It would seem, at first glance, that the first 10 levels of the Badlands are incredibly easy and almost acts as a tutorial. That is, if you start playing the Badlands later in the game, and especially with A-Geeto and Hicar-E, and especially on Easy Mode. This No Repeats Hard Mode takes place between chapters 2 and 3, exactly when the hangar and Badlands are unlocked. On Hard Mode, the four starter drones are common as enemies- most fearfully, the firefly. Tackling the first few levels with only 2 drones is rather easy with Dor-O's one-turn heal ability and K-Buto being the second strongest drone in the game, but the later levels require an intricate knowledge and manipulation of your surroundings and strategy to survive turn-to-turn. Sadly, the final level you can fight in the Badlands with only K-Buto and Y-Ite is an only somewhat tough rank 8, rank 9 is impossible, similar to the final chapter of the story mode, except much less anti-climactic.
The hangar is very restrictive and has no boosters, but what it does have is a drill and a power bumper. Equipping a drill onto K-Buto is ill-advised because K-Buto's defense will be higher than Dor-O's if he equips it. Similarly, K-Buto's natural defenses will break over Dor-O's if Dor-O isn't upgraded before he hits level 5, so the bonus exp should be split evenly amongst both of the other drones. Do not make cannons. You will probably accidentally use the cannon, well more than once, and the cannon does very very low damage and takes up scrap ore needed to upgrade Dor-O.
Badlands 3 can be tricky if you're fighting until low health and don't know what you're doing; you must keep K-Buto in the Woods at all times. Because of the Woods, Y-Ite can simply attack the butterfly without being hit by anyone else, but this means K-Buto recieves a hefty amount of damage. Keep your eye on his HP and try to remember the attack powers of the enemies, and if he gets too low, hop into Dor-O. Y-Ite can destroy the butterfly even if she is only half the butterfly's level because she has a vulcan, which is 20 power above the machine gun.
Be wary of the firefly, and have K-Buto and Dor-O stand inside the 1~2 range at all times, regardless of defenses. Y-Ite needs to stay away from both of them. Y-Ite can be hit 100HP by the rhino beetle while defending. Most probably, you will be docking and re-deploying both units more than once if not careful. Dor-O recieves hefty damage as well, but he still is good for his cannons, so be extremely careful.
DO NOT HAVE DOR-O RUN AWAY. K-BUTO WILL BE DESTROYED IN ONE TURN IF SURROUNDED. All four common drones will rush after you at the same time, and the melee drones can nearly destroy K-Buto in one turn. A cheap way to beat the stage is to manipulate the corner on the right between the mountain and the screen. It is easy to clog the chasing drones in the one square, while Dor-O fires cannon shots. The firefly will automatically clog the map, and although you may recieve one or two beam shots before the firefly goes down, as long as both drones have lower defense than Dor-O, he won't be attacked afterward.
Instead of charging ahead, drive backwards, and destroy the two striders. Go back into Dor-O, while you have Y-Ite sneak on the fringe of of the (north) rhino beetle's attack range to get the Beetle Horn recipe. Wait until K-Buto is in position enough for the rhino beetle to attack him. Don't be scared that on the following turn the aggressive scarab will jump into forest, because if you let it, it will run to attack Y-Ite. At the same time as you appear in range with K-Buto and fire off a cannon shot with Dor-O, have Y-Ite attack the firefly. The two butterflies will come in and heal the firefly before and after trading damage, but each only has one card, so you have to counter. After that, the firefly can be dealt with, all the while attacking with Y-Ite fearlessly. If timed right, you should get away with Y-Ite using the Monarch Dance at 30HP and continuing to destroy both butterflies safely over the sea. K-Buto will have to heal in Dor-O quite a few times, but Dor-O can handle the abuse.
Badlands 9 (DO NOT ATTEMPT)Edit
As you can tell, this may as well be Hell. Four level 5 rhino beetles, a butterfly who can heal away any rhino beetle's damage if they're within range, and a firefly attacking you when you have barely 2 MOV and it has 4 and you're trying to destroy rhino beetles which will kill you in two turns and you must kill them in 3 and they are restricting your movement anyway.
However, this stage is possible. Possible. But even if you played on rom with savestates, you would have to repeatedly restart turns over and over again until the unrelenting random number generator gave you rare result after rare result, and luck favored you, and you produced perfect moves. At a guess, there is probably a 2% chance you would finish this with savestates, and no chance you would finish this without, as it is near-impossible to have that patience or possibly reason that doing something like this is worth it.
If you do want to do this, which would make you certifiably insane, you do need savestates. First, stop the strider from rushing to the No Parking capsule by deploying north-east. Encourage the waterbug to attack you, and destroy it too. You have a choice, albeit not good ones, to either go northwest, or just right. Right will get you to the firefly faster, and you won't be very distracted by the second rhino beetle, but you will be distracted by the firefly. It will take a while for the other two rhino beetles to get to you, though, but the second rhino beetle will appear before you have a chance to destroy the firefly and you won't destroy it before the beetle destroys you without a good gambit. Whereas northwest seems like it would be easier to control the drones, but there is more chance of the butterfly healing the rhino beetles and more chance to get in trouble because of the awkward placement of Dor-O and Y-Ite. That and the firefly will trap Dor-O and K-Buto. The east may be insanely near-impossible, but the northwest is probably literally impossible.
As a note, you can never use the rocks. The firefly won't let Dor-O take an entire turn to get onto the rocks, and if K-Buto is on the rocks, everyone will simply attack Dor-O, which you don't want. The marsh provides a fair protection at one shield, compared to no shield, and the beetles will attack you on the marsh if they can because they are programmed to acknowledge the one shield.