Spoiler Warning: Shadow Complex secrets and strategies

With Shadow Complex closing out the second Summer of Arcade today, the Joystiq crew has been hard at work compiling a series of videos and images to help would-be explorers unlock the secrets of Chair Entertainment's latest adventure.

Of course (as the headline would indicate) this feature is filled to the brim with spoilers and strategies necessary to unlock some of Shadow Complex's many secrets. If you're looking for a Shadow Complex news fix, this isn't the feature for you ... but if you want to know where (and how) to find most of the game's hidden gems, jump in.

Basic Training
Shadow Complex is a side-scrolling adventure game in the vein of Metroid or Castlevania. In the game, players take on the role of Jason Fleming -- your standard everyman, thrust into a bad situation and to save a damsel in distress (Claire). Shadow Complex consists of four repeating obstacles throughout the course of the game. Each obstacle is color-coded and can be identified by shining your flashlight at them. The obstacles and what allows you to bypass them are:

  • Green doors and hatches are taken out with Grenades

  • Purple doors and hatches are destroyed by using Foam ammunition

  • Red doors, hatches and terrain can be leveled using Missiles

  • Blue doors and terrain can be busted by using the Friction Dampener ability (Hyper speed)

Throughout the course of the adventure, Jason Fleming comes across pieces of a super-powered suit of armor. When all pieces are collected (located on the map below), Fleming becomes a one-man army.

click to Complex-isize

Bonus Time
Throughout Shadow Complex players will gain experience by exploring the world, finding bonuses, and defeating enemies. Each level gives players additional stat bonuses that carry over throughout their Shadow Complex career, such as precision, accuracy and stamina. Some levels unlock special ammo upgrades, allowing players to have unlimited ammo -- as long as they have the ability available to them.

  • Level 20 -- Full Map Unlock: The entire game map is revealed, including all secrets.

  • Level 30 -- Unlimited Foam Ammo: Gives players unlimited foam ammunition in their current (and all subsequent) runs of Shadow Complex. Ammo must be acquired for bonus to take effect.

  • Level 40 -- Unlimited Grenades: Player gets unlimited grenades in their current (and all subsequent) runs of Shadow Complex. Grenades must be acquired for bonus to take effect.

  • Level 50 -- Unlimited Missile Ammo: Player gets unlimited missile ammo in their current (and all subsequent) runs of Shadow Complex. Missiles must be acquired for bonus to take effect. Hitting level 50 also unlocks an achievement.

Note: Players continue to gain experience past Level 50.

Treasure Hunter
Throughout Shadow Complex players can find expansion nodes to aide Jason Fleming in his quest. Nodes for Health and Armor boost Fleming's chances, while expansion nodes for Foam, Missile and Grenade ammo capacity increase his fighting chances. Other bonuses can be found, hidden throughout the world of Shadow Complex and we've compiled a complete map to help players achieve 100% throughout their adventure.

Click to Enlarge (Map Version 1.2)

As players collect all of the special ability expansion nodes for any given weapon (Foam, Grenades, Missiles), Fleming will have an unlimited amount of that ammo type at his fingertips.

Need For Speed
In our time with Shadow Complex, the best completion time for the game has been around the 19 minute mark, but don't try for that time on your first go. Mustard explained that the game's unlockable bonuses help players to navigate sections of the game easier. Our advice? Hit Level 30 before you try for any world-record runs because unlimited foam allows players to create their own navigable terrain. According to IGN, the Foam ability can be found within the first 15 minutes of the game. With this weapon in your arsenal (unlimited ammo included) you are ready for a legit speed run.

click to Complex-isize

Special Weapons & Tactics
Twelve Gold Bars are hidden throughout the game. When all twelve are collected, players gain access to a hidden room found early in the game. Within the room sits each of the game's weapons, plated in gold. Not only will players look pimp while defeating the Restoration, the room will remained unlocked throughout your Shadow Complex career. Meaning, each time you start a new game ... the hidden door opens allowing players to choose their favorite weapon from the beginning.

If using a map isn't your style, here is a video demonstrating how to acquire each Gold Bar within Shadow Complex.

This sequence does not have to be done in this order, but note that some Gold can only be acquired later in the game.

Keys to the Chrome Dome
Like the Gold Bars, the world of Shadow Complex houses 12 Passkey Components to collect. When all 12 are found, the components unlock the final piece of Jason Fleming's super-armor: The Fusion Helmet. When acquired (and while Fleming is standing still or moving slowly) the Fusion Helmet makes players invulnerable to most enemy damage.

If using a map isn't your style, here is a video of how to acquire each Passkey Component within Shadow Complex.

This sequence does not have to be done in this order, but note that some Passkeys can only be acquired later in the game.

Don't Get Tied Down
In an interview on the Xbox 360 Fancast (available on August 24) Chair Entertainment co-founder Don Mustard confirmed that players are able to unlock special ammo (foam, missiles, or grenades) by picking up any expansion node without gathering the ability itself. While the game has predetermined areas for players to acquire these abilities, this information will help in your quest to achieve a record time. All you need to do now is figure out how to sequence break. Good luck!

You Know What? Forget About It...

You could try and save Claire, but sometimes a guy just needs to learn when to cut his losses.
(Head back to the Jeep after Claire is taken away in the helicopter and Press B in front of it to see this joke ending!)

[Special thanks to JR for some info]