Demon Throttle

Demon Throttle is an incredible game, but it’s not an easy one. When you encounter the Act I boss for the first time, you can expect to be… well, throttled. In fact, it can feel downright impossible. So I’m going to give you a few pointers in taking down the Hillside Demon General.

And in case you’re wondering, this demon’s name is Buddy, according to the game manual.

Anyway, when you approach the boss, you’ll see a huge “WARNING” message show up on the screen. Note that you can still move around while this text is visible, and this is where you want to get into position. Ideally, you’ll want to be at the very bottom of the screen. (If you’re too far up, the boss will hurt you when it spawns in, so you want to avoid this.)

Demon Throttle - Demon General Approaching

Now, the first thing you need to know about the actual fight is that this boss operates in phases, and these phases switch at key moments. When the fight starts, you’re in one of the easier phases. The Demon General is made up of three segments — two arms and a head. In the first phase, you can only damage the hands.

Be careful, because when you deal enough damage to a hand, it will slam on the ground and release an expanding circle of projectiles.

Demon Throttle

Once you take out both hands, the head becomes vulnerable. Deal as much damage as you can to that sucker before the next phase begins.

The next phase is the hardest part of the fight. The Demon General will slam its hands onto the ground, each time sending out a circle of projectiles. Because it alternates between the left and right hand, the paths of the projectiles will cross each other, making them close to impossible to dodge.

However, there’s a trick to this: You want to position yourself below one of the hands in such a way that the projectiles from the opposite hand can’t hit you. That way, you only need to focus on one set of ripples rather than two. And the entire trick to avoiding the closer ripples is to jump over them. It will take a bit of practice to get the timing just right, but once you figure this out, the difficulty of the entire fight is reduced substantially.

If you want to see this in action, here’s a video that shows me positioned properly and nailing the timing on my jumps:

In this phase, you want to be damaging whatever hand you’re positioned below. When you deal enough damage, the hand will close and become invulnerable — at this point, you’ll need to move to the opposite hand. Eventually, the closed hand will open again, and it will be vulnerable once again. Eventually, the hands will crash into the ground and release waves of projectiles. When both hands are down, the head becomes vulnerable once again. You’ll want to deal as much damage to it as you possibly can before the hands come back up.

Now, the boss should cycle between these phases for the remainder of the fight. Your focus is simply dodging projectiles, and damaging the hands until the head becomes vulnerable. It generally takes me three to four phases to defeat this boss.

Demon Throttle - Vanquished

When you finally bring it down, you’ll move on to Act II, which is set in a frozen biome.

One last thing to know about the Hillside boss fight is that there is a storm variant of the Hillside stage. If you get this variant, there will be a pool of water in the center of the arena.

Demon Throttle

The important thing to note is that you can’t shoot when you’re in the water, so you’ll want to avoid this pool as much as possible. It’s a little annoying, but if you’re following this guide, most of the fight should happen in the lower left and lower right corners of the arena. The pool is in the center of the stage, so it shouldn’t change things all that much.

And there you go. That’s how you beat the first Demon General in Demon Throttle.

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