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  • Best Level Ever: The Nali Castle. There's a reason why it's on the cover art, and in the flyby in the Gold version.
  • Breather Level: All of the outdoor levels from Sacred Passage onwards.
    • Sacred Passage is set between the enemy-infested Rrajigar and Chizra levels. It has few enemies you can deal with no problem (Flies, Mantas and Devilfishes mostly).
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    • Harobed Village is set between the Chizra and Terraniux levels. You can even bypass the Nali village part if you're speedrunning or not interested in finding secrets, though you may miss getting a powerful weapon (the Flak Cannon) early by not going to the church.
    • Noork's Elbow is set between the Terraniux and Vandora levels. You can either explore each area of the map or go straight to the bridge, then get into the Temple.
    • The Trench is set between the Vandora and ISV levels. It's initially a subversion, as you get three Titans to battle, but you can completely avoid them and get straight onto the ship.
    • After the tense ISV levels you end in Spire Village, again, with avoidable Titan battles. Skipping straight to the Sunspire may prevent you from getting some helpful weapons and items.
    • Between the Na Pali Haven/Outpost levels and Bluff Eversmoking you get Velora Pass, a "boss" battle which you can avoid by raising the bridge, luring the Stone Titan to it, and sink the bridge into the lava.
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    • Finally, Serpent Canyon comes right after the enemy-infested labyrinth that is Cellars at Dasa Pass. It's mostly an automatic stroll on a boat from the start to the end of a river within said canyon, so you can feel free to enjoy the sky of Na Pali at dawn. The few enemies present are way easier to deal with than what a weary player's gotten used to in Dasa, and even the music is low-key and relaxing.
  • Demonic Spiders: The Marines in the expansion pack. Fast, smart, and hit hard with their assault rifles, rocket launchers, and grenade launchers. Fortunately, you only have to face nine of them in the entire campaign. There's a specific type of botmatch where the regular bots are replaced with marines for extra challenge.
  • Epileptic Trees: The fan theories about what exactly the Player Character did in order to be imprisoned for tend to zig-zag around this trope. While they can get quite outlandish at times, they also have a kernel of truth in them: they almost always include the character committing atrocities of some sort. This is justified, since the translators logs in Vortex Rikers show that the prisoners are quite vicious, and the ship also has an execution chamber for them. In other words, they probably weren't locked up for mere traffic infractions.
  • Goddamned Bats:
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    • Flies, which look like Earth dragonflies but are bigger.
    • You'd have to really suck to be killed by the tiny, spider-like Pupae, but they sure are annoying (primarily because their hitboxes are so narrow that it's really hard to kill them once they get close, which they invariably do).
    • Another example from the expansion pack: Pack Hunters, which border on Demonic Spiders. One of the fastest-moving enemies in the game, they can corner and kill an unprepared player very quickly.
  • Good Bad Bugs: In Return to Na Pali, deactivating the Cloak item (which basically gives you both Invisibility and Jump Boots) and re-activating it before the process finishes will make players jump higher than before, in some cases, falling damage will stop counting even when falling from killing heights.
  • Tear Jerker: Some of the translator logs. One particularly poignant example is the story of some of the ISV Kran survivors that unfolds over several levels, starting in "The Trench". In "The Sunspire", you find a dead team who were looking for a captured crewmate. One of the dead crewmen appears to be her boyfriend. Later, at "Bluff Eversmoking", you find another dead search party. From Krall jailer logs lying about the monastery, you discover that she was being held there but the Nali helped her to escape, but in the end you find her in the bell tower, dead.
  • The Scrappy: One of the monsters added in Return to Na Pali is a Giant Spider, which many critics complained was rather unimaginative, especially considering there already was a spider-like monster in the original game in the form of the Pupae.
  • Woobie Species: The Nali. A peaceful race of aliens enslaved by the cruel Skaarj and forced to mine for tarydium. Whenever they try to rebel or escape they get killed, often by crucifixion or other horrific means.

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