A timed console exclusive to the Nintendo Switch at launch, Choice Provisions’ popular auto-running series Runner3 is a worthy addition to anyone’s collection. The longer, more difficult levels contain a surprising amount of secrets that are easy to miss unless you know what you’re looking for. In this guide we’re going to break down some of that mystery and look at all the unlockable characters to keep you from replaying levels endlessly in frustration.
How to Unlock the Characters
At the start of the game both CommanderVideo and CommandGirlVideo are available by default, but there are actually 9 additional characters to run through the many levels with! No, they don’t have any special abilities and all play in the exact same way, but sometimes it’s fun to change things up, especially when you’re running those tricky impossible levels endlessly and just need something different to look at.
The list of these unlockable characters is as follows:
- Unkle Dill
- Aunty Rewty
- Dave Lonuts
- The Narrator (Charles Martinet)
- Frank N’ Stein
- Eddie Riggs
- The Defector
- Shovel Knight
It’s extensive and covers a wide variety of themes (and even different game series!), so where exactly do you find them? Well, rather than being unlocked at measured checkpoints through the game, Runner3 tasks players with finding alternate paths through specific levels to complete what are called “Hero Quests.” These quests are given by different non-playable characters, and involve going back to previously completed levels inside the same world to collect sets of three items. This means that to get them all, you’re going to have to run through the stages multiple times to find and collect everything, which can get rather tedious. So, rather than have you spend all your waking hours doing that, we did it for you!
What follows is a list of the characters, where you can find the hero quests, what you need to collect, and where they’re going to be, so let’s get to it.
In level 1-2 “A Briny Solicitation,” Sir Stromming waits for you after the checkpoint. Follow the standard gold path, and after the plane section you’ll see a rolling donut that drops you to a lower level. Take a quick left, and you’ll be asked to retrieve three Salmonberries. They can be found in 1-1 “The Milky Way,” 1-6 “Run A Fowl,” and 1-8 “Fishing for Condiments.” All of them are straightforward to find, so just run through the levels naturally to complete your gold and gem runs, and you shouldn’t have a problem.
Level 1-6 has a nice bonus on top of the Salmonberry, because you can also find Da Noodle Man, who desires bowls of curry. As soon as the level begins and the wooden planks start to drop, follow them down into a hidden cave to get the quest started. You can find the goods in levels 1-3 “The Meaty Treaty,” 1-5 “For Cheddar or Wurst,” and 1-9 “Just Desserts.”
In level 1-8 “Fishing for Condiments,” you can find Karen von Brunch right after the checkpoint. Take a left at the boxes of cereal and you’ll receive the quest to find their precious Fermenting Crustaceans. The first is in 1-2 “A Briny Solicitation,” and the next two are at 1-4 “Pasta La Vista” and 1-7 “A Cheesy Breeze.” Once this quest is knocked out you’ll be done with Foodland Hero Quests with Dave Lonuts added to your roster.
The Narrator (Charles Martinet)
The voice of Mario can be unlocked in level 2-1 “Hazelmens?” by talking to Hazelmens himself. Switch paths right after the checkpoint (avoid the gold bars) and your quest will be to find the three Stargazy Pies. The first can be located in level 2-2 “The Frothy Pit.” Just take the first two spring pads you see, and it will be right in front of you. In level 2-4 “Doll Hollow” you can find the second item right after the checkpoint, but in this case, be sure to follow the gem path. The final piece of the pie is in level 2-9 “The Vestibule of Justice.” Just keep an eye out once you pass the checkpoint, and you can’t miss it.
Frank N’ Stein
To unlock arguably the best character, you’ll need to find Zimbo the Magnificent in level 2-4 “Doll Hollow.” While he’s incredibly easy to find since the quest is given in the middle of the level, it occurs on the gem path which means you’ll need to a quick gold bar run first. Zimbo wants you to “free” his fellow Dolls by breaking their heads, so do as he desires in levels 2-3 “The Gibbering Cliffs,” 2-6 “The Wording Way,” and 2-8 “Parallel Peril.” Of these, the only difficult one is in level 2-8. Stick to the gold path, and after the first blue launch pad, change courses to hit the pad on the second path from the bottom.
Level 2-9 features your final Hero Quest in Spookyland thanks to the Limericking Lamprey who wants you to find… Words. To get the quest, just cut between the gem path and the gold path right after the checkpoint. To get the Words, head off to levels 2-1 “Hazelmens?” 2-5 “Fraulein Hammerblats,” and level 2-7 “Bound by Law.” After that, you’re off to Machineland!
To find Radbot, go to level 3-3 “Earth Lurched,” and follow the gold path until you do the triple bounce on the springboards off the walls after the checkpoint. Take the very next board up and over the gold path, and you’ll take on the quest of finding the parts to complete Sadbot! These parts are in levels 3-2 “Subpar Contraption,” 3-5 “Girdle Springs Eternal,” and 3-7 “Elevator Smellevator.”
While you’re out completing Sadbot in 3-5, take a quick detour off the gold path to find Jr Melchkin, who needs three lizards. He’s incredibly easy to find, and thankfully so are his lizards. Just head on over to 3-1 “Wreck the Halls,” 3-4 “Cart Issues,” and 3-8 “Piston Soup.”
Shovel Knight can be unlocked in Level 3-8 “Piston Soup.” Continue past the checkpoint and the Knights until you come to a spring pad. If you skip it and just keep running you’ll come to Gladbot, who tasks you with collecting Fleas. These can be found in levels 3-3 “Earth Lurched,” 3-6 “Maniacal Mechanical,” and 3-9 “Heavy Metals.” None of these are particularly difficult to find. Just stick with the gold paths and run through, and they’ll be immediately obvious. The only one that might be trickier is level 3-9 where you’ll want to take the lower path right after the first plane section.
You’re now in possession of all the characters available in Runner3, so whenever you start to feel dragged down when completing the retro or impossible levels, feel free to swap around for a fresh face to keep you motivated. Good luck!