Meteor Herd is the last hunting stage in Hero story. This level is one of the largest, but it's very open and therefore relatively easy to execute and fast to travel through.
Due to a huge amount of similar looking platforms and a heavily three-dimensional layout, it is often difficult to find certain places quickly and avoid confusing different locations with each other. This means that an important part of optimizing this stage is understanding the level layout and getting a good feeling of what is in which general direction from your current position.
A good time to aim for would be 0:45 and a very good and common piece layout would be middle area -> top area -> middle area.
The beginning of the level is simple. It starts out with a punch acceleration and grabbing the hint right in front of you at the edge of the platform. Unless you get a first piece at the bottom, you should do a full jump, glide over to the huge tower in the middle of the level right in front of you, climb up the last bit of wall and jump into the spring to bring you up.
The level can be roughly divided in 3 to 4 different parts that can be traversed with rockets from the bottom to the top, or by drill diving from the top to the bottom.
The bottom part of the level is divided in 3 different coloured floors: yellow, grey and red. When learning the pieces, whenever you grab a piece at the bottom, it is helpful to remember what the colour of the floor the piece was at.
The middle section is mostly made up of floating platforms and containers. It is the largest part which contains most of the pieces in the level. The first shortcut rocket drops you off in the middle at the very top of the area, so from taking that rocket you can reach everything quickly. However, the whole middle area can be divided in to 2 sub areas; there is a huge gap in the middle between the platforms which you can not quickly navigate from the bottom of the area to the top manually. When you're at the bottom of the middle area and have to go up, you should drill dive down to the tower in the middle to take the first shortcut rocket to take you back to the top of the middle section again.
The top area is mostly made up of balconies around the tip of the ARK. You can reach it quickly by going up the second shortcut rocket which is on the platform 90° to the left after the first shortcut rocket. The second rocket only drops you off at the lower set of balconies, but there is only one piece that requires you to travel to the top set. The hint for this piece is "Floating stone above a moon". All others are on the low balcony level, so the upper balconies, except for the one at the front with the piece on it, should never be visited.
Free piecesWandering between the second and third levels - It's a really rare piece but doesn't waste time to look for, and will save a lot of time if you get it. You can see it after dropping down from the first spring onto the platform with the shortcut rocket right in front of you on the left pillar of the tower. It's a moving piece, but if you have a consistently fast beginning, it will move up, turn and go back down right as you are at the peak of the jump from the sprinng. If you see it, just go past the rocket off the platform, drill drive down into the piece, quickly grab onto the pillar of the tower, and climb back up and jump back onto the platform.
Floating in front of three tanks next to each other - This piece is more common than the previous one, but also wastes a little bit of time to check for. After you went up the first shortcut rocket, turn 90° to the right. There you see a huge platform with 3 tanks on it, the piece is moving around in front of them. It is recommended to check for it when you get a first piece in the huge storage area with the 6 huge containers and especially in the area to the left of it (for example "Evil liquid" or "Above a blue moon in front of a tank"
Moving smoothly at the top of the ARK - If you go for a 2nd piece on the top, at the back of the inverted tower ("Black boxes on a black platform" or "A GUN's machine protecting the ARK"), you can check for it after dropping down the rocket leading to the very top, dropping down a bit and gliding over the balcony to the left with the one artifical chaos on it. The piece is moving in a pretty large cycle and relatively hard to see, so you need to look carefully
It is recommended to restart the stages when getting the following first pieces:
A piece at the very top - Those are "Dangerous water drops", and most importantly "A GUN's machine protecting the ARK". Getting to the very top wastes a lot of time and it is on average faster to restart and eventually get a better piece. Another top piece is "Dangerous liquid", but you don't restart for it, because from the hint you can't tell the exact location since it can also be a piece in the middle with the same hint, which is a really good one
Certain bottom pieces - Bottom pieces are usually fast to grab, but it takes a lot of time to get back into the middle of the map for the 2nd piece. So not every bottom piece is recommended to go for. Pieces that should be restarted are "Between the noisy machine", "In the center of a triangle star" and "Between the rotating beacons"
Ambiguous / similar hints
Dangerous liquid - The hint can refer to a piece either in the middle area or in the top area. If it's the middle one, the radar will be yellow for a short moment when going up and green when the first shortcut rocket drops you off, otherwise it's the top one. Both can be a 1st and 2nd piece.
On top of the steel drilling tower - Can refer to the steel drilling tower on either the yellow or grey ground and there is no way to tell which one it is. If you want to play it safe, you can grab a second hint, which will tell you where to go. But because of the internal timer in the game that needs to run out until it allows you to grab a new hint, this can cost a few seconds when you want to optimize the stage, so in this case you might want to take a risk and take a guess for one
The ARK's huge storage area - If it's a first piece, it is in the area with the 6 large containers, either on top of one of the containers to the front or on one of the two lower platforms between the containers. It can also be a second piece, but this is extremely rare. If it's a second piece, it is in the back one of the two containers that are located to the right after you went up the first shortcut rocket.
Jump from the star - Can be in 3 different meteorites in the huge field of floating meteorites next to the storage area with 6 containers. All of the meteorites that contain a piece are rotating fast. If the moment you hit the spring behind the artificial chaos the radar is yellow, it's the low and close one, if the radar is green, it's the high and close one, and if the radar doesn't go off at all when hitting the spring, its the meteorite very far out.
A fast rotating meteorite - Can be in two different meteorites next to the two connected small stone platforms next to the huge storage area. The right meteorite is bigger and doesn't rotate as fast as the left one. If the piece is in the right one, the radar goes green a bit earlier when coming from the middle.
Try digging while watching the moon / stars - Those two hints both work exactly the same and they can all refer to a moon or star mark on 3 different huge platforms. The highest is the one with the 2nd shortcut rocket on it. The middle one is the one with a long and crooked steel beam coming out of it, and the low one is the lowest of the huge platforms. Always check for the top one first, and from there you can drill dive all the way down straight to the lowest platform which is right below the highest. The lowest platform has a spring on it that leads you to the middle platform, so you can get quickly from the bottom to the middle platform. The piece "Try digging while watching the moon" on the lowest platform can as well be in two slightly different places, you either have to dig at the bottom of the platform or at the top. You will miss the piece in the middle
Next to a / the mini-steel beam - The piece is in the side of a huge platform right next to a short steel beam. If the hint says "the mini-steel beam", it is on the left side of the beam, if it says "a mini steel-beam", it is on the right side.