Ok, time to try again an hybrid GD/ST thread, since the new high score chart is having some success.
Let's start from the basics:
0.0 INTRO AND THE STORY
Tokio, 2018. This is the story of three young X-me...uh, teenagers with Esp powers that fight against a misterious lady, the power head of a criminal cartel that terrorizes the streets.The misterious lady has also a terrible secret behind her, an girl named Alice...While the criminal cartel known as Yaksa spreads hate against Esp people by using the mask of populist politicians. Esp.Ra.De is the acronym for "Espers' Raging Decision", the raging decision (uh?) is the one of taking down the lady's empire and free people of Tokio from the clutches of crime...and maybe from the unjustified people of Espers.
0.1 SOME NOTES ON THE STAFF
As you may know, part of Cave (Tsuneki Ikeda and Kenichi Takano) were Toaplan programmers. This game features the return of Joker Jun as the main designer and Satoshi Kouyama as a programmer. Both worked on Batsugun, something that is clearly seen in the case of Joker Jun: not only that, but it also features the return of Akira Wakabayashi as designer, who also worked at Toaplan, and the last work at Cave of Ruichi Yabuki, another Toaplan guy.After these notes on staff, let's go to the core mechanics.
1.0 BASIC MECHANICS
Esp.Ra.de works in a peculiar way, since it features two attacks and a charge-based bomb. The second attack is the key for scoring, as we'll see in the proper chapter: the bomb can be charged and used in a very flexible way, something unique for Cave games: recharging it, however, won't be easy and will partially damage scores. Before talking about the attacks, let's speak a beat about the
The return of Joker Jun also marks the introduction of three nice characters as the main "ships": an innovation in designed that had a huge success, to say the least. The said Three characters are a bit like the three types in DDP - they play differently one from the other, especially in their B attack. All bombs are the same, though.
Yusuke is the oldest of the trio, an high school sports champion (basketball, given his looks) with a deep rivalry with Satorou (the high school boss). He is the straight shot guy: his secondary attack, though, has a very wide spread, up to 90° on a side. He is the fastest, of course.
Irori's the youngest of the three Espers, a petite and charming girl with a good taste for dressing. She's a bit like type B in DDP: her main shot is basically a wider version of the standard straight shot, whereas her secondary attack covers up to 45° on a side. She's slightly slower than Yusuke.
The misterious "Black Peter Pan", his androgynous looks hide a painful and violent past, somewhat related to Yaksa. He's the standard wide shot type, his secondary attack being a straight fluxus of energy.He's the slowest of the trio, even if the difference among the three is pretty minimal.
After introducing the characters, we can talk about the actual attacks, and they work.Let's proceed with explanations.
1.1 MAIN SHOT
Your main shot is fired with the A button, and is the basic fire. If you just tap, the character will move at maximum speed: if you hold down the button, the character will slow down, about 20% slower. When you use the normal shot and have a chain going, destroying enemies while the timer is still active will grant you the multiplied score, i.e. if you have a x15 multiplier active and you destroy enemies, they all will be worth their value x15.You need to take four big "P" power-ups to be fully powered, or 4/8/12/16 (in this order) small "P" power-ups.How to trigger the multiplier, then?
1.2 SECONDARY SHOT
The secondary shot is actually the most important of the two basic weapons: Beside making a lot of damage, it triggers multipliers for your basic points.It works in this way: if you shoot a blast of the secondary shot and hit an enemy, you can land on it from 1 to 15 energy bars (the bar is located at the bottom of the screen, on the player's side of course). If you destroy the hit enemy with the main shot, you will also trigger a timer for your multiplier: depending on enemy's size, you can get from 0.5 to 2 seconds to continue the chain and keep having the said multiplier on score. Now, the only way to replenish said timer is to collect the bonus cubes.these cubes are released by larger (i.e. that take more hits to explode) enemies and by englufing bullets into explosions: if this happens, every bullet will be turned into a bonus cube. Now, when you land a secondary attack on an enemy and then destroy it with the main weapon, you will trigger the multiplier bonus: said multiplier is based on the level of energy that lands on the enemy. For instance, if you land a full level 15 secondary attack on an enemy and then destroy it, you will trigger a x16 multiplier :
the basic formula is Energy Bar+1=Multiplier Value, or EB+1=MV
The amount of energy in stock depends on your power level: you start at 7/15, then increase by +2 per full power-up. Now, one final note on the bonus cubes: every cube gives you back 0.1 seconds on your multiplier timer. The maximum timer, however, can never be higher than 2 seconds. Bonus cubes are also (obviously) worth points, hence the name: every bonus cube is worth 100 points x the MV, so big showers of cubes are worth a lot of points and will maintain the multiplier going. Now, cubes are also related to the bomb: let's see how.
1.3 PSYCHIC BOMB
The psychic bomb is your limited weapon to get rid of enemies once you don't know what to do.It basically works in this way: you have a big energy bar on the right of the EB, which tells you how much energy you have to use on the bomb. Once you push the C button, you will release a quick blast of energy which will damage hit enemies: unlike the typical smart bomb, it won't clear the screen of all dangers.However, if you hold down the C button, you will create an aura of invicibility, and accumulate more power: this is useful to release more powerful blasts.Once you hold down the button, all bullets going against your barrier turn into bonus cubes, so you can also get back some of them. You can use up to half of the bar for one huge blast ( holding down the button will consume your energy).
Now, the bonus cubes we've spoken about are also meant to make you replenish your bomb.How?Once you reach 200 cubes (counter is below the score), the game will be a bit harder and the bonus counter will flash.This also means that you will get more bullets to be cancelled into cubes with explosions, and thus a better change to keep a multiplier going.
Since we've spoken of replenishing the bomb energy, let's see how it works. Once you reach the 200 cubes value, if you don't have a full bomb bar, the bonus cubes will turn into energy bonuses. These will replenish your bomb bar, but the counter will turn quickly back to 0: once it's resetted, you won't get any energy bonuses.Also, next time you will get energy bonuses will be at 300 cubes, then 400, then 500. Finally, if you die, your counter will be reduced at 75% of the stock, then 66%, then 50%, etc.
This is more or less everything you need to know about the basic mechanics.Let's talk about of the few advanced things you need to know, then.
2.0 ADVANCED MECHANICS
The game, in case you wondered, is pretty straight forward: max out the cubes, trigger the x16 multiplier, take a lot of cubes to keep the chain going. However, there are a few factors to be mentioned, regarding score, that will give you some more points. Aside that, we'll also cover some extra elements regarding difficulty and specific features in this section.
2.1 BOSS MILKING
This tecnique is pretty complex and can be pretty boring, as it involves long and risky boss battles. The trick is this:if you use the secondary attack on bosses, it will be worth 500 points per level of energy landed on the boss, normally. However, if you just "scratch" the boss with your attack, the damage done will be ver low (less than it effective value) and you will still do 500x15=7,5k points.This basically means that you can spend a lot of time on bosses, doing as less damage as you can and getting 7,5k points per blast. Now, the bosses will use their advanced attacks, after a while, so this tecnique is suggested only to advanced players: else, it becomes very dangerous to hunt down these points.
2.2 RANK, DIFFICULTY AND STAGE SEQUENCE
As we said, if you max out your bonus cube counter, the game starts being more aggressive: this is the only thing that can be labelled as rank.Now, since the key in scoring is getting cubes, the trick is to cancel as much bullets as you can, something that tones down consistently (but not completely) the difficulty. Also, the first three stages are random (but please read the "miscellanea" part), so their difficulty changes on their order of appearance (even if every character has its own first stage). From stage four on, the sequence remains the same:
4. Wangan Subway
5-1. Yaksa stronghold.
5-2. Yaksa headquarters and final boss.
2.2.1 EXTENDS AND THE SECRET 1P
Simple: you get two extra lives, one at 4M, one at 8M.There is one extra life at the beginning of the fourth stage, it's at the end of the downward-scrolling train on the right.Don't bomb or you will destroy it:it's a big red icon, so you know what to look out for.
It works in this way:
A) 1M per remaining life;
B) 500k per box life;
C) 500 per bonus cube in stock;
D) 1M per full Psycho bomb bar;
Box lives are the ones where your hearts (lives) are. If you extend without dying first, the game will add another box, so you can end up with 6 boxes (2 extends and one secret life) instead of the default 3. The cubes' maximum is of course 500, this means that bombing is useful at some point: what's important is to replenish the cube counter before the final boss (hence the arachnitanks).
2.2.2 STAGE ORDER AND SECRET TIMER
I'm copying from the MAME history file the infos about the secret timer, ( which tells you the triggered multiplier and the remaining seconds:it's located below the bonus cube counter) and how to choose your stage order.Many thanks to the original author of the infos.
Insert a coin, hold B button and press Start.
Select your character with a specific button to choose the order of the 3 first stages:
Press A button: Houoh High School, Random, Random.
Press B button: Houoh High School, Shopping Mall At Night, Bay Area.
Press C button: Houoh High School, Bay Area, Shopping Mall At Night.
Press A button: Shopping Mall At Night, Random, Random.
Press B button: Shopping Mall At Night, Bay Area, Houoh High School.
Press C button: Shopping Mall At Night, Houoh High School, Bay Area.
Press A button: Bay Area, Random, Random.
Press B button: Bay Area, Houoh High School, Shopping Mall At Night.
Press C button: Bay Area, Shopping Mall At Night, Houoh High School.
Esp.Ra.De is a pretty simple game, if you consider the Pachi (but Guwange too) games.However, it has a quite elastic gameplay and some interesting features, beside the cutesy graphics (something i can't care about too much...).Now, i'd like to discuss about the game and then put in the Guide all infos and helps you can get,so please post your tricks and strategies
. Hope it helps