Persona wrote:Insane Mode is more like total frustration than a challenge. Bosses take forever to kill!
Agreed - insane was rather a pain. I'm going to have nightmares about that damn ear of corn...
That established - since Desert is the only level of the game that's actually harder with multiple players I thought I'd post my strategy for getting past it on insane. Mind you I'm skipping encounters like the antlions and end boss - normal tactics work fine for those enemies. Oh and when you're fighting a mob of guys I found it useful to keep the item on the potions - that way you won't run into trobule trying to switch and avoid enemies at the same time (it does mean that you'll have to ween yourself off the bow somewhat - wasting two or more potions with accidental circle strikes really hurts). Having potions 'prepped' also really helps if you get locked into attacks or knocked down and are about to die.
A) Scarab beetle
I stuck to the bottom of the screen when fighting the single Scarab - you're far less likely to encounter wandering Scorpions there (although it's not impossible). Being at the bottom of the screen also makes the Scarab's burrow attack more predictable. Jump over the Scarab while it's underground - once it surfaces jump straight up and hit it with a quick four hit light attack air combo (maxed out the light attack does as much damage as the heavy so stick with light). After the Scarab takes four hits (regardless of whether they're in succession or not) it will fly up to break the combo - when this happens move up or down on the screen (safer than right or left as occasionally the Scarab lands early and will hit you), realign, and then repeat the air combo. After four or five sessions the Scarab will dive again - just repeat the whole process until he's dead; if you don't screw up the air combo you shouldn't get hit
B) Double Scarabs
This is more of a pain. Again go to the bottom of the screen - it makes avoiding a double burrow attack much easier (they tend to bunch up for some reason and can be leaped over with a single magic jump). When the Scarabs surface they might be overlapping - in this instance using the strategy from A will deal damage to both at the same time. Eventually their burrowing will get out of sync - at this point I usually used the normal jump to go over the remaining burrow attack and tacked one air combo to the surfaced Scarab while he was isolated. When they're both up and unaligned I found that using the 'pass through' air combo (moving toward and through the enemy) worked well in that it dealt the damage and gets you away from them when you land (provided you move away from the other one obviously). Eventually one of the two will die and you can just repeat the strategy from section A
C) One scarab and muliple Royal Guards
For these sections I found it best to focus on the Guards. You'll want to use the entire screen here as it's necessary to avoid the Guards while jumping the Scarab's dive attack (not to mention scorpions). Only attack the guards when the Scarab is above ground - when it''s diving you'll want to magic jump from one corner of the screen to the other (say upper left to lower right). When you're moving around the Guards will chase you - I found that running at them and magic jumping will hit them with the jump explosion and tack on extra damage. When the Scarab's up attack the Guards - I used the Red Knight's lightning to hold them; abandoning said efforts when a bomb came my way or the Scarab got to close (although he did take residual damage from the magic while he approached - all the better). With the Ninja or Orange Knight I'd think that you could use your magic bursts to knock down the Guards and maybe do some collateral damage to the Scarab. I wouldn't attack the Guards directly unless you're absolutely clear - it's too easy to get blindsided by the burrowing Scarab or interrupt attacked by the Guard for obscene damage. When using magic just make sure you have a little left over for super jumping in an emergency. Repeat the hit and run tactics until all Guard's are dead then focus on the Scarab via section A tactics
D) Double Scarabs and Guards
Again use the tactics in section C to deal with the Guards. They're more apt to use magic here so use more of a hit and run technique with your magic (should be natural for non-Red Knight characters anyways). Be especially wary of the burrowing Scarabs as they can combo kill you 'off the ground' if they knock you down - if you jump religiously then you should be able to avoid getting hit with the burrow attack altogether. Once the guards are dead switch to tactics B and then once one Scarab is dead use tactics A.
All and all I found the above worked quite well - I was able to beat Desert twice in a row with only 2 or 3 potions used.