HAYAI – Advanced Guide

This guide aims to teach people how to massively improve their performance on every character in HAYAI.

Guide to Basics

Introduction

The goal for this guide is to help people improve at the more advanced parts of this game, like specific strategies on different characters, and how to have more efficient movement with them.

Kazuya

Like pretty much all characters, Kazuya aims to circle around the arena, build up a large amount of enemies, and get massive combos. How you do that though can actually change quite a bit based on some really subtle things. In the instance of Kazuya, his only tool is his movement speed. Initially it seems kind of weak compared to what some of the other characters get, but, movement speed as a buff is incredible in HAYAI. There’s a reason only two characters can move so fast.

At around the 0:42 second mark in the above video, I show the general gameplay loop for Kazuya. You typically want to start staggering your movement on the left side of the arena, to pool up as many enemies as you can, and also to get them away from the right side of the screen. Do this while going down, like in the video, and start heading to the right at full speed once you’ve sufficiently pulled them down left enough. The reason for doing this is to make sure you can kill the tengu head that spawns. The particular one in the video spawns at around 45 seconds. Tengus will always spawn at the same time, so you can actually time them out for runs.

If you don’t pool the enemies up on the bottom left side like I did, when you get to the tengu head there’ll typically be too many enemies nearby to clear it safely. You’ll most likely be forced to quick slash out, which will cull at least 20-40 mobs. Obviously, that’s bad for big combos, so staggering your movement is incredibly important. You can also use it as a technique to bait out archer arrows, if you’re in a position with limited movement options while on low bar.

Hideyoshi

I put Hideyoshi next in this guide because, the two actually play fairly similarly in how they want to move. Pull enemies to the side, and clear for combos. Hideyoshi only has a couple minor changes, really, despite not having time stop.

The important differences on Hideyoshi are, making sure you always (I don’t always in the video, am a bit tired today) end your quick slashes (that go into a corner) with an “L” shape. The reason for this is because, unlike on the other characters, Hideyoshi doesn’t have timestop. When you’re drawing, the archers will typically be charging up their shots on you, and when you end your attack, they’ll snap onto you, and kill you when you land. If you draw in an L shape though, they have more distance to cover in order to “snap” onto you. To avoid this, simply end in a small L shape. Going too far down can also cause problems, like if there happens to be an off-screen tengu head in that corner.

The other difference, is that you don’t want to draw from the top right/top middle. Instead, Hideyoshi prefers to start drawing from the middle right. The reason for this place in particular is so you can keep the enemies pulled away from you for just that small bit longer, giving you more time to draw. It’s also so he can hit everything on screen, up and down, once they pull in close to you. If you were to do it from the top right, on top of just not having enough time, you also wouldn’t be able to hit as many enemies, since most of them were just kited to the bottom left. A lot of them will be out of range, closer towards the bottom of the screen. Attacking from the middle wall solves this problem, since you can see the top, and bottom parts of the arena fully.

Oda

For this section, I’m not even going to bother putting a video. Oda plays almost exactly like Kazuya, with the only real difference being, his speed sucks. As a result, his combos also suck (comparatively to Kazuya, you should still be getting like 70s to 90s). You do the same movements, but you can’t walk through as big a group of enemies as Kazuya can, so you just need to cull earlier. You also can’t pull enemies as hard because of the movement speed difference. For example, if there’s a bushido (big samurai that charge you) along the top left, or bottom right, you can’t afford to stagger your movement at all when walking by them. They attack much faster than the smaller samurai, so, you have to just walk through at full speed. The same applies to Tomoe, and Masashige, since they share the same movement speed. I’m sure you’ll get a basic feel for his gameplay loop easily, since he’s nearly identical to Kazuya, just much slower, and with a terrible combo modifier.

Tomoe

Like in the previous section, Tomoe is actually fairly similar in her general gameplay loop to… well, Oda. The big differences with her, however, are that she can attack at any time, and her bar is massive. These two things make her easily the strongest character in the game, despite her movement speed being so low. Like Oda, typically your combos won’t be hitting crazy numbers in the 100s or up, but you will have extremely consistent setups to get combos of 80-90. Unlike Oda, she has a big enough bar to very confidently hit every enemy on the screen she wants to, which enables her to have a bit more consistency in combos over him. The slow refill isn’t a problem, either, since the core strategy here is mostly just to slow your movement significantly on the left side of the screen to pull enemies. While you’re doing this, your bar will naturally refill by quite a lot, if not completely fill. If you desperately need bar, you can stagger movement in more places than just the left side, and use quick slashes to protect yourself until you’re in a position to fully cull the enemies. This fixes her small weakness, while also being a strategy you’re using to get massive combos.

Masashige

I wanted to save Masashige for last, because, he’s radically different than the other characters in terms of what he aims to do. I also don’t plan on going into complete detail about how his optimal strategy works, since, I want to stay #1 on the leaderboards as long as I can, and having a trick up my sleeve is helpful lol.

Unlike the other characters, Masashige actually can’t do your “generic” loop around the arena, because his bar always empties on attack. That might seem a little trivial in the context of him being able to do loops, but the main reason is because, he can’t clear tengus. If he tries to quick slash to kill one, his full bar empties, he culls a pretty sizable chunk of the enemies he would’ve ideally been culling, and there’s a possibility of an archer screwing him when he comes out of i-frames. Unless of course, you clear the archer(s), which will most likely also clear a handful of the enemies you would’ve wanted to cull. Because of this, his combos tend to be a bit all over the place if you attempt to loop. He has something similar to looping he can do, but it’s a bit harder, and involves a lot of decision making, and strategy that adapts as you go. I won’t go too much into detail about that in this guide, but will cover basic premises you should follow when playing him.

The most important things when playing Masashige are, whenever you attack, make sure you’re killing every archer and tengu on screen, and, always, and I mean always end your turn somewhere either on the middle left wall, or the middle right wall. This is extremely important, because archers can only spawn from the left middle part of the screen, or the right middle. If you end your attacks there, any that would’ve spawned die, and, since you’re there, they won’t spawn on top of you. In Darksun’s guide, he mentioned to end directly in the middle, and use an hourglass shape for Masashige, but I think that’s actually very dangerous. I’d show a video with why, but frankly, I don’t want to record a 50 minute video to get to a point where the enemy spawns are relevant for what I’m referring to.

When you end your attack in the middle, there’s a chance that an archer spawns on either the left side of the screen, or the right side. Both are immediately within vision of you, and can start aiming at you as you’re ending your attack. I understand the point of the hourglass shape is to clear them, and the other enemies out, but at the later points in a run, there’s just frankly too many spawns to keep doing that. Both archers, and tengus will start spawning way more frequently. Eventually, they’ll shoot just as your AoE is ending/about to end, and hit you before you can react/move out of the way. It works for early/mid game, but falls off into the late game portion of your run. Plus, if you want to do an “infinite” combo, there’s a safer one that lets you end your attack on one of the walls. The video below will show it, but, frankly, it’s extremely inefficient now, and not worth doing.

With the Masashige buffs, he’s actually capable of getting relatively safe combos in the 30 to 40s range, which massively out paces the infinite. To give you an idea, it takes about 20ish minutes just to get 100k using it. I, now, with more efficient use of his new movement speed, bigger bar, and his bar refill speed increase (the original buff on him), could probably get double that in a similar amount of time, if not more. The highest score for this strategy (the infinite) was around 400kish, and took nearly a full hour of mindlessly doing the same movement pattern, over and over. If you missed even 1 archer, your entire hour was wasted. Your best possible combo was only like 18 enemies, and, it was dreadful. Luckily, it’s not worth doing anymore.

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