This walkthrough is intended for players who want to get through Poison Control as efficiently as possible. This will get you every necessary item for the platinum trophy on the first visit of each stage, and minimize backtracking.
Nothing is missable in this game, so you can enjoy it at your own pace, but most stages have collectibles that will require replaying the stage should you miss them the first time.
Poison Control plays like a typical 3rd person shooter. You shoot enemies and they die. It's that simple. Some larger enemies have a Core that you can attack to do extra damage, and it will break if attacked enough, causing some extra money to drop.
The levels are mostly linear, with a few side paths that contain additional battles or chests. You go deeper into the level, with the goal of eliminating enemies, called Klesha, or purging poison pools that litter the area. Sometimes, there will be boss stages where all you have to do is go to the boss area and defeat it.
The purge mechanic is Poison Control's main gimmick. Every level will have poison pools scattered about, which you can purge in order to get pickups like money, ammo, and health. Purging poison is required to progress in most of the levels, and in some cases, it's the main task for the whole level.
To initiate a purge, hold L1 to initiate Purge Mode and summon Poisonette, and have her walk on the poison while holding L1 the whole time. She will leave a trail of dots, and if she forms a closed loop, any poison within the loop will turn yellow, meaning all of it will be purged once you exit Purge Mode. Even if you don't form a closed loop, any poison that Poisonette walks on will turn light blue and will be purged once you leave Purge Mode.
Be warned, taking a high amount of damage during Purge Mode will cancel it, and any poison that would have been purged, won't be purged, so try not to get hit!
Poison Gems are the game's main collectible, and collecting them is a must in order to unlock new equipment. Most of the stages in Poison Control involve purging a Belle's Hell. Belle's Hell stages have 3 Poison Gems to collect. Collecting all 3 will grant you a piece of new equipment. Poison Gems will always be found in yellow chests. Some of the chests are in plain sight, but most of them will require going out of your way to find, and will usually involve destroying certain enemies, purging certain poison pools, or breaking certain boxes. Boss stages do not have any Poison Gems.
Toxicant - Your main weapon. If you run out of ammo, it will automatically reload over time. You can expedite the reloading by purging poison.
Deliriants - Your 'subweapons'. These weapons don't automatically reload upon running out of ammo, and can only be restored by picking up yellow ammo pickups.
They are also acquired differently from the other equipment. The main thing to know about them is that each stage has a specific deliriant in it, and the deliriant can only be acquired by having it equipped after clearing the stage. You can do this by picking up the yellow ammo pickup in a stage under two conditions:
1. Having no deliriant currently equipped. You can do this by unequipping your current deliriant while on the world map.
2. Having no ammo on your current deliriant.
For example, if you are in a stage that has the "Earthly Desires' Deliriant, but you're currently equipped with the "Heavy Shot" Deliriant, picking up any yellow ammo pickups will not increase your "Heavy Shot" ammo, nor will it give you "Earthly Desires". You must deplete all your "Heavy Shot" ammo first, then you can obtain "Earthly Desires" the next time you pick up a yellow ammo pickup.
There are 12 deliriants in total, but some of them only appear in one stage, so be mindful of this.
Antidote - Improves defense, and offers some bonuses, like increased speed, HP, depending on the antidote.
Catalyst - Similar to Antidote, but it offers different bonuses, like more money, more shot power, etc.
Toxicants, Antidotes, and Catalysts are acquired by collecting all poison gems in a stage. They can also be upgraded using money to improve the damage, defense, and bestow new abilities.
Rapid - Shoots multiple bullets in a short timeframe, sometimes you need to hold the fire button to activate the rapid fire. Some bullets of this type have an erratic shotgun-spread fire, which makes these more ideal in close range.
Spread - Shoots multiple bullets each time you fire.
Laser - Fires a laser, or laser-like projectile.
Bomb - Usually shoots a single bomb projectile that does heavy damage, but is very slow to fire and recover from. The main use I've found for this bullet type is breaking through shielded enemies or hitting multiple enemies that are grouped up.
The Radio Gauge can be found at the bottom right corner of the screen. It fills up during combat and purging. When it's full, you can do a Soulshock move that creates a damaging field around you, knocking back most enemies. Save this ability for when you're in a tight situation, as it takes a while to refill it.
The butterfly indicators at the bottom right act as auto-revives, and will revive you at half health should your HP drop to 0. Purging poison will fill them back up. If your HP drops to 0 and you've run out of recovery uses, the mission will fail and you're sent back to the world map and have to redo everything again!
In most stages, you'll have a Heart-to-Heart talk with Poisonette, usually at the end of the stage. You'll be given 3 options, and choosing one will raise 1 of 5 stats. These stats can be leveled up to 5, and offer bonuses for each level. They are as follows:
Synergy - Raises HP and Defense. Also gives you slightly higher movement speed at level 3.
Empathy - Purge Mode duration and Poison Gauge fill rate increased.
Insight - Radio Gauge Fill rate and damage to Cores increased.
Toxicity - Raises Shot Power and Purge Damage
Trust - Raises Poisonette's trust. Not 100% sure what it does, but it may increase the amount gained by doing Heart-to-Heart talks.
The main thing to note is that all Heart-to-Heart talk boosts can only be gotten once per stage until you beat the game. Once you beat the game, you can get the boosts as many times as you want. Because you're stuck with whatever boosts you get as you go through the game, it's important to pick the right choices to make your playthrough easier!
When engaged in battle, keep moving, and enemies will usually miss you.
Pay attention to the danger indicators during combat, if you see them at red, it means there's an enemy offscreen that's closing in on you!
Purging the poison an enemy is standing on will deal damage to the enemy. The amount of damage depends on the amount of poison being purged.
You're invincible while dodge rolling, so you can bait out enemy attacks and dodge roll them, which usually leaves them vulnerable for a while.
Talk to NPCs (aka the souls)! Talking to one for the first time will give experience, and it's usually a good amount.
While the game isn't all that difficult, enemies hit HARD. Don't be surprised if you're losing all your HP in 1-2 hits to the tougher enemies, as it's very much normal. The game wants you to avoid getting hit at all costs.
Early on, I would not recommend cleansing every poison pool you see, until you beat Hell 8 and get Momo Oyagi and upgrade it a bit. The amount of money you get from cleansing poison is inconsequential until you get this piece of equipment. Not to mention the money drops are large the further into the game you are.
While you don't have to kill most enemies to progress, there IS a trophy for killing 1000 enemies, so if you see some weak enemies that aren't too out of the way, do take a moment to kill them.
As most stages are fairly straightforward, I will not be going through every mandatory battle in great detail, but will cover any important collectibles, give recommendations for Heart-to-Heart choices, and any new enemies of note. If I mention a cardinal direction (north, south, west, east), it's with respect to the minimap.
For this section, I will only list what stat each choice affects, and highlight the choice I recommend. The idea is to get Synergy to level 3 ASAP, then focus on Toxicity and Empathy next, with Insight towards the end. Trust can be ignored until the 'postgame'
Get used to this thing's attacks. Expect to see very similar attacks from most bosses in this game.
Thunder - There will be a marker on the ground where the thunder will strike. Move out of the way before it lands
Lunge - If you're too close to it, it'll attempt to lunge at you.
Eggs - Summons minions. Only seems to do this at low health. These can be ignored as long as you keep attacking the boss.
Bullet - Shoots a fairly fast moving bullet at you. Move sideways to avoid it.
The bosses in this game are pretty easy. Simply keep your distance and run circles around them, while shooting at every possible moment. Try to aim for the core to do extra damage and stun it for a bit.
When you reach the area where Gem 3 can be found, do NOT open the chest until you're close to finished with the objective. Opening it will spawn several tough enemies that will rush you. I do recommend opening the chest eventually, as it contains 1000B.
This level has 3 sections. Purge 60% of the mire, then you get sent to a new area where you need to defeat a shield Klesha, then you get sent back to the first section where you need to purge an overall 90% of the mire.
Finally, a new boss! She's a little tougher than the recurring boss.
Bullet Rain - There will be several markers on the ground where the shots will fall. Move out of the way before they land.
Bullet Spray - Spins around and shoots a spray of bullets in all directions. They all travel in a straight line, so avoiding them isn't too hard.
Bullet Dance - Can do this move at under half health. Very similar to Bullet Spray, but she spins around for a few seconds and sends out several volleys of bullets. The best way to avoid this is to get out of shooting mode so you can easily see where the bullets heading your way are and dodge accordingly.
The easiest way to beat her is to keep a large distance between you and her, and keep firing normal or laser shots until she falls. Her attacks are easy to read, so dying shouldn't be an issue. When she gets to half health, blue poison will appear, which can be purged to heal if needed.
The hardest boss so far, although that's not saying much.
Seeking Bomb Shot - The most dangerous attack. Fires a fast moving bomb shot that homes in on you. It's important to avoid getting hit by this, as it will knock you down and deal a huge amount of damage. The best way to avoid this is to learn the sound for when this shot is fired (it sounds exactly like the sound when you fire a Bomb Shot), then immediately dodge roll forward once you hear it.
Rapid Shot - Same as the previous boss's rapid shot.
Spread Shot - Shoots 3 shots in a fan. Does average damage. Dodge roll or sidestep it, or take the hit and keep firing away.
This boss mostly comes down to avoiding that Bomb Shot. If you can do that, the fight's pretty straightforward, and you can just keep shooting away at her.
This is the 'final boss'. I have no idea what attacks it has because it will never get to use them most of the time.
The door that you enter to meet the boss remains open once the fight starts. Simply go back out this door, then unload all your normal/laser shots at the boss until it falls. It's really that simple. It moves so slowly that it will never even get close to you before its HP is depleted.
Before proceeding, I recommend upgrading the newly acquired Toxicant Black Poisonette and adding it to your loadout. It will completely shred most enemies, including the ones in the upcoming stage.
There may be a good chance you don't have the 1000 kills trophy yet. If this is the case, we'll grind for those kills along with the Heart-to-Heart stats.
Head to Hell 6, go through the motions, and kill enemies along the way. The enemies should be weak enough that they'll die in 1-2 hits. This level works best for this because it's the only one that has 3 Heart-to-Heart talks. As a reminder, this is what choices raise which stats:
After you've gotten your 1000 kills trophy, you can switch to another method for purely grinding the Heart-to-Heart stats. Head to either Hell 22 or Hell 16. These stages have a Heart-to-Heart that's available right at the start. Simply trigger the Heart-to-Heart, pick a choice, then quit out, reenter, and repeat.
Simply go back to Hell 26 and beat it, then select 'No' when asked to use the bottle, then choose to 'See Poisonette Off' when you get to the final choice. This step could have been done before getting the Yomi Bottle Ending, but having Black Poisonette makes the mandatory fights go by much faster, so I recommend holding off this ending until you've acquired Black Poisonette.
If you've followed the walkthrough up to this point, you should now have the platinum trophy!