I put quill to pagie to make this guide
Yooka-Laylee delivers on pretty much everything that it promised. It’s a throwback Nintendo 64-era mascot platformer with a gazillion collectibles. It feels like a relic in 2017, a product of video game design that the medium has mostly abandoned.
That is to say, Yooka-Laylee will be an extremely divisive game. Anyone who doesn’t hold a fondness for this style of play probably won’t be likely to look past its glaring (and usually intentional) faults. Hell, I’ve gotten full Gamerscore and found all the collectibles, and I’m still frustrated by how needlessly obtuse some parts were.
In an effort to cut down on your frustrations, here are some general tips to keep in the back of your mind:
- In the early-goings, don’t dwell on one thing for too long. Yooka-Laylee is structured in a way that promotes leaving lots of stuff behind and coming back for it later. You’re constantly learning new skills and many of them are the key to challenges you left behind in previous levels. If you can’t figure something out, it’s probably because you can’t do it yet.
- Pick up all the quills you see. This one’s for both the completionist and the casual player. Quills are the currency that’s needed to buy skills from Trowzer, the serpentine salesman (yes, trouser snake). Yooka-Laylee‘s quite forgiving in the sense that each level has 200 quills and you need nowhere near that many to purchase skills. Still, it’s good practice to grab them. But, for the people who are trying to collect them all, you’re going to kick yourself if you intentionally pass one up and then spend a big chunk of time trying to remember where that last one was.
- Make a point to regularly remember all the moves in your arsenal. Like I said above, puzzle solutions can be obtuse and unintuitive. If you feel like something should work but it doesn’t, there’s a good chance you just need to use a different ability that you already have. It’s not always the one that makes the most sense to you.
- Audio cues are important. I went into Yooka-Laylee thinking it was a podcast game, the kind of thing you can put on mute while doing other things. The dialogue is all grunts with subtitles, after all. Sound actually plays a huge role in finding some items. For instance, one of the ghosts is invisible and you have to listen for her giggling to indicate that she’s nearby.
- Building off the last tip, equip the Hunter tonic as soon as you can (it’s unlocked by finding two health or battery extenders). Hunter plays a chime anytime a rare item is nearby. It sounds kind of like a whistle that you use to call a dog. It repeats every three seconds or so. This is almost essential for finding some of the most well-hidden items in Yooka-Laylee.
- Don’t go crazy trying to nab the last few quills in each world. Even though there are 1,010 quills in the game, developer Playtonic added a merciful touch. Again, the Hunter tonic is the key. Once you get down to 190 out of 200 quills in any given world, Hunter will chime when you’re near one of the remaining ones. If you just can’t find them anywhere, they’re more than likely through an interior area that you missed (probably with another pagie).
- Lastly, explore everything. A late-game skill kind of breaks the traversal system in the player’s favor. Take advantage of this and check out everything. Yooka-Laylee has a ton of nooks and crannies and there’s almost always a reason why they exist. Something is probably stashed back there, and it’ll bring you just an inch closer to finding 100 percent of everything that’s hidden across this sprawling game.