This thread has survived the last forum onslaught because of Maco's brilliant work! Many thanks for your help
0.0 BRIEF INTRODUCTION
Border Down is an horizontal shmup from G.Rev, a bunch of former Taito guys.Yoshihiro Moriyama, supposedly the G.Rev chief, worked on " Metal Black "(Taito,1991) as programmer ( in the "bit pattern" section of the credits you will see his/her name), whereas he was one of main designers/programmers/project leaders on " G.Darius " (Taito,1997). Hideyoshi Katoh worked on "Rayforce" (Taito,1993: also known as "Gunlock", "Layer Section","Galactic Attack"), "Raystorm" (Taito,1996:also known as "Layer Section II") and "Raycrisis" (Taito 1998), mainly as designer (in the sense of "graphics designer").These two persons are the main "heads" behind the "Taito-ishness" of this game: worthy of mention is also Yasuhisa Watanabe (Yack), former Zuntata member, who composed the soundtrack, he also worked on "Metal Black".
Why i defined this game as "Taito-ish"? The game combines elements of gameplay borrowed from Moruyama's works, and elements of design borrowed from Katoh's works: also, Yack's style is easily recognizable, since he and Hisayoshi Ogura (OGR) are perhaps the most famous Zuntata members (together with Tamayo Kawamoto, who worked on the "Rayseries").Some of his works: " Growl " (Taito,1990:also known as "Runark"), " Gun Frontier " (Taito,1990:with OGR)," Metal Black "(Taito,1991).
Last But not least:i'll skip any comments and informations on the plot,but point out a little reference/pun:your ship (known as "Red Wasp", a new prototype class of ship, remotely controlled by R.A.I.N. system...Remote Artificial Intelligence Network) is a mix of the "Silver Hawk" ("Darius" series main ship) and the "Black Fly" ("Metal Black" ship).Red wasp, silver hawk, black fly...they seem to be pretty obsessed by coloured animals! (uhm, birds and bees too...).
One caveat to the "emptores": this guide will cover the arcade mode only, frankly i don't have a clue on the remix mode (if you do, please contribute with your knowledge!).
Now, once we know who did what, we can talk about the game,but please take note that i'm reprinting here all the acrnyms,that will be explained during the guide:
BL: Break Laser
BLS: Break Laser Sphere
NBC:Number of Bullets Cancelled
In this section we'll dal with the basic mechanics of the game,what you are required to know to properly play and enjoy the game at its fullest.First,let's start with the
1.1 POWER LEVEL BAR
The source of power for both your attacks.It is located at the bottom-centre of the screen, and it consists of a yellow bar always filling the black part, when not using the BL.Yes, its (and not "it's") increase is based on time, so staying alive means that it will go up.There are also two other ways to increase your energy level:
a)Destroy enemies.The bigger the enemy, the more energy you will get for its destruction.
b)Energy balls.They are released by the green carriers, and each of them is worth half a a bar of energy.They are always released in couples, in the arcade mode: in the remix mode, the other larger enemies also release one of them, and some mid-bosses release one ball too (see figure).
A quick way to determine what's your power level is,obviously,being aquainted with your shot, but in case you wonder: there are 5 small squares on the upper-right side of your power bar (as shown in the figure), and a number at the right side.
Each yellow-filled square means a power level reached.same thing with the number...But you should actually learn to recognize your power level by the number/type of shots: you will learn to check the power bar when using the BL,mainly.Once you arrive at a full level 5 bar,that's enough: all extra energy will be lost, and the energy balls will be worth 10k points.That's all you need to know...
1.1.1 MAIN SHOTS
You have two types of main shot: if you hold down the A button, your ship
will fire a forward (left-to-right ) shot, if you tap your ship will shoot a single forward bullet and a salvo of homing lasers, whose number depends on your power level.There's a trick to mix short streams of both attacks: shoot a few homing lasers,then hold down the button.You will have a a quick stream of homing lasers before switching to the forward shot.If you can juggle between these two attacks, you can have a very fast stream of homing lasers with a few forward interpolated shots,which can be pretty devastating if used at point-blank range.It also basically substitutes auto-fire, to some degree...A brief discussion on the
126.96.36.199 FORWARD LASER
It is shot by holding down the "A" button, as i said,and it's a frontal (left to right) stream.Now, one thing you will surely notice is that your power level seems not to be "homogeneous": the level 1 forward laser is narrow, but pretty powerful,almost like a piercing attack, even more than the wider level 2 attack.Don't be fooled: the level 2 attack is better, you just need to aim all the bullet streams on the enemy.The same discourse is valid for the level 3,level 4 and level 5 shots, bearing in mind that that they're even wider,so point-blanking the enemy becomes the best option in some cases, in order to place all hits on said enemy.Also, in the glorious (ehm...) "Darius" tradition, the closer you are to the right side, the higher the fire rate is.This means that if you're close to the right side (or an enemy), you will shoot more lasers.Point-blank or close-to-right-border positions will grant you a rate close to auto-fire...the inverse phenomenon will appear if you're close-to-left or very distant from enemies,of course. Now, let's talk about the
188.8.131.52 HOMING LASER
The homing laser is shot by tapping the "A" button,and is pretty useful when dealing with enemies from all angles, but its lower fire rate renders it almost useless when dealing with tougher (and larger enemies).A wise mix of both attacks can be pretty devastating,though.Damage is actually the same, if you compare the two different attacks.One insteresting thing is that,if you destroy an enemy one of your homing lasers was going to hit, the laser will change target: if it can't hit targets, it will go outside the screen (with tears in its eyes...uhm, apologies for this lame joke -_- .The point-blank discourse is valid for this attack too, you still have to tap when shooting,of course.Once we have explained what are the basic attacks controlled by the "A" button, let's talk about the
1.1.2 BREAK LASER
Break Cancel Laser, or Break Laser (BL) is your smart bomb and the key to access higher scores (more on this in the score section).It's simple to use it: press "B" button and hold it if you need to.Its usage is limited by the amount of energy you have in stock.When triggering the laser,you will immediately consume half a bar of energy, and after a second the energy will start going down at the rate of 1 bar every ~2.5 seconds (not absolutely sure, please allow me an error coefficient).This actually means that you can you can shoot a continuous BL for ~12.5 seconds, provided that you don't get killed or you trigger a BLS. The damage the laser does can be considered as roughly about twice the damage dealt by a full level 5 forward shot at point blank (not immensely indicative, i know, let's say that you will need 1 second instead of 2 seconds to take down the violet carriers).
The BL has also a far more important purpose: it cancels all bullets on its path (but see below for some notes).Aside increasing your score, it also helps "cleaning up" the screen from unpleasant messes of bullets.Actually, the are two attacks that can't be cancelled by the BL: the floating mines (they will explode if hit, though) and one attack from the 6A/6B final boss (which is an " homage " to raystorm's final boss,to be euphemistic...).This aspect will be explored in detail later.
Another fundamental aspect is when you do a laser fight with a boss (or a mid-boss,or any enemy that will shoot a laser): when the two lasers will meet, their clashing point will be the centre of a BLS. The BLS is the most devastating attack you can use during the game, because:
a)It will damage anything in its volume (even if we should talk of superficies, since the game is a 2.5D one ^_^);
b)It will also cancel all bullets in said volume;
c)it will deal a bigger damage to all hit enemies, about twice the amount of normal laser;
d)It will last more than the normal laser, roughly 30% (about 16 seconds,if you go from a full level 5 to zero ).
EXAMPLE OF A BREAK LASER SPHERE
How does it work,actually? Simple: when a given enemy fires up its laser, you shoot it back and a sphere of energy, roughly the height of screen in diameter, will be created in a couple of seconds, causing all the effects in the list (this by the mix of the two lasers: consider them two fluxi of liquids,more or less).A couple of seconds,because it has to grow to its full dimensions after some contrast with the other laser: if you stop cancelling the other laser, the uncomplete energy sphere will go against the enemy,dealing less damage than a full sphere could do (not mentioning the volume-based effect).One important thing to notice is the "backlash" (for the sake of a better term) effect: when you shoot the laser, the ship will slowly go back, an obvious reaction to laser's force.This effect, combined with the only partial invulnerability, may be quite tricky.
A trick to use when you don't want to quickly take down bosses: avoid focusing the sphere too much near them.Remember, the damage dealt by the sphere is very high, you can destroy any boss save the very last form of 6C/6D boss (which has a silly amount of hit points...) quickly.
The trick to have a more distant/smaller BLS, in most cases, is not to fully contrast the enemy's laser:why?
a)The centre of the sphere is at the centre of the contact surface of the two fluxi of energy (small gain, you can have the said centre a few millimetres to the left);
b)To grow, the sphere needs to absorb energy, and it absorbs energy faster if the contact surface of the two fluxi is bigger (big gain:straight " laser vs laser " is obviously the best).
Also,there's a trick to do when your energy is almost depleted,or when you can mix main shot and BL.In the crystal-clear words of T-Hawk (many thanks for the help!):
The BL doesn't appear and disappear instantly. When you start firing it, it takes about a half-second for it to extend from your ship over to the right side of the screen (slow "laser", eh?) The same principle applies when you stop firing it (either if you release the button or if the BL runs out) - there can still be some BL "in-flight" and that can kill the enemy and award you some energy (because you get energy if you're not _currently_ using BL.).
This more or less everything you need to know about the BL.
At this point we can study how you the devices you will use to dodge, more or less: or
1.2 MOVEMENT AND COLLISION
This is pretty simple:you can choose between 3 speed levels with the "C" button. My comment on it: speed 1 and 2 are,well, speed 1 and 2.Speed 3 seems more speed 4,considering the other two levels.Speed is important because you will actually need to change it in key places, trust me.Also, the faster you are, the shorter you can collide with walls.Let's say that roughly it's 1.5 seconds for speed 1, 1 second for speed 2, half second or less for speed 3.Now, When "scratching" (without scoring, wrong game, sorry!) against walls and other superficies, your whole ship is the collision area, but for normal bullets, only the cockpit is the hit box (the green thing in the rough centre of the ship).This more or less means a small area,duh.When using the laser, aside from the backlash effect, you also slow down a bit (75% of speed, and then you should consider a bit some physics,going left while being moved to right, vectors, this stuff -_- ).That's all more or less, just be careful with speeds, try them out in different sections to see what you are most comfortable with, and when (see figure for the speed bar).
Once we know how the game works, we can talk about scoring.
2.1 SCORING TECNIQUES
A fundamental thing to score well in this game is knowing when to trigger the BL and how.Now, the border also contributes with a multiplier to your score, but since the best score on a non-final stage comes from the third stage, on green border (but with a smart trick,see later in the guide), scoring is more about triggering huge BL than anything.How?This will be explained in detail in the next two sessions.First, let's say that you need to know how many points you're doing on a stage and how distant you are from the Norm Clear.You have a disk (the "score-o-metre"!) on the bottom right corner: this disk will have a score at his centre, which is the amount of points you need to do on the given stage to Norm Clear (from now on, NC).The more you score, the more the disk fills with yellow, showing basically the percentage you have of said score.Once you fill it, you hear a noisy beep and the disk will be filled, since you have obtained the NC.What's the NC,then?The ability to raise or lower one border after completing a level (and one only): Border Up and Border Down (from now on, BU and BD), respectively .Now, when you start a BL and start cancelling bullets, after the tenth, you will see the disk switching with a counter keeping the bullet count " (N) HIT", with N being the number of bullets.The counter stops at 999 hits:it means you can't cancel more bullets and get an higher multiplier.Since we're talking of BL and multipliers, let' go into the next section:
2.1.1 HOW TO USE THE BL
It's pretty simple: build up your power level and unleash the BL against key enemies.Why?Simple, because:
a)For every cancelled bullet, you get a multiplier,given by the hit count,on everything you destroy: if you destroy an enemy worth 2k points after you cancelled 100 bullets, your score will be 2kX100=200k.Picture it in a congested place,and you can easily understand how to get millions.
b)Every bullet cancelled will give you 5k at the end of the stage.
c)If you start a BLS, the hits done against the enemy's laser(about 3 per second, something more i'd say) are worth nx100 points,bullets cancelled with the BLS are to computed in this sum too.
d)Last but not least,the first 4 seconds you use a BL/BLS,you're invicible.
Please have a look at the pic and notice the multiplier appearing next to enemies when using the BL:
Now, once you know this, it's easy to understand that if, you destroy bosses, mid-bosses, large enemies after having cancelled many bullets, you will score easily a large amount of points. Let's Make an example:
the violet carriers come in two forms, the simple and the "laser-enhanced" ones.The latter has a basic value of 3k points, and will start a laser after a few seconds it will appear on the screen.Let's say that you manage to cancel 300 bullets and then destroy it.You will get 3000X300=900.000 points, plus (estimate count) 300(301)/2x100~4M points.This means that you can quickly get 4,9M instead of just 3k points.Not bad ^_^!
Now, remember one important thing: you should always try to use the BL or BLS to cancel a lot of bullets and then destroy the enemies.In some cases you will use it to cancel a lot of bullets alone (5k end-of-stage bonus, and you avoid getting a screen full of bullets), but in those cases it's suggested to just to quick sweeps to clean the screen.
Now, this is one aspect of scoring. The other direct aspect is
2.1.2 BORDER MULTIPLIER
Now, every stage has three borders, or different approaches to the same stage.This basically means that the route you perform in your mission changes if you are on a different border.At the beginning of a new game, you choose your border, and thus the difficulty of the stage: Green Border means "easy stage" (from now on GB), Yellow Border means "medium-skills stage" (from now on YB), Red Border means "Difficult stage" (from now on RB). Now, if you get hit on GB, you will restart your mission on YB: if hit on YB, you will restart on RB, and hit once more, it's game over.
AN EXAMPLE OF BORDERING DOWN
This basically means that you only BD during stages,changing border when you need to: during boss fights, you will instantly respawn.I suggest you to avoid thinking in terms of "lives", because the game basically is more about following a given route and intentionally BD ( or BU) at some points.If you are playing for score, you basically have to one-life it, there's no room for unintended BD,sorry. Now, playing on YB and RB has an advantage: on YB, every enemy is worth twice the GB value (planes are worth 200 points, instead of 100), on RB they're worth thrice the value (thus 300 points instead of 100). Now, every mid-boss is worth 5k and every boss 10k: on YB, 10k and 20k, on RB 15k and 30k.It's pretty obvious that you can score three times the points on a boss, if you destroy it on RB instead of GB.Add the BLS effects and you can easily pass from a few millions to tens of millions in a few seconds.
NOTE:The points obtained by countering a laser in a BLS are still the same, Nx100, regardless of border.
Now, we have covered all the direct aspects of scoring.Time to consider the indirect aspects of this process, by explaining the
2.2. BONUSES AND RANK
Which are the game mechanics that will make you score outside the single stages:how?Let's see first the
After a stage, you will get a bonus, based on your performance during the stage and on the boss.The first bonus you get is based on the Number of of Cancelled Bullets during a stage, from now on NCB.You will get 5k points per every bullet cancelled, so this first bonus is:
Also, every boss battle has a timer: the closer you destroy the boss to 0 seconds, the closer your Time Bonus (from now on TB) will be to 3 millions. Now, this is a chart that will tell you how many points the TB will be worth:
More than 60 seconds --->0
From 60 to 35 seconds--->From 100 to 1 million points
From 34,99 to 15 seconds--->From 1.000.100 to 2 million points
From 14,99 to 0 seconds--->From 2.000.100 to 3 million points
From -0.01 to -3 seconds--->From 2.999.900 to 2 million points
From -3.01 to -7 seconds--->From 1.999.900 to 1 million points
From -7.01 to -10 seconds--->From 999.900 to 0 points
Every 2.5 seconds more in delay, up to -30secs--->-1 million,up to -8 million points.
So, as you can see, you should take down the boss somewhere between +14.99 and -3 seconds.But if you're faster or slower, don't worry, after all it's a small bonus.Just don't go beyond -10 seconds (to avoid the malus for too much time).
As a final bonus after completing the game (regardless of the number of credits used), you will get 3 million points per NC obtained:
Now, we have actually have defined almost everything in the game, save for one peculiar game mechanic, which i don't consider simply as a way to increase difficulty, but more as an instrument to increase your score, and it's
I don't want to lose time commenting on rank, you can see my review of the game (not up yet:6th of March 2004) for my thoughts on the subject.
What you should actually learn is to see rank as your source of scoring opportunities.As we said, BL and bullets are the key to score: rank increases bullets' number and their speed, so you can understand that once you get used to the increased speed, you will have more bullets to cancel.Now, how to use rank in your favour?Well, it pretty simple: as i said, you shouldn't BD unless you need to. This basically means that you should avoid BD before the third stage, and from then on, only if you need to, and after at completing one section.This aspect will be covered in detail later in this guide, but let's just say you aren't allowed, for scoring purposes, to BD immediately, or in any different points from the ones i indicate as critical.Why it is so? Well, Rank increases in two cases:
1)If you stay alive (duh!);
2)If you get a NC;
This basically means that the game will shoot you a lot of bullets if you play for score, but that what's you need: transform those bullets into bonuses and multipliers.Now, consider that you basically have a timer that will increase the rank in function of the time of continuous (without BDs) play:it will trigger two mechanisms, that are
a)The later you BD, the faster your rank will increase;
b)The earlier you BD, the slower rank will increase.
This is to be applied on a local and global level.Why?
a)Local: the later you die in a stage,the lower your rank will decrease;
b)Global:the above effects are to be applied to the whole play;
They're basically the two aspects of the same process, which will ignore late BDs to preserve scoring opportunities and make the game more difficult, and will consider you inept if you die at the first stage, thus preventing the rank to increase too quickly (sorry for the "inept" -_-; ) .
This is the reason why you shouldn't BD at all before the third stage: to get the rank at 100%.The rank is a function of how many seconds you're alive, and there should be actually two different timers, one working during stages, another during bosses, from i can guess.Also, the NC rank increase seems to be progressive,this increase based on the amount of NC you obtain: this means that the fifth NC will be surely consistent (i think the first is worth a +10% in rank, and its value increases of 5% every other NC...so the fifth should be worth +30%.Take this cum grano salis, honestly).
That is all, i think, for the Basics.Advanced tecniques are based on Borders and the way to squeeze points off them.This post will be edited to add a few helping tools, once i figure out a way to edit pics in a comprehensible way.
Now, let's talk about the
3.1 A BRIEF INTRODUCTION
In this section we'll deal with stages and Bosses, mainly.In order to do this, we will also study how to maximize our routes for score.Now, the key to score in this game,aside knowing how to use BLs and BLSs, is knowing which borders to do and what to do on those borders.As we already said, the BD has to be intentional in order to be useful, and we also already said that it basically means to 1-life the game.Sad but true - an old shmup habit of horizontal scrollers has been revived,but, well, that's life: after all, it has been the case for all Darius games that a 1-life completion is the best way to obtain sound scores. Since G.Rev basically blended the concept of "life" (as "number of ships to be lost before the game over screen", before some lunatic may start to quarrel on this expression) with the concept of "level" (of difficulty), creating the "Border" system, this philosophy has changed a bit, basically by promoting a border selection to meet given goals.
What does it means, honestly? Let's first try to set goals. Now, the game has 4 possible final stages: 6A,6B,6C,6D. In order to obtain one of them, we have to base ourselves on two parametres:
1)How many NC obtained after stage 5 (discriminating value: 3 or less);
2)Border Composition, in terms of percentage (from now on it's BC):you need to spend at least 50% of the time on a border to trigger a given final stage;
Once we have defined these two parametres, we actually can figure out what final stage we'll get after completing stage 5:
1)If the NC value is 3 or less,6A;
2)If the NC value is 4 or more,and the BC has not any Border at more than 50%, 6A;
3-a)If the NC value is 4 or more,and the BC has GB at 50% or more,6B;
3-b)If the NC value is 4 or more,and the BC has YB at 50% or more,6C;
3-c)If the NC value is 4 or more, and the BC has RB at 50% or more,6D;
Four NCs are the necessary,but not sufficient, condition to get any final stage than 6A, basically.
Now, BC can be easily seen on with the said option truned on from the "options" menu, and no one will start calling you "cheater!" (i won't, considering auto-fire hacks abound in the Land of Rising Sun...).It will show a bar and on this bar, it will show the amount of time you've spent on a border by a given percentage of the opportune colour. This means that if you spend half of the time on RB, you will have half of the bar coloured in red. Now, there's one thing that is pretty obvious: the BC isn't actually that easy to be read.This is not a problem, though, since we're basically sticking to well-tested routes.These well-tested routes will grant you at least a 50% on the needed border, and a lot of points, once you can manage the costant 100% rank, the difficult passages, the...uhm, never mind -_-;;;
At this point,let's also define an instrument to keep track of our route,which is ready to read and to write.As you surely have noticed, when you BD you see an interference screen (what Frank Boyd sees in the R.A.I.N. system) that maps your route, and you also have noticed that every stage is divided in three sections.These three sections are the two parts of the stage and the boss battle, and in order to keep track of your route, we will use a this formal code:
1.G G G 2.Y Y Y/R 3.Y R R
Now, how it is meant to be read?the number is clearly the stage: stage 1, 2, etc. The three letters are the border on which you play the subsections.In the example, at the second stage, we can see how to formalize a BD:
2.Y Y Y/R*
The section with the asterisk is the one where you BD, but i'll always point out the exact moment to do it in the notes, in order to be clear and disambiguous. Another note on this:
3.Y* R R
This basically means that you BD after clearing 75% of a section, and the game basically respawns you at the next section.It's something you should avoid, it may cut off a few millions in some critical sections.
At this point, we can try to write a typical complete route:
1.R R R 2.Y Y Y 3.G G G/Y/R* 4.Y Y Y 5.G/Y/R** R R--->6A (YR***).
*twice immediately at the boss
**twice after the carrier
***immediately to get the carrier at level 4.
(This is the 6A route, btw).As you can see, you can actually be pretty synthetic, once you know how the stages and bosses are meant to be approached ^_^.
Also:since the BC is based on the amount of time you pass on a given border, we should actually have a good idea on how long the stages are, and how to BP or BD during stages to meet our requirements.Now, i'll write the stages and their total length in paretheses:
1. 45" 45" 1'10" (~2'40")
2. 1' 1' 1'40" (~3'40")
3. 1'30" 1'30" 2'20" (~5'20")
4. 1'40" 1'20" 2'00" (~5'00")
5. 1' 1'50" 3'00" (~5'50")
The total time,ignoring repeated sections, is 22'30".This means that you need at least 11'15" on a border to meet the BC requirement.
Last thing, let's have a pic where all elements of the game are shown together:
BORDER POSITION, BORDER COMPOSITION AND NORM CLEAR DISK
Now, once we have explained how the mechanics controlling the routes work, we can actually approach the various stages and their bosses.Now, the actual point is this:all four routes tend to resemble each other, because there are some small differences and one key stage: 3rd stage,GB. If you exclude the 6C and 6D final stages, it's the most rewarding stage (score-wise,but it's also very so good to beat the crap out of this boss...uh ^^ in the game, and most of the points come from the boss, as we'll see later.At this point it's time to to talk about the
Well, as i said, there are 4 possible routes: they actually are pretty similar one each other,and actually there are only two last bosses.What differs is their attacks: the "even" (6B/6D) versions are thougher than their "odd" counterparts (6A/6C).It also seems that 6C has two variants,which are more or less the same, but i'm not 100% sure of this.It also seems that, given some conditions, you can have two routes for 6D,but i think,in the long run, one based on the said 3rd GB stage is better. But still:let's approach first the
4.1.1 OUTER SPACE ROUTES (6A AND 6B)
These routes are characterized by the final stage taking place in outer space.In fact, stage 5 is a desperate rush to the top of the orbital elevator (the "thing" you see in the background during the first stage), in order to stop the F.A. fake army to destroy it in their reproduction/energy needs:The final boss, the cocoon, is basically the last trial the S.D.F. sends against you to conclude their decades-long plan for the perfect war machine (yourself, recorded from R.A.I.N., after this false crisis). Since you get the cocoon (which is identical to "Ygg-Drasil" from "Raystorm") as a final boss, the programmers are telling you: "you're a bit of a wanker, try to fight on the lower border instead of aiming at a casual route (6A) or the easy green-based one".Now, let's talk of said routes, starting with
184.108.40.206 6A ROUTE ("CRUSHING BLOW").
This is the right BC:
1.R R R 2.Y Y Y 3.G G G/Y/R* 4.Y Y Y 5.G/Y/R§ R R--->6A (YR**).
1.2'40" 2.3'20" 3.3'+2'20" 4.5' 5.30"+30"+5'50" --->0"+6'
*twice immediately at the boss
§after the laser carrier,twice
**immediately to arrive at the laser carrier at level 4.
The BC time-wise is this:
3' (~15%) GB; 8'20"(~37%);11'10"(~48%) RB
The World Record (obviously WR from now on) is 310+M points
The likely Score Log (from now on: SL) is:
1. 31M 2.18M 3.101M 4.26M 5.85M --->57M
One note on total time:since you do repeat sessions, the total time (before the final stage) is 23'30": +1' for the first and session of stage 5.
Maximum score computed is actually 318M.
One thing worth of interest is that this final stage is more or less laughable,and pretty "poor" in score (compared to other final stages).The ending you get on this stage also reflects the "randomness" of this route: like in G.Darius, you basically get a bad ending, and more of all you don't discover what the hell is going on.The orbital elevator goes down, you fight a wimpy final boss (look: you can say that it is not exactly the easiest thing around at 100% rank,but i wouldn't confront it with the 6D boss,at full rank...), Mars gets badly damaged, and you get a nice "continued on the next playing" screen (?).
Last,i can't really explain fully the score, i honestly miss about 20M or so,probably there's some trick regarding repeated sections that i'm ignoring now...
Now, we will analyze in detail the single stages, including the final ones, in the Stages section: for easyness of reference, i'll also will split the stages and the boss battles in two different sections. At this point, let's deal with the other "outer space" route,which is
220.127.116.11 6B ROUTE ("BLOOM").
This is the right BC:
1.G G G 2.G G G 3.G G G/Y/R* 4.Y Y Y 5.G G G/Y/R**--->6B(YR)***
1.2.'40" 2.3'40" 3.3'+2'20" 4.5'00" 5.2'50+3'00"--->0"+6'
*Twice immediately at the boss
**Enter at yellow and then BD again immediately
***Immediately to arrive at the laser carrier at level 4
The BC time-wise is this:
12'10" (~60%) GB; 5'(~18%);5'20"(~22%) RB
The WR is: 291+M points
The likely SL is this:
1. 14M 2.12M 3.98M 4.26M 5.67M --->93M
One note on total time:since you do not repeat sections, the total time (before the final stage) is 22'30":you don't repeat sessions.
Maximum score computed is actually 310M.
Some notes: About 60% of your score comes from two stages, third and last, and the last stage is quite rewarding,score-wise (but not as much as 6C and 6D...).
This route has the only "good" ending,Since you spend most of the time on GB, thus never confronting the thougher missions.You actually get a glimpse of what's going on (the talk with Maya and Eiji sending an e-mail to earth), that is: F.A. is a fake enemy produced to train you and create the ultimate weapon.It is also the easiest route, if you forsake score on the last stage: this because of its GB nature and the rank not always at 100%.The final stage is also the second most rewarding stage in the game, and only the final attack is pretty difficult (but very rewarding once you can BLS the boss).After these considerations, we can come back to Mars and to the
4.1.2 MARS ROUTES (6C AND 6D)
These routes are set on Mars.6C, like 6A, is the "good" route, since the orbital elevator has collapsed,but you 're going mad after the final battle.On 6D,the said elevator has collapsed,you are unconscious,everything is a mess on the planet and...ok,ok, you know what i mean ~_~;
The final boss, as i said, it's yourself,or better: The R.A.I.N. system that has recorded your fighting patterns and behaviours, guiding a far more powerful version of the "Red Wasp".Brilliant idea, but one doubt arises:it seems that you lose control on the ship during the fight, and start spinning wildly...even if this is the case, the backgrounds seem not to be "coherent" (it seems you do some impossible spins,since the sky may appear from different rotations at the same side).At this point let's talk of
18.104.22.168 6C ROUTE ("...THEY FLY LIKE BIRDS").
This the right route:
1.Y Y Y 2.Y Y Y 3.G G G/Y/R* 4.Y Y Y 5.G/Y/R** R R --->6C (YR§§).
1.2'40" 2.3'40" 3.3'+2'20" 4.6' 5.30"+30"+5'50--->0"+7'40"
*twice immediately at the boss
**Just before 75%,to repeat the first section.
§§immediately to arrive at the laser carrier at level 4.
Your total time is 1' longer,since you repeat the first section of fifth stage,a total of 23'30" (required time:11'45").
The BC time-wise is this:
3' (~13%) GB; 12'50"(~55%);8'10"(~32%) RB
The likely SL is:
1. 21M 2.16M 3.98M 4.26M 5.85M --->87M
Some notes...if you're reading this for the first time,i've just edited the old and wrong version,this is more or less the final log for this route.The final score i computed is 333 M,considered as the maximum score.Also, the insane score you can get on the last stage is incredibly difficult to get.At this point, let's talk about the
22.214.171.124 6D ROUTE (RED RAIN)
This the right route:
1.R R R 2.Y Y Y 3.G G G/Y/R* 4.Y/R R R 5.Y/R R R --->6D (YR§).
1.2'40" 2.3'40" 3.3'+2'20" 4.1'+5' 5.1'+5'50"--->0"+7'40"
*twice immediately at the boss
§immediately to arrive at the laser carrier at level 4
Your total time is 2' longer,since you repeat the first section of fourth and fifth stages,a total of 24'30" (required time:12'15").
The BC time-wise is this:
3' (~12%) GB; 5'40"(~23%);16'50"(~65%) RB
The WR is: 340+M points
The likely SL is:
1. 31M 2.18M 3.101M 4.42M 5.80M --->74M (?)
With the total being 346M.As above,i considered the possible maximum score. If you don't want to get crazy with percentages, 6D is the way to go.
Final note to the section: i gathered some informations to leave out alternative routes, finding the best ones include the GB 3rd stage:if this is the first time you're reading, you don't need to worry.Also,i've considered all estimated scores to be the maximum, in fact actual records are lower.
This section will deal with stages and boss battles.I will separate boss battles from stage for a very simple reason: Stages can be pretty simple to complete, once you know what to do and when.Boss battles, on the other side, can be pretty tricky and immensely rewarding...After all we're talking of a unofficial Taito game.About the stages: i will basically highlight the key-points, i.e. where to BL and how, the rest should be pretty intuitive (in the sense of: dodge bullets and destroy stuff).Consider that,outside bosses and mid-bosses, stages themselves never go above a total of 30% of score.One caveat:I'll simply skip "useless stages" or sections.I mean: second and third section of stage 3, YB, are useless.Same goes with fourth stage, GB. That's all,actually.Ok, let's start with
We will basically treat quickly stages, and when border versions will resemble each other, there will be a reference to the first board approached.This will basically make the work less burdening. Let's immediately start with
5.2.1 STAGE 1
This stage takes place in the simulation system, and it pretty straightforward.Only midbosses change, and the daily setting.
Only thing worth of note is the mid-boss: stay on the lower (upper) part of the screen until it starts shooting more bullets (speed 1,easier to dodge), then BL and make two passages (without getting hit!) on the boss, shooting the laser on a non-vital part when not making this passage.
As above, choose an half and dodge (better at speed 1) until bullets will increase.Then do 2 passages, immediately when BLing, milk with the laser hitting a non-vital part and then do the third.
Slightly meaty: when you have the green drones, let them shoot and destroy them all save one, landing about 70 hits.On the mid-boss, start slightly above the central fluxus, then when it will corner you up,BL and go down at half level 4, then up at half level 2, and take it down when entering the flashing last half (AH:570).
Said that, see section 5.3.1 for details on the boss.
5.2.2 STAGE 2
Second stage to take place in the simulation, lots of nitpicking and low scores on all borders.Dont' worry if you miss something, the score won't seriously be damaged.
On the first part, use the BL on the shrapnels (the bombs exploding in many bullets, Average Hits:35 hits,and from now on AH), and destroy everything else to build power. In the second part, you may want to BL the shrapnel after a couple of walls, but it's up to you.Be sure to arrive at the mid-boss at full power and speed 3,let his cannons be all in the screen then quickly BL and go on the left side to cancel everything.Take it down when it stops moving, usually at your half level 3 bar (you should need another bar to do so,AH:160 ).Now build power,take down as many rotating turrets as you can on the first rotating block.In the very last part, you can actually cancel bullets and forsake energy for the boss, or destroy the turrets to maintain power...it's frankly more or less the same, after many trials i decided my method is better.So:
Start the BL at the centre,you will pierce the wall and cancel bullets.Go down and take down some turrets, milk a bit and take down the upper ones, quickly go out of this zone when reappearing.Try to be at least at level 3 (AH:160).
This section starts with a claustrophobic part in the tunnels, learn where enemies pop up to take them down before they shoot.When going down, wait a bit so you'll have two shrapnels (then one shrapnel and one energy tank) at the same level (AH per shrapnel:40 hits).The second section is more or less the same, but after the mid boss (AH:160) you will have the green drones...take down two of them,BL the others (ah: 60 hits).Rest is the same.
First part is like GB but more difficult, second part is different...It goes without saying that you should BL every shrapnel (doing AH:150 on the ones just after the elevators), then when going down, quickly get the energy on the right (when scrolling down, the upper platform), and be careful when entering the section with rutating turrets, there will be two mines at the exit.Now, take down the rutating turrets on the upper, BL briefly the ones in the lower left part (AH: on both).When going down,take down the ones above you and milk the ones below you.
Said that, see section 5.3.2 for details on the boss.
5.2.3 STAGE 3
This is the last part of simulation.GB is the most rewarding stage outside the final ones, and we'll see why.YB is useless unless you use the alternate route for 6D, and just the first section in this case.
Build up power and take down the weird carrier with the homing lasers, then BL the four little planes with the shrapnels (AH: 100).Build up power, then you will wait a bit, when little planes will release the planes (be sure to be at full level 5) BL the first two lavander carriers (AH:170).Milk the little planes and its missiles, then place a BL on the spinning things (AH:200).Build up power and release it on little planes after the blue formations (AH:100).BL on the spinning things (AH:120) and on the formations of pseudo-hawk ships (AH:80).Enter the boss at at least level 3 of power.
Uhm,you shouldn't be here, at any case, please check the replays in the said section.
Same as above.
Said that, see section 5.3.3 for details on the boss.
5.2.4 STAGE 4
This part is useless: if you're here, read 126.96.36.199 for the violet carrier and the second section.
Destroy everything and try to take down the lavander carriers without BLing.Failing that,BL early so you will quickly damage the first one without destroying it (so you will take energy for both),Then be ready for the violet carrier...
This carrier has a BL, and it will appear again in the game,so use this part every other time i mention it.Go up or down, 2/3 of the screen on the right,BL and cancel at least 4 streams before creating a BLS, so you can get a lot of points (AH:400, the basic value is: 3k,with that AH the score is usually 1,5M on GB, so 3M and 4,5M on YB and RB respectively.Add or subtract something, of course, giving different cases).You should start at least at level 4 to arrive at a flashing point,it will take basically 2 1/2 power bars to get that AH. After, that, build up power again,damage the junk collector to a flashing point , destroy stuff falling from the said thing,then start quickly a BL when the energy tank appears(AH:100).You should border down just before the junk if you have to.
In the second section, destroy the lower (upper) cannon and go in the lower (upper) right corner,there's a safe spot. From now on,it's pretty straightforward, on the first rotating cannons,speed 1 and stay at the centre, you will see the hole.On the homing ones, BL if you're in trouble.Then, the homing explosions;go to corners and cross the longest line.Rest is easy, just BL if you're in trouble.
Argh, i hate this part...general trick: stay between columns before moving,and be careful when having a block in the background, it may raise.Rest is heavily rank-dependent, just be in the lower row when the first moving blocks section ends to do a powerful (AH:450 for about 5M) violet carrier BLS.In the second section, blocks will change rows, just be careful not to have them under of above you when you see two of them in the same row.Clear the green drones (AH:100) at the end of the section.
In the second section, BL all little planes with shrapnels (AH:80 and 160),green drones (AH:60) and do the junk collector trick and the lavander carrier one too (stage 4 and stage 3 respectively, but no more than AH:100 on the lavander ones the first time).When the mines appear, be careful to quickly dive in the holes. This section is pretty simple, just be careful to have at least a level 3 (if not 4) shot when entering the boss.
5.2.5 STAGE 5
There's the violet carrier in the first part,then you should build up your power level for the mid-boss in the second part.On the mid-boss,destroy all pods and trigger the second attack quickly, it has to BLSed (AH:250).Rest of the stage is BLing everything,you need to do a specific tecnique that needs BD at the end of the stage.See section 5.3.5 for the boss.
This stage is a pain in the ass, basically after the violet carrier there's nothing to BL/BLS about.One trick for the pods on the rotating section: if you place yourself on the NC indicator,no more that exactly above it (obviously without going against the elevator's trunk),you will find a nice safepost.Rest of the stage is basically short burts of BL,you can do it as you like,what matters is entering the boss with a level 5 bar.
Ok, do the the violet carrier (AH:400+), then build up power,damage the missile with the shrapnels,destroy them as soon as the blue plaes appears and BL all bullets (AH:200+),build up power for the second part (enemy collector),repeat the "rotating section" trick,do the blue planes BL (AH:180+) then put yourself above the "petal" of the mid.boss,there's a safe spot where to wait for it to trigger the second phase attacks.At this point, take down the mid-boss (if you want to BL, no more than AH:50),build power for the second violet carrier,damage it a lot, and shot when the second stream is just shot:the BLS must be fast, so you'll exploit the blue planes to get an AH:270+ without using too much power.Best result is entering boss with half of level 5 bar.
5.2.6 FINAL STAGES
5.2.6A "Crushing blow".
This stage is pretty simple, BD immediately and just do the violet carrier and enemy collector, rest is building up power (You may want to do the missiles with shrapnels part, in that case the best thing is a couple of quick BLs for a total of about AH:300).
The stage is almost identical to 6A,aside some enemies being more aggressive.
5.2.6C "...They fly like birds".
You should BD immediately,then it's about doing both violet carriers (AH:400+ first one,300+ second one), rest is absolutely linear.
5.2.6D "Red rain".
Identical to to 6C.
At this point, we should actually learn how to do the bosses, since they're the true kings of score on this game:also, i'll put some datas on the scores and optimal performances, so we can see what to expect from a flawless stages and what we do miss.
As i said, bosses are the key for most of your score.Something like 80% of points comes from them, so it's important to do them properly.The bosses also have an insane amount of hit points, so a quick kill is difficult to do...the key is learning when and how start the BLS, which can reward you with some 8-digits scores.So,
5.3.1 CORONA CORONET
It's pretty straightforward: build a level 5 before taking down the first form by going at speed 3 during the violet bullets and destroying them as much as you can (at about 32 secs), then dodge all bullets, first laser and put yourself at the lower left angle when it has shot half of its direct streams of big orange bullets.Start a BL when it has 3 or 4 streams left,then you can easily cancel into a BLS when it fires its BL.Stay on the corners,never in front of him, to avoid damaging it too much. The AH is about 300 on GB.
Like GB, but you can place a AH:350.
Basically the same as YB, but all attacks are more difficult,you should try to learn going at speed 2,but use speed 1 if you have problems.If you pull off the above trick, and you can be in front of the boss, it will shoot the orange bullets spread as soon as it uses the BL, and you can end up with AH:400.Very difficult though.
5.3.2 SOUL SQUEEZER
Ok, this boss is tricky,but it has a nice scoring tecnique, not very rewarding but funny to pull off.Basically, you need to damage to flashing level all of its components (forearm,hand,the pod shooting the homing mines), and take it to 1/3 (roughly) of the energy.The homing mines are easy to dodge, once you learn to guid them: start going down and near the boss so you have an "S" fluxus of mines,then slowly retreat when they are finished, or you will get toasted by its arm (2 attacks of that).Once you've done with it, at about 40 secs,It will shoot a salvo of those red shrapnels (key to dodge them:small movements), cancel them starting from the bottom (after they have exploded so you get the bullets!), then go quickly up (to destroy with a nice AH:150+) all of its parts,and then take quickly down the first form,still BLing.On the second form, milk the pods for energy,in the meanwhile damage the boss for abou half energy bar, and at about 10 secs left (you should have level 4 bar or more),BLS for AH:50+.In order to be sure,damage it until itd laser is ready About 1/3 of energy bar).
You shouldn't be here, at any case, it's like YB.
5.3.3. YOURSELF (First time)
This is the key to big scores.Enter the boss and BD.Enter,BLS it, have the pods flashing if you can.At red border, quickly take power-ups,destroy pods by point-blanking them,and avoid homing lasers by making sudden direction changes.Take it to half bar of energy.Try to get down as many pods as you can, before they will start their 3-way shot.Once they do that,you just need small movements to dodge the streams though.After that,there will be the snake-like movement, go below the last pod and stay in the hole they will create with this movement.Get out when the second loop of the movement starts.
Avoid lasers and second serpentine movement,then avoid being in front of it during the second homing lasers attack.Put yourself below it and quickly retreat when the pods are about to fire,the trick is having the pods all shooting below you:as soon as they start shooting,BL all bullets, and about AH:750 (half of level 4 if you started from full bar),destroy the pods:you should almost max out AH: (900) as soon as you complete destroying them.After all 6 pods have gone,you should be at full level 3...continue cancelling,it will start a laser,BLS and once it produce 6 other pods,destroy them and the boss at maxed out AH(999).Best thing to do is taking down the boss and the other 6 pods with T-Hawk's tecnique,to get back some energy.This part alone can be worth about 70M!
Second part: you have to repeat these movements until 10 secs left...
a)shoot the boss and stay slightly above (below)the centre,so shrapnels will spawn from the other side and it's easy to take them down;
b)quickly go down (up) to take down the pods before they start shooting.Regardless of power level,try to stay closer to them and retreat as they appear,so you can take them down with a faster fire rate;
c)Once you take down (quickly!)the pods,change side to repeat the cycle,avoiding to shoot when in front of the boss or it will use the BL.
Once at 13-10 secs, you should have the pods popping out again:destroy two of them if you want to be safe, or three if you want to risk for score (VERY difficult).Once they start shooting, BL and exploit invincibility to herd the orange lasers (cancel them as much as you can,just don't stay on the extreme left side),the boss should BL after a couple of seconds, making a BLS.Stay close enough (but to the left of the last working pod) to the boss to damage it, and go a bit towards the pods when the boss is about to die and you are vulnerable again:tkae the pods and the boss down.You should start at full 5 and finish at about level 2.the optimal AH:330+ is doable with three pods and A LOT of risks, with 2 pods you should get AH:200.
Uhm, you shouldn't be here...
Same as above.
5.3.4 CRAZY OSIRIS
Nope, you should be on
This boss isn't difficult, but you should avoid some simple things.First,destroy its arms for power,and BL the red shrapnels to get some points.Then, learn one simple thing:every time it does a rotating attack,stay below (or above) the core, which will point at 45° down (or up).The violet lasers are simple to avoid,the spinning BL requires that you go to the other vertical side once it has started.Same thing for the rotating extended arms.
At about 30 secs, take it down.The second part is a giant bullet spam, which isn't difficult if you don't tap.Why?The boss will try to close you if you make small tappings,try to make bigger movements and aim at hole in its spam attack,or it will cover all screen instead of just one zone.Once you hear the lasers coming at you,you should be at the bottom (top),and thus tap in the the other direction.Then, start BL bullets once it is aiming at you, make short movements up and down, and BLS the laser 3 times (without creating a big sphere,you risk taking it down too early) and take it down at the third time.Estimated maximum AH:500.
Same as above, just it will uses homing lasers in the first part.
5.3.5 GIGA BALANUS
Ok, you should have depleted your BL before this section.Now, BD twice and quickly build up power with tanks.Then,go down (up) and start cancelling bullets by having the orange cannons shooting more or less to the bottom of the screen.Take down the wall sections using the AH as a guide:
lowest (highest) part, AH:100+,
intermediate parts and highest parts, AH:300+.
You should end up at more or less level 2 power.Now, take down the fourth section without damaging the boss itself.
Wait to time out,and then learn to do this...BL on the upper cannons to destroy them,then place yourself in order to destroy the other cannons before they appear on screen.Doing this and herding the swerving lasers is fundamental...once the first layer of cannons has been destroyed,there will be BLing cannons to meet you.You should be at least at level 2, and try to do this:
a)BLS with a full sphere so you will destroy all visible cannons;
b)Place again youself at the height of the rotating cannons so you destroy them when they appear on screen;
c)Repeat the cycle as soon as they change rotating direction;
You should take it down at about 35 secs.Third form is easy, just dodge all various attacks and start a BL (which will be cancelled into a BLS by the boss) after the first twin BLs.
You shouldn't be here...
Destroy all four walls,but be a bit more careful:you should milk every bullet,and destroy all four of them by the end of energy.The suggested AHs are :
third and fourth ones, AH:550+
You should have something like half level 2 or more energy,by phase 2.At this point:laser the upper cannons,focus on cannons popping up,be close so you can shoot a lot and destroy before they are a problem (retreat a pixel just to avoid swerving lasers,elseyou should destroy them as much as you can).Once you see they will change rotation sense,QUICKLY go to align yourself on the other side,but don't be close to pods,a pod shooting big orange bullets may fry you.What you need to do is BLSing quickly the first laser pod you find and clean of pods and laser turret the side you have to be on.This tecnique is risky if you can't consistently destroy pods:autofire comes in handy, but if you can succesfully go above level 3 you shouldn't have too many problems (if you can master the T-Hawk's tecnique,you can even get a level 4 shot after this phase).Do this trick until you just have 35 seconds left...then, take it down, quickly do all pods and turrets, and BLS the boss after the twin laser.Before BLSing,stay still:it's the best way to avoid that attack it uses.On this part,a AH:270+ is probably the maximum.
5.3.6A "THE SEED HAVE SOWN"
Now, this boss is easy.Why?first form can be cancelled for AH:150, just destroy quickly (with a BL if you need to) the cannons shooting the swerving lasers,then BL.
The second form starts with the cocoon going up (or down)outside the screen,place yourself just after the main engine (not on the energy stream) to avoid the pink bullets.Then it will shoot the bombs and li'l enemies attack, start from one right corner and retreat on the left before it changes attacks.Then, avoid homing lasers and try to keep it on one side,and don't stay in front of him or the BL will fry you.When it starts BLing, change side quickly,but not to quick,or will close you.Then, when it opens again, just damage it and destroy the "petals" to gain energy.BLS on the third cycle (AH:150) the BL attack and at 80 secs.
The third form is about shooting down the pods at the extremities of the "petals" (the one with the rotating attacks),and BLing it when its at your back (and dodging the violet BL,it can't be cancelled).At the third time it's in front of you,BL for about AH:400+ (very difficult, 300 is already hard), and don't shoot on the fourth form...the violet BL can't be cancelled,just avoid it and let it commit "suicide".
5.3.6B "THE SEED HAVE SOWN"
Same as above,the boss is generally more aggressive,but take down the second form at the second cycle (120 secs).Don't waste too much energy on this form (cancel for AH:200, small cannons wil help you:first time,when there's no central laser, take them down though),nor on the third (AH:300 is enough).The fourth form is the actual problem:go at speed 1 or two, and learn to quickly tap between the pink lasers to go up and down,if you just dodge in a given point, the white and slow energy balls will close you.Once you can get past this attack, just stay in front of the boss during the violet lasers, then cancel as many bullets as you can on the final attack (AH:even 500!).
5.3.6C YOURSELF (the replica recorded by the R.A.I.N. system,actually)
Ok,BL immediately for half of first form energy,then get close,see where it aimes its stream of pink bullets,and start rotating close to him to avoid the stream.BL again,it will go above you (closer to the screen in perspective),and rows of planes will appear.Sart on one vertical side,a bit ahead,slowly retreat,then slowly go down and advance if you need to dodge bullets.Take quickly (270 secs left) down the first form.
Then,BL the second form when it's behind you,stopping and restarting the BL when you're about to become vulnerable again, and damage it to flashing point.Row of planes, then the tractor beam:cancel all bullets,aiming to close it to one side (AH:999 if you're perfect,220 secs left).
On the third form, it will repeat those attacks:
a)5-way attack (get behind it and DON'T SHOOT);
b)Attack from behind (just don't stay in front of it,and pass on the sprite when it's BLing,it can't hit you);
d)Vertical BL and ram attack (avoid the vertical BL and BL it as soon as it reappears on screen);
e)bullet spam in 16 directions (stay at the centre and do small taps,DONT SHOOT);
f)BL and 7-way pink bullets (just dodge);
g)Homing lasers and bullet spam (put yourself in one point,wait for for the bullet spam arc to completely appear,then dodge);
It will repeat b-g one more time, then at phase e) of third cycle,Bl to take it down (AH:999 again, again you need to be perfect,since you should cancel it f) attack...).
5.3.6D YOURSELF (the replica recorded by the R.A.I.N. system,actually)
This form will use a different sequence and attacks.Without much ado:
The first form must be BLed until it starts throwing the homing mines:let them go on one vertical side, and then change direction,but be careful,right after the third of a group,an aimed pink bullet stream will be aimed at you (don't stop if you see you can pass it).You will have the planes attack (see 6C),then a group of red shrapnels (BL to damage it),then the tractor beam attack (AH:800).
The second form,triggered at about 250 seconds,will:
a)Go behind you;
b) Then send the planes in;
c)Then do a nasty attack:go at speed 1,and learn to dodge the bullets coming from all four sides (there's no real tecnique,just careful dodging);
d)It will ram at you from behind, then do a BL plus 4-way pink bullets attack,and repeat the cycle.
The third form must be triggered at about 80 secs,after the last attack,
and has some nasty attacks too:
a)homing lasers and bullet spam;
b)Streams of mines (shoot it so it won't go on your same height, be careful to the aimed pink bullets tream);
c)Go behind you (BL here);
d)The dreaded kamikaze attack (stay near the centre,a bit on the upper left part,let's say a ship length: so it will usually avoid kamikazing directly at you,since it pops up on diagonals and orthogonal directions,and if you don't are on these parts of the screen,you won't be rammed,just need to dodge the bullets);
a) again, then the 7-way and BL attack.You should be at about level 5 and 1/3 of energy, just BLS (you can milk for AH:400,but it does require ninja skills).
That's basically all, folks.I hope this guide,once i can upload the pics, will be the best help you can find around.So, yes, i still need to complete it.I'm also adding an Appendix with the score charts,divided per stage.Thanks for reading this work!