I've completed everything except the low damage run (I admit to looking at spoilers for a couple things), which I'm most of the way through but haven't touched in a while. I've gotten far enough with little enough damage that victory is pretty much inevitable; I think I was stuck on trying to find a way to get Proxima's supercharge without enough health to survive the nuke (since I don't think it can be stopped). I know, there's no reason I even should, but I've got damage to burn and I've already gotten as many as I could manage (including, yes, a few that required taking one or two rocket hits—I'm good enough at the game by now that with my weapon trees maxed the risk of taking very much damage in nonboss combat is really, really low). I think it actually is possible if you intentionally jump on top of him right before he finishes charging, losing 1 HP to armor damage but gaining protection from the real attack, but I haven't tested it yet.
If someone has a challenge run idea, I'm all ears, though I may not get around to it for a while.
edit: continuing the discussion of pacifist runs, post contains spoilers:
10 health is obviously the most important stat, since even partway there you'll survive much longer, but it's kinda boring. The bonus for 10 assimilate is on equal footing with the 10 health one, but since 2-9 will do almost nothing for you I'll recommend against. Strength and Cracking open doors which sometimes lead to items or around enemies, so I always get those, but it's not vital. The weapon skills obviously aren't that important for most of the game, but I'd recommend buying some Komato and one assimilate in preparation for the end of level 9, because if you want to not kill Iosa
you will need to fight a boatload of assassins who aren't very quick to give up and don't take turns
; against them Tasen weaponry's pretty lame but the Komato flamethrower is considerably better than the shotgun and if you can hack the shocksplinter that'll practically do the job for you until your ammo runs out (as long as you're not trigger happy and don't shoot until you KNOW you can hit). And of course, you HAVE to reboot and funnel everything into your weapon skills on level 10, so what have you got to lose. Actually, for that matter, there's a huge horde of ammo a full complement of cyborg stations right before you need the weaponry on level 9, so maybe you should just proceed as normal until right before the end of the level, then reboot and reload everything into getting the hacked version of weapons 4 or 7 and some ammo. Or just take that as an opportunity to do the level 10 rebooting early, and skip the multiple trips through hostile territory necessary to get a devastator on level 10, so right before the end of 9 spend everything you've got on Tasen, Komato, Cracking and however much health you can still afford.
That's not to say that you can't get through level 9 as a pacifist with just the shotgun, but it's a lot harder and you'll either take a lot of damage or spend a lot of time killing assasins
with the shotgun, or both.
Finally, don't forget that 10 attack does double the damage you do against the final boss AND improve your horrendous reload time; it works with or without the pacifist's reward because reflected projectiles are still affected by the player's attack.
edited 21st Apr '09 8:36:56 PM by Brickman