Ed Oscuro - 796,800 - 1-4 - Uncle Beard - 3-way, homing, wave
Lol what is it with NMK and shooting the ground? Don't try to graze the ground like in P-47 Aces though. My run came to an end when I got rammed in the asteroid stage from the top of the screen - was trying to graze the asteroids.
I used MAME Plus! autofire, the default rate of 3. I tried out a few different combinations of weapons (haven't tried all the individual choices yet; second forward shot choice doesn't grab me) but my first one seemed to be working the best.
I'm surprised I haven't tried this game out before. When I first got into MAME I recalled there was some game with a similar name that was a bad fighter (not thinking of Shit-no-ken aka Ragnagard), and for some reason this one always escaped my attention. I'm liking it much more than the other shooters I've played on the Neo Geo, including Last Resort and Anthro Dunce which are a similar type of game. I'm also liking it better than Pulstar and Blazing Star. The enemies stuck in blocks in the first stage take some attention off the fact that the forest stage is otherwise rather sparse, but they do interesting things with those blocks. Also points for the morphing animations.
Musically - reminds me at times of a Sonic game, or of Viewpoint, and even of Numan Athletics (the title screen sounds almost exactly like it belongs in Numan Athletics). The characters are amazing too. The last guy is a pretty hilarious Cruise / Stallone mashup (I swear I've seen that pose somewhere), check out the Top Gun logo on the badge. I chose Captain Beard in honor of neckbearded folk and fans of Aye-Ayes everywhere (that name is almost on par with Captain Waffle).