Katana ZERO is a fast-paced side-scrolling game overflowing with style. It may be a short title, but it packs its hours full of challenge and excitement to keep players hooked the entire time. This makes it a great game to track down all of the achievements in, as it keeps players on their toes and always mixes things up along the way. However, its entire achievements list is secret, so you’ll want to use the below guide to figure out precisely what you have to do to unlock all of them.
Key Info Up Front
Number of playthroughs required: 4
Estimated time required: Approximately 18 hours
Number of achievements: 22
Katana Zero Walkthrough
Before taking an in-depth look at how to get each of the achievements in Katana Zero individually, we need to look at the overall experience of getting the achievements. This will ensure that you don’t miss anything during your time with the game preventing you from having to repeat levels or entire playthroughs more times than necessary.
Step One: Playthrough One
The first part of your time with the game is experiencing it naturally. You’ll want to play through the game for this step, killing bosses and grabbing collectibles to get the majority of the achievements out of the way. If you have a hard time during any of the levels, they have plenty of checkpoints sprinkled throughout them to help you if you have a hard time with any particular section. Katana Zero can be very challenging at times, so there is a good chance you’ll need to try some spots a few times. Just be patient and try to learn the game’s base mechanics as best you can to make your second playthrough on hard more manageable.
You’ll also have to collect multiple keys spread throughout the game during this playthrough. These won’t seem to have any use when you first find them, but at the end of the game, they can be used to unlock a secret level that can only be accessed through the mission select menu. The mission choose menu is also beneficial for picking up any keys or random achievements that you miss along the way. I would recommend running through the mission again in the first playthrough to pick them up rather than trying to get them during your second playthrough to prevent any of them from getting in the way of the remaining achievements.
Achievements in this step:
- Prism Key
- Master Key
- What a bad idea
- Prototype Key
- Party Animal
- No love for robots
- Coffin Head
- Phoenix Key
- The End
- The Dragon’s Tape
- Savant Key
- Secret Hunter
- Forbidden ultimate Danger Tempest…
- Funny Prank
- To be continued
- Feline Persuasion
Step Two: The Speed Run
After you finish the game, once you unlock the speedrunning mode, select speedrun mode from the menu, which will open up a menu of options to customize your playthrough, make sure to turn on Action Only, Skip Replay, Show Timer, and Death Count, and turn off Cutscenes. I recommend using Master Sword for your run, but you can use any that matches your preferences. You then have to play through the game and get a gold medal overall for the achievement Gold Medal, so try and get as many platinum and gold medals as possible. To make this easier, just run through the game as fast as possible without paying attention to any side content, especially the first levels that are easier. Also, try to avoid using slow motion as much as possible, as the game’s timer still counts at an average speed while it is active.
Achievements in this step:
- Gold Medal
Step Three: Hard Mode
After you finish your second playthrough, you’ll have to do a third on Hard Mode. To get into Hard Mode, you have to beat the game once and start a new game in speedrunning mode. When you get the menu to open, you’ll want to turn on the following options: Hard, Stable Seed, Action Only, Dragon Dash Max, Katana, and Factory. This will give you more tools to help even out the run’s difficulty and make sure that enemies and attack patterns stay the same throughout each try of the levels.
This mode is exceptionally punishing, so don’t be hard on yourself if you die a lot. Hard way increases the automated defenses of the levels, makes enemies hit harder, and spawns more brutal enemies much more frequently. Thankfully, you don’t have to do it all in one sitting. After exiting to pick up where you left off, you can reselect Speedrun from the main menu. To make encounters more manageable, you’ll want to use slow motion as frequently as possible, use Master Sword to kill enemies as fast as possible, and be prepared to die more than 1,000 times to get this achievement out of the way.
Achievements in this step:
Step Four: Cleaning Up
Once you finish your first playthrough, you’ll have to go through the game again to get some of the random achievements for certain decisions. You’ll also have to complete a requirements checklist to reveal the game’s secret boss fight and face it. Aside from those decisions, you can go through the game as quickly as possible to cut down on your time with the game since you won’t have to collect any more collectibles again and will likely be familiar with the game already.
The first decision you have to make happens during the mission Factory. You will receive a phone call when you first get inside the building. Keep hanging up the phone until you can’t anymore. This will help both nets you an achievement and is required to unlock the secret boss. Then, when you visit the psychiatrist before going to the Hotel, make sure you berate them and demand to be given your medication. Once you’re at the Hotel, be annoying to the receptionist until she yells and kills the cops at the end. Before you go to the Club mission, berate your psychiatrist and demand your medication again.
Toward the end of the Club mission, you will get another call that you need to hang upon. Then, progress until you find the DJ and talk to them for as long as possible. Then, when you talk to the psychiatrist during the mission Prison, you need to press them for answers and make sure that you never demand your medication. Instead, when they offer you medication, reject it. When you get a call during that mission, you have to hang up again and then kill every person on the level. Finally, when you talk to your psychiatrist before the Chinatown level, question them more and reject any medication. Finally, when you visit them at the end of the mission Bunker Pt 2, you’ll start the secret boss fight.
Achievements in this step:
- Don’t Hang Up
- Refused Medication
Katana ZERO Achievements
The Dragon’s Tape
Description: This achievement is for finishing Mission 8.
Tips: You’ll have to play through mission eight during your first playthrough. It is a repeat of a previous level but sees you playing as the character Dragon rather than the game’s protagonist Zero. This makes this achievement pretty easy as you’ll already be familiar with the level, and Dragon is much stronger than Zero.
To be Continued
Description: This achievement is for beating the game.
Don’t Hang Up!
Description: This achievement is for hanging up the phone repeatedly during the Factory mission.
Tips: See Step Four of the above walkthrough.
Description: This achievement is for choosing death.
Tips: Early on in the mission of Chinatown, you will be surrounded by law enforcement agents. Two of them will ask you to decide between life or death and to get this achievement, you have to choose death.
Description: This achievement is for finding a hidden key in the first mission.
Tips: You can get this key immediately when you start the game. When you first get control of the character, use a sword slice to jump up to the left of the screen, where you’ll find the key and pick it up.
Description: This achievement is for finding a hidden key during the mission Hotel.
Tips: To get this key, just play through the level average until you reach a room with two enemies inside and a balcony on the other side. Kill the two enemies in the room, but be careful not to open the door to the balcony. Then, grab the bust from the hall outside the room, and go to the balcony. As you walk out, slow down time and throw the bust at the enemy to kill him. He will then drop the key for you to pick up.
Description: This achievement is for finding a hidden key during the mission Mansion.
Tips: Complete this level by killing every enemy you can find except for the one sitting in a room in the upper part of the left side of the level. After you’ve killed everyone else, you have to wait for that enemy to get out of the chair and exit the room for themselves, you can then kill them, go where they were sitting, and pick up the key. If you go into the room before they leave, they’ll become aggressive toward you, and then there is no way to get the key.
Description: This achievement is for finding a hidden key during the mission Slaughterhouse.
Tips: To get this key, you have to ensure that the three cameras don’t spot you during this mission. The cameras can be difficult to avoid since they blend in well with the background and don’t seem to do anything unless you know they do it ahead of time. Each camera can only see directly in front of it, so it is easy enough to roll past them to avoid being spotted when you find them. The first camera is just after the mission’s first screen, the second is in a giant dark room filled with conveyor belts, and the third is right after the second. As long as you roll under the vision of all three cameras, there will be a lab that is still intact toward the end of the mission. Search the lab, and you’ll get your hands on the key.
Description: This achievement is for finding a hidden key during the mission of Prison.
Tips: To get this key, you must refuse medication before the mission. This will change your objective for the level to be killing everyone in prison. If you do this, you’ll pick up the key in front of your apartment at the end of the level.
Description: This achievement is for collecting all of the hidden keys.
Tips: See the achievements, Prototype Key, Savant Key, Phoenix Key, Master Key, and Prism Key above.
Description: This achievement is for beating the boss at the end of the mission Studio 51 without letting the glitch trigger.
Tips: To do this, you have to beat the entire boss without getting hit before hitting the boss four times. An easy way is to hang on the wall above the boss, causing him to run into the wall trying to get to you. You can then jump behind him and hit him once before repeating the process. Repeat this until the achievement pops. If you get hit, exit the game to the dashboard as quickly as possible and close the game. Then load the game back up, and it should load just before the boss so that you can try again without replaying the level.
No Love for Robots
Description: This achievement is for exploding the robot on the mission Studio 51.
Tips: Playing through the mission naturally, you will encounter a robot that tells you he is programmed to kill humans. After you listen to him, spare his life and continue on your way. He will thank you for sparing his life before exploding and unlocking this achievement when you pass by him again later in the mission.
Description: This achievement is for killing Coffin Head.
Tips: Coffin Head is found after the mission Studio 51. When you take the elevator to the Quiet Hills floor, go to the far right end of the level and pick up the blue keycard. You’ll cross a character dragging a sword on the ground as you make your way back to the left. Kill them to ket this achievement quite easily.
Description: This achievement is for refusing medication after talking to the DJ in Club Neon.
Tips: See Step Four in the walkthrough above.
Description: This achievement is for beating the start of the mission Studio 51 without your katana.
Tips: To get this achievement, you have to give your katana to the man in the limousine when he asks for it. This will force you to play through the start of the level, only killing people with throwables, which is much easier than it sounds. You’ll eventually find your katana later in the level next to the elevator and will get this achievement.
Description: This achievement is for killing yourself with a Molotov cocktail in the mission Bunker.
Tips: You can get the Molotov cocktail when you exit the elevator into a room with two guards, where it will be sitting on a table. Pick it up, and don’t use it until you clear the entire floor of enemies. Then, throw it once you step onto the second elevator to kill yourself with it.
What A Bad Idea
Description: This achievement is for following the suicidal man in the mission Hotel.
Tips: As you play through the level, you will see a man jump off the balcony of the Hotel and kill himself. To get this achievement, you have to jump after him.
MAJORDOMO Imperial Barrage Crab
Description: This achievement is for activating a trap card.
Tips: This achievement takes a few different steps, and if you’re completing it via mission select, make sure you complete the missions they are in after finishing the step; otherwise, it won’t count. First, you have to make the receptionist like you during the mission Hotel. To do this, choose the cosplay dialogue options as long as you can. You’ll see her again in the mission Bunker, where you have to pick the dialogue options “Can’t you just let me pass?” “I can’t show you my ID, but…” and “It’s a challenge, alright.” Make sure you challenge her to the card game and then continue to hit the interrupt dialogue option until you activate a trap card and get the achievement.
Description: This achievement is for getting a gold medal in speed run mode.
Tips: See Step Two of the walkthrough above.
Description: This achievement is for finishing the game in hard mode.
Tips: See Step Three of the walkthrough above.
Description: This achievement is for petting a cat.
Tips: At the start of the Factory level, after you get the call, go to the top left of the house and interact with the cat until it runs away from you.
Description: This achievement is for defeating the secret boss.
Tips: To start the boss fight, see Step Four of the walkthrough above. This fight is one of the hardest in the game, but it should seem a bit easier after you finish Hard Mode. The first phase of the fight is against massive arms that come out of portals to grab you. Protect yourself by hitting them when they get close enough and struggle to try and escape if one manages to grab you. Try just to hit one hand and then avoid the other as they are so close together that hitting both is nearly impossible.
You will eventually make it to the second phase and know you have reached it when the Psychiatrist makes multiple copies of himself. You have to reflect his projectiles on his copies to damage him during this phase. This phase is made up of three moves that you’ll need to learn how to handle: Carousel, Rain, and Scatter Shot. Carousel sees the duplicates circling, and when that happens, you should stand at the center of the screen and hit the first shot up to the top right corner of the screen. This will happen three times. Rain follows Carousel and is signaled by the duplicates lining up at the top of the screen. When this happens, they will shoot right down, which makes it easy to reflect their shots at them. Scatter Shot is the final part of this phase and has the duplicates teleporting down and shooting at you randomly. This attack is absurdly difficult to deal with, but using slow motion will make it much more manageable until you get used to it and make it easier to figure out how to reflect the shots. To make it easier, I also suggest dodging all but the last shot until you get comfortable enough to reflect multiple throughout the attack.
The next phase begins with the screen going dark until eyes start appearing all around the screen. You then have to hit the eyes to damage them to get to the final phase of the fight. This phase is started when the Psychiatrist transforms into a hideous mountain of flesh and bodies. There are only two attacks that you can follow up with damage for this phase, so focus mainly on learning the tells of each attack and dodging them. Don’t forget to use your sword to control your movement as well. The first move that you can attack after seeing the boss opening portals that release brains that shoot energy balls at you. The brains can be attacked directly, so take them out as fast as possible. The second move has the Psychiatrist reappearing and flying into the air. Hit him as much as possible when he does this. Once you get through a couple of cycles during this phase, the boss will be defeated, and your time with Katana Zero will be over.
Katana Zero is a unique indie game with a lot of style and fun gameplay for players to explore and learn. However, some of its achievements are especially brutal and require players to truly master the game’s mechanics to get through them, especially Hardmode. If you manage to make it through, it can be one of the most rewarding achievements you can ever get.
Question: Does Katana Zero Have Difficulty Achievements?
Answer: Yes, one is for beating the game hard and one for speedrunning the game.
Question: Is the Katana Zero DLC Canceled?
Answer: No, the developers confirmed in March that they are still working on the game’s DLC.
Question: Is Katana Zero a Metroidvania?
Answer: No, each game level is built to provide a specific challenge without requiring backtracking, exploration, or item collection.