ST: Caladrius & Caladrius Blaze
Caladrius has been out for over a year now, and now that Blaze has hit I think it's about time the old GD got an upgrade. As I'm sure you already know Caladrius is a fantasy themed shooter from Moss with a large character roster that focuses on three unique magic shot types for each character. The scoring is based around building a multiplier with your magic attacks, and you are also given the option to customize which magic attacks you want to use with your character leading to countless different possibilities. The difficulty can range quite a lot from easy to brutal depending on your character and magic choice, so this is a fantastic game to be taken on by players of all levels.
And of course being a modern Japanese game and all it has plenty of ero too. Don't worry if you are turned off by that sort of thing though; the ero imagery can be turned off in the menus if you are worried about hairy palms.
Great graphics, rockin' soundtrack, deep scoring, tunable challenge, awesome dark fantasy enemy and ship designs, fully optional ero... I really have no idea why this game isn't way more popular on here. Guess cuz the opening screen doesn't say Cave...
Anyhow this guide is intended to let you know everything you need to know about Caladrius and it's various versions, whether you are pursuing a simple 1cc or god tier scores. Special thanks to everyone who participated in the original Caladrius shmups chat discussion thread, the high score thread, and the old GD. All of your contributions and discoveries have helped make this ST happen.
I will give some basic pattern advice for the boss' trickier attacks, but due to the extreme character variety I will not be going into excessive detail about maximizing your offense and proper stage routes. For high scores and quick boss kills you will need to create a route based on your magic attacks, and I will leave that to your own creativity.
There are currently 3 different versions of the game: Caladrius Vanilla on 360, Caladrius AC on Sega All.Net, and Caladrius Blaze on PS3.Caladrius - 360
This is the original version of the game featuring 6 characters and 6 stages. 4 characters are included with the game (the fourth being the unlockable Caladrius) and 2 (Lilith and Sophia) are paid DLC. There are 3 modes: Story Mode, Boss Rush, and Score attack. This version is fairly sexualized with very revealing artwork, and borderline porn no-miss bonus artwork. So if you enjoy some t&a, it's got you covered, but if you don't want to be distracted from all the awesome mechanical designs (or you don't want people to see what you are playing) all of this artwork can be toggled off in the main menu.Unlocks:
A few features of Vanilla must be unlocked by the player. Boss rush mode is unlocked by completing the game once with any character. The fourth character, Caladrius is unlocked by completing the game with all three default characters. You will also unlock weapon customization by completing the game with each character. The 6th stage can only be accessed by clearing stages 1-5 with no continues, however if you use the stage restart option instead of continues you will be able to proceed to stage 6. Additionally the no damage option will not prevent you from reaching stage 6 or unlocking content (just don't crash directly into anything as you will still die). Finally, once you have reached any stage you have the option to begin your next game from it. If you say, complete the game with Alex using no-damage, and then just start from stage 6 with the other characters you can unlock all of the game's content in under an hour.Caladrius AC – Sega All.Net
This is the second version of Caladrius, released on Sega's Nesica competitor cab, All.Net, in late summer 2013. The game is a fairly massive update of Vanilla. It features all 6 characters, but rebalanced to be more powerful overall. There are some differences with the stages also, most of which result in the game being slightly easier overall. The game features two modes, Original and Arcade.
Arcade Mode has a totally new scoring system and two additional bonus stages, while retaining very similar patterns and difficulty to the 360 version. The character's have been rebalanced to be faster, damage output has been increased, the recharge rate of magical attacks has been increased, and your magic attacks are all automatically recharged to 100% prior to boss fights. Some patterns have been altered to slightly increase their difficulty (most notably the stage 2 boss safe spot), and the bits in stage 6 have been made killable, preventing them from cheaply point blanking you to death every 2 damn seconds.
Original mode uses the scoring system from Vanilla and lacks the two bonus stages, however the bullet pattern difficulty has been significantly lowered. Basically AC Original is Vanilla Novice Mode. The character balance changes, damage increase, and faster magic recharge do not apply to Original, however the stage 6 bits remain killable (because seriously that shit was cheap).
Customization is available in both modes by default. Additionally the ero content has been drastically toned down, with totally different no-miss bonus art and some changes to character artwork. Lilith looks way cooler in this version Caladrius Blaze - PS3
The newest revision of Caladrius and the definitive version. The game features four modes, Original, Evolution, AC, and Boss Rush. Lilith and Sophia are included on the disc, with two additional characters, Layis and Noah. All characters are available in all modes. The ero artwork from Vanilla returns here, except for in AC mode.
Original mode is a rebalanced version of Caladrius Vanilla that features the new character balance (speed damage etc.) from Evolution. Like AC the bits in stage 6 are also killable. Unlike AC Original, Blaze Original has the exact same pattern difficulty as Vanilla. While the balance changes certainly make the game a little easier than Vanilla, they are welcome and Blaze Original is definitely the superior version.
AC is exactly what it says, a direct port of the All.Net Arcade mode. As far as I can tell there aren't any differences between Blaze and the All.Net version, aside from Lilith's character art being uncensored in Blaze. The other artwork remains censored.
Boss rush is what it sounds like, except Unlike Vanilla it's based on Evolution mode, so it features the evolution burst, balance changes, and extra boss.
Evolution is the new primary mode, with a scoring system that draws from both Blaze and AC while also adding its own unique points. Characters can now sacrifice their MP in return for a temporary power boost (evolution). On top of the standard 6 stages, Evolution features one totally new stage and boss, and the two bonus stages from AC. If you only play one version of Caladrius, this should be it.Unlocks:
The unlocks here (custom shots, Boss Rush, and artwork) are done the same way as in Vanilla, with the exception of all characters being available from the start.
----Wizard Academy: System Basics-All Versions/ Modes:
- You begin by choosing characters each with their own unique shot type and movement speed. If you wish you can customize your magic shots rather than take the default set. By default everyone has an S1, S2, and S3 shot, but you are free to mix and match, so for example nothing is preventing you from taking three different S3 shots.
- the game uses a 5 button control layout. For those using a stick the layout in All.Net is as follows:
[S1] [S2] [S3]
[M ] [B ] [ ]
- M is your main shot which auto-fires by default. Killing enemies with your main shot will not add anything to the multiplier, but it can be used infinitely and does relatively high damage. You can point blank for increased damage, and like most games you can ride ground based enemies (including the massive ground based bosses).
- B is your bomb. The bomb is activated very quickly, but not quite instantly (so no death bombing) and fills the entire screen. It will cancel all bullets as long as it is active, but it is not damaging enough to kill particularly large enemies. In all versions/modes bombs are awarded for reaching score milestones. Bombs are not lost upon death, instead you are awarded an additional bomb. The max you can carry is 9, so make sure to use them before you reach a score milestone or you will get nothing. A bonus is added to your score during stage results based on remaining bombs, but it is relatively insignificant. In AC Arcade mode, Blaze AC, and Evolution, additional bombs can be earned by performing well during the two bonus stages.
- S1, S2, and S3 are your magic attacks. The scoring and gameplay in general is built around these attacks, so you will need to learn when and how to use them effectively not only for scoring, but also for survival in general. When used the attacks will drain energy from 100% until they run out and you can no longer use them. Each attack has it's own energy meter, so running out of one has no impact on the others. The energy will recharge relatively quickly over time as long as you aren't using them. It is important to note that even if you have 0% and are no longer firing the the game considers the attacks “in use” as long as you are holding down the button, so make sure to let off when you run out or it won't recharge. The recharge doesn't start instantly, it takes a few seconds from the last use to begin, so if you try to tap off a quick shot in the middle of charging it will reset that timer and take longer to charge. However you may use different magic attacks while recharging, so with good planning and balanced use you can have access to magic attacks pretty much constantly throughout the game. The recharge rates vary depending on the game, Vanilla being the slowest. In AC and Blaze (all modes) the meters are charged to 100% at the beginning of boss fights.
- By default each character has their own elemental S1, S2, and S3. S1 is an offensive shot, S2 is a support shot that usually has some kind of special effect or targets specific portions of the screen, and S3 is a defensive skill that can cancel most standard bullet types and also deal (usually close range) damage. Using custom magic attacks you have the ability to take more than one of the same type; you are not limited to an S1, S2, S3 setup. Just in general during a scoring run your S1 and S3 will be used to build the score multiplier by killing enemies, while your S2 will be used to deal high damage to meaty targets or to attack enemies in otherwise unreachable areas of the screen. However all of the attacks are pretty unique and have to be utilized in different ways to get the most out of them.
- Any enemy killed with your magic attacks will increase the multiplier. Additionally the destroyable parts of large enemies and bosses count towards the multiplier. You do not have to completely reduce the enemy's health with your magic to get the bonus, just the final killing blow must be dealt with it. However, some magic weapons fire along with your main shot, making it harder to deliver the killing blow with them. These kind of weapons are often superior for survival purposes, but not as useful for scoring.
- Between each stage you are able to level up your magic shots as you choose by using experience gems. The max level for each shot type is 7. In the lower left corner of the screen you can see a small gold meter. This is your experience bar. Any time you deal damage with a magic attack the meter will build and when it fills completely it will give you one gem and reset. Magic shot kills have no effect on this meter, only damage dealt, so you want to be utilizing your magic as much as possible even when not strictly necessary for scoring in order to level up faster.
- Your main shot will also become more powerful between stages, but this is automatic and is not affected by the experience bar.
- All enemies drop score “medals” when they die that are automatically vacuumed into your ship. These affect your score and nothing else. However hidden throughout the stages are certain enemies that will drop small glowing “ether chips” that must be manually collected. At the bottom center of the screen you can see a gauge that builds as you collect them. When it fills completely you are awarded with an extend. Every boss save the final also houses an ether chip in one of their destructible parts. The Ether chip locations are set, however certain chips come from a random enemy within a predetermined wave, so the locations aren't always 100% static.
- Throughout the stages secret mana recharge towers can be revealed by shooting them. They look like floating green/gold diamonds after being revealed. The quicker you collect them after revealing them the more MP you recharge. Picking them up right away when they are green will recharge your weapons to 100%. The easiest way to do this is by revealing the towers by point blanking. As the towers turn from green to gold the recharged MP lowers significantly.
- Each stage save EX1, 4, and EX2 has a single hidden Sol Tower somewhere within it. These look like small silver/grey diamonds (same as in Raiden). If you hover over them for a few seconds they will rise out of the earth and you can destroy them for a score bonus.
- All bosses have 3 phases, and if you destroy a phase quickly enough the boss will undergo a “shame break” (“Cut-in Break” in Vanilla). An image of the boss will play across the screen with their clothing damaged, becoming more revealing with each successive break (male characters included, how progressive!). Initiating a break will net you a large gem payout, so it's important for scoring.
- Like the bosses the player characters will also undergo a shame break when killed, but this only happens if you have collected a certain amount of gems before dying. Thus chain dying will not net you multiple breaks. This is more important than it sounds though, because undergoing a break buffs your character slightly. There are 3 break levels, neutral, level 1, and level 2. Moving up a level increases your damage output slightly, and also increases your bomb duration.Vanilla Specific:
- When your MP for all weapons is above 50% pressing 2 magic attack buttons at the same time or pressing the burst button will clear all bullets on the screen and initiate a full screen attack until your MP is completely drained. Though it initially cancels bullets, enemies will still fire as your MP is draining and you can be hit. The damage of the attack is also quite low. You need your magic shots available to you at all times in Vanilla for both scoring and survival purposes, so there is almost no situation in the game where you will want to use this. Just try not to accidentally activate it, as it can ruin a run.AC Specific:
- When your MP for all weapons is above 50% you can activate fusion. The initial start up clears bullets and then you have access to your magic attacks infinitely until the timer expires. Picking up a mana tower during this time recharges the timer. When it ends your MP is dropped to zero.
- AC features two bonuses stages, EX1, and EX2. These stages are pretty straightforward gauntlets of enemy waves, and have clear conditions. Stage EX1 requires you to kill a certain percentage of enemies for a basic clear, and will award a perfect clear for achieving a 100% kill rate. Stage EX2 has specifically labeled target enemies, and same as EX1 requires a certain percentage of target destruction for a clear and 100% target destruction for a perfect. In EX2 non-target enemies have no impact on your clear rank. A basic clear of either stage will get you a bomb, and a perfect clear will get you both a bomb and an extend.
- Unlike other versions where upgrades are permanent, in the weapon upgrade screen of AC you can actually remove gems from your weapons and reallocate them at will to match the needs of each specific stage.Evolution Specific:
- Whenever your MP for all weapons is above 50% you can activate evolution. In evolution mode all of your weapons are powered up to level 8, but drain their MP twice as fast. The mode lasts for a few seconds, and with each stage you complete its duration is increased. Upon exiting the mode your MP for all attacks is drained to zero and they are temporarily locked from recharging. Enemies killed in evolution drop red medals instead of gold ones, which are worth more points than normal.
- Like AC Blaze features the two EX stages, and the conditions and rewards are the same.
- There is in fact a limit to the amount of extends you can carry and it is entirely possible to reach it. That limit is 6 lives in stock.
----Calculadrius: Scoring-All Versions/Modes:
While they certainly have their differences the basic scoring system is the same across all modes of Caladrius. Points come primarily from kills, medals, sol towers, shame breaks, the the all important multiplier. Most of it's pretty straightforward: kill everything you can, medals are sucked up automatically, find and activate the towers. Therefore this section will focus primarily on the multiplier and how it works.
Enemies killed with magic shots will add a certain amount to the multiplier that depends on the version. Only the actual kill shot matters, so you can weaken an enemy beforehand with your main shot and still get the same payout. All enemies, be it popcorn or a huge battleship add the same amount to the multiplier, so in general the popcorn waves are the most important part of the scoring. You absolutely don't want to be wasting your MP taking down a large enemy only to not have any left for the following popcorn wave. At a very very basic level, focus on killing all the popcorn with magic, and just kill the big stuff with your main shot.
That said you will notice certain enemies adding more than usual to the multiplier occasionally. This is because each enemy part counts as a kill and some large enemies are made of multiple parts. An enemy is worth the sum of its parts that were not yet broken at the time of destruction +1 (for the main body of the enemy). To make this more clear, lets take for example the midboss of stage 2 at the waterfall. It has four destroyable parts (its four corners on the wings) plus its main body, so if you were to kill it entirely with magic it would be worth the same as 5 kills to the multiplier. There is no need to kill off the parts before killing the main body. But lets say you are weakening it with your normal shot first and end up breaking two of the parts, then killing it with your S1. In this case it's only worth 3 kills. Finally, each part killed with magic immediately increases the multiplier, so another scenario could be destroying all four parts with magic, but running out of MP and killing the main body with your main shot. In that case you would get four kills worth of multiplier.
Upon death your multiplier will fall back to zero, so more than most games basic survival is a major factor to extremely high scores. Basically it just comes down to routing in a way that balances your magic shot use to get as many magic kills as possible in order to build a high multiplier, which you can capitalize on during the extremely high scoring boss fights. But if you die? All your work was for nothing.
All of the above applies to all versions and modes, but each version has some specific details to be exploited, which will be explained below.Vanilla/Original Scoring Details:
- Each kill adds .02 to the multiplier.
- The multiplier in Vanilla does not cap, so scoring basically comes down to what was mentioned above and never ever dying. That's about it.AC Scoring Details:
- Each kill adds .05 to the multiplier.
- If you go for a period of time without making any magic kills, the multiplier will start to drain slowly. Generally you don't need to worry about this much as you will naturally be making magic kills constantly.
- The multiplier caps out relatively quickly, at 10.00Evolution Scoring Details:
- Each kill adds .05 to the multiplier.
- As with AC, if you don't make any magic kills for a while the multiplier will slowly drain.
- The multiplier caps at 20.00
- Kills made while in evolution burst yield red medals instead of gold medals, which give more points than usual.
----Just the Tips and Tricks-All Versions/Modes:
- Try to always activate mana towers via point blanking, so you you can get full recharges to continue killing as many things as possible with magic attacks.
- Point blanking sometimes increases the damage on magic attacks as well as the main shot, so you can point blank to get kills for less MP.
- That said, unlike most other shmups, Raiden included, being within point blank range of ground based enemies will not prevent them from firing, so you have to watch the timing carefully when riding tanks, otherwise you will literally not see what killed you.
- You can riding point blank (sit on top of) certain bosses without consequence for extra high damage. These include boss 1, External, 5, and 6.
- Seriously, don't die. But if you do die and still want to try to salvage your run's score, I recommend collecting a few medals and then suiciding quickly after the first death in order to force activate break level 2. It will increase your damage output allowing you to kill more effectively and score better/survive. You really don't want to die again after rebuilding your multiplier, so go ahead and do it quickly. This strategy can be exploited actually, if a true no-miss run is outside of your grasp without the benefits of break. Stage EX1 is a good early point to force your way into break 2 status with minimal scoring consequences since there is no boss.
- I've put in a lot of experimentation, and all signs point to sol tower score bonus payout being random. Pick 'em up anyhow though, because every little bit helps. Their locations are as follows:Stage 1:
After the midboss appears, under a house in the upper left cornerStage 2:
Right before the boss on a small island next to a massive turretEX1:
When the 4-way X turrets first show up, the tower is under the first turret on the right sideExternal Stage:
Before the midboss to the right of two large tanksStage 4:
To the left of the throneStage 6:
Right before the final boss on the left side of the last floating island (Because of the RNG snipers you should bomb in order to activate this tower)AC Specific Tips:
- Collecting a mana tower during the fusion will refill the timer, and same as normal mana recharge picking it up instantly equals a full refill. This makes it possible to keep fusion running for very long durations with proper planning.Evolution Tips:
- Mostly you can focus on building the multiplier like you do in original throughout the stages, but in some stages you will reach the cap relatively quickly. When this happens try to use evolution often to capitalize on the red medals.
- Normally if you haven't already maxed out the multiplier evolving is a bad idea, since you are left with no MP to continue building it once it finishes. However if you time it perfectly so you reach a mana tower right when it ends you can get a near instant mana recharge. After your magic locks you can go ahead and collect the tower. You will be given the recharge after the lock is lifted. Just make sure you don't pick it up before Evolution ends, or you will get nothing.
- As often as possible you want to initiate shame breaks on each boss phase while evolved to capitalize on the red medal payout. This has some interesting quirks though. The kill itself being in evolution doesn't grant red medals, rather, medals spawned while evolution is active will be red. This means if you evolve and kill the boss, but evolution ends before the medals spawn you will still get normal gold medals. Sucks right? Except you can exploit this! If you kill a phase and then evolve right before
the gems spawn, they will be red, and you can use the remaining evolution time to damage the following phase. In a few spots this can be used to speed kill phases so that you get two red gem payouts from a single evolution burst. The time to activate is the exact moment the words “shame break” appear on screen. Have fun with it!Boss Rush Tips:
- Blaze boss rush and Vanilla boss rush are somewhat different, because you have access to evolution in Blaze. Therefore while in Vanilla you are just trying to kill the bosses quickly, in Evolution you want to be initiating the shame breaks while in evolution burst to get red medals.
- As usual scoring comes down to building a multiplier and surviving. But multiplier is much harder to come by here, so you will need to focus on killing as many boss parts/phases as possible with magic to build it. In the normal game this is less important and often recklessly dangerous, but in boss rush it will be necessary.
- The bosses still drop ether chips which should be collected for scoring purposes, but you won't get enough of them to extend.
- Your mana is not recharged between fights, so shot distribution must be handled very very carefully.
- You have far less bombs at your disposal here than normal, so in order to actually clear you will have to be much more intimately knowledgeable about how to survive everything. Attacks that you would normally bomb because they are risky you will have to learn to properly dodge.
----Moe Sells: Characters-Main:
Concentrated spread shot that does medium damage.S1:
Shoots a beam forward like a missile. Mostly just for straight damage. She doesn't shoot her main shot when using this which makes it good for increasing the multiplier. At max level you shoot significantly faster, so it can deal pretty devastating damage. Good for killing bigger enemies quickly.S2:
Sends out a static wall of fire that stays on screen as long as you hold the button. While the directional input is up, down or neutral the wall will be in the middle of the screen going vertically. If you press right when you deploy it, it appears on the left side of the screen angles diagonally towards the right. If you hit left the opposite happens. Alex will fire her main shot while using this. At max level it deploys 3 walls of fire, so it covers more space.S3:
Deploys wings of fire on the left and right that absorb bullets. Has some start up when the wings deploy and if you move it trails behind you like an option, meaning it'll cover your back but you can't safely use it to break through walls of bullets. She fires her main while using this. At max level the wings are about twice as large as their initial level.Main:
Linear shot that does decent damage.S1:
Shoots boomerang looking bullets in curved patterns around Kei. Seems to home and fills a large part of the screen so it's great for wiping out popcorn but doesn't seem as useful against large enemies. He does not fire his main shot during this attack making it good for building multiplier. At max the boomerangs appear to be bigger and I assume they do more damage.S2:
Small static circles of wind appear in the general vicinity of the direction you press when deploying the attack. Fire his main shot at the same time. At the initial level there are three circles, at Max there are eight. Works a lot like Alex's fire.S3:
A blue beam about twice the length of the ship that absorbs bullets deploys from the front of the ship with very little start up. When you press a direction the beam will quickly bend 45 degrees in the direction pressed. He does not fire his main shot along with this making it awesome for increasing the multiplier. At max level the beam is absolutely massive, about 2/3 the vertical length of the screen. By hitting left and right quickly you can wipe the screen clean of bullets. Main:
Wide shot that does low damage.S1:
Shoots 3 homing beams for good damage. The beams need some distance to home properly, so at very close ranges they will arc towards but miss enemies that are close on your left or right. Because she doesn't fire her main shot this skill is good for building multiplier. At Max level the beams are about 3 times as thick and seem to do bigger damage.S2:
Fires 3 lines of bullets in a spreadshot formation. If you move the bullets will keep firing from the same spot where you deployed them, but they will arc in the direction you are pressing. If you go neutral the will go back to firing straight forward. Maria will fire her main shot at the same time as this attack. At max level you shoot five strings instead of 3 in a wider area.S3:
A ring forms around Maria and she begins emitting lots of bullets in a tornado looking pattern from her ship. However these bullets will not extend past the barriers ring. The barrier itself DOES NOT cancel enemy bullets. Enemy bullets are canceled when they come into contact with the bullets your ship is emitting. More likely than not they will be canceled due to the amount of bullets you are spitting out, but it is not 100% reliable. The most reliable way to use it defensively is by spinning the joystick quickly in a 360 motion so that you stay mostly stationary but your cancelling bullets cover most all of the area in the ring. This is not reliable for moving through a wall of bullets to a safer part of the screen. Also the start up is very long. Maria will fire her main shot while using this. At max level the barrier ring is about twice as large.Main:
Ridiculously overpowered homing laser that makes everything your bitch. The beams actually fire from the back of Caladrius on the left and right so its difficult to hit enemies directly in front of you without a bit of distance between you.S1:
Shoots a linear piercing shot for heavy damage. At level 1 Caladrius will fire a beam along with one option that trails for 2 total beams. At max level you have 4 options for 5 total beams. The damage is devastating when you line up the beams, but since Caladrius also fires his main shot at the same time it isn't a good skill for building the multiplier.S2:
Shoots out an arc of feathers that reflect bullets. The feathers only reflect bullets that they touch and there are lots of spaces for bullets to get through so this can't be too relied upon for protection; it works better offensively. The feathers deploy from Caladrius' left side which means that your left side is much better protected than your right when using this defensively. Also reflected bullets do mass damage and will allow you to quickly kill some of the larger late game enemies that the other characters can barely kill without a bomb. At the initial level there are only a few feathers and protection is minimal. You fire your main shot while using it so it isn't great for the multiplier. At max level there are tons of feathers that form a crescent around you with very few gaps for bullets to get though.S3:
Shoots out a small golden field of explosions directly in front of Caladrius that cancels bullets. If you point blank with this the damage is insane, but as a defensive skill it kind of sucks. It will not protect you from anything coming from anywhere except directly in front of you and trails kind of like an option so you almost can't use it for repositioning at all. At max level it covers a larger area with more explosions, maybe twice as large as the small area covered at level 1.Main:
Shoots a wide linear shot for medium damage. The bullets shoot directly in front and also cover her left and right side allowing you to kill things without them being directly in front of you.S1:
Shoots a gatling gun for good damage. At level one it only shoots two bullets directly in front of you so it kind of sucks, but at max level it shoots 6 bullets in a wide screen covering formation making it pretty good. She does not fire her main shot while using this.S2:
It's that squiggly-laser from Raiden! The real beauty is how quickly it cant clear the screen of small enemies and build your multiplier because you don't fire your main shot when using it. It gets thicker and seems to do more damage at max level. This might be the best S2 in the game for scoring purposes.S3:
A blue shield encapsulates your ship making you totally invincible to every single bullet type in the game. This is the only S3 that can protect you from some of the late game boss attacks. It also drains pretty slowly, and you fire your main shot while using it. Initially it only covers your ship, but at max level it covers a much larger area around your ship, clearing out more bullets. This S3 in my opinion is totally broken and cheapens the game immensely. Anyone should be able to easily 1cc the game using it, but just know you aren't really experiencing the game if you do it that way. It really appears like it was specifically designed to allow novice players to 1cc. Isn't that what easy mode is for? Lame...Main:
Shoots a linear red beam for good damage.S1:
Rapid fires 6 lines of needles, 3 from her left and 3 from her right. She does not fire anything from her front. At max level the fire rate increases significantly.S2:
A static line of bullets fires from the far left and far right of the screen directly parallel to where Lilith is when you first press the button. They are angled upwards slightly. You fire your main shot while using this. At max level she fires 3 lines of bullets from each side.E3:
Two beams about 3 times the length of the ship deploy, one from her left side and one from her right. After they deploy fully they whip forward like scissors, clearing bullets and dealing huge damage to anything it hits. This takes some time to start up so it must be used preemptively. At max level the beams are longer and cover most of the screen. She will fire her main shot while using this.Main:
Medium width shot with a spiraled green linear shot in the center and angled red shots on either side. Seems to do good damage.S1:
An option trails you that fires an extremely high damage shot that explodes on contact and continues dealing splash damage through the duration of the explosion. At max level the number of options is drastically increased and damage output skyrockets. This skill tears through the bosses, but is a bit more limited in scoring uses, because your main shot fires along with it.S2:
A green laser that automatically homes in on enemies. At max level it becomes five lasers coming from all sides of your ship. The homing plus the fact your main shot doesn't fire makes this an incredible scoring tool.S3:
A tree deploys in front of your ship that cancels bullets. At max level multiple trees form a half circle around your ship granting almost complete protection from incoming bullets. It can be used to deal damage, but the range is quite short. Like Sophia's S3 it cancels special bullet types that other characters cannot and drains very slowly. This shot is definitely geared towards novice players, but a little bit more balanced than Sophia's. Fires your main shot while in use.Main:
A medium-wide shot that angles in the direction you are moving, similar to Type-B in Dodonpachi.S1:
A spear fires at close range. At max level it shoots lots of spears. It does tons of damage but costs a lot, has shit range, and is very slow. Does not fire your main shot, however you can manually tap the S1 button as you hold main shot to fire both at once.S2:
A blade on a chain fires out from your ship about half the screen length and stays on screen as long as you hold the button. At max level it becomes 5 chains in a wide formation. Since it fires your main shot, it's only real purpose is straight damage.S3:
A bullet canceling sword spins around your ship. At max level there are a bunch of swords, offering almost total protection from normal bullet types. The range is short, but it does high damage to anything it hits. Fires your main shot.
----Like a Boss: Basic Boss Strategies-Stage 1Bombs:
Iris is as easy as you would expect a first boss to be, so I don't have any pattern specific advice. The main thing here is to use your magic weapons as much as possible in order to level them up. The ether chip can be found in the boss' left shoulder.Stage 2Bombs:
Eleanor is actually kind of rough when you are first starting out, but once you know how the fight works it isn't hard. Her ether chip is found in the dragon's left fin.Phase 1:
Start by getting right under the boss' head and then tap dodge down to avoid the aimed spreads. She will move to the right side, and begin firing another aimed spread, so just tap directly up to avoid it. She should die before getting anywhere with the third attack.Phase 2:
The first pattern can be dodged pretty reliably without using your S3, but when she leaves the screen watch out. Go to the middle of the screen and then do two wide clockwise circular movements to avoid the next two attacks. She will come down from the top of the screen. Try to kill her very quickly before she gets anywhere with this attack or you will miss the shame break timing.Phase 3:
This pattern has a safe spot. Fly to the very top within point blank range next to the bosses fin on the right side. When the beam attack starts charging tap dodge down very slowly until you see it lock and move all the way down quickly. Avoid the spreads until the boss croaks.Stage 3:Bombs:
Like Eleanor, Milia is rough when you don't know what to do. Her ether chip can be found inside the scythe she uses during phase 2, but it can be difficult to collect. Don't take too many risks for it.Phase 1:
Pretty straightforward but a tough pattern to dodge. Try not to move more than you have to and create breathing room with careful use of your S3.Phase 2:
Go straight down to the bottom of the screen as she deploys the pentagram. Then tap dodge slowly right and then up. She will switch to a pretty heavy danmaku coming from her scythe. It looks scarier than it is, if you try to not move too much it can be dodged consistently without using your S3, but try to kill this phase before this attack ends because the following attack is very difficult to dodge.Phase 3:
The phase starts with RNG mines coming from above. If you don't kill them they do a suicide spread. It's impossible to kill all of them with some characters/setups, so try to focus on killing off one side of the screen while dodging the spreads from the other. When the boss returns on screen follow her to the far right side and sit under her arm at point blank range to avoid the ice. When the large ice shards fall use a high damage attack to destroy them before they hit you. Try to kill her before she starts her third attack.External Stage:Bombs:
Nina is unique to Evolution mode, so I will be giving a more specific strategy here that requires the use of evolution. Her ether chip is found in the horse's head.Phase 1:
Straight dodging, just try not to move too much and use S3 as required.Phase 2:
I always speed kill this phase via one bomb and evolution burst. The moment the word shame break appears on screen (from phase 1) activate evolution. Ride on top of the boss and the moment her hitbox becomes active bomb and unload all your magic. You will kill her so fast you won't have to dodge anything, and you should get a red medal bonus from both the phase 1 and phase 2 shame break with a single evolution.Phase 3:
Stay on the very bottom edge on the screen and dodge the pattern with small left and right taps. Mostly stay in the center, but move a little left or right to avoid her beam attack. The moment your MP gauges hit 50% evolve again for a quick kill.Stage 4:Bombs:
Islay is one of the roughest bosses in the game, because even if you know her tricks, actually dealing with them is just physically difficult. It's possible to beat her with only a single bomb, but I don't recommend it because it's very dangerous. I won't be detailing how to do it here; send me a PM if you want to know. The ether chip is in the bird's head.Phase 1:
Start on the bottom left side and do a slow tap dodge right to avoid the first spread. The second spread and be tap dodged up-left, but you have to stop occasionally to let the pink bullets move past you. Don't worry, the blue bullets will still miss you. Kill off this phase before it can get anywhere with attack three if possible.Phase 2:
This Phase is pretty hellish. Go to the far right of the screen and about halfway up between the purple shots. When the green volley starts dodge as long as you can but go ahead and bomb when things start looking dangerous. The following two patterns can be tap dodged left or right, but it's easier said than done. Use S3 as required.Phase 3:
The initial pattern can be tap dodged, but using S3 is safer. If you want to dodge it move between the wind shots by tapping left then right, then up-left, and down-right. You should avoid both the wind and pink shots. The second pattern is yet another horizontal tap dodge. Bomb when it starts to look rough. Make sure you kill the boss before it gets anywhere with the third attack or you will die, so if it looks like you can't kill it bite the bullet and use another bomb.Stage 5:Bombs:
Graham is a pretty rough boss, but it's a fun fight. This is another fight that can be reasonably cleared with a single bomb, but I won't be detailing that strategy here. The ether chip is found in his right arm.Phase 1:
It takes a bit of practice but I recommend learning to dodge his initial pattern rather than bombing it. The main thing is to focus your movement around the center of the screen. After this he will deploy a shield and drop it, so make sure you aren't under it. Tap dodge horizontally to avoid the spreads, and try to kill him before he gets very far into the shield attack.Phase 2:
Dodge the very first rose pedal spread and bomb the second. Use S3 to survive the third. Move to the bottom left corner and dodge the red spread. For the following blue spreads use S3 as required. Try to kill this phase before the flame pillar attack begins.Phase 3:
The dreaded sword grid. This is possible to dodge with no bombs actually, and that's how I usually do it, but it's very difficult and hard to describe without a video reference. Instead let's take the easy route. Stay in the center, and before the blue shots hit you bomb, then start moving in a clockwise circle along with the blue shots and bomb again when you are about to be hit. The attack will end, so head down to the bottom of the screen and tap dodge horizontally for the next attack until Graham dies.Final Stage:Bombs:
At least 3
This boss is actually quite rough but you should have a lot of bombs at this point so you can just spam her to death. No ether chip this time.Phase 1:
Tons of those stupid snipers that have been causing you trouble though this entire stage. Just use horizontal tap dodges and look for openings to change directions. When you change use a wide movement rather than a trap. It's RNG so you may get fucked over and have no choice but to bomb.Phase 2:
Kill the zako with magic to build the multiplier a bit, then just bomb spam while unloading on her. Make sure you aren't in the path of her lasers.Phase 3:
Same as before, bomb for the win. This time she will shoot spinning orbs, so don't run into them because the bomb won't protect you.
Congrats on your clear!
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