Dragon Blaze is a manic bullet hell game produced by Psikyo, often considered their magnum opus. I have a fair amount of familiarity with the game, so I'd like to address a few misconceptions, hopefully, get some more 1ccs and serious scoreplayers, and overall stimulate interest in this amazing title.Contents:
1. Resources and Basics
- 1.1 Some Tidbits About Psikyo
2. The Dragonshot
- 3.1 General Comments
- 3.2 Stats
- 4.1 Basic Strategies
- 4.2 Advanced Strategies
- 6.1 Gemhead Locations
7.1 The Loop
7.2 Stage Writeups and Pattern Guides
8. To Be Added Basic Controls and Character Info:
A: Fire. Tap rapidly for a normal shot which has 4 levels of power, 0 to 3. At level 2 power characters gain a subweapon which fires when they are mounted on their dragon. Hold for a charge attack that consumes the charge bar on the lower left.
B: Bomb. Clears bullets in an area depending on the character but does not grant invincibility
C: Dragonshot. See section 2 for more details.
Hitbox Location: Corresponds to the character's head when mounted, centered when dismounted.
It is believed that the hitbox changes position when you hold left or right. I am not sure this actually happens, though. Resources
: Ian 2-ALL.A run I did demonstrating how to no-miss the first loop.Safety-oriented 2-ALL by BOS from shmup'emall. No-miss until 2-7, speedkills all loop bosses to save resources.Former WR run by SYO.Part 2 of that run.Blog of ACR, experienced DB player and Ibara WR holder. Very useful and has a lot of video links. Some Tidbits About Psikyo
- Stage Order.
Psikyo shmups (Space Bomber aside :V) decide the first 3 or 4 stages from a random pool. Stage difficulty is determined by how late it comes in the order. In Dragon Blaze, stages 3 and 4 are generally worth more points than 1 and 2, as well.
Psikyo games use 2 different aiming systems. Some enemies (particularly bosses and popcorns) aim bullets directly at the player's hitbox, or very close to that. Other enemies have what is called split aim, where they can only fire in a certain number of directions (often these enemies have either 16-way or 32-way aim). Split-aim enemies can be really really fucking annoying - say you're holding left and the enemy turns from pointing "south-southeast" to pointing "due south" and fires right at the place where you will be in a few frames. You have very little time to react since these shots come fast and you could end up running into a bullet that wasn't there the last time you checked.
- RNG use.
Some Psikyo games use RNG to determine boss fights (Samurai Aces and Strikers '99 come to mind, as well as the idols in Gunbird 2 stage 6). Dragon Blaze does not use RNG at all as far as I know, though, aside from determining whether a popcorn suicide bullet will be 1-way or 2-way. Even the seemingly random flak from stage 6 popcorns will look the same if you are standing in the same place when it is fired.
- Deadzones, or more precisely the general lack of them. If an enemy isn't a popcorn there's a very good chance it will shoot at you even if you're standing right on top of it. Most enemies will stop firing when they reach a point about 2/3 of the way down the screen, but letting them get that low without killing them is not a very smart idea in the first place. The D-shot:
The main game mechanic of Dragon Blaze is the d-shot (dragon shot). By pressing C, the character's dragon quickly dashes forward about 1/4 the length of the screen. This dash lasts about 12 frames and does very high damage to enemies per frame (meaning that firing a shot while right in an enemy's face will do more damage then just barely nicking it on the last frame). The d-shot's damage hitbox starts out wide and narrows as it moves farther away.
When the dragon is out, tapping C again will retract it (this takers anywhere from 1 to 1.5 seconds depending on character). As soon as the dragon's item collection hitbox intersects with your damage hitbox, you remount. Firing the d-shot with a double-tap of C means that you will instantly retract the dragon as soon as the d-shot animation ends.
Holding C while the dragon is returning to you will freeze it until you release C. This is helpful for fine positioning in some areas. - Uses:
The d-shot is, obviously, a very good offensive weapon, since it's piercing and can do several seconds'-worth of normal shot damage to an enemy in a fraction of the time.
There are other advantages that go along with having two sprites to control. The dragon can shoot separately (though without subweapons) allowing you to cover several spots without moving around too much. At some portions of 1-6 and 1-7 this ability is very helpful. Dropping it like a turret to take care of popcorns while you fight a boss can make things less difficult too.
It's useful to note that your charge attack changes when the dragon is separate - generally the separate charge attack deals damage in the vicinity of the dragon rather than straight forward from your character.
The dragon can be used as an item collection hitbox, which is very helpful since it can't take damage and can collect coins in very dangerous areas. Likewise, the dragon's invulnerability comes in hand when you use it to misdirect boss bullets in the second loop. Characters: - General Comments:
The reason why I like to go so far into depth with character selection & character abilities in Psikyo games is because each character uses a totally separate playstyle. With good reason, many players simply look at the dragon retraction time when deciding character choice because it is the statistic that plays the greatest role in scoring. Despite what you may think, though, characters like Rob and Sonia aren't "worthless" because they can't score as high, nor is Quaid "broken" because he is so suited for scoreplaying. Scoring with each character is equally challenging and equally rewarding.
The characters are also fundamentally different even when playing for survival. Not better or worse, just different, and that means you can't simply use the same paths and charge and dragonshoot at the same time with every character because you'll find all your lives gone pretty damn quick. Learning a new character, even if you're transitioning from Quaid to Ian, is like playing a whole new game.
I guess what I'm trying to say is choose whoever you want but make damn sure that you know their quirks and find out how to handle them before you jump in. To that end, I present the character writeups. - Quaid: WR:
CYS-SAK - 4.179.500 - 2-ALLNon-Japanese Record:
BOS - 2.448.300 - 2-ALL
Dragon Shoot Power: C
Dragon Return Speed: 70 frames (!)
Magic Gauge Charge Speed: A
Magic Gauge Consume Speed: 230 frames
Bomb Continue Time: 160 frames
Shot: Fire Shot. Shoots red bullets forward in a chevron pattern.
Subshot: Holy Lance. Shoots lances that fly backwards a short distance and then move straight forward. Lances are not piercing unfortunately. Tapping fire quickly increases the fire rate of the lances, and proximity does so as well.
Bomb: Chaos Flare. Fireballs rain down, clearing the entire screen of bullets for 2 seconds. Deals low damage.
Mounted Charge Attack: Burst Lance. Quaid fires slow-moving flaming lances that drill slowly through any enemy they touch. The lances move too slowly to be used on reaction, but can be placed ahead of time to deal with enemis that are about to spawn.
Separate Charge Attack: Fire Breath. Quaid's dragon breathes fire in a cone straight forward. The fire is made up of several large sprites that grow larger and less damaging as they spread out, and disappear entirely about a dragonshot-length ahead of the dragon. Since the sprites' positions are not fixed relative to the dragon, the fire will stay where it was if you retract the dragon, unlike with Rob's Giga Wave and Ian's Hellspin.
Quaid has the fewest glaring flaws of any of the characters (and arguably the highest scoring potential) but I slightly prefer Rob. Why? In the loop, Quaid lacks the ability to kill powerful enemies from far away, and his dismounted charge is too weak to do appreciable damage to bosses. However, his speed and dragon retraction time are by far the best for the first loop and for serious scoreplayers and I am too lazy to switch playstyles so Quaid it is.
Archer's comments: "Quaid seems to be the normal character choice, but he is hamstringed by the fact that all of his attacks target directly in front of him. Because of this, players unaccustomed to the game system can get overwhelmed and might believe that they are underpowered. Quaid is a technical character, and if you master the footwork and the placement of charge shots/dragonshots, he is a intriguing character to play."
- Sonia: WR
: T3-Musshu Sanchasame (三茶鮫) - 3.823.600 - 2-ALLNon-Japanese Record:
ZengarZombolt - 1.444.700 - 2-3
Dragon Shoot Power: D
Dragon Return Speed: 90 frames
Magic Gauge Charge Speed: C
Magic Gauge Consume Speed: 630 frames (!)
Bomb Continue Time: 275 frames (!)
Shot: Bubble Shot. Shoots bubbles of water forward with a slight spread. Sonia's options also fire bubbles in a wavy trajectory.
Subshot: Freeze Arrow. Powerful piercing lasers move directly forward. At power level 2 she fires 2 lasers, and at power level 3 fires 4. This is strong enough to OHKO midsized enemies, making her normal shot by far the most damaging in the game.
Bomb: Trident Rush. A merman dashes straight forward, creating a protective barrier about as wide as 2.5x Sonia's wingspan. This bomb lasts a long time - even a slow character like Sonia can get off 3 or 4 safe dragonshots before the barrier disappears.
Mounted Charge Attack: Diamond Dust. Sonia shoots a 7-way spread shot with a spread of about 90 degrees. The attack power is high and thus useful for situations when your main shot/subshots won't cut it.
Separate Charge Attack: Aqua Blast. Sonia's dragon shoots a 5-way torrent of green blades straight forward. The side dragons home in to the closest enemy and fire a 1-way stream of green blades.
Sonia is probably the closest thing to a "low-tier" character, because of her slow and relatively weak dragonshot, but her shot is incredibly strong and her mounted charge attack totally gets rid of pesky stage 6 popcorns. There is a really good play
available with Sonia, and no such play for Rob or Ian that I know of, so learning routes with her is much easier.
Archer's comments: "Sonia's dragon handling is not great, but her charge attacks excel. Her piercing shot combined with her long charge bar are strong enough that you do not need to rely on dragonshots for quick kills during stages. However, her max damage is low, so with bosses you have to learn how to deal with patterns that most other characters can skip."
- Rob: WR
: T3-CYR-Jonidan (序二段) - 3.754.400 Non-Japanese Record:
stuminator - 2,402,500 - 2-ALL
Dragon Shoot Power: A (!)
Dragon Return Speed: 84 frames
Magic Gauge Charge Speed: B
Magic Gauge Consume Speed: 285 frames
Bomb Continue Time: 158 frames
Shot: Thunder Shot. At low levels shoots yellow shots straight forward. Spread increases as you power up. The damage is not high unless you shotgun but its spread is unrivaled.
Subshot: Plasma Hammer. Mines which float slowly forward and explode on any enemy they touch. Not very strong and can kill off coinhead carriers. There's a limit to the number than can be on screen at once so the damage rises somewhat if you shotgun but this is minor.
Bomb: Thunder Break. Rob creates a large ball of thunder one dragonshot-length in front of him. The radius of bullet deletion is quite small, but if placed carefully it can absolutely cripple bosses.
Mounted Charge Attack: Lightning Hammer. Large balls of lightning move forward in a cone with about the same spread as Rob's normal shot. The hammers are piercing and thus good for situations with lots of enemies, like the start of Forest.
Separate Charge Attack: Giga Wave. Rob's dragon shoots a bolt of lightning horizontally, covering the entire span of the screen. This attack is damn powerful - it can kill medium-sized enemies in just a few frames, and can even dispatch midbosses quickly.
Rob is a powerful character and probably the easiest to 2-ALL with due to his incredible dismounted charge attack, but scoring as him is incredibly difficult. He's powerful, though - his bomb provides nearly full-screen coverage and lasts a while, and his separated charge attack damage can kill a boss form in a single go. Unfortunately he is the slowest character in the game and this is not a game where being the slow character is an advantage.
Archer's comments: "Rob is the brute force character. The basic and very effective style to use is to use Giga Wave if you can't retract the dragon in time. Due to his high max damage and powerful planned bombs he is recommended for survival players. His playstyle is not as frantic as Quaid's, so he is also suited for new players."
- Ian: WR
: T3-Musshu Sanchasame (三茶鮫) - 4.155.100Non-Japanese Record:
cigsthecat - 1,217,400 - 2-1
Dragon Shoot Power: B
Dragon Return Speed: 61.25 frames (!)
Magic Gauge Charge Speed: D
Magic Gauge Consume Speed: 160 frames
Bomb Continue Time: 145 frames (input lag 6-9 frames)
Shot: Soul Shot. Shoots small green ghosts which become larger and more damaging as Ian powers up. Relatively weak.
Subshot: Magic Sword. Homing knives appear to Ian's side in groups of 4. Fire rate increases as he powers up. This attack takes care of popcorns, but can also kill off coinhead enemies, so watch out. The knives move relatively slowly and are not an efficient source of damage.
Bomb: Dark Stinger. A pair of knights surround Ian and shoot an orange barrier approximately the width of his hitbox. The barrier deals very high damage, but cannot be used a a panic bomb, since there is a delay of 6 frames in between hitting B and the barrier's appearance.
Mounted Charge Attack: Death Crush. Ian fires a powerful laser forward.
Separate Charge Attack: Hellspin. Ian's dragon turns into a whirling sword (?) and deals massive continuous damage to anything in its way.
Ian is fast, has a damaging dragonshot, and a low retraction time. Too bad it takes him minutes to charge his charge bar. His bomb is the least convenient in the game (since it only protects him if he doesn't move horizontally) but does incredible damage and can speedkill bosses easily. Save his dismounted charge for bosses and they will go down in seconds. His subshots, homing knives, are way too weak to ever help but they do love to get in the way by killing coinhead enemies.
You'd expect his scoring potential to be much higher than Quaid's, but there are very few cases where the 10 frame advantage in retraction speed allows you to pull off maneuvers that Quaid can't do. You might be able to snag a few extra popcorn groups and catch some falling coins that you'd normally miss but that don't mean shit if your bombs and charge attacks suck.
Archer's comments: "Ian's two main weak points are his impractically long charge times and his bomb which cannot be used as a panic bomb due to high delay. It is clear that his advantages are his supreme dragonshot and the high damage his bomb deals when used as a planned bomb. You need to learn very precise dragonshot timing to survive with him, so he is a character for maniac-tier players only. Due to his high potential he is recommended for those who have mastered the other characters and understand the game system." Scoring:
I love scoring in Dragon Blaze because it's almost perfectly intuitive. You don't need to explain the scoring - as soon as you see them gold coins pouring down you know what to do, it's just a matter of how to do it. - Basic Scoring Methods:
- Any enemy defeated with a dragon shot will release a number of gold coins (200 pts. each) which either the character or dragon can pick up.
- One enemy per stage will release a coin-head if killed with dragon-shot. Keep shooting the coinhead to get a rain of gold coins (each coin releases between 90 and 100 coins, so it's worth about 24,000 points. They do tend to drift off slightly to one side, so make sure to place the dragon in such a way that the coins won't all fall away).
- All bosses except the final will reveal a core for a few seconds at one point in their attacks. Dragonshoot the core to instantly kill the boss and get 20k extra points in addition to the 10k points for the boss kill. Note that if a boss is in critical health it will not do the tech attack at all and will start something far far more dangerous, so when the second form appears either speedkill it or stop shooting and wait for the tech. - D-shot Optimization:
This is obviously the big deal in scoring - trying to make as many gold coins appear as possible. To achieve this, you'll want to know the d-shot hitbox and line yourself up at a group of enemies so you can hit all of them. It's important to plan d-shots for points where there are a large number of enemies clumped up and make sure that you're always mounted when you get there. Some d-shot timings are very, very finicky and require frame-precise timing and/or very precise positioning.
Mashing C constantly isn't optimal since you'll end up creating coins in bad places, missing out on enemy clumps, and leaving yourself defenseless when you need that d-shot damage to kill an enemy in time. Keep in mind you get 1 d-shot evrey 75 frames, even with Ian. Use them wisely! - Coin Collection:
Now, making all those coins appear is no good if you don't catch them. Your own character is decidedly secondary to the dragon in helping here, since the dragon isn't squishy. You are. Shooting it will collect all coins within range, but a simple shoot & retract double-tap doesn't let you collect that many coins, since the coins aren't collectible until they start falling, which takes 30 frames or so. Conescutive shots in the same general area help here - the d-shot should ideally serve a double purpose by collecting coins and creating more coins. - Special Tricks:
- The boss of the Sand area will drop bombs when it enters the screen. If you d-shoot the bombs without hurting the bomb-cannon, you can make about 27,000 extra points. If you draw Sand later than 1-2, it becomes very difficult to kill all the bombs even with Ian. If one explodes on top of you, you're a goner. However, the higher rate of fire means that you can potentially get more points (it's just more difficult).
- During the Sand boss's tech form (the horseshoe crab thing) it is actually 11,600 points more lucrative to wait out the tech and milk the bits the boss fires from its sides. The bits appear a total of 4 times. If you don't kill it in time you will lose out on 10k points when the boss goes into its timeout phase right after the 3rd (or 4th depending on stage order) wave of bits appear. You can, of course, defeat it in timeout, but it's hard to make it close enough with a correctly placed d-shot.
- The Jungle boss releases milkable plants in its first form which are much more lucrative than bombs and much less dangerous. There are 2 waves of plants worth 22,000 points each, making this all in all a pretty fair scoring trick.
- The 1-7 first midboss releases 6 laser drones which can be milked for a fair sum (in addition to the large number of coins you get from the midboss itself). In total the trick is worth about 57,000 points more than a no-coin speedkill with charge + bomb.
- The 1-7 second midboss releases 2 coinheads on defeat. To gather both fully you must either use Rob's charge attack or drop a bomb. The 10k points lost by bombing are more than made up by the 25k+ you get from the second coinhead and assorted popcorn enemies.
- A full no-miss no-bomb of the game would give a total of 880,000 extra points compared to a run that ends with no extra lives or bombs: 130,000 points from max bomb bonuses, 450,000 from 9 bombs (endbonus), and 300,000 from 3 extra lives (endbonus). You can still get the 450,000 even if you do double chests, though. - WR Breakdowns:
(the following figures are very inaccurate)
Where does most of the score in this game come from?
A playthrough without dragonshot, using Sonia, reveals that about 600k points in the first loop come from killing enemies and collecting silver coins. Techs give you 120k total, and max bomb/power bonuses give ~250k. Only 700k points come from collecting gold coins, and the last 200k of those are very hard to get.
The second loop gives an additional 130k max bomb bonus, 120k tech bonus, and 92k max power bonus in addition to the 1.3m from enemies/gold coins. Endbonus adds a potential 780k - that's a lot of points for a NMNB!Rank:
Rank in Dragon Blaze affects bullet speed, enemy deadzones, and possibly enemy health. There are 16 levels of rank, and as far as I know each time you pick up a powerup, rank goes up by 2. Rank also increases on its own, and seems to increase faster in later stages. If you die in the loop, for example, rank will return to full within about one and a half minutes.
One mistake that lots of new players make is trying to lower rank by bumping into enemies. This does work (to be precise powering down 4 times per stage will keep rank at a low and manageable level) but even from a purely survival based standpoint it is actually a very bad idea
. First of all, the character speed and hitboxes in this game simply aren't made for easily maneuvering through a cloud of slow bullets. Second of all, you place yourself in a lot of danger by trying to run into enemies (this ought to be obvious). Third of all, lowering bosses' health can cause you to mistime the kill and might land you in a situation where a popcorn wave spawns at the same time as a really hard boss attack - never good. Fourth, at low power enemy waves are replaced by powerup carriers which are useless for score.Enemies:
Each enemy drops a unique number of gold coins when defeated with the dragon. In addition, some non-popcorn enemies also drop a certain number of silver coins upon dying.
~MORE TO COME~Stages:
The game has 2 loops of 7 stages each. The first 4 stages are randomly chosen from a pool of 4 possible candidates - later versions are more difficult but contain more enemies and therefore have greater scoring potential. It is important to get the Desert/Sand and Jungle stages later on since the bosses are milkable and later versions release more enemies -> more coins.
This stage guide is very rough at the moment. Once I get my next milestone run I'll go through the 1-4 versions of all random stages for you (using Quaid since he's the most common choice). Till then this is a ghost town though. The Loop:
The most important change in the loop, more so than the expected increase in pattern thickness and speed, is the fact that all aerial enemies will fire small diamond-shaped bullets at you when killed, no matter how close you are to them. This leads to a lot of frustrating instant deaths when killing enemies up close with the dragonshot. Ground enemies generally don't fire suicide bullets.
Some bosses fire sprays of fast crescent-shaped bullets that are aimed at the dragon. Often these require careful placement to misdirect safely.
Enemy formations are the same as in 1-4 (I believe) and boss tech patterns are oddly about the same difficulty as those in 1-4 (except the sand boss, hate hate hate). Boss patterns before the tech, however, follow an entirely different pattern than they do in the first loop, and some bosses use entirely new attacks, so watch out.I will be glad to playtest and write up any part of any stage that you have trouble with, but for now I'll just mention scoring tricks and some parts that piss me off.Maimana/Aerial Mist
Generally, this stage has very low bullet cover, but those bullets that do appear move quite fast. At higher levels, and in the loop, you have to take down the flying chariots very quickly or they will absolutely overwhelm you. The boss has one or two very quick attacks that require precise placement at higher stage orders, but it has little health in its first form and the tech is one of the easiest in the game. In the loop taking down the bats and dragonflies is a nightmare and the boss is pretty much designed to screw you over - definitely one of the harder loop stages.
Huge clouds of non-popcorn enemies and the floating mines combine to make this stage very very hard if you take it later on.
The midboss is absolutely terrifying but you can misdirect its attack pretty easily. Boss is relatively easy but its tech can prove challenging at high levels. In the loop this stage is pretty much murder due to the waves of green stingrays spewing suicide bullets, the golden fish walling you in, and the midboss, but not even close to the hardest of the 4 (it's the only loop stage I can get through without bombing or dying).
This stage is a terror if you take it after 1-2. The giant tanks are hugely frustrating, bomb milking is often deadly, and the boss needs to be taken down very precisely in addition to having a difficult tech pattern. In the loop this is by far the worst stage of the first 4, considering how hard it is to position yourself to be able to kill the tanks. The boss's tech is also impossible to do without bombing, and it loves to mess you up with huge sprays of crescent moon bullets, so good luck!
- The large tanks are some of the most annoying enemies in the game. Some characters, like Rob, have a very easy time taking them down, but here's a Quaid guide for y'all who get to Stage 3 and don't know what to do.
1. First, get rid of the first two turrets with dragonshot as soon as they appear fully onscreen. Immediately retract.
2. Position yourself like so:
This will misdirect both the large spread and the aimed fast shots.
3. Then, get under the main turret and dragonshoot it.
In this stage you're constantly swamped with ground enemies of all sizes, and only occasional waves of popcorn and large air enemies. The fire-skater enemies coming from the side are absurdly difficult and should ideally be killed before they even fire, and leaving the pitcher plants alive will get you swamped in no time, but the boss is comparatively easy and can be teched without problems even on 1-4. In the loop this is actually a very easy stage despite the bullet sprays because there are very few suicide bullets and the pitcher plants are unchanged from 1-4. Just plan a route that kills the fireskaters quickly and you're home safe. The boss's first form is easy but the second form is absolute murder. Speedkill it, don't tech it.
- Letting the fireskaters fire a second wave of fast bullets is a very bad idea - even if you are playing for score and trying to reap the fruits of those sweet sweet pitcher plants just go ahead and kill everything fast with a charge attack if it seems like you aren't killing the bastards off fast enough.
Coinhead: Stage 5: Altar
This is where things start getting fun. Many enemies here, especially the book wizards and torches, will force you to the bottom of the screen and cover everything in flak if you don't take care of them immediately. Boss is not really bad with most characters, and its tech is the single easiest in the game. Yes, even easier than the 1-1 tech. One or two of its patterns still frustrate me though.
- The dreaded mouthlaser fires about half a second after the boss stops moving. It will stop moving if you pass below it. As long as you're not inexplicably cornered and as long as you know that it's going to happen you will be fine.
- A certain enclosure attack during the boss second form had me confused for a while. Curtains of white bullets sweep from each side of the screen, and this determines the width of the subsequent sweep attack. But how to control when they stop?
Turns out that when you move close to a curtain, it stops. An easy path to get both of the curtains to stop quickly:
1. Direct the mouth-laser to the right of the screen and move to the far left.
2. Stream to the right and move directly right of the boss's hand. The curtain will close in on you.
3. Right before the curtain touches your wing, move diagonally down-left and stop the other curtain.
4. Hide in the bottom-right corner. The spaces should be relatively wide if you did this right.
Coinhead: Stage 6: Underworld
Hardest stage in the first loop, due to the fast, seemingly random popcorn bullets and the difficult midbosses. Honestly, there isn't a single section of this stage that I haven't torn my hair out about at some point. The boss is not too horrendous if you rely on a bomb for each form, but killing its first form before the difficult section without bombing is very very tough, as is the tech. In the loop it is probably the largest obstacle to a 2-ALL due to the midbosses and floating wizards, not to mention the boss.
- To deal with the goblin things after the first midboss:
1. Go to the top left as soon as you kill it and dragonshoot the coinhead enemy.
2. Sweep to the right top corner, then back to the left where the coinhead is.
3. Kill the goblins with dragonshot, macrododging the annoying spreads if any survive long enough to fire one.
tl;dr don't just stand at the bottom and tapdodge.
- Here's a guide to perfecting the 2nd midboss (the eyes).
* Kill the left eye off quickly first or this happens:
(When one eye is damaged the other stops firing for about 1.5s and then performs the spam attack. It will not do so if the damaged eye is killed within that timeframe.)
1. Kill off the left eye with 2 dragonshots, place the dragon here and do a charge attack.
2. Dodge through the small gaps circled, moving to the left.
3. The boss will pause briefly, then start a mirrored version of the pattern. Kill it while it's still close to you.
- Carefully time the boss kill so the fast radial attack in the second form (10:25 in my video) doesn't coincide with a popcorn wave.
- Tech bonus here is hard and I always bomb it. It's doable and not that difficult but takes a bit of practice.
1. Time the boss kill so the first form dies while it moves down, spreads its arms and readies its large bullet spam.
2. At the start of the second form, place your dragon at the top left.
3. After the radial pattern, move to the center right of the screen.
4. Retract the dragon and charge to kill both sets of popcorn.
5. Move to the left side of the screen, 1/3 of the way up. Zigzag back and forth at the boss fires a fast aimed pattern (this can be memorized).
6. As soon as you're clear, move diagonally up-right and hit the weak point.
Coinhead: Stage 7: Last Battle
(or is it?):
Actually, this stage is much easier than 1-6. All of the truly dangerous enemies go down quickly, the midbosses can be solved with a bit of strategy, and the popcorn barrages can be avoided by moving the dragon to one side of the screen and your character to the other. The boss is just absurd, though. If you don't kill its first form it does a homing attack that requires precise positioning, and its final form tends to trap even the most skilled players. The final boss becomes much, much, worse in the loop, too. GB2 final boss this ain't.
- Go all-out on the first midboss. The little familiars around it will fire a laser straight down if you are directly below them, but they won't fire if you're close. Most people bomb this and I can see why, but it is doable to kill this guy without dying or bombing. Here's my method:
1. Dragonshoot as soon as it appears. Move into the red square and remount.
2. Move to the right wing and dragonshoot again.
3. As it starts the fast pattern, move to the left staying in the small lane, and dragonshoot it at the moment you remount.
* If you can't remount in time it will move following the blue arc and become impossible to reach, forcing you to shoot it out at the bottom or waste a bomb.
- After the first midboss leave the dragon on one side of the screen and your character on the other side. Otherwise you will get totally swamped by relentless popcorn. Don't try to score here.
1. Finish off the three-headed midboss (start at the sides and then move to the center as it fires the big lasers) with a dragonshot.
2. One coinhead will appear at each side of the screen. Position yourself beneath one and the dragon beneath another one.
3. As the flow of bullets forces you down, bomb and keep collecting the rivers of coins. This trick can give you 50k points.
- Final boss second form is very frustrating.
1. After the opener, kill the familiars on one side while also hitting the big brain thing with a dragonshot. Retract and kill the ones on the other side with shot.
2. Quickly move to the bottom center of the screen (note: not the top center). As soon as you see the arms fire, move upwards. If you are too close to the top of the screen there will not be enough time to get away even if you move upwards with perfect timing.
- Final form shoots two familiars that must be killed as soon as they appear. As soon as you do so, slip to the right to misdirect the spread, and then dragonshoot to catch the falling coins and damage the boss.
Move to the middle left and follow the opening of the second lane from the left.
This lane is relatively safe. If you want to do extra damage to the boss you can go up into the middle but that requires great precision.
The boss will then repeat the pattern, firing the slow spread from the left and then doing the lanes once it moves right. Keep right below it, dragonshooting constantly and holding fire for extra DPS, and you will kill it before it traps you between the lanes.
Additions on the way:
~MORE REPLAYS~ if Wolfmame will run correctly
Loop stage guides from ACR