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 Post subject: ST: Recca (Summer Carnival '92 Recca)
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2005 1:11 am 


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Joined: 25 Jan 2005
Posts: 435
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Contents

1. INTRODUCTION
1.1 Preface
1.2 Story
2. GENERAL INFORMATION
2.1 Game Modes
2.2 Controls
3. WEAPONS
3.1 Main Weapons
3.2 Pod Weapons
3.3 Charge Bomb
3.4 Death
4. ITEMS & SCORING
4.1 Powerups
4.2 Scoring
4.3 Scoring Discussion
5. STAGES & BOSSES
5.1 Stage Overviews
5.2 Boss Strategies
6. EXTRA
6.1 Miscellaneous Discussion
6.2 Secrets
6.3 Links
6.4 Things to Do

1. INTRODUCTION

1.1 Preface

Recca was released on the Famicom on July 17, 1992. The "Summer Carnival" designation indicates that it was created as part of an annual shmup competition in Japan, sponsored by Hudson Soft, featuring 2-minute and 5-minute score challenges. The game does a truly amazing job of pushing the Famicom hardware to its limits, with incredible sprite loads, bizarre waving backgrounds, and almost no slowdown. And it's a fun game, to boot.

The game was published by Naxat Soft and developed by a group called Kindle Imagine Develop. The design and programming is all credited to one Shinobu Yagawa, later of Raizing fame. Recca's pods, charge bomb, medal system, enemy formations, etc. reappear in similar form in later Raizing games.

1.2 Story

In 2302 AD, mankind has met and made peace with an alien civilization in Andromeda. Without warning, a space fleet of unknown origin appears, crushes the Andromedans, and sets its sights on mankind. The mystery fleet is destroying humanity, having reached all the way to Earth. In desperation, mankind sends out its latest experimental fighter, which you control, to make one last attempt to stop this mysterious fleet. (Just like every other shmup in space, right? Basically, yes.)

2. GENERAL INFORMATION

2.1 Game Modes

Normal Game: Traditional game. Survive stages 1-4. Can be completed in 18-20 minutes by the game clock.
Score Attack: Try to get the highest score possible in 2 minutes. This mode takes place in the Caravan stage, although you will only see about the first half of it in the 2 minutes alotted.
Time Attack: Score 1,000,000 in the shortest time possible. If the timer reaches 5 minutes, it counts as a loss. This mode also takes place in the Caravan stage, which lasts about 4 minutes including boss fights. The stage loops if necessary.
Hard Game: Hidden mode. Survive areas 1-7. Can be completed in about 45 minutes by the game clock.
Zanki Attack: Hidden mode. Takes place in the Normal Game stages, but the player starts with 50 lives. Small enemies release 4 suicide bullets in random directions, and large enemies release more. Score is ranked by remaining lives.

There is no option to continue in any mode. If you don't win on 1 credit, you don't win at all.

2.2 Controls

Start: Pauses the game. Does not pause the clock.
Select: Adjusts ship speed. Speed begins at 2. It rises to 4, falls to 0, then repeats, 1 step per press. Note that there is no indication on the score bar whether the speed is rising or falling.
B: Fires main weapon and discharges bomb.
A: Fires pod weapon.

3. WEAPONS

3.1 Main Weapons

You can use one main weapon at a time, and it can have up to 15 sprites on screen at a time.

Vulcan: The starting weapon. It fires a moderately powerful vertical column of shots. Level 2 adds two columns slightly left/right of vertical, and level 3 adds two more columns 45 degrees to either side. This is a fairly versatile weapon, although level 3 chokes badly, due to the sprite limit, if used at long range.
Laser: Fires beams that pierce weak enemies. Level 1 fires a single column of short beams. At level 2 this changes to longer vertical beams that alternate slightly left/right of center; there can only be 3 of these beams on screen at once. At level 3 the beams gain a homing ability and will bend outwards 45 degrees if they "see" a target. The targeting algorithm works in two passes. If there are large enemies present, then the beams will bend towards the first large enemy in their range. Otherwise, the same algorithm is applied to small enemies. This is not a very useful weapon at levels 1-2. At level 3 it is probably the best weapon in the game, being able to provide focused fire to two places at once.
Blaster: Focused forward firepower. At level 1, it fires 2 columns of bullets forward. It fires 3 columns at level 2 and 4 columns at level 3, with slight choking at long range. This is the fastest weapon for killing bosses; the Laser can keep up, if it is positioned just right, and a high level Vulcan at point blank range may be comparable as well.
Five-way: At level 1, it fires forward and forward diagonally. At level 2 it adds backward fire, and at level 3 it replaces the backward fire with fire toward the rear diagonals. This is an excellent weapon to recover from death, having great range at level 1, but it should eventually be replaced by something that can better focus power.
Homing: Fires small, round shots that automatically choose and track targets. At higher levels, the shots become larger and stronger, and their turning radius decreases. Unfortunately it is a terribly weak weapon, and its targeting cannot be controlled. Picking up this weapon by accident can frequently kill you. There are very few places where it is the best choice. The Homing weapon is not available in Caravan modes.

3.2 Pod Weapons

You can have up to two pods, of the same type. Each pod can have up to 2 shots on screen at a time. Pods absorb incoming bullets.

Forward: The pods sit beside the ship and fire slightly outward from vertical, which is a very nice choice for a fixed position. This is not a very interesting formation, but it is useful.
Backward: Backward firing pods sit slightly below the rest position of Forward ones and fire a few degrees out from straight backward. Because most enemies appear from the top and sides of the screen, this is rarely helpful.
Counter: The pods orbit about the ship and point away from the direction in which the ship last moved. While they are potentially quite versatile, manipulating them well is very hard and probably not worth the effort.
Rotating: These pods spin around the ship and fire outwards. Utterly useless, except possibly for blocking clouds of incoming bullets.
Smart: They choose targets automatically with a fast response time. They favor large targets and can inflict a lot of damage at close range. With these pods, it is possible to clear long sections without even firing the main weapon. Not available in Caravan modes.

3.3 Charge Bomb

Whenever the main weapon is not firing, a bomb begins to charge on the front of the ship. It appears as a blue/white circle that grows as it charges; there is a meter in the center of the score bar that also indicates charging progress. The charging sequence lasts 128 frames. This charging bomb can absorb normal bullets. If the main weapon is fired before the bomb finishes charging, the charge disappears. If the bomb does finish charging though, firing the main weapon will cause it to explode, damaging anything in its area, except the player, and blocking nearly all enemy projectiles.

3.4 Death

When your ship is hit, it explodes violently for a second or so. Anything caught in the explosion will take heavy damage. When you die, your weapons revert to the level 1 Vulcan with no pods.

4. ITEMS & SCORING

4.1 Powerups

Every 16th enemy destroyed yields a powerup, which will oscillate sideways as it descends the screen. Weapon powerups bear a letter that cycles as the powerup descends. The letter cycle will always begin with either your current weapon or your current weapon's successor, which makes blindly grabbing powerups risky.

The powerup order is: Score Medal, Main Weapon, Score Medal, Pod, with some Pods replaced by 1ups. The powerup order resets whenever a new game begins.

Main Weapon: A blue powerup with a letter on it. If its type matches the ship's current weapon, the weapon level is raised by 1 with a limit of 3. If the powerup type does not match the ship, then the weapon type changes but the level remains the same. Main weapon powerups cycle as follows: V L B F H. H is unavailable in Caravan modes.
Pod: A red powerup with a letter on it. Collecting one of these adds a red pod to one side of the ship, with a limit of 2 pods. A pod powerup always provides a pod, even if the pod type does not match. The pods always change behavior to the most recent powerup's type. Pod powerups cycle as follows: F B C R S. S is unavailable in Caravan modes.
Score Medal: A blue powerup with no letter on it. These have a starting value of 50, and each medal collected raises the value of subsequent medals. Failing to collect a medal causes the counter to reset. There is a type of enemy that always leaves a Score Medal and does not affect the powerup appearance counter. Whether or not their Score Medals behave like regular Score Medals is unknown. The progression follows:

50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, 900, 1000, 2000.

1up: Looks like the letters "1up". A 1up replaces the 4th pod powerup and every 8th pod powerup thereafter. You may have up to 7 lives in reserve.

4.2 Scoring

There are four sources of points, detailed below. There is a maximum score, 9,999,999, which is easily attainable in the Hard Game, but not in the other modes.

Destroying Enemies:
- Some or all destructible munitions are worth 30 points each.
- Most small enemies are worth 100 points, although some types are worth as much as 5,000.
- Large enemies are usually worth 10,000. Some types are worth as few as 300 and as many as 20,000 points.
- Most bosses are worth 100,000 or 200,000. The long Snakes in stage 2 and the Bomber in stage 3 are worth 0.
Collecting Powerups:
- If the main weapon is at level 3, a matching main weapon powerup is worth 10,000 points.
- If the player has 2 pods, a matching pod powerup is worth 10,000 points.
- Score Medals are worth 50-2,000 points; their value increases as you collect more. See above.
- A 1Up is worth 0 points.
Absorbing bullets:
- A bomb charge or a pod will nullify any regular bullet that it touches. Each bullet eaten in this way is worth 100 points. Whether or not bullets nullified by an exploding bomb are worth points is unknown.
Charging a bomb:
- The bomb is worth 1 point/frame while it is charging (128 frames, 2.56s by the game clock)
- Once the bomb is charged, it is worth 5 points/frame thereafter until fired.

4.3 Scoring Discussion

Recommended scoring strategy: It's quite straightforward. Collect all powerups with as few weapon switches as possible. Eat bullets whenever you can. Use pods to destroy things whenever possible. When pods are inadequate, use charge bombs, and only use the main weapon when you must. When you do use your main weapon, you can tap B, rather than hold it down, to collect a few more charge points while you fire. Finally, of course, don't die.

Further discussion on when to bomb (boring math follows): Using a bomb is preferable to letting more than one small enemy escape. Bombing has an opportunity cost of 128 x (5 - 1) + 5 = 517 points, i.e. 128 frames to charge, during which you get 1 point/frame instead of 5 points/frame, and at least 1 frame during which you get no charging points. The actual cost will be higher if your reflexes are not perfect. Small enemies are generally worth just 100 points, but there is also a chance that a small enemy will leave a powerup. Assume we don't know the state of the powerup appearance counter, that our weapons are at full power, and that Score Medals have reached 2,000 points, which one hopes is usually the case. Then the expected value of a powerup is 10,000 x 1/2 + 2,000 x 1/2 - 10,000 x 1/16 = 5375 (the 1/16 term represents 1Ups). The expected value of a small enemy is 100 + 5,375/16 = 435.9. This is comparable to, but less than, the opportunity cost of using a bomb. Assuming no knowledge about the enemy appearance counter is reasonable if one doesn't know exactly how many enemies are present in the game.

Cost of Death: The cost of death is not that significant in Normal/Hard mode (but it is generally detrimental in the Caravan modes). You lose the opportunity to destroy a few enemies, to collect a few powerups, and about a second during which you could have collected the charge bonus. The biggest cost is generally that you can get no score from the next 5 weapon powerups while you rebuild your weapons (or just 4, if you intend to stick with the Vulcan). This represents 50,000 (40,000) lost points.

Caveat: Scoring in the Normal/Hard Game modes is somewhat defeated by the charge and absorb bonuses. It is profitable to just hold still and not fire against some bosses (i.e. Spider and partially destroyed Gunship), while eating lots of bullets and collecting the charge bonus. This requires no skill beyond knowing the time limit for those game modes. Scoring in Hard Mode is made more pointless by the easily attainable maximum score.

5. STAGES & BOSSES

5.1 Stage Overviews

It would be pointless and boring to describe the stages in full detail, so I try to just describe the setting and the more interesting and difficult sections. And I list the bosses that appear in each stage.

Stage 1 - Spider (middle), Flamethrower (end)
The game begins with a plain, space background and simple diving enemy formations. A large orange enemy may appear from behind along with the light green missile enemy, if the screen is clear enough. Not much else to say here. The second half of the stage takes place over a wavy purple background and is dominated by twin columns of small descending ships. You will see two large enemies that shoot destructible X-shaped shots and vertical beams. After they disappear, watch out for a type of large enemy that quickly tracks your position and fires fast beams downward. Fortunately, they only take 1 hit.

Stage 2 - White Snake (middle), Blue Snake (middle), Gate (end)
This stage takes place over a factory-looking background. The first portion of the stage will have a wide variety of unusual enemies, including small snakes, exploding flower-looking devices, and a spiral missile turret. After you fight the White Snake, the stage begins to scroll backwards, while you face lots of circling enemies, until you reach the Blue Snake. The stage then resumes forward scrolling, and you fight an interesting large white enemy with an indestructible swinging arm.

Stage 3 - Bomber (middle), Gunship (end)
Approach and fly over a hostile base. You will encounter some arms, lots of fast enemies, and four banks (all on the right) of Recca's infamous laser turrets. These turrets track your ship and fire extremely fast lasers. Interestingly, there is a tracking delay of a few frames -- they don't aim straight at you, they aim at where you were an instant ago. This can make twitch dodging difficult.

Stage 4 - Boss Rush (middle), Destroyer (end)
Fight eleven bosses, mixed with a variety of small-enemy formations.

Area 1 - Blaster (end)
This stage begins quite innocently, although the enemy density becomes quite high. There is a particularly nasty section near the beginning that combines score medal pods, suicide bullet ships, and small snakes. After that, the scroll rate increases. There will be a brief passage through a field of red enemies that explode into shrapnel that flies diagonally; don't fire your pods here (or the Homing weapon, if you are unlucky enough to have it). Later in the stage, you will encounter waves of fast kamikaze ships and snakes together. This section is hard without Laser level 3.

Area 2 - Bat (end)
Area 2 reprises the second half of Stage 1, with a waving purple background and twin columns of small enemies throughout most of the stage, and the same large enemy that tries to drop fast beams on your head. The main additions are suicide bullet ships and much higher enemy density. The third time you encounter the suicide bullet ships, they appear in two columns that converge all the way to the center of the screen. It is good to have the Blaster weapon there and the Laser everywhere else.

Area 3 - Bomber (middle), Gunship (end)
For some reason, Area 3 is identical to Stage 3, so the same strategy applies. Consider it a rest after the intensity of stage 2, and try to finish with more lives than you started.

Area 4 - Gate (end)
Area 4 is back out in space, with extremely fast scrolling. The stage is dominated by small enemies, and what large enemies do appear take only 1 hit. The game compensates for this in speed and numbers. The level 3 Laser works well here, except against missiles, and the Vulcan and Five-way are good choices as well. Watch out for the solid wall of missiles towards the end of the stage.

Area 5 - Bomber (middle), Alien (end)
More wavy backgrounds. This stage features mostly large enemies of all kinds. The level 1 vulcan doesn't work so well against groups of large enemies, so dying once here is bad news. The very end of the stage features a couple extremely dense formations of small enemies. If you don't have Laser level 3, you must dodge. Your score should become 9,999,999 somewhere in the second half of this stage.

Area 6 - Boss Rush (middle, end)
Another boss rush, with more enemies and less variety than Stage 4. It is possible to pick up an extra life on roughly every second boss. The small ships become much more threatening beyond the Heavy Blaster.

Area 7 - White Snake (middle), Blue Snake (middle), Destroyer (end)
The final stage, which reprises Stage 2, occurs in three sections. In the beginning, you will face lots of ships that move diagonally and lots that fire 3-way spread shots. Later, you will see a new enemy that flies downward in columns and fires 4 times as it passes. Finally, you will reach the White Snake. Before fighting it, you will face lots of these new rapid-fire ships while large ships appear from behind and form a pyramid. Bomb as needed here.

After the White Snake, the screen scrolls backwards into... Famicom Bullet Hell? Several columns of spiral-firing enemies will ascend the screen at different speeds. Luckily for you, though, you can shield yourself with pods and the charge bomb, and hardware limitations only allow about 40 bullets on screen at a time. Eventually the spirals give way to aiming turrets, score pods, and snakes. If you don't destroy any of the pods or turrets, it is possible to reach a situation where the game is unable to place any snakes because the screen is too full, making this section easy. If you can't do that, or don't want to, you need to use bombs fight off the snakes. Shortly after this ends, yo ufight the Blue Snake and enter the final stretch.

Here, you encounter the laser turrets from Stage 3 again, in two columns. These aren't very hard, until they are joined by more snakes. Here, Homing is the best weapon, followed by Five-way. As always, S pods are useful too. After the laser turrets, you will eventually encounter diagonal lines of rapid-fire ships and suicide bullet ships. It is possible, but hard, to weave through these lines without firing. F/C pods can work better than S pods here, and it is possible to break the lines by careful bombing without getting crowded to the edge of the screen. Finally, you face a mostly harmless set of green enemies, some of which fire shots from the sides of the screen while one fires lasers from the top. Finally, the scrolling stops, you face a few interesting enemy formations that I will not describe here, and you fight the Destroyer again.

Caravan Stage
Bah, I'll do this one later.


5.2 Boss Strategies

I don't know what the official names are for the bosses, if there even are any, so I have taken the liberty of making up simple descriptive names for them. I have listed all the Boss Rush bosses first, in order, with remaining bosses at the end. Their point value, and the other stages in which they appear, are listed after the names. All bosses have the same amount of life, which is slightly more than the damage inflicted by two full bomb hits. The weak spot for all bosses is at their center.

For convenience, each boss has a description section that does not give much advice on how to destroy it, followed by a hints section that does give such advice.

Flamethrower - 200,000 - Stage 1 end, Boss Rush (1)
Description: This is a large green machine equipped with four flame throwers and with homing missiles. It will move to the left or right while firing these weapons at you, it will periodically stop for a couple seconds, and it may or may not change direction when it resumes firing.

Hints: The best strategy is to set your ship speed to zero and try to stay vertically aligned with the boss. Back away from the boss if you need more reaction time. You can absorb the flame thrower shots with a charging bomb, but this leaves you vulnerable to the homing missiles. However, two S pods will counter the missiles, if you do not stray too far to the side.

Bat - 100,000 - Area 2 end, Caravan middle, Boss Rush (2)
Description: A small purple machine that begins the battle by strafing in your direction while firing a spiral of bullets. After it has traveled a predetermined, fixed distance, it will open up a pair of wings and fire a pattern of lasers down the screen. If it reaches an edge of the screen, it will bounce in the opposite direction. Then the attacks repeat.

Hints: The best strategy is to charge a bomb during the spiral attack and to release the bomb right before the laser attack starts. Be careful about attacking at point blank with a bomb active, as the bomb may not destroy the lasers immediately, and you might get killed even though you're "safe" inside the explosion.

Spider - 100,000 - Stage 1 middle, Boss Rush (3)
Description: This small, yellow craft extends four arms that wave about and fire single shots at you while it moves in a sideways figure eight pattern. After one repetition, it retracts its arms and fires lasers straight down, fires a rapid double spiral of bullets, and repeats.

Hints: You should attack this boss by bombing it twice and firing on top of the second bomb, in which case it should die before it completes its first figure eight. If you have the Blaster weapon, you can destroy it faster by firing on top of the first bomb and continuing to fire when the bomb finishes. Attempting to dodge the spiral attack is a bad idea, it is far easier to absorb some of the spiral with a charging bomb. It is also possible, but difficult, to fit between the lasers in the second attack phase.

Gate - 200,000 - Stage 2 end, Area 4 end, Boss Rush (4)
Description: The Gate is a stationary, light blue boss that spans the top third of the screen. There is a small area in its center that you can fly over safely. The boss has two arms that swing back and forth while the center fires aimed spreads of three shots. If you hold still at the bottom of the screen, dead center, and charge a bomb, the boss will not hurt you. You may want to dodge sideways anyway, because the arms will touch you if you are not well centered. After the arms have swung 4 times, they retract briefly, exposing the center. Next, the arms may or may not attempt to stab your ship (this attack will reach you at the bottom of the screen). After that, the arms uncurl and the pattern repeats.

Hints: You can bomb the boss immediately when it appears, or if one of the arms swings high enough; otherwise you must wait for the arms to retract in order to do any damage. Note that the arms always swing in exactly the same pattern, and the second iteration of the patttern affords two opportunities to bomb the weak spot through the left arm. A more daring approach is to fly to the top of the screen, before the arms appear, right in front of the weak spot, stay there ,and fire bombs. You will be safe there from the arms, during their first pattern, and the center turret cannot hit you if you keep using bombs.

Blaster - 100,000 - Area 1 end, Boss Rush (5)
Description: This purple, bracket-shaped ship slides diagonally, bouncing off the screen edges, while firing slow 8-way spreads of small, laser-shaped bullets (These can be absorbed by a charging bomb). Once it has gone far enough, it freezes and begins to charge up four heavy beams that fire downwards. These beams have a reduced hit zone, and it is possible to fit between them if you are careful. After the beams fire, a few bursts of 8 homing missiles fire from the center, and the pattern repeats.

Hints: The best strategy here is to bomb the boss immediately and fire on top of the bomb from point blank. With nearly any weapon, this will destroy the boss before it can even fire its beam attack. If you don't want to do this, be ready to bomb the center immediately when the beam attack finishes, in order to protect yourself from the homing missiles.

Alien - 200,000 - Area 5 end, Boss Rush (6)
Description: It's brown and white, and it looks relatively organic to my eyes. Before each attack, it teleports to a random location on the screen. It is possible for it to appear at the very bottom of the screen, making a frontal attack impossible during that wave. Its first attack consists of eight-way spreads of large orbs. The orbs can be destroyed, but they are durable. The spreads alternate between the primary/secondary orientations, i.e. up/down/left/right plus diagonals, and the tertiary orientations that lie between those. The second attack is a rapid stream of smaller destructible orbs fired at an odd angle that bounce off the screen edges.The third pattern repeats the first eight-way pattern, and the fourth pattern consists of four lasers that curve towards the player.

Hints: I have had little success attacking the 8-way pattern frontally; it can be done if you use the Blaster on top of a bomb when the boss has appeared near the top of the screen, but I have still had to dodge the final two rings. It's better to just bomb the boss and then hide as far away as possible while dodging. The second attack can be stopped by a bomb and most any main weapon. Dodge the curving laser pattern by hiding in a bomb explosion. You can usually destroy this boss during its second attack.


Gunship - 200,000 - Stage 3 end, Area 3 end, Boss Rush (7)
Description: This is a large, red, M-shaped ship, with a green bridge, that flies in a sideways figure eight. It sports six weapon pods and a twin laser that fires from the bridge. The bottom two pods fire homing missiles, the middle pair fire single aimed shots, and the top pair fire wide, aimed spreads. The main laser initially fires 1/(n+1) of the time, where n is the number of remaining pods; i.e., it fires 1/7 of the time at first, it fires 1/3 of the time if four pods are destroyed, and it fires continuously if all the pods are destroyed. Destroying the two spread shot pods will also caused the bridge to begin firing unaimed wide spreads.

Hints: The safest strategy is to first bomb just to the right of the left missile pod, fire from inside the bomb, and keep firing until the pod is destroyed. Then, shoot the right missile pod, without the aid of a bomb, unless you think you can dodge the homing missiles long enough to charge a bomb (good luck). After that pod is destroyed, you can block all the shot attacks with charging bombs and attack the bridge at your leisure; just watch out for the main laser. If you have the level 3 Laser, it is easier to bomb the left missile pod and then to attack both missile pods at once, reverting to bombs once both pods are destroyed. If your main weapon is the Blaster, it is possible to destroy the boss in a couple seconds. At the start of the battle, position yourself above the last digit in the high score indicator, and begin charging a bomb. Bomb the bridge immediately when it appears, and fire from inside the bomb while moving with the boss. If you aimed well, the boss will die about when the bomb finishes. If you did not aim so well, you should back away while firing. The boss should still die in a second or two.

Heavy Blaster - 100,000 - Boss Rush (8)
Description: This is a wide, flat, white ship that fires giant green beams down the screen. These beams are one of the only projectiles that will penetrate a bomb explosion, so you cannot hide. The beams fire from five tubes in a fixed, cyclic pattern. The boss is very fast, but its movement is somewhat predictable. At a certain key time during its attack, it will check your ship's vertical position. If you are too close to the top of the screen, it will move away from you. Otherwise, it will move towards you.

Hints: Your best bet here is to set your speed to 4 and bomb continuously where you think the boss will go. Regular weapons are of limited use here, as they are stopped by the green beams. If you can destroy this boss with 3 bombs, you are doing well. As an alternate strategy, you can set your speed to 1 or 0 and try to fit between the beams while attacking with regular weapons, but I haven't tried this approach very much.

Gravity Ship - 100,000 - Boss Rush (9)
Description: This small, dark blue craft emits white and black holes that respectively push and pull on your ship. It is safe to fly over these holes. In addition, the ship fires unaimed wide shot spreads and single lasers straight down the screen. If you are too far up the screen, it may try to ram you.

Hints: The safe approach here is to stay low and to fire from behind bombs. It is very dangerous to hold a bomb when the boss is nearly aligned with your ship due to the single laser beam. Diagonally firing weapons are a great help in this fight.

Crab - 200,000 - Caravan end, Boss Rush (10)
Description: This huge, light blue boss moves slowly from side to side. It has four laser pods, two near the weak spot and two further out attached to long arms. The pods fire one at a time in a fixed order. They always alternate from the left side to the right side, so the firing order is known after two shots. If all four pods are destroyed, it begins firing ultra-fast laser spreads from the center. Therefore, destroying all the pods is not recommended. If the long arms remain when the boss dies, they will swing in circles and can destroy your ship.

Hints: You should bomb the center twice, fire on top of the second bomb, and be done with this boss quickly.

White Snake - 0 - Stage 2 middle, Area 7 middle
Description: This snake appears from the top center of the screen and curls around somewhat randomly.

Hints: Charge a bomb when the head is concealed, and attack with everything when it is exposed. Don't crowd this snake too much, as it is easy to become trapped.

Blue Snake - 0 - Stage 2 middle, Area 7 middle
Description: This snake also appears from the top center of the screen, but it moves more slowly and heads straight for your ship. After doing this for a few seconds, it pauses and then strikes: It stretches to double its normal length, moves very fast, and bounces off the screen edges. Then, the pattern repeats.

Hints: If you have two S pods, you should be able to destroy it before its first strike. Bomb it when it appears. Then, while it follows you, lead it in a big arc around half the screen, and try to leave the head exposed from below when it stops moving. Fire continuously, and it should die in seconds. If you can't do this, then try, if you can, to lead the strike so that it doesn't end next to the spot from which it struck, because the tail will be there, disappear first, and open up maneuvering room. The Blue Snake has a wide enough turning radius that it can encircle you without touching you. However, if you get trapped and you can't destroy it before it strikes, you almost certainly will not dodge it.

Bomber - 0 - Stage 3 middle, Area 3 middle, Area 5 middle
Description: This white craft is about the size of your own ship. It appears at a random location on the screen and emits a dense cloud of bullets. You are pretty safe from the cloud with a charging bomb, but if you have no pods and it appears low and far enough to your side, a bullet can get around the charge and hit you. After the bullet storm, the boss appears, fires a slow-moving bomb at you, launches another bullet storm, and repeats the pattern.

Hints: You should bomb the boss as soon as it appears (not when the fight starts) and fire on top of the bomb. With the Blaster or Laser, you might manage to destroy it before it can start another bullet storm (but watch out for the bomb).

Destroyer - 100,000 - Stage 4 end, Area 7 end
Description: This is a good boss to hate. It's about the size of a typical large enemy, it moves faster than your ship's top speed, and it bounces almost randomly around the screen. It has four attacks that fire in a fixed cycle. The first attack consists of a rapid burst of downward lasers, which it generally fires while moving sideways very fast. For its second attack, it moves near the bottom of the screen and fires a solid line of homing missiles out its backside. The third attack consists of several streams of regular shots aimed at your ship. The fourth is two rings of small, destructible orbs that move slowly outwards.

Hints: The most reliable strategy here is to bomb immediately and then to attack non-stop with your main weapon. If you have at least 2 lives in reserve, you can outlast the boss. Otherwise, basically, you need as much skill and luck as you can get. Having 2 Smart pods helps a lot, as does having the Five-way or Homing weapon. It is possible to charge bombs during all the attacks except the homing missile attack, although navigating the orb attack without firing is hard (hope you still have pods...). Your ship's dying explosions may do most of the damage in this fight.

Mystery - ? - Ending
Description: After the game credits, your ship will land on a blue and green platform like that at the start of the game. As soon as it lands, explosions will run down the platform sefveral times, and you will launch again to investigate. You will immediately find a large, greenish yellow ship, and the game will end.

Hints: To my knowledge, this ship cannot be fought. However, if you have pods, you can fire them during the ending, and if you have Smart pods they will aim at its core.

6. EXTRA

6.1 Miscellaneous Discussion

Rank: There is no rank system in Recca. Slowdown and choking, described below, may be manipulated to affect the game's difficulty, but I don't consider that a proper rank system.

Weapon Selection: Usually, Laser level 3 and Smart pods are the best weapons to use. The Blaster is superior for speeding through the Boss Rush. Five-way is nice for quick firepower after you die. A high-level Vulcan is versatile, but usually not as nice as a level 3 Laser. The Homing weapon should be avoided most of the time.

The Charge Bomb Is Powerful: Not only does it do a lot of damage, but even when you aren't firing it, it neutralizes incoming shots. This makes several of the game's more impressive attacks, like the Spider's double spiral, utterly harmless. If you're about to get hit by a bullet, just stop firing and you can often save yourself.

Slowdown: As the screen begins to crowd with enemies, the game slows down due to the Famicom's (severely) limited processing power. The slowdown does not get out of hand, to my taste, but it occurs very frequently. This Slowdown can make the game easier in places, and it can be manipulated, e.g. by not firing or not collecting powerups. Conversely, if you don't like slowdown, you should destroy everything and collect powerups quickly.

Choking: This is another way of dealing with too many sprites. If the screen is very crowded, it may be impossible for the game to place some enemies that are called for by the script (due to the Famicom's 64 sprite limit). In this case, the requested enemies simply do not appear. This can impede scoring, but it can also be manipulated to make certain passages -- especially in Area 7 -- much easier.

What's up with the timer?: Being a Japanese game, Recca is an NTSC game, so it runs at 60 FPS, right? Well, the clock in the game appears to run at 50 FPS. What gives? Is it a crude method to compensate for slowdown?

Great Scores for Caravan Modes: I am aware of Score Attack scores between 525,000 and 530,000 and a Time Attack result of 3:47:12.

6.2 Secrets

Note: Some of these secrets involve pressing a lot of buttons at once, which may be problematic if one is emulating the game and using a PC keyboard.

Hard Mode: Complete Normal Mode and wait for the credits to finish. Once the text "(c) 1992 naxatsoft" appears, do a soft reset. The title screen will have changed, and selecting Normal Game will begin the Hard Game instead. It can also be accessed by using Stage Select to begin on stage 05.
Zanki Attack: Reset the game, and hold A+B. Press and hold Start to begin a normal game, without releasing A+B. Finally, press and hold Up+Select (5 buttons total).
Sound Test: From the title screen, select Normal Game and press Start to begin. Before the screen fades, press and hold Select. The top number is for soundtracks, the bottom number is for effects. Track titles (from OST) and game locations follow:
Code:
01 - AD2302 - Unused
02 - Recca - Title, Area 7
03 - Jetter - Stage 1a, Area 5a
04 - M.O.M - Stage 1b, Area 3, Area 5b
05 - Hyde - Stage 2, Area 6
06 - Hiener - Caravan a
07 - Elm-39 - Stage 3, Stage 4
08 - Gelgoog - Caravan b
09 - Tera - Area 2
10 - Deepspace - Area 4
11 - Crisis - Boss fights
12 - Bostune - Final boss
13 - Death-troy - Ending
14 - Over - Game Over
15 - D.A.D - Area 1
16 - Lovin' You - Unused
17 - Dreamin' You - Unused
18 - Throbbin' You - Unused

Change Limit: After a reset, before the title screen, some swirling text appears. Hold Select while this text fades, and a dialog saying CHANGE LIMIT will appear. Press Start to exit.
Stage Select: Access the sound test without releasing Start. Press A+B+Select, and a number should appear in the lower right, indicating the starting stage. Pressing A+B+Select again will increment that number. 01-04 correspond to Normal Game stages, 05-11 are Hard Game stages, and 12 is the Score/Time Attack stage. If Hard Mode is active, 05 will show to begin with. Press Start when done, and shoose Normal Game.
Infinite Lives: Access the Change Limit screen. While holding A+B+Up+Select, press Start to return to the main menu, and begin any game mode (including Zanki Attack).

6.3 Links

Yes, a lot of these are in Japanese only, and therefore no, I can't read them.

Saltomatic: website of Nobuyuki Shioda, game music composer.
Memories, lots of information on KID and Recca.
Lots of screenshots and game discussion.
Tiff used to have a lot of information on hacking the Recca ROM and several interesting patches for download.
ROM patches by Sliver X that add Hard Game and Zanki Attack to the title screen. The sound test is translated, too.

6.4 Things to Do

These are things that should be added or fixed, eventually.

- Determine point values of arm segments, boss parts, bullets in bomb explosion
- Better strategy vs. Gravity Ship and Destroyer
- Find time limit for Normal/Hard Game (I think it's 1 hour)
- Get a better version of the story
- Find official boss names, if they exist
- Describe the Caravan stage
- Fix the mistakes


Last edited by shiftace on Fri Jan 26, 2007 2:22 am, edited 11 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2005 12:46 pm 


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Is this the same game as Summer Carnival '92 on PCE CD?


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2005 12:53 pm 


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DC906270 wrote:
Is this the same game as Summer Carnival '92 on PCE CD?


No, that's Alzadick. Recca is Famicom-only.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2005 1:42 am 


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Corrections so far:

12/31/05
- Added some info from Ghegs on Zanki Attack
- Corrected the instructions for Stage Select. No wonder I couldn't make it work. Whoops.
- Added soundtrack information to Secrets

12/04/05
- Edited the links a little bit.

09/30/05
- Changed some wording
- Added section headings
- Boss descriptions: Created separate, marked, description and hints for each boss
- Scoring: Noted that missing a score medal resets the value counter
- Scoring: Changed large enemy point values (again)
- Scoring: Mentioned tapping B.
- Miscellaneous: Mentioned that there is no rank.

09/21/05:
- Alien: worth 100,000, not 200,000

09/19/05:
- Fixed some typos
- Scoring: Added point value for munitions
- Scoring: Changed large enemy point values (On closer inspection, I found no evidence that their values can vary. Must have been imagining things...)
- Scoring: Estimated the cost of dying
- Stage 3: There are 4 sets of laser turrets, not 2.
- Gate: Switched left/right arm in one strategy
- Gate: Added another strategy
- Blaster: Confirmed absorption of laser shots
- Gunship: Blaster strategy: atop ones digit is better than right of ones digit
- Bomber: Noted extra bullet storm
- Miscellaneous: Added "Slowdown" and "Choking"

01/10/07:
- Ghegs figured out how to access Zanki Attack and infinite lives.
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Last edited by shiftace on Wed Jan 10, 2007 11:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2007 2:39 pm 


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Thanks to a japanese site, Babelfish and some experimentation, I figured out how to access Zanki mode.

Hold A and B while booting up the game and keep them down while doing the following: press Start to begin the game and hold the button, then before the screen fades press and hold Select and Up. Don't release any of the buttons until Zanki has begun.

For Zanki with infinite lives:

Go into Change Limit. Press and hold A, B, Select and Up. Press Start to go to the main menu, then press and hold Start to begin Zanki.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 5:27 am 


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Hey, nice find. Shorter and more manic than Hard Mode. I like the fact that defensive play may let you score 50 without a lot of trouble (relatively), but a "perfect" score requires you to destroy everything for extends and face the ocean of suicide bullets. Point-blank kills are very dangerous, and I think I got hit by suicide bullets appearing inside my ship once or twice. The bomb's pulsating nature is significant too, as the edges of the explosion are not completely safe.

I'm a little curious about how Zanki Attack was designed. It feels like some sort of experiment or demonstration of what's possible with an unlimited-use defensive bomb: The bomb is a bit overpowered, maybe even out of place, in the other, more ordinary game modes, but the steady flood of suicide bullets in Zanki Attack makes it appropriate and essential. I should stop rambling now. Thanks for the info.
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I hacked the game, allowing Zanki Attack and Hard to be selected from the title screen:

http://shmups.system11.org/viewtopic.php?t=12264

This way you can avoid most of the hand mangling codes. ;)


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 Post subject: Hard Zanki Attack
PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 5:57 am 


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You may want to mention that Zanki Attack can be played in the hard stages as well as the Normal Game, I believe. I don't think Score Attack and Time Attack are different in hard mode, though I could be wrong.

Also Shiftace, have you considered submitting this to GameFAQs? I submitted the button codes you listed to GameFAQs and put a note to the admin to give you credit but I'll leave it up to you if you want to submit a FAQ.


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 Post subject: Re: Hard Zanki Attack
PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 10:16 pm 



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Tidegear wrote:
Also Shiftace, have you considered submitting this to GameFAQs? I submitted the button codes you listed to GameFAQs and put a note to the admin to give you credit but I'll leave it up to you if you want to submit a FAQ.

From my understanding, anything that is posted on shmups (main site or forums) as a FAQ or help guide of any sort cannot leave it or be posted elsewhere, unless certified by the site owner(s).
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I thought about sending it to GameFAQs back in 2005, but now, no. I kind of don't want to touch it any more, although some parts are too wordy and prosaic, I think. How did I ever type so many words about anything? Oh, and the links are dying. I think I got the secret codes from the Memories site, which largely vanished after some fuss about intellectual property rights in Japan or the like.

The Carnival modes shouldn't care if the game is set to normal/hard. Can you play Zanki Attack in the hard stages on an unhacked game?
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 Post subject: Re: Hard Zanki Attack
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LGB wrote:
From my understanding, anything that is posted on shmups (main site or forums) as a FAQ or help guide of any sort cannot leave it or be posted elsewhere, unless certified by the site owner(s).

facts aren't covered by copyright


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 Post subject: Re: Hard Zanki Attack
PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 1:08 pm 


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LGB wrote:
From my understanding, anything that is posted on shmups (main site or forums) as a FAQ or help guide of any sort cannot leave it or be posted elsewhere, unless certified by the site owner(s).

What someone writes is their own property. If shiftace wanted to post his guide elsewhere (personal site, GameFAQs, etc.) he could. There are basically two things we do not want:

First, do not copy someone else's guide without their permission. If there is a great Raiden II guide on GameFAQs, you cannot copy and paste it as a thread here without the original author's explicit consent. That should be basic manners, anyway.

Second, please do not delete or otherwise remove your guide. While you might not play the game any more, others may find some of your old notes interesting or helpful. We would prefer any content written for the Strategy section to remain-- even if it might be slightly out of date. If you want to keep a more up-to-date version of your guide elsewhere, please leave the old version here, but add a note and a link to the current version at the top. The redundancy means we are not dependent on other sources for data which is a plus if their domains expire.


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 Post subject: Re: ST: Recca (Summer Carnival '92 Recca)
PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 7:20 pm 


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For the end of game boss i find its best to use blasters, if you bomb it at first and then shoot you can get most of its health down very fast. Using blasters i find i only lose 1 life if any. :)

also i find the homing weapon (even lv 1) to be usefull on stage 2 after the 1st snake, and also just as good as the lv 3 laser at the 2nd half of stage 3 where those laser turrets are, and change back to lv3 laser to takle the last row of laser turrents that appear with those 2 large ships that spew lots of missiles thereby trapping u in (kill them asap so u can dodge and take out the turrets. If not u can dodge the laser shots by moving up instead of stafing)
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