Weak Boson wrote:
I was playing this recently too as part of a freindly little competition over on the retrogamer forums. I'd called it a day at 940k but it'd be interesting to hear what your strategy for the last few walls in stage 6 is.
I get a red bell at the second gunwall after clearing out most of the surrounding enemies. This isn't too difficult if you use a weapon that can "tap" bells instead of hitting them multiple times per shot. I then use one laser for each of the last three walls. It's not immediately obvious, but you're invincible if you stay within the little icon of your ship before it sprouts the vertical laser.
This strategy only works in Manual mode, unfortunately, since you can't really save red/blue bell powers for later use in Auto or Semi-Auto. Quick demonstration clip
In fact since you have the western record I'm sure any tips you can share would go down well.
Here's a neat trick that can help a ton in stage 5. Mambo, Hikaru, and a few other characters can activate a force field and then fly straight through a thin wall. This makes it easy to reach the large respawning coin if you don't have a blue or green bell handy. You could also kill all of the gun turrets at the wall of death, pass through with a force field, and then collect a lot of yellow bells.
Other potentially useful info:
With only a few exceptions (UFOs in 4a), you can prevent suicide bullets from being generated if you're close enough to their source.
If at all possible, use a red bell on the fifth boss. Fighting it normally is Turbo Force hard.
The colored bell sequence is blue, green, white, red, purple. Definitely worth learning.
The sequence of items is red x5, bell, red x5, bell, red, blue. Worth taking into consideration if you want to plan routes that give bells in desirable spots. For example, if you wanted to farm purple bells at the second boss, you'd need one of the last two enemies in the stage to reliably drop a bell.
A few years ago, KET recorded Auto runs
with various ships. They show that it's very possible to clear the main game and the special stage without doing a lot of memorization.