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 Post subject: The coolest/strangest/most obscure secret bonuses in shmups
PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:26 am 



Joined: 25 Jul 2018
Posts: 35
Hello. I've been playing Darius 1 on the Switch lately and the secret orbs you can find by shooting specific spots in the environment inspired me to ask you all about the best, weirdest, and/or most obscure secret bonuses in shmups. I'm talking about anything from shooting a specific tile to uncover a bonus item to ramming into an enemy to reach a secret zone, or really anything that you think fits the spirit of the thread. What are some of the most creative or interesting examples of bonuses, or perhaps there's one that made you wonder "how did anyone find this?"

I've always been a fan of the bizarre secret bonus tiles in the first Star Soldier. The oddest is perhaps Takahashi's Thumb which raises the amount of bullets you can rapid-fire. StrategyWiki explains the unlock method: "In order to make it appear, you must shout into the microphone of the second Famicom controller while you shoot at its location [in Stage 3], and then it will appear after taking enough shots." The use of the microphone makes it obviously impossible to access in the NES version.

This one is pretty easy to stumble upon, but if you get hit by a certain attack from the final boss in Gradius III, you'll warp to one of two secret stages, one of which is based on Gradius 1 and the other is based on Salamander. I really like Konami's references to other games in its library like this.

This one is quite well-known but I really like the bonus 1UP in Battle Garegga, which requires you to destroy the various artillery on a particular midboss and then destroy the midboss itself in a specific location. Not only would it be very difficult to uncover on your own, the actual method of triggering it requires a lot of practice and precision in order to get everything set up properly. Destroying the specific parts of the enemy and then destroying the enemy itself at the proper moment is a nice display of the skills required to be good at Garegga, and the fact that it's the only 1UP in the game makes it even cooler.

Now let's hear from you all.


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 Post subject: Re: The coolest/strangest/most obscure secret bonuses in shm
PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 5:28 am 


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Guess I'll start with the low-hanging fruit.

Wrap around the powerup bar in NES Gradius while the thousands digit of your score is zero to enable rapid fire until you die. The requirements for the warps are more esoteric, but they're also discussed more often.

Obligatory mention of cartridge combinations in many of Konami's MSX titles. Though I think that being a thing is generally pretty well-known, too.

Gradius MSX apparently also has its own set of warps activated by being in the right place at the right time.

The Konami Code only works in Parodius Da! SFC when the controller is held upside down. Entering the code normally will cause your ship to explode. Etc.

The Master System port of R-Type has an exclusive stage accessed by flying backwards into a specific part of a certain stage, but this gets brought up whenever someone asks about that port.

That's all I got.
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 Post subject: Re: The coolest/strangest/most obscure secret bonuses in shm
PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:34 pm 


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I've always loved in Batrider that you can sacrifice a 1up to use the super ship that Gain wins in Kingdom Grandprix. It's not really worth it to waste a difficulty-reducing 1up, but it's a nice little Easter egg.
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 Post subject: Re: The coolest/strangest/most obscure secret bonuses in shm
PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 11:23 pm 


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There are a bunch of secrets for Slap Fight demonstrated in this video. Among them are that if you die without scoring any points, you get spawned with some extra upgrades, and a nice bonus to your score if you made it far enough.

Apparently Tiger Heli has secret cars that depend on how many shots you've fired.

More secrets in other Toaplan games as well...

MathU wrote:
I've always loved in Batrider that you can sacrifice a 1up to use the super ship that Gain wins in Kingdom Grandprix. It's not really worth it to waste a difficulty-reducing 1up, but it's a nice little Easter egg.

Ah, I forgot about that one. Batrider has some good secrets, which are well-documented in the Strategy thread so I won't list them all out here. Two of the ones that stick in my mind the most are being able to drop several large bomb items to get an extra life item, and dropping several life items to make the next one worth double, both of which I used to my advantage in my first 1CC. Wasn't part of my plan, but it was intentional after the opportunity rose during that run.
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 Post subject: Re: The coolest/strangest/most obscure secret bonuses in shm
PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 11:34 pm 


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That dumb stupid idiot secret mambo boss in Sonic Wings 2 that gives you a bazillion points if it appears. Problem is, it's appearance seems to be completely random.

Basically all of Gunhed's secrets are silly and complicated. Zanac Neo's are complicated, but not quite as silly.
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 Post subject: Re: The coolest/strangest/most obscure secret bonuses in shm
PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2019 12:42 am 


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The wacko macro-dependent bonus pigs and whatnot in Batsugun always weirded the daylights out of me. Who the heck was supposed to figure that stuff out? Off the cuff I suppose you could call Mushihime-sama's "counter banking" a "hidden" bonus too. :P

Keeping an eye out for the tower things/Micluses/Fairies in Raiden might count, as would the "gem heads" in Psikyo's latter-day output. On a more obscure note I picked up Tenta Shooter on Steam recently and that one has a bunch of hidden stuff in its levels, with several different ways of uncovering everything that you need to figure out.
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 Post subject: Re: The coolest/strangest/most obscure secret bonuses in shm
PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:22 am 



Joined: 25 Jul 2018
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Thanks for the contributions, everyone! Keep 'em coming.
Despatche wrote:
Basically all of Gunhed's secrets are silly and complicated. Zanac Neo's are complicated, but not quite as silly.

Would you mind elaborating on this? I've played Blazing Lazers but I'm not very familiar with its secrets. Same with Zanac Neo. And your point about the secret mambo boss is a good one -- given that this is such a score-oriented genre, including huge scoring opportunities that are so RNG-dependent is certainly strange.


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 Post subject: Re: The coolest/strangest/most obscure secret bonuses in shm
PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:48 am 



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The hidden 1ups on Truxton before the bosses requiring you to have the right color shot are pretty cool, adds a bit of planning to make sure you have the right shot at the right time.

Also always liked the Ketsui stage 3 midboss one requiring you to take down all parts of the ship without missing any and not using bombs.


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 Post subject: Re: The coolest/strangest/most obscure secret bonuses in shm
PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:34 am 


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That red miniboss from DeltaZeal st1 is still so much a mistery :roll:
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 Post subject: Re: The coolest/strangest/most obscure secret bonuses in shm
PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:41 am 


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Knightmare wrote:
Would you mind elaborating on this? I've played Blazing Lazers but I'm not very familiar with its secrets. Same with Zanac Neo. And your point about the secret mambo boss is a good one -- given that this is such a score-oriented genre, including huge scoring opportunities that are so RNG-dependent is certainly strange.

Gunhed has four difficulties, but you wouldn't know it unless you looked up the cheat. Also the highest difficulty is annoying, don't bother with it. This game also has a secret weapon that's honestly not worth the effort, requiring an arcane powerup sequence. Here's some info on the game. As it turns out, Star Parodier has a similar weapon, achieved in the same way. Probably also not really worth the effort.

Zanac Neo is more sensible and all the secrets are things you want to pay attention to. There are Randars (Compile mascot) that make your ship shoot faster, a secret main weapon upgrade, etc. The most annoying is the Randars as their appearance is partially based on your current score, but you can kinda wing it and not worry about counting points for the most part. Difficulties are also meaningful and none of them really suck. Here's a really elaborate guide on Zanac Neo and the original Zanac.
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 Post subject: Re: The coolest/strangest/most obscure secret bonuses in shm
PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 4:24 pm 


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there's also that dumb thing with the final boss of the AC version of Gradius 3, where if you get hit by his giant orbs you get transported to one of three different mini-levels. pretty sure if you die in these stages, you go back to the boss anyway, so that idea always really confused me.
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 Post subject: Re: The coolest/strangest/most obscure secret bonuses in shm
PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:05 pm 


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The Halley's Comet boss bomb trick is pretty cool. Or the Darwin 4078 alternative power up routes.
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