgrades and volunteers was an absolute must.

And since it wasn’t entirely obvious for me, I thought perhaps there were others out there that might be in the same boat (for example, it took me five hours to even realize there was another store across the street from the firehouse, which made more sense as to why you start in the street every time instead of inside the firehouse).

So let’s get into it, starting with how you earn money to buy those sweet, sweet upgrades.

How to make money

Firegirl: Hack ‘n Splash Rescue

There is only one way to earn money in Firegirl, and that is by doing rescue missions. Initially, you earn $2,000 from the city for each rescue mission you engage in. If you fail, you still get that $2k, but you must also pay $1,000 in hospital fees should you fail to return from a run or fail to save every survivor (this was $950, but it seems to have been adjusted in a recent patch). But still, even just failing outright can earn you a little bit of cash, so even if you fail every mission, eventually you will earn enough to start buying upgrades, which will help your chances for success.

However, the more you successfully rescue people and return home safely, the more fans you will gain. And with those fans come performance bonuses, which can become quite lucrative in a short amount of time. And coupled with not having to pay the hospital fee (to say nothing of your pride), this is clearly the route you will want to take more often than not. I mean, eventually you will have to beat something to finish the game, right?

Now, before the game’s Fourth Update (which incidentally came out on January 4, 2022), the fan payout was somewhat random. With the update, though, your fan payout will be double your fan count (before upgrades). So you’ll definitely want to keep wowing those fans.

Which upgrades should you buy?

So, once you’ve earned some cash, it’s time to purchase some upgrades. There are a few different types of upgrades, so let me break those down for you.

Water Upgrades

Firegirl: Hack ‘n Splash Rescue

The first type of upgrades are the hose and water reservoir upgrades, which can be found at the vendor inside the firehouse, on the second floor on a platform directly above the firetruck. Here, you can buy into three upgrade categories:

Water Pressure

  • Boosts the reach of your water and height of your jump.
  • Can be upgraded multiple times.

Water Tank

  • Increases the amount of water in your tank.
  • Can be upgraded multiple times.

Auto Refill

  • Slowly refills your water tank by pulling humidity from the air.
  • One-time upgrade for $50,000.

As you can see, both Water Pressure and Water Tank can be upgraded a several times. The cost to do so increases with each level, but the boost to your respective stats is nothing to sneeze at — these boosts are invaluable in staying alive longer, which allows you to save more people and thus make more money to buy more upgrades. It’s a vicious cycle, folks.

Clothing and Axe Upgrades

Firegirl: Hack ‘n Splash Rescue

The next upgrade path available are for your clothes and your axe, and those can be found in the store across the street from the firehouse. Note that the store won’t be available at the beginning of the game, but will become available once you’ve earned yourself some moolah.

The clerk in the store is aggressively annoying, but that is a small price to pay for better gear. Each upgrade to your clothes, will grant a +1 defense buff, and these are broken into three types:

  • Fire Boots
  • Fire Helmet
  • Firefighting Coat

You can also upgrade your axe, which swaps out your lumbering overhead slash to a speedy Stryder-esque sideswipe. By speeding up your hacking speed, you’ll get through doors and past breakable obstacles much faster, thus earning you precious time in which to find more helpless survivors and trapped animals, thus gaining more of that gooey cheddar.


Firegirl: Hack ‘n Splash Rescue

The third type of upgrade comes in the form of volunteers. Their function is simple: When they show up to report for duty, you will be notified by the chief and will be able to pay a one-time salary fee to unlock their perks.

For example, the chef will give you the opportunity to buy more hearts, which will increase the number of hits you can take before dying. You can also purchase a one-heart health pack. There is a stunt driver that, once unlocked, will allow you to pay to increase their driving performance, which will result in them getting to the fires faster and thus increase the amount of time on your mission clock. Each level you buy into will add 30 precious seconds to your timer, which is pretty much just more opportunity to find more survivors, grow you fanbase, and earn higher payouts.

I have also discovered a Union Rep, which gives me a discount on everything you can purchase in the game. And the more you level him up, the greater the discount. I also unlocked a nurse that gives me a discount on the death penalty fee, and a community organizer who will let you upgrade the amount of the bonus from your fanbase as well as giving you the option to effectively buy a larger fanbase.

Each volunteer you unlock will occupy their own section of the firehouse, and visiting them will allow you to upgrade their contributions or purchase the special items or services they offer.


Firegirl: Hack ‘n Splash Rescue

The fourth and final upgrade path comes in the form of medals which, once unlocked, can be adorned to your jacket. You can look through your medals by going up to the 4th floor of the firehouse. There are three tiers — I’m going to call them medals, patches, and stripes — and you can only equip one medal from each tier at a time.

I like these medals because, depending on which levels you end up getting assigned, they can really boost your chances of rescuing more people and making it out alive, thus earning more of those sweet, sweet greenbacks.

Here’s a breakdown of all of the medals you can earn:

Medal 1

  • Medal Bonus: Regain health every time a survivor is rescued.
  • Award Condition: Rescue 3 survivors without taking damage.

Medal 2

  • Medal Bonus: Regain health each time an animal is rescued.
  • Award Condition: Find the golden cat.

Medal 3

  • Medal Bonus: Increase water damage by 50%.
  • Award Condition: Extinguish 200 fire monsters in a single mission.

Patch 1

  • Medal Bonus: Reduce water consumption by 25% while on the floor.
  • Award Condition: Show your bravery.

Patch 2

  • Medal Bonus: Reduce water consumption by 25% while jumping.
  • Award Condition: Extinguish 10 fire monsters without touching the ground.

Patch 3

  • Medal Bonus: Get a bit more popular with every object destroyed.
  • Award Condition: Break 50 objects in a single mission.

Patch 4

  • Medal Bonus: Get a bit more popular with every monster extinguished.
  • Award Condition: Extinguish 100 fire monsters in a single mission without getting hit.

Stripe 1

  • Medal Bonus: Carry an extra medkit.
  • Award Condition: Find the white cat.

Stripe 2

  • Medal Bonus: Get a bit more popular for each survivor rescued.
  • Award Condition: Find the black cat.

Stripe 3

  • Medal Bonus: Get more additional time from clocks.
  • Award Condition: Complete a mission with more than 2 minutes remaining.

Stripe 4

  • Medal Bonus: Get a bit more popular for each animal rescued.
  • Award Condition: Rescue 1 pet without taking damage.

Stripe 5

  • Medal Bonus: Water bottles contain more water.
  • Award Condition: Complete a mission without replenishing water.


So there you have it, how to upgrade your character in Firegirl. There are also items found throughout levels that will refill your water pressure levels and also add 30 seconds to your timer, but since these are consumables, they aren’t proper upgrades. They certainly are useful, though, hence the mention. So go forth and vanquish those fire monsters to stack that moolah so you can upgrade your Firegirl to God status and rid your city of these nefarious fiery fiends.

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