When you put the Nightmare Express on the portal for the first time it will play a cutscene and ask if you want to travel to the level, say no and instead go to the level via the marker that appears next to the purple portal in the Skylanders Academy, you'll get a little bit of extra dialogue. You do not need to keep the Nightmare Express on the portal to play the level.
Temple Ruins Approach
To your right stands Da Pinchy with a Quest for Trolling Thunder Statue of Limitations. He's found further into the level so you'll have to get this on a return journey. Completing the quest will upgrade your Trolling Thunder and open up a small area to explore.
Suspended Island Ruin
Sitting on the ground directly ahead is Hat 1/4 - Cycling Hat. Go a little further past that and nudge a large rolling bomb down a slope to smash a wall, behind there is Treasure Chest 1/3.
Return to the start and step on the blue button next to Cali, this will spawn a rolling bomb that you will need to push along the path (although the pickupable bomb towards the back can also be used for all the bombable gates if you prefer using that), as you push it go to the left into a Tech Elemental Gate.
Vertical Challenge (Tech)
First go up the conveyor belts and push the two blocks off the edge where you find them. Once the top one is down jump back to the bottom and grab a bomb from the left, use the pushed blocks to quickly get up to the top and smash through the barrier. Behind there is Hat 2/4 - Outback Hat.
Go and get a second rolling bomb and push it further down the slope towards some Lob Goblins. Before you follow it use the bounce pad on the left to reach Treasure Chest 2/3 up on the ledge. After defeating the Lob Goblins push the rolling bomb off to the right.
Roll it into the bombable wall down here then go inside.
On the right is the Story Scroll. Pick up the bomb and head outside again, bounce back up and destroy the wall at the top of the wooden ramp with the bomb.
Tank Terrace Ruins
Grab a bomb from in front of you to throw at the tank on the left and grab key #1 from behind it. Going right you'll see some mines on the floor, if you throw a bomb at them they'll explode so you can get by safely. In the middle of those first mines is a Traptanium Crystal which is hiding a cave, grab another bomb and rush on in.
Directly in front of you is a bombable cage that you need to throw the bomb at. That'll smash it open and let you grab Legendary Treasure - Legendary Statue of Awesome. Also in here there's a Villain Stash.
There's another bomb to throw at a second tank just up the ramp, remember to grab the key as you take out the two blowtorch trolls that appear. The locked door has three locks so while you can bomb the mines and place two keys there's still one missing. Go left up the ramp at the back past a third tank to get a bomb from next to it, blow it up! Defeat a few Grinnades before grabbing the third key.
To the left of this third tank is a mabu named Peebs who has a Quest for Lob Goblin Grand Theft Plan. All you'll find behind there is Hat 3/4 - Coconut Hat behind there.
With the third key open up the locked door and head inside.
The Temple of BOOM!
Go over to the blocks by the cannon, push the right block to the left, the one in front of the cannon back twice, then the left one out once, the first one back to its original position and then push the cannon out four times so you can use it to blow up the door.
It is possible to arrange the blocks so you can jump over the gaps and reach the gold on the platform (the left one as far out as possible, middle one the same) but what you want to do really is line them up to form a straight bridge across. Step on the button on the other side to raise up a platform at the back. (Push the block here off the edge to let yourself back up here quicker if you fall off)
Being careful of the spear traps cross by Flynn's cage and around the corner to a second blue button. Head outside when you're done.
Temple Battle Arena
Time to fight the Tech villain Trolling Thunder. First get rid of the smaller enemies before focusing your attention on the tank. His attack is to rapidly fire bullets at you when he gets you in his sights, the tank cannon rotates around slowly for the most part but will speed up when he moves around. Simply avoid the cannon fire and keep attacking, especially during the short recovery time after firing off. Beating him will earn you 1500 coins (and a Skystone if this is the first time you've beaten him).
Defeat three blowtorch trolls before jumping up the steps on the left (don't exit the area through the front gate yet!) and heading left towards the camera.
You can bounce up to the right to a Magic Elemental Gate.
As they move up and down slightly jump up the floating platforms to get to Hat 4/4 - Medic Hat.
If you jump down to the left you'll find a Lock Puzzle.
To solve the first puzzle go: Right, Up, Down, Up, Down, Right, Up, Left, Down, Right, Up, Left, Down, Right, Down, Right, Left, Up, Right, Down, Right, Up, Left, Down, Left, Up.
The second puzzle is: Right, Down, Up, Down, Left, Up, Right, Down, Left, Up, Left, Up, Left, Up, Left, Right, Up, Left, Right, Down, Left, Up, Left, Left, Down, Left, Up, Left. And behind the fence is a Winged Sapphire.
Bounce back up and exit the arena through the front gate.
Iron Tank Confrontation
Walk forwards to have the Troll Mega Tank smash through the wall, the tank itself doesn't actually do much damage so take out the enemies here and then go through the fence to the right of it.
Before grabbing the bomb jump towards the screen to drop down to a Traptanium Crystal with Treasure Chest 3/3 underneath. Bounce back up and take the bomb outside to throw at the bombable wall to the left (not the tank).
Lower Rolling Bomb Range
Go up the steps and press the blue button to create a rolling bomb. Try to angle the bomb along the left side of the track ahead to squish the blowtorch trolls but it doesn't matter much either way. Roll it all the way to the very end to squish another pair of trolls on the elevator then jump up the steps next to Persephone and press the blue button to raise it up.
Upper Rolling Bomb Range
After nudging the bomb down follow it through to meet the Light villain Lob Goblin. Thanks to the bomb this fight is really easy, roll the bomb onto the lower of the two moving platforms, wait for it to rise up, push it onto the second, wait for that to rise up and then push it towards Lob Goblin to quickly defeat him and the couple of blowtorches that have joined in. Only 750 gold for beating him.
Double back and play Da Pinchy at Skystones Smash (you might be doing this before you've unlocked it in the main story, if so then complete chapter 5 to be able to play Skystones Smash here, though it is optional here), his stones are okay but not brilliant so if you've got a fair few Skystones you should be able to beat him and win the 2000 coin prize.
Finish rolling the bomb onto the elevator at the back before pressing the blue button to launch it onto the final ramp. Jump up there and talk to Ravenwood before pressing the last blue button and destroying the tank. Defeat a few last Grinnades before walking past where the tank was to the Nightmare Express itself (at last).
Jump up and over the crates to reach Flynn, over to the next car and grab the bomb before climbing the crates at the end of the car and throwing it at the hatch on the next one.
Push the moveable block at the back to the right then towards the back twice, jump up it to get out.
Grab another bomb and take it to the next car to throw at the tank that unveils itself. Double back and grab another bomb to take up the crates at the far end, you'll need to jump from the top of the left over to the right.
This car is just full of enemies, defeat a few blowtorches, a lance troll hiding behind a barricade, a Lob Goblin and a Chill Bill and then exit.
The Nightmare Express
Time for the climactic battle. You'll face waves of the trolls here so just keep on fighting until you win (if you feel cornered just jump off the side and you'll be returned to the middle). The fight will conclude just after a few Trolling Thunders.
You can find the place for the Legendary Statue of Awesome to the left of the Main Hall door where the pedestal is.
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