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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 4:16 am 


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A lot of this stuff I'll have to save for later, as I'm still largely working on "the basics" of the game (surviving when I need to, keeping medal chains going), but if I get better I might have a look back here. :) One thing that caught my eye, though, is that you listed (if I read it right) Miyamoto as having a piercing shot...I don't think he ever gets one, in fact I don't think any of the Mahou chars ever get any piercing bullets (aside from Gain's options, anyways). Maybe I just remember wrong?

Randorama wrote:
AND NO ISTOGRAMS OF THE RANK INCREASE

Considering that I don't even know what an istogram is (did you mean "histogram?"), methinks that shouldn't be a problem, heh.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 12:05 am 


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Regarding Shot frequency controls:
I think that when Rando says this:

Randorama wrote:
Let's do some math: by default, you go at speed 3 (i.e. three shots per second), and this means that a level 4 main shot and two options do increase the rank in a minute of:

[3x1(penetrative shot)+1x2(non-penetrative shot)+2x2(two options)]x(3 frames x 60 secs)=1620 points.


He is actually refering to the Wild Snail, as it's the only ship I know of that has two non-penetrative bullets and one penetrative as the main Shot (Grasshopper has something like 2-4 penetrative).

His tips about learning to use Shot frequency changes is pretty good to know about though. In theory and practice, you can use a much faster Shot speed to give you the added power to defeat larger targets without resorting to the Options that can potentially add more to your rank.

If, for example, you're playing to master the Snail, you don't really need Options at all in some cases - except for the propellors on the stage 1 boss, maybe 2 against the stage 4 boss, and two throughout stage 5 up until Black Heart - and it is only when you reach stage 6 that you need to disregard rank control and go for firepower.

Throughout the whole of this little mini-strat, you can speed up your Shot frequency to something a little more rapid than default, and it should serve you well in surviving the stages. All you would need to be mindful of is your Shot level - after stage 1, keep it at level 4, one under maximum, only upgrading for certain tasks like destroying the side parts on the stage 3 hovertank midboss - and ensuring that when you do change your spee, that you do not leave gaps in your bullet streams. (Enemies and destroyable bullets have a habit of sneaking through gaps in bullet streams ;)

I've been using Bornnam a lot lately, and switching to a very fast Shot frequency is almost required as his Shot itself is very weak. That's just one example though.

The only problem with moving to a fast Shot frequency is that it can be very difficult to get the right speeds, and with a faster Shot speed, you also raise the rank a bit faster. If you can balance it though, it's worth the effort.

--------------------------------

Regarding the Mahou characters:
Miyamoto is actually an excellent character to use when learning the game and it's structure. He doesn't score a lot at first, but he does have his advantages in:

- his movement speed, great for leading bullets
- the Weapon is almost instantaneous which is good for panic bombing
- his Options cause a lot of damage due to the residual explosions
- his Options are very rapid-firing
- he has excellent attack range

Like Rando said, if you can learn to utilise Shot frequency well, you can destroy stages with Miyamoto, and at most you only ever need one, maybe two Options with you. The only weakness he has is he's almost too fast, but to alleviate that, I'd recommend choosing the C-type Miyamoto as opposed to the ABC-type.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 5:44 pm 


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Quick question, maybe this was covered somewhere else:
Dying (suiciding) will reset your shot frequency back to the default one right?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 5:50 pm 


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Rastan78 wrote:
Quick question, maybe this was covered somewhere else:
Dying (suiciding) will reset your shot frequency back to the default one right?


Nope, once a Shot frequency is set, it is set until you change it again. Dying, powering up etc does not affect the Shot frequency (which is quite handy).
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 11:19 pm 



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Yeah, i was thinking to Wild Snail :oops: :oops:

Yes, i would say that a careful use of shot frequency (eat that, Mushihime!) is the best way to handle stages. One groovy thing to do with Miyamoto is quick overrides (i.e. record quickly a very fast tapping, even if irregular) and point blank enemies, in some cases you can take down troublemakers in no time. Actually, i would say that a Miyamoto at level 4 power and 2 options (1x5 main shots?can't check now) is a nice bastard and goes at 9 points a shot.

A frequency 6 is already powerful, and even an average of 8k rank points on stage 6 can be affordable (5+4 for the options x6 of frequency x 4 minutes=12,960, suicide once during the stage to reduce it to roughly 4k...reduction to 2,2k is the cause of an initial value of 3k, plus 6k by half a stage, hence 2,2k).You will end the stage at 8,2k (2,2k plus the other6k). If you're scoring well, you can suicide again, especially if you can surely extend again quickly (i.e. if you enter the stage at x,900,000 or so). Last stage, if you can beat that asshole of black heart mkII, is worth something more than 1M, so you can do:

suicide at the beginning->extend and score well-> die once one BHmkII (...unless you're a true ninja)-> extend around Glow Squid and pull it off.

The above sequence should grant you that you switch to the second rank during glow squid (the stage is, like, 2 minutes?Add 2 minutes on asshole mkII and from 2k you go to 14k, it's difficult to avoid rank increase at this point). Glow squid will have less hit points though, the hit point increase should be trigger at level 3, so...

Where's Plasmo/Cowboy-NOA though?
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:06 am 


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hi
question regarding madball (and mkII): I read in the ST that i need to be on top of the central turret to destroy all of the outer targets.But usually i kill the boss with weapon or my suicide.It seems really random to me,plz help.Sometimes it survives my suicide but then im too scared to use another suicide on him and i take out the inner targets with shot.
In a run with 2,1million after the flamingoes i get around 3million after stage 2 with this strat.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:28 am 


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Icarus wrote:
For all the ships, You'll have to wait for around five attack cycles before you can attack the outer turret ring. This is because on the sixth attack cycle, the inner ring of turrets will activate, which will help you by protecting the main body of the boss from being damaged. You can tell when the inner ring of turrets have activated by listening out for an audible chime.


In short:
  • Wait until the inner ring of turrets has activated (after five attack cycles)
  • Suicide shortly after the sixth has started, use invincibility to get on top of the boss (just as the outer arms have fully retracted) and Weapon to destroy outer turrets
  • Stay on top of the boss to suicide, get back on top of the boss with your invincibility, and Weapon again todestroy the inner ring
  • The boss should be left with the central turret now. Wait until the central turret has activated, and then use Shot to attack and destroy it.
A target pointgain for Snail players is around 1.2mil. I can get 1.4-1.5mil with Bornnam using a similar strategy. It is incredibly important to wait before you attack, and to place your Weapon properly. If you are too hasty, or don't sit right on top of the central turret, you damage the main body of the boss, and with the power that the Snail's Weapon has, the boss is dead far too quickly.

The stage 2 replay shows the method with the Golden Bat in acton.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 10:20 am 


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I dont know why but its not working for me.I stay exactly in the same spot like you in the vid.... :cry:
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 2:16 pm 


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It's a very very tricky method to use, but since you're using the Snail, it's essential to learn it, because you can get over a million points from each form of Mad Ball. The secret is in the timing as well as the positioning. You must wait until the inner set of turrets has activated, as you will damage and destroy the main body of the boss if you attack too soon. Ideally, the flame cannons of your Weapon should spin around you, damaging and destroying the outer turrets. If they lock onto the central turret, then you are not positioned correctly.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 8:39 pm 



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Uhm, beside that, Icarus: are you really planning to stock up bombs and go the ninja way on BKMkII? You should check well how much bombing does it get to die, as i'm sure that only Gain can afford to milk that much from the destroyable grenades attack. One thing you should surely check is the balance: how powerful Gain's bomb is? How many lives can you stock on that spot? Etc etc etc...Glow Squid's attacks are pretty insane at maximum rank (...like BHmkII is any easier). Any plans?
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 11:07 pm 


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Randorama wrote:
Uhm, beside that, Icarus: are you really planning to stock up bombs and go the ninja way on BKMkII? You should check well how much bombing does it get to die, as i'm sure that only Gain can afford to milk that much from the destroyable grenades attack. One thing you should surely check is the balance: how powerful Gain's bomb is? How many lives can you stock on that spot? Etc etc etc...Glow Squid's attacks are pretty insane at maximum rank (...like BHmkII is any easier). Any plans?


As far as I see it, there is no other way. From calculation, if I can make it to Black Heart2 with four full Weapons and at least 2 Extends in reserve, then I can potentially get over 2mil off Black Heart2 alone - roughly 250k-350k per Weapon used. That's worth a lot more than the random Medals scattered around stage 6, and I'm more likely to lose my Medal values in stage 6 from trying to stay alive.

I'm quite confident that I can survive the majority of Black Heart2's attacks, with the exception of the fast moving vulcan, which I need to familiarise myself with all over again. I have an idea of how to time my movements to dodge the vulcan, but I need to remember what signals the start of the vulcan attack. If you know in advance when the vulcan is about to be fired, it gives you a chance to get in position to dodge it.

Both Gain's and Bornnam's Weapons are equal in relative stength, but Gain's has the advantage in that you can use multiple Weapons at once, and his Weapon burns a lot longer than Bornnam's.

And with Bornnam, you never actually get Glow Squid at "maximum" rank. As far as I know, only Gain players can exploit Black Heart2 and Glow Squid at maximum, it's far safer to get to these two with a fair bit below maximum.

My plans? Tackle stage 6 without doing stupid stuff, hoard as many Weapon bullets as I can, don't lose my Medal values. One thing I like about Bornnam, his scoring is far more consistent than Wild Snail - with Snail, it all depends on if you can get 2mil from the birds, and take out Mad Ball and Mad Ball2 correctly, while Bornnam can always get 1.4mil off the birds, and it's easier to beat the Mad Ball pair with his type of Weapon.

We'll see how it goes. I quite like Bornnam now, it's given the game a whole new lease of life for me. And if I manage it, I'll be the only player here with a Bornnam ALL :D
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2005 12:04 am 



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Icarus wrote:
As far as I see it, there is no other way. From calculation, if I can make it to Black Heart2 with four full Weapons and at least 2 Extends in reserve, then I can potentially get over 2mil off Black Heart2 alone - roughly 250k-350k per Weapon used. That's worth a lot more than the random Medals scattered around stage 6, and I'm more likely to lose my Medal values in stage 6 from trying to stay alive.



Be careful, you can't never say how much the medals are going to save your butt on this specific stage. While keeping the chain is...hardcore, i can't really think of other terms (eh well, you can always point-blank small planes while counting to keep up with medal appearance).


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If you know in advance when the vulcan is about to be fired, it gives you a chance to get in position to dodge it.


Uhm, the opening guns animations is slow, so to speak, so you can have a split second to center yourself.It should always be left-right-left, and 30° max to one side.It's not difficult, just needs timing...said this, i passed it unscathed ONCE, so he can go fuck himself, i could still do Glow squid and usually use the C extend to go past the vulcan, extending at D in the meanwhile. Always found Glow Squid easier, but you know that i'm weird, right?

Quote:
Both Gain's and Bornnam's Weapons are equal in relative stength, but Gain's has the advantage in that you can use multiple Weapons at once, and his Weapon burns a lot longer than Bornnam's.


Oh, whoops!Same amount of hits per seconds, right? If so, you should check how much a weapon will get you per depletion, i suppose.

Quote:
And with Bornnam, you never actually get Glow Squid at "maximum" rank. As far as I know, only Gain players can exploit Black Heart2 and Glow Squid at maximum, it's far safer to get to these two with a fair bit below maximum.


Uhm, i don't know...i should check again, but i think rank should be based on 7 levels: 10k (2nd); 5k; 2,5k;1,25k;625 and 500 (7th). Last three ranks levels are a breeze to trigger: i suppose that adopting the "survival" tecnique with Bornnam is more doable by its lower rank profile, if i remember well. Can you do the math and see when you should hit maximum rank?


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We'll see how it goes. I quite like Bornnam now, it's given the game a whole new lease of life for me. And if I manage it, I'll be the only player here with a Bornnam ALL :D


Eh, good luck. Bornnam is officially the "easy to score with" plane, for the reasons you list. Only thing is, i still suppose that the bomb lasts less AND does less hits, it can be a problem at higher rank levels for hit points handling...but that's obvious, isn't it?
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2005 12:35 am 


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Randorama wrote:
Be careful, you can't never say how much the medals are going to save your butt on this specific stage. While keeping the chain is...hardcore, i can't really think of other terms (eh well, you can always point-blank small planes while counting to keep up with medal appearance).


That's true. But that's why I'm trying to learn to play stage 6 in at least one life. Blasting all the tank hatches for Medals would be pretty handy, but you have to go with your hunches if you want to see the results :)

I think the key is in getting and keeping Homing Options. I actually had them in stage 6 on my 9mil run, but before the turret wall, when going for a fourth Option, it switched me to Wide instead :?

Randorama wrote:
Uhm, the opening guns animations is slow, so to speak, so you can have a split second to center yourself.It should always be left-right-left, and 30° max to one side.It's not difficult, just needs timing...said this, i passed it unscathed ONCE, so he can go fuck himself, i could still do Glow squid and usually use the C extend to go past the vulcan, extending at D in the meanwhile. Always found Glow Squid easier, but you know that i'm weird, right?


If I remember correctly, the vulcan is always aimed at your position initially, and then it sweeps really quickly. I had a method of counting 4 taps in one direction, then switching direction on the fifth, which used to work. Given that Bornnam has a slightly faster movement speed, I may need to test that method out to see if I can use it again.

Randorama wrote:
Oh, whoops!Same amount of hits per seconds, right? If so, you should check how much a weapon will get you per depletion, i suppose.


Gain at Maximum rank can get around 450k per Weapon. Bornnam never seems to get there at maximum, so you get less destroyable grenades during the bomb shower. I think about 350k max per Weapon.

Randorama wrote:
Uhm, i don't know...i should check again, but i think rank should be based on 7 levels: 10k (2nd); 5k; 2,5k;1,25k;625 and 500 (7th). Last three ranks levels are a breeze to trigger: i suppose that adopting the "survival" tecnique with Bornnam is more doable by its lower rank profile, if i remember well. Can you do the math and see when you should hit maximum rank?


Going off WAT's replay on the Saturn disc, he makes it to Black Heart in st5 and only four of those support fighters show up, when usually, with Snail, about 5 appear. You're right about it's low rank profile - if I can learn to take on stages with just the level 4 Shot (double three-way) then I can keep rank down quite a fair bit. The real challenge is in scoring consistently.

On a side note, just had a quick credit, and made it to Satanic Surfer with 5.7mil, lost my Medals trying for the medal rails, and died. If I had beaten Satanic Surfer, maybe 6.2-6.4mil by the start of stage 5, so I know I'm making some kind of progress.

Those damned medal rails...

BTW, when are you coming back to the game? I'd love to see you play as Gain for the 20mil :)
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2005 9:28 pm 



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Icarus wrote:

That's true. But that's why I'm trying to learn to play stage 6 in at least one life. Blasting all the tank hatches for Medals would be pretty handy, but you have to go with your hunches if you want to see the results :)

I think the key is in getting and keeping Homing Options. I actually had them in stage 6 on my 9mil run, but before the turret wall, when going for a fourth Option, it switched me to Wide instead :?



Homing and a 5-6 frequency are the key. With homing, you can also stick to 2, or maybe 3 options, and get the same results.Personally, i got splatted half of the time, trying to time their appearance (always been BAD at triggering the secret options).

Randorama wrote:

If I remember correctly, the vulcan is always aimed at your position initially, and then it sweeps really quickly. I had a method of counting 4 taps in one direction, then switching direction on the fifth, which used to work. Given that Bornnam has a slightly faster movement speed, I may need to test that method out to see if I can use it again.


Stay on the centre!If you don't, you may have one final sweep on one of the sides that will get you, and you will feel sorry![/Psikyo] Beside that, a fluid movement is perhaps better, but as long as you can keep the pace, that's fine.Just fine-tune the speed, it's very tricky (faster than it seems).




Randorama wrote:
Oh, whoops!Same amount of hits per seconds, right? If so, you should check how much a weapon will get you per depletion, i suppose.

Quote:

Going off WAT's replay on the Saturn disc, he makes it to Black Heart in st5 and only four of those support fighters show up, when usually, with Snail, about 5 appear. You're right about it's low rank profile - if I can learn to take on stages with just the level 4 Shot (double three-way) then I can keep rank down quite a fair bit. The real challenge is in scoring consistently.


Wat's replay dodges a max-out various times, As he seems to be able to suicide always slightly before the triggering of the second level. This in turn is mirrored by the appearance of 4 planes (5 means that you're actually at level 6, and that's big troubles).

I don't think i'll try out with Gain, as i find him difficult handle. I don't know what i'll do next, i'm sure i'll slack off epically and play 8 hours a day when i'll be back at home, so we'll see :wink:
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2005 3:02 pm 


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Randorama wrote:
Homing and a 5-6 frequency are the key. With homing, you can also stick to 2, or maybe 3 options, and get the same results.Personally, i got splatted half of the time, trying to time their appearance (always been BAD at triggering the secret options).


I usually drop five of the weapon bullets from the big green bomber before Black Heart on stage 5, and then try to get through the early part of stage 6 and past the turret wall without dying, so I can trigger them afterwards. If I die before that though, I'll have to try to stay alive using Weapon until I can make it past the turret wall (and set up for another Homing using the bullets that are left from the group of six tanks).

Not easy, very awkward, need to practice it a lot :?

Randorama wrote:
Stay on the centre!If you don't, you may have one final sweep on one of the sides that will get you, and you will feel sorry![/Psikyo] Beside that, a fluid movement is perhaps better, but as long as you can keep the pace, that's fine.Just fine-tune the speed, it's very tricky (faster than it seems).


As long as the moving vulcan's behaviour is easy to understand then the rhythm for the tapping dodge shouldn't be a problem. Hopefully it's either a very fixed order of movements (left-right-left) or a similar behaviour to Black Heart1 ("across the cloud channel" so to speak).

Randorama wrote:
Wat's replay dodges a max-out various times, As he seems to be able to suicide always slightly before the triggering of the second level. This in turn is mirrored by the appearance of 4 planes (5 means that you're actually at level 6, and that's big troubles).


I can manage it if I end up with five support fighters at Black Heart. I'm slowly learning to curb my "blow shit up" tendencies that have been developed the past few years on other shmups, and it's slowly starting to pay off. I just need to work on my consistency, stupid mistakes always end a potentially good credit early.

Randorama wrote:
I don't think i'll try out with Gain, as i find him difficult handle. I don't know what i'll do next, i'm sure i'll slack off epically and play 8 hours a day when i'll be back at home, so we'll see :wink:


I wouldn't rest on your laurels just yet, there's a few of us gunning to knock your D,6xx,xxx score off the top of the pile ;)
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2005 9:40 pm 



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Icarus wrote:

I usually drop five of the weapon bullets from the big green bomber before Black Heart on stage 5, and then try to get through the early part of stage 6 and past the turret wall without dying, so I can trigger them afterwards. If I die before that though, I'll have to try to stay alive using Weapon until I can make it past the turret wall (and set up for another Homing using the bullets that are left from the group of six tanks).

Not easy, very awkward, need to practice it a lot :?




the torrent stuff?

It sounds too cerebrotic though, the main problem being the too many conditions to perform well. On the other hand, you may want to improve the overall perfomance to cement the said approach...after all, it is doable, as long, well, you can do the turret walls :?


Quote:

As long as the moving vulcan's behaviour is easy to understand then the rhythm for the tapping dodge shouldn't be a problem. Hopefully it's either a very fixed order of movements (left-right-left) or a similar behaviour to Black Heart1 ("across the cloud channel" so to speak).
The movement is fluid, it doesn't stop at the extremes, that's usually what kills you, so to speak. And faster, of course, so it's important to get the faster timing down.



Quote:
I can manage it if I end up with five support fighters at Black Heart. I'm slowly learning to curb my "blow shit up" tendencies that have been developed the past few years on other shmups, and it's slowly starting to pay off. I just need to work on my consistency, stupid mistakes always end a potentially good credit early.


Five is already a lot, it means that you're on rank 5 or 6 (or 4 or 5, i don't really recall). One thing you should do, in case, is really learning not to shoot when you don't need to, and i really mean that you need to be precise. Also, higher frequencies are useless before, uhm, stage 6 or 5 (depends on plane), so be precise with your amount of bullets, it really makes a difference

Randorama wrote:

I wouldn't rest on your laurels just yet, there's a few of us gunning to knock your D,6xx,xxx score off the top of the pile ;)


Well, i may try out Miyamoto, it's an interesting characters in all games it appears...we'll see ;)
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 12:37 am 


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Randorama wrote:
It sounds too cerebrotic though, the main problem being the too many conditions to perform well. On the other hand, you may want to improve the overall perfomance to cement the said approach...after all, it is doable, as long, well, you can do the turret walls :?


I might have to take your advice on this one, since the sixth stage is by far the most difficult in the game with regards to survival. It was so much easier with the Snail and Grasshopper, just Weapon the tank hatches to get two Medals, and to stop tanks from appearing. Bornnam has to leave them alone for the Weapon bullets if I want to do the ninja method on Black Heart2 :P

Randorama wrote:
Five is already a lot, it means that you're on rank 5 or 6 (or 4 or 5, i don't really recall). One thing you should do, in case, is really learning not to shoot when you don't need to, and i really mean that you need to be precise. Also, higher frequencies are useless before, uhm, stage 6 or 5 (depends on plane), so be precise with your amount of bullets, it really makes a difference


Easier said than done. You really need a faster Shot frequency in the early stages of the game to give you the Shot power without requiring Options. I've yet to learn to balance the two problems without running into problems though.

I don't think rank level 5/6 is too problematic once I get to stage 6. With Snail of course, you had the advantage of Shot strength and penetrative bullets, but with Bornnam you get no such thing. I can't even use Weapons to save myself either, not if I want to score loads :? I'll need to practice stage 6 a lot more before I can get comfortable with Bornnam's optimal strategy.

Randorama wrote:
Well, i may try out Miyamoto, it's an interesting characters in all games it appears...we'll see ;)


Miyamoto sounds good, but I vote for Chitta myself (I came across another Japanese Garegga site with a screenshot of an A,xxx,xxx score with her), but it's entirely up to you ;)
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 8:38 am 


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Is there another bonus besides "no miss" , "no weapon" and "no miss,no weapon" in the Saturn Score Attack??
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 8:02 pm 


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I'm more curious as to whether getting any of the above is actually "worth" anything, or just there for bragging rights, heh.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 9:22 pm 


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I did all the stages with the no miss/no weapon bonus and i got NOTHING.Thats why i ask.Maybe theres a third bonus.That would mean that i have to redo all the stages but oh well...... :cry:
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 10:48 pm 


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I think they are the only bonuses you get in Score Attack (No Miss; No Weapon) and IIRC you don't get anything special for achieving them, besides bragging rights. You could always try No Shooting, No Item or No Option, to see if you get anything for that, though ;)

Personally, I find Score Attack is only good for learning stage layout and some boss patterns. The only problem being that the stages always start at the lowest rank level, so it's not much of a good gauge for actual in-game difficulty.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2005 12:21 am 


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I had a bit of a think about my current powerup strategy with Bornnam while I was at work, and I think I might have to change it a bit. This is what I was doing originally:

  • St1 - powerup to lv2 at start, pick up 1 Option until second train rails, then get to boss with lv2 Shot and 3 Options. double suicide and reacquire lv2 Shot and 1 Option.
  • St2 - powerup to lv3 Shot and keep 1 Option until boss, suicide for half Weapon after before destroying Mad Ball, keep lv3 Shot.
  • St3 - powerup to lv4 Shot, keep lv4 Shot and 0 Options for whole of stage.
  • St4 - keep lv4 Shot and 0 Options for whole of stage
  • St5 - keep lv4 Shot and 2 Homing Options until Nose Lavagghin2, double suicide for 1 full Weapon for Mad Ball2, suicide again at Mad Ball2, keep lv4 Shot, drop all Options until Black Heart. reacquire 1 Option until start of st6.
  • St6 - keep lv4 Shot and at least 4 Homing Options for whole of stage.
  • St7 - powerup to lv5 Shot and 4 Options for Black Heart2, if killed, drop to lv4 Shot and 4 Options for Glow Squid
A little messy, yeah? I'm having to rethink my strategy as I noticed that the stage 5 trip is getting alot harder to score in.

Usually, the propellors on the flying platforms before Nose Lavagghin2 can be destroyed with at least 3 Weapon bullets, however it would take me roughly 4 or 5 to destroy them. This may be in part because of rank, and also because the "hit center" of the Weapon isn't in the center of the Gate Of Hell, it's slightly below center, so I might be placing my Weapon in the wrong place.

To try and keep rank to a minimum, I'll have to redesign my strategy to accomodate lower Shot power and less Options. I have just had a credit where I achieved this, and the lv3 Shot does not seem to have much difference in strength compared to the lv4 Shot. So my reworked strategy is this (changes marked in ORANGE):

  • St1 - powerup to lv2 at start, pick up 1 Option until second train rails, then get to boss with lv2 Shot and 3 Options. double suicide and reacquire lv2 Shot and 1 Option.
  • St2 - powerup to lv3 Shot and keep 1 Option until boss, suicide for half Weapon after before destroying Mad Ball, keep lv3 Shot.
  • St3 - keep lv3 Shot and 0 Options for whole of stage.
  • St4 - keep lv3 Shot for whole of stage, collect 1 Option after first large tank.
  • St5 - power up to lv4 Shot and 2 Homing Options until Nose Lavagghin2, double suicide for 1 full Weapon for Mad Ball2, suicide again at Mad Ball2, keep lv4 Shot, drop all Options until Black Heart. reacquire 1 Option until start of st6.
  • St6 - keep lv4 Shot and at least 4 Homing Options for whole of stage.
  • St7 - powerup to lv5 Shot and 4 Options for Black Heart2, if killed, drop to lv4 Shot and 4 Options for Glow Squid
Hopefully this should alleviate the rank increases caused by the higher Shot powers. More thoughts to come, once I test out this new strategy.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2005 2:23 am 


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I was doing a bit of practice in Score Attack for stage 6, trying to get my No Miss strategy down for that stage, and I think I accidentally happened upon two very good methods for getting past the turret wall without dying, as well as a cheeky trick to pass the second form of Junkey Monkey. I thought I'd share them here, for Garegga players who are stuck on these particular bits, as they could be classed as the most difficult sections in the whole game.

TURRET WALL
In both cases, the main aim is to knock out the two lowermost splash turrets first before tackling the rest of the wall, as these will cause the most problems vis-a-vis trapping you in corners or pointblank kills (targets circled in screenshot):

Image

Now I stated that there are two good tested methods to getting past the wall unscathed. Both require you to keep your Options set to Spread Formation, for the best possible range, and also to have good Shot strength and a very fast Shot frequency.

  1. SPEEDY CUTBACKS
    (Demonstration Player: Icarus, using Bornnam - XVID, 8MB)

    If you are using a fast ship, then you can attempt the speed maneuver, which in principle is leading the lowermost turrets to shoot wide of the screen, giving you the time and space to get under and dash past their nasty spread attacks. If at any point you get too close to the turrets before they fire, then you can stop and dash through the spread attack, and then set up for another cutback.
  2. POSITIONAL DODGES
    (Demonstration Player: Icarus, using Bornnam - XVID, 9MB)

    The other, more riskier method of dodging is by short leading of both the lower turrets' splash attack and twin missile attacks from the other turrets. You should be aiming to moving between a few well spaced out points around the bottom and side of the screen, timing your movements with the firing pace of the twin missile turrets. The aim is to destroy one side before you go for the other, as by eliminating one side, you can buy some space and time to dodge the rest of the attacks.


<BOSS> JUNKEY MONKEY - FORM 2
(Demonstration Player: Icarus, using Bornnam - XVID, 5MB)

There is a really easy way to passing the second form of the boss - the form which is made up of the main core of the boss, and a large wall of rotating and aiming turrets - and that is to sit right in the middle of the screen, underneath the core, and make only the smallest of dodges to avoid bullets.

The reason that this works so well is that, in effect, you are keeping the worst kind of turrets off the side of the screen, meaning that the boss has less actual attacks to use against you. These turrets are marked in the screenshot:

Image

If you are using Homing Formation, then the Options will automatically train themselves to attack the main core of the boss, giving you a bit of fast attacking power. If you aren't, however, you should switch to Spread Formation, and when you tap to dodge the bullets, your shots should destroy a few of the small turrets surrounding the main core.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2005 12:11 am 


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Vorpal wrote:
However, the interesting part here, is the conical machine-gun attack started sweeping (the way I manage my rank, it never sweeps until the 2nd instance of the attack), and... kept on sweeping counter-clockwise, allowing me to just camp the weak spot for a quick win.

I can't seem to reproduce this effect, as I'm not sure what caused the attack to #1 sweep when normally it only does a quick burst the first time around, and #2 sweep away from my ship.


Heheh :) There are a couple of little "bugs" that Black Heart can be affected with that I know about, that one you described is one of them.

  • SWEEPING VULCAN - FUNNY MOVEMENTS
    As you may know, Black Heart's "third form" features a pretty tricky sweeping vulcan that can often catch you unawares and take a life or two. While the behaviour of the sweeping vulcan is easy to learn and remember, you can often create unusual movements by messing with the "rules" that govern the vulcan's behaviour.

    The basics of the vulcan's movement pattern relies on the dark channel that you see in center of the cloud background. For reference, I've marked the channel in this screenshot:

    Image

    Now, imagine this channel splitting the screen into two vertical sections, like so:

    Image

    The rules of the vulcan are:
    • When you are somewhere underneath Black Heart, the vulcan will fire to trap you in-between both fiveway streams
    • If you are above Black Heart, the vulcan will fire to kill you instead
    • If you are underneath Black Heart, the vulcan will trap you, and will sweep from one side of the screen, across the "channel", and back again:

      Image
    • If you are killed, or manage to escape the vulcan using a Weapon, the vulcan will try and re-trap you by tracing your movements
    It is the last rule that is the most important in recreating this glitch in the attack pattern.

    If you are killed by the vulcan, or escape the vulcan using Weapon, you can force the vulcan to circle Black Heart in the manner you described by moving to a location on the screen which makes the vulcan sweep upwards. If it is done correctly, the vulcan will continue to circle Black Heart, while you can sit under main core and attack full force.

    It is very risky to attempt this trick however, as it is very difficult to trick the sweeping vulcan in this manner. However, if you can find a method to constantly recreate it, then it might mean a quick kill can be added to your strategy.
  • "AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHT SECONDS"
    During the "third form" Black Heart will attempt to trap you between the afterburners, and then move across the screen while you're trapped between them.

    Now, imagine a line that runs through the center of Black Heart's main core:

    Image

    The direction Black Heart will move when it uses this trapping attack depends on which side of Black Heart you are on.

    Now, you can make Black Heart do some funny things with this attack, such as making Black Heart move off one side of the screen, and reappear on the other :) To do this, you have to lure Black Heart to try and trap you with the afterburner attack near the side of the screen, and make it so that it's movement direction will send it off the side of the screen. If you can do this, and get safe by moving over the top of Black Heart to the other side, the boss will move off the side of the screen, and reappear on the other: "around the world" so to speak.

    While this isn't a quick kill trick, it is pretty funny to do :) And the best thing is, you can do this trick to Black Heart2 as well :)
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2005 7:26 pm 


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Excellent info on BlackHeart's behaviour, thanks!

I figured out how to get rid of that central propeller of Nose Levagghin with Shatter Star, after I deduced that it is perhaps immune (will explain in a sec) to suicide shrapnel.

After several runs of unsuccessfully killing the center propeller via suicide, I decided to try a test with Iron Mackerel. I did my normal thing where I weaken the central propeller to the point where it is almost dead, then, rather than finish it off with options I just flew right into it. It didn't die. I suicide again. Again the central propeller did not get destroyed by the shrapnel.

So here is what I think: the central propeller can be damaged by suicide, but that last hit point must be taken out by shot/option/weapon. This is just a theory, but based on this theory I tried suiciding early on with Shatter Star (as opposed to weakening central turret with options and then suiciding hoping the shrapnel will kill it), and then finishing it off with option... and was finally able to kill that sucker and milk him like the cow he is (not). I can supply a demonstration video if there's any desire (though I doubt anyone cares about Shatter Star heh).

-------------

While I'm on the subject of strategy, I want to mention something I've learned about the Flamingo castle. The true area to hit (and thus multiply point gain on the birds) is not the keep, but rather the right-upper corner of the castle:

Image

As you can see, those two option bullets going towards the upper left are completely clearing the keep, but my central shot is hitting "something", which I assume is what will in turn amplify flamingo point gain.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2005 1:48 am 


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Vorpal wrote:
There's a lot to learn for me, since I used to be pretty much exclusively Reinforcer and recently Iron Mackerel (i.e. armor piercing fiends).


Not bad :D

If anything, I've found that after playing as one ship for so long (Wild Snail), moving to Bornnam - who plays totally different to the Snail - made me think a lot more about the strategies I used to use for the Snail, and how I could adapt or modify them to work with the Shot/Weapon/ship speed of my current chosen ship. I think I have a slightly better understanding of the game and the tricks that are used now, since I've had a bit more experience with a different kind of ship.

If anything, I've realised that there are very few times you can suicide to keep the rank down, especially if you are playing for a high score. The best way to use a suicide is to access a scoring trick, such as the four large tanks in stage 4; the subsequent rank decrease that you get is an added bonus to the points you can gain.

That's just one way to play the game though :)

Vorpal wrote:
I couldn't take out that center propeller on Nose Levagghin. I suppose if I use 4 options next time I could manage it, and ignore one of the side propellers until the center one is toast? That way I wouldn't have to contend with the missiles on the center propeller...


With non-penetrative bullet ships, the best way to take out the side and central propellors is with the use of up to three Options. The extra Options should give you enough firepower to attack the central and side propellors and destroy them quickly. The key to successfully destroying all three propellors within the alloted time limit is to deal as much damage to the central propellor as you can while you are attacking one of the side propellors.

I'm not sure if you have noticed, but even ships whose Shot has non-penetrative bullets have a slight piercing ability in the main Shot. This means you can actually attack the side propellors of Nose Lavagghin (and Type2) from below, and still get the full amount of points from each propellor. To do this, though, you have to first completely destroy the section of lower wing underneath the propellor you are targeting.

Why is this? This is because you are destroying the propellor with SHOT, as opposed to PENETRATIVE BULLET. If you check the scoring chart for Nose Lavagghin, you'll notice that you get more points for destroying the propellor with SHOT/OPTION than you do for destroying it with WEAPON/PENETRATIVE BULLET. For a better explanation, see the ST thread for a small discusion on this, where both myself and Rando answered BulletMagnet's question regarding your ships attacks, their properties and how they affected rank.

I've popped up a couple of replays for Nose Lavagghin Type1 and Type2. With the Type1 clip (XVID - 13MB), I get all three propellors with the side attack technique, while the Type 2 clip (XVID - 21MB) I get the two side propellors with the Shot's slight piercing capability, but I ignore the central propellor (to make it safer to destroy the boss).

Vorpal wrote:
I figured out how to get rid of that central propeller of Nose Levagghin with Shatter Star, after I deduced that it is perhaps immune (will explain in a sec) to suicide shrapnel.


That sounds about correct. You must remember that it's not the actual suicide explosion that does the residual damage, but the shrapnel pieces themselves. Since they glide quite slowly, they can do a lot of extra damage - sometimes destroying the twincannon's base if you do too much damage. With the central propellor though, your theory may be correct.

Vorpal wrote:
The Flamingo bonus was so pathetic (about 250,000) I'm contemplating using napalm on the rails in level 1 instead, hahahaha.


It's best to go for them anyways. With the Sword's fast napalm, you have to change both the timing of when you release the flamingos, and the positioning of where you release your next few Weapons. Following on from your observation about the castle keep, the point of contact you had with your Shot is actually the origin point of the flamingoes. Attacking that point constantly with Weapon will not only send out more flamingoes, but increase their point yield.

Therefore, the best method to getting points with Sword here, is to hover just below the origin point of the flamingoes, and send your napalm upwards, so it fans out and hits the most birds that it can in one go.

You must also remember that Sword won't be capable of gathering as much points from them as the Snail can. The most I've seen is around 900k to a million with the Sword maximum. With Bornnam I can get 1.5mil max, while with Snail, I can get 2mil or higher. The point yield from the flamingoes will change depending on the capabilities of the Weapon you have - movement speed, strength, piercing ability, "burn" duration (how long it stays on screen) and screen coverage.

Vorpal wrote:
The 1UP miniboss seems to require my undivided attention, coupled with the utter suckness of the napalm, makes milking the scaffolding a massive, massive chore...


You can adapt the technique I use in this clip (XVID - 2.4MB) to work with the Sword which has an almost identical type of three-way Shot. In basic, you line yourself up with the central turret of the midboss, and force the central turret to turtle. You then use the side bullets of your three-way Shot to damage and destroy the two back missile launchers, and the two side turrets.

Once you are done with the back missile launchers and the two side turrets, all you need to do after that is follow regular procedure and destroy the two side parts to the hovertank, and weaken the midboss a bit, to make it easier to destroy later.

It would probably be best not to weed points from the scaffold, unless you are absolutely clear on how much damage your Weapon and your Shot can deal to them. The scaffold's resilience often depends on:

  1. your current Shot level - it's not the actual level of your Shot that does damage, but rather the amount of bullets you're firing and thickness of these bullets. (check this post in the ST for a better explanation)
  2. your Shot frequency. The faster you're firing, the more damage you deal per second.
  3. Rank, which will change the resilience of the scaffold by a tiny, noticeable amount.
If anything, hoard your Weapon bullets so you can use them either on the large group of enemies before the boss (the ones that drop lots of items and Medals), or for use against the 18 drum turrets on Earth Crisis' first form.

Vorpal wrote:
I have no idea how I'm going to grab more than 1 large weapon bullet off the 4-Tank-Attack in Stage 4... What did Yoshidaya/Kamui do at this part with Shatter Star? I guess suicide... I did have plenty of credits but.. I never was able to time it right with Iron Mackerel. Now's the time to learn, neh?


DXP-Yoshidaya used a suicide. If anything, every ship can use a suicide for the tank bullets, as it makes it so much easier to destroy all the tank tracks and turrets on a large tank.

It's not so much the timing of the suicide, but the placing of your ship when you suicide. You preferably want your ship to blow up dead center of the screen, with all four tanks in view, so your shrapnel is scattered tightly and evenly across the screen. Here's an example clip I did with Bornnam (XVID - 3.5MB).

Vorpal wrote:
While I'm on the subject of strategy, I want to mention something I've learned about the Flamingo castle. The true area to hit (and thus multiply point gain on the birds) is not the keep, but rather the right-upper corner of the castle


That is correct. Remember though, Shot may send out a few more flamingoes, but it's nothing compared amount of flamingoes that appear and the point yield increase you get when you do this with Weapon instead :)
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2005 5:55 am 


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Oh my, your Nose Levagghin Mk II video fills me with joy. If I try to milk all the wing-propellers/turrets with an armor piercing ship, then the final "bullet wave" is firing like 5 times a second. So instead I just kill 3 wing turrets, one side propeller, then hammer the center... and the bullet-wave is manageable to my brain.

The perks of a weaker ship seem to show up in the end stages of the game, where your rank is miniscule in comparison to the beefier ones like Snail/Gain. Something to look forward to with my Shatter Star attempts ;)

Icarus:
Quote:
You can adapt the technique I use in this clip (XVID - 2.4MB) to work with the Sword which has an almost identical type of three-way Shot. In basic, you line yourself up with the central turret of the midboss, and force the central turret to turtle. You then use the side bullets of your three-way Shot to damage and destroy the two back missile launchers, and the two side turrets.


An excellent technique! Those rear missile bays did indeed take an eternity to get rid of on my Shatter Star run today... so what you've just shown me is going to be incorporated into my strategy immediately :D

Icarus:
Quote:
DXP-Yoshidaya used a suicide. If anything, every ship can use a suicide for the tank bullets, as it makes it so much easier to destroy all the tank tracks and turrets on a large tank.

It's not so much the timing of the suicide, but the placing of your ship when you suicide. You preferably want your ship to blow up dead center of the screen, with all four tanks in view, so your shrapnel is scattered tightly and evenly across the screen.


Yeah I wasn't a big fan of suiciding here on Mackerel, as I tend to need as many credits as possible for the boss + the stage 5 boss-fest. I had a routine down where I could regularly grab 2 large bullets, often 3 (rarely 4) without suiciding. However, with Shatter Star, I save 2 credits when milking Madball, so I won't feel as uncomfortable suiciding at the stage4 tanks. (Heh... I bet we've said suicide so many times in this thread that it'll show up in google if we search "suicide"). Suicide.

Anyhow, gonna go to bed and set up my torrent client. Thanks Icarus for being my outlet for this game :P

Nobody I know, or have met, in real life or even online in gaming communities, has given a crap about Garegga. Makes it kindof hard to talk to them about it :P

edit: p.s. how are you quoting in such a way that it replaces "quote" with "xx wrote"?


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2005 6:11 am 


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After writing that I was too riled up and had to load up the old beast for another round. Instead I got this http://webpages.charter.net/bgspencer/debug_mode.avi

I use a batch file to do all my command line dirty work, and have not tampered with any Mame settings for months... my only guess is that a key is sticking somewhere on my keyboard while the game is starting? Which one though... lol.

I never did see any mention of a debug mode in the arcade version. Then again, I didn't look.

Anyhow, I spent a good half hour in there just checking stuff out, it's pretty cool ;)


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2005 1:08 pm 


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Vorpal wrote:
After writing that I was too riled up and had to load up the old beast for another round. Instead I got this http://webpages.charter.net/bgspencer/debug_mode.avi


Actually, that's not a Debug Mode. Since you're playing it in MAME, you're playing the PCB, and what that list of menu options is, is the Service Menu. You get it by enabling Service Mode in your dipswitches, and then resetting/loading the game. From there you can check out all sorts of things, like sprites and their hitboxes, map layouts, sound and graphics tests and so on.

What it's normally used for is to test all aspects of the PCB for faults, like sound, graphical problems and so on. It can also be used to check out the different aspects of the game, like sprites, sound fx etc.

Quite nifty actually. I'm using the Map Test Mode in EK-MAME to compile maps for stages 4, 6 and 7 ^_^

Vorpal wrote:
If I try to milk all the wing-propellers/turrets with an armor piercing ship, then the final "bullet wave" is firing like 5 times a second. So instead I just kill 3 wing turrets, one side propeller, then hammer the center... and the bullet-wave is manageable to my brain.


The speed of the final fan-wave from NL2's main core is usually determined by how many main targets you've destroyed - lower wing turrets, side proellors, central propellor, twincannon body - as well as being partly affected by rank. For me, ignoring just the central propellor makes the fan wave so much easier to navigate, while gaining near maximum points from the boss.

Vorpal wrote:
The perks of a weaker ship seem to show up in the end stages of the game, where your rank is miniscule in comparison to the beefier ones like Snail/Gain. Something to look forward to with my Shatter Star attempts ;)


At a guess, the rank profile for Sword will be pretty low due to the absence of a penetrative bullet in the Shot. As long as you create and stick to a strategy that can force the game to slowly increment rank - use little to no Options; use a specific Shot level that offers power, but doesn't have as many bullets being fired at once etc - you should have no difficulty keeping rank down.

For reference, I've popped up an example of my powerup strategy here. With this strategy, I can keep rank down low enough to force only four support fighters to appear before Black Heart.

And if anything, Gain should have the lowest rank increase of all ships, due to the characterists of its Shot (never more than a four way normally, or a double threeway at special sixth) and it's Options (the Buster Sword is really slow firing). The thing is, expert Gain players purposely increase rank to exploit scoring opportunities - hoarding lives; grabbing four Options, setting them to Back Formation and then rapid-firing them off the bottom of the screen etc. Boggles the mind.

Vorpal wrote:
Nobody I know, or have met, in real life or even online in gaming communities, has given a crap about Garegga. Makes it kindof hard to talk to them about it :P


Not many people here on this forum give a crap about Garegga either. It's slowly mutating into a Cave-fans forum, where everything is discussed in the context of "Cave vs shmup developer" or "Cave game vs other shmup" ;)

Besides myself, I know of only a few others who love Garegga as much as I do (Rando being one), but they don't tend to discuss it as much as I do -_-;; Being the maintainer of the ST, it's partly my duty to do so, but I do enjoy discussing and sharing the info with those interested to know. Just ask if you have any questions :)

I'm also pending a big rewrite of the guide to incorporate all the info that's been discussed within this thread, to explain things clearer (I do admit there are things in the guide that aren't explained as well as they could be) and to reorganise and add lots of bit and pieces. That'll come in time.

--------------------------------------------------------------

Vorpal wrote:
edit: p.s. how are you quoting in such a way that it replaces "quote" with "xx wrote"?


Easy. When you quote, you usually set out these tags:

Code:
[quote] ... [/quote]


If you want to change it from "Quote" to "Somebody wrote:", just add an equals and the name of the person you want to quote enclosed in quotation marks, like so:

Code:
[quote="Vorpal"] ... [/quote]
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2005 4:24 pm 


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(You're turning me into a forum whore)

Icarus wrote:
You get it by enabling Service Mode in your dipswitches, and then resetting/loading the game.


I haven't messed with the dipswitches since Tomtom's "Max Rank Challenge", where all I did was turn difficulty back down to medium. I'm puzzled as to how I activated it.

Anyhow, speaking of difficulty, during Tomtom's challenge, I didn't really notice any noticeable changes in difficulty. Yes, ships had more health and bullet patterns were more deadly, but I was attributing that to my sitting at the top of the screen and raping my rank whenever possible :P. The only thing different I noticed that didn't happen in my medium difficulty games is, in the later stages (4 and 5), enemies stopped "turtling" as you call it. Most noticeably the small bullet-yielding turrets on the boats in Stage 5. Their failure to turtle resulted in 3 lost credits, heh.

Icarus wrote:
For me, ignoring just the central propellor makes the fan wave so much easier to navigate, while gaining near maximum points from the boss.


Actually, now that you mention it, I do indeed always kill the central propeller in armor piercing ships (for obvious reasons). Forcing me to go easy on the boss. I think I'm going to have fun milking this sucker with Shatter Star.


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