Lost Planet starts off with a tutorial mission where you step into the shoes of Wayne pre-amnesia. He’s on a mission with his Dad when his squad is attacked by a huge Akrid known as a green eye. You can’t immediately fight the green eye, instead you have to run and follow a path to your first Vital Suit. The Vital Suit gives you the illusion of a fighting chance as you’re shooting out rounds from dual gatling guns. You can’t win this fight and Wayne is left frozen in his vital suit. When he’s found and revived with thermal energy he has no memory except for his name and the image of the green eye.
The first mission is really where the action is. Right away you will see a Vital Suit that you can jump in. Moving around in a Vital Suit is a lot faster and you’re better protected than walking on foot. If your Vital Suit takes too much damage you will have a chance to jump out by hitting “B” really fast. Without a Vital Suit, Wayne can attack with one of two weapons by pressing the right trigger and throw grenades with the left. Weapons in Lost Planet are plentiful, which lets players blast away with as many rounds as they want to fire. Wayne starts out with a machine gun, but it’s easy to find a shotgun or a rocket launcher lying around. Alternatively, you can pick up larger guns designed for Vital Suits. The advantage to using these weapons is that they are more powerful, but you give up the ability to fire while moving. Early in the stage you run into the Dongo, a hard shelled Akrid that rolls up into a ball to attack. You can’t damage the Dongo by shooting its shell, you have to hit its glowing orange tail to kill it. After a few fights with the Dongo you will see a larger spider like Akrid known as the Chryatis in a warehouse. You can’t take on the Chryatis on the ground. To win the fight you have to get to higher ground by using your anchor. This way you can evade attacks, plus target the glowing orange spot to make the Chryatis turn to an ice sculpture. If you shoot the frozen remains it will explode into precious thermal energy.
Thermal energy is used for everything in the game from walking to health regeneration through the harmonizer. Since thermal energy drains every second you’re on the cold tundra your only chance for survival is if you’re constantly shooting Akrid. Weak Akrid like the flying Trilid drop small deposits of energy and you can target their holes to get a whole lot more. Levels also have beacons that drop give you a huge boost in thermal energy and light a path in the sky to follow. You’re going to want to stock as much thermal energy as possible because when you’re in a Vital Suit your thermal energy will drop much faster than when you’re on foot. Also if Wayne gets injured his harmonizer kicks in to recover his health, but it rapidly drains thermal energy if you have to use it.
The mission is to find an Akrid lair and when you discover it you see dozens of Trilid circling in a frozen cave. As you walk on the narrow paths towards the center the Trilid will dive into you. In the heart of the cavern is a large Dongo, which is the boss of the first level. Conveniently, there are two Vital Suits lying around to grab, but you don’t want to jump in one right away. It’s better to pull a gatling gun off of a broken Vital Suit and attach it to one of the working ones so you can have double fire power. Beating the large Dongo is about the same as the smaller ones. It will roll towards you and you can slide dash away at the cost of a little thermal energy. After rolling its tail is exposed and that is the time to start firing both gatling guns. Once the Dongo loses about a third of its life it will start to roll multiple times and make rocks drop from the sky before its weak point is exposed. It isn’t a hard fight to win and even if you lose your Vital Suit you can win the battle on foot with one of the Vital Suit gatling gun. Once you win this mission you unlock 10 achievement points and get a new mission, finding a snow pirate base.