Like the name suggests, the Impossible Lair at the heart of retro platformer Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair is a lengthy gauntlet of the most brutal platforming challenges the game has to offer. While players can take it on immediately after finishing the prologue, they will most likely meet a swift and punishing end before they get very far.
In order to make the Impossible Lair less impossible, the sequel to Kickstarter darling Yooka-Laylee tasks players to guide the chameleon/bat duo of Yooka and Laylee through the rest of the game to rescue bees held captive by series antagonist Capital B. Each bee effectively serves as an extra health point on top of the game’s standard health system, which splits Yooka and Laylee up when they’re hit and gives players a few seconds to reunite the two and negate the damage. If they fail to do that, they’ll die the next time they take damage, not to mention lose the abilities Laylee grants them.
There are 48 bees to collect overall, and while 40 of them are collected through simply beating each of the game’s Donkey Kong Country-style stages, the remaining eight are hidden. Four are located behind secret exits hiding away in a few stages, and the other four are located in secret spots around the overworld connecting the stages.
The first of the secret exits can be found in the stage “Chapter 5: Gasping Glade.” Near the end of the stage, to the right of a green door, there is a long, seemingly inaccessible tunnel of toxic sludge. Wait there long enough, and a platform should eventually appear to carry players down the tunnel. If they have the skill for it, however, they can attempt to instead roll off the ledge and jump just before hitting the sludge. This will require near-perfect timing to get right, and probably some of the game's perk-granting Tonics as well. Specifically the Tonics Roll Faster, Roll Even Faster, Tri-Twirl, and Slow Mo.
Next is the secret exit in “Chapter 7: Production Path – Panic.” This should be the easiest to find, as it’s located in the section where players are trapped on a conveyor belt between two moving lasers. During this point a small platform will eventually appear, beneath which the exit can actually be seen. Breaking through the platform will require use of the “buddy slam” technique, which can only be used by Yooka and Laylee together, so players will have to avoid getting damaged and losing Laylee beforehand.
The third exit is located in “Chapter 14: Hazard Hanger” and simply requires players to cling to netting being pulled by a crane and continue holding on past the point where the game tells them to jump off. The crane will eventually lead them up to a box with a ghost quill inside. Smashing the box releases a whole bunch of quills, and if all of them are collected before disappearing, the secret exit will be revealed.
Lastly, the secret exit in “Chapter 16: Queasy Quay – Climb” can be found down a green pipe hovering next to the main path near the stage’s end. This one is a bit tricky, though, because at the end of the pipe is a lever that causes a piece of metal to fall, blocking off the path to the secret exit. Players are going to have to be quick to avoid the piece of metal, so they may want to consider equipping the Roll Faster, Roll Even Faster, and Slow Mo tonics to make sure they make it through in time.
Compared to the ones behind the secret exits, the bees hidden in Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair's overworld are pretty easy to find. The first one is located in the Chapter 8 area. To find it, players need simply traverse the section with all of the giant fans, head up some steps in the upper-right corner of the area, and jump over to the rocky platform with a cave entrance sticking out of the top.
In the following area, Chapter 9, there is a house with a furnace that players need to cool down. Once they do they can enter the house through the chimney and access a raised doorway that will led to a room with a small hole in the wall, which players can roll through to get to the bee on the other side.
To find the third bee, which is in Chapter 14, players have to flip a switch that turns a bridge-like platform vertical, opening up a cave entrance. Down in the cave is a path that leads up and out to the cliff above the upturned platform, which can now be used to cross the gap to the opposite ledge. The bee is not far beyond there, just out of view from the normal path.
As for the last bee, it’s hiding in the southwest section of Chapter 15. There players can find a patch of sand and a higher-up stone ledge separated by some water. With a well time roll and jump off the sand-patch, it’s possible to clear the water and land on the ledge, at which point players need simply follow the path down to the final bee and a better chance of beating the Impossible Lair and getting the secret ending.
Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair is available for PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One.
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