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 Post subject: GD: Detana!! TwinBee
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 8:26 am 


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I decided to give the TwinBee series a try recently, starting with the arcade games (TwinBee, Detana TwinBee, and TwinBee Yahho) since I don't feel like setting up emulators for other systems yet. So far they seem pretty neat but I don't really know what I'm doing. I've got a couple of questions about Detana TwinBee in particular, though they may or may not apply to the rest of the series as well. Without further ado:

  1. How many hits does it take to cycle a bell's color? I want to say that it's a fixed number of hits, maybe five or so, between each color change regardless of how the hits are distributed between bells, but I'm not positive about that.
    And while we're at it, do the bells in the Parodius games behave the same way? I've been wondering about that.
  2. Is the type of fruit that spawns when you destroy a ground target important at all? What determines the score they give (50 or 200 points)? It doesn't seem very significant, but it'd be nice to know.
  3. What powerups should I be prioritizing? I've been going for the white and green bells ASAP and a blue bell or two as needed, and a purple bell if I can manage to grab one.
  4. What causes GwinBee (wave-shot) and other special powerups to spawn? In this 2-ALL the player gets GwinBee from the very first pair of ground targets; I've found it in the first stage a couple times but never that early. There's also a golden bell that gives three-way shot and I think I saw a golden star once but I don't know what that does.
  5. Are there any other tricks or secrets worth knowing about? Like I said, I really don't know what I'm doing here.

Thanks in advance! Bell juggling is impossible
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 Post subject: Re: GD: Detana!! TwinBee
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 11:05 am 


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I'm not intimately familiar with Detana!! (or any of the arcade TwinBees, for that matter) since it is extraordinarily bad for my health, thus I unfortunately can only serve with a lot of sciolism!

1. It's definitely a fixed number of shots, although I can't say how many exactly. And while they may start from different positions in the cycle when they're released the order in which they cycle through is always identical, too, if I'm not gravely mistaken (which just might be the case). Parodius games work exactly the same in that regard, yes. That is, with the little difference that you don't actually need the bells as power-ups in Parodius games, of course, which just happens to lessen the frustration by a thousandfold.

2. & 4. Somewhat sure it's random which things appear on the ground. Or it's dependent on some other factors no one knows about. The star functions as a screen-wiping bomb, doesn't it?

3. You definitely want to get the speed-ups first I'd say, then at least a few options, then the shot upgrade and lastly the shield. That should be blue -> green -> white -> pink, I believe.

5. The freaking rank system will punish you for scoring well in the most severe ways possible. It's certainly possible to beat the first loop without that much of a hassle if you don't focus on scoring all that much. But boy, does it ever get angry if you try your best to work on a decent score...

Shepardus wrote:
Bell juggling is impossible

No kidding. :[
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 Post subject: Re: GD: Detana!! TwinBee
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 1:01 am 


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Many thanks, Perikles! Yes, the bells being less crucial in the Parodius games does make the system a lot less frustrating. I think they also take longer to fall off the screen and take fewer hits to cycle colors, which also helps. I didn't know the rank system was so punishing in this game, that must be why the Japanese wiki rates a 2-ALL of it so high.
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 Post subject: Re: GD: Detana!! TwinBee
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 2:24 am 


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The 2-ALL is that high because of your humongous hitbox and the random suicide bullets. It's completely impossible to survive unless you master the use of the tail shield to block bullets.
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 Post subject: Re: GD: Detana!! TwinBee
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 8:48 am 


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Back when I used to play this I used to do it with 1 speed up and the 3-way bell, which probably isn't recommended :lol: .

Not much of a tip but at the end of stage 3 (just before the boss) you can stop most of those circle enemies turning up if you don't quickly destroy all the enemies before then (the ones that fly in a circle at the top of the screen and then fly towards you), letting some of them go. I used to get annihilated before the boss before I worked that out.


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 Post subject: Re: GD: Detana!! TwinBee
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 1:57 am 



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What's the purpouse of purple bells? it's something related to the options but i can't figure what.
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 Post subject: Re: GD: Detana!! TwinBee
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 11:40 am 


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Purple is the Shippo Barrier / Tail Barrier. It can block bullets and do damage. You absolutely need it to survive the second loop.
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 Post subject: Re: GD: Detana!! TwinBee
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 3:49 pm 


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Green gives you options that fire shots with you, purple makes them solid so they can absorb bullets. The two stack with each other and the order you get them doesn't matter.
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 Post subject: Re: GD: Detana!! TwinBee
PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2016 2:16 pm 


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Cool hints !

I just acquired this game on my SS, I'm a total noob on the franchise, do you know any good guide that sums up the game's basic mechanics? I coudln't find one on the forum.
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 Post subject: Re: GD: Detana!! TwinBee
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2016 5:05 am 


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Most of what I know is from Hardcore Gaming 101, Wikipedia, and playing the games. I've only played the three arcade games (TwinBee, Detana!! TwinBee, and TwinBee Yahhoo!), but most of the basics should apply to the other games too. I'll tell you what I can remember:

At its most basic, the TwinBee series is sort of like Xevious, in that you have one weapon for firing at air enemies and another that targets ground enemies. Your ground attack consists of throwing bombs with your two arms; these arms can be hit and destroyed separately from your ship, leaving you unable to attack ground targets. The first time this happens in a life there will be an ambulance that appears to give you back your arms, but if you lose them again they're gone until your next life.

The bells are the most distinctive (and arguably annoying) part of TwinBee; they're your means of powering up and scoring. Shoot clouds and stuff to spawn them, keep shooting them to cycle their colors and keep them from falling off the screen, and grab them to get their effects. Different colors have different effects: yellow, the most common, gives you points, chaining up to 10000 if you don't drop any; blue is a speed up; white turns your single shot into a more powerful twin shot; green gives you options for extra firepower; red gives you a shield that surrounds you entirely, but this does not stack with with the green bell's options! Detana TwinBee adds two more bells, a purple "tail shield" bell that makes your options solid so they can absorb bullets (if you don't have any options you'll get some but they won't fire until you get the green bell too), and a black bell that slows you down. TwinBee Yahhoo doesn't have these two bells (purple and black) but instead has a pink bell whose effect I don't remember.

The bells are yellow for most hits but every five or so hits they change to another color; be careful when this happens, since one more hit and they'll change back to yellow, and it'll take many more hits to cycle it back to the color you want! This is probably the single most annoying thing about the series. In TwinBee Yahhoo it's a bit more forgiving, taking four hits to change the color from a special color back to yellow rather than just one. I believe the color cycle is fixed and shared between all bells - use this to your advantage to quickly get the bells you need at the start of the game!

Detana TwinBee adds a charge-shot which you can use by holding and releasing the normal fire button. TwinBee Yahhoo lets you choose between several different charge-shots at the start of the game.

Some ground targets leave behind special powerups; which ones do this is random as far as I can tell. There's a green ship called GwinBee which will summon a helper ship to your side that turns your shot into a wider wave shot. There's also a golden bell which makes your shot spread out in three directions, and a golden star that eliminates enemies on the screen similar to the blue powerup in Gradius. In TwinBee Yahhoo there are some weapons left behind by ground targets that replace one of your arm's bombing capabilities with an alternate weapon.

Though this reply's a little late, hope it helps!
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 Post subject: Re: GD: Detana!! TwinBee
PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 12:14 pm 


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Thanks a lot for this very informative answer Shepardus! I'll make sure to keep those in mind when trying the game again!

My version is the Detana!! Twinbee Yahoo deluxe pack, I didn't study the menus yet, but seems there's a selection at the start of the game that I believe is the choice of the version to boot, I'll try both and see if I notice the changes you mentionned. For the little bit I tried the bells were indeed not easy to handle, since you need to avoid shooting them to let them fall down to you.. I died a few times because I wanted to grab the bell and stopped fire :lol:
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 Post subject: Re: GD: Detana!! TwinBee
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:25 pm 


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Since I've played the PCE port recently (and checked the arcade game which behaves exactly the same in this regard) I thought I might as well post my new, much more efficient power-up strategy for this game.

Bells in this game will always cycle in the exact same order. It doesn't matter which cloud you hit or if you skip a few bells altogether, the sequence will proceed irregardless of that. You'd be wise to use that in the first stage to get fully powered up as quickly as possible*. This should be the last time in the game you have to upgrade the ship, although that depends on the shield you're using. Here's the order:

- The first golden bell will turn white (double shot).

- The second golden bell will turn blue (speed-up).

- The third golden bell will turn green (options).

- The fourth golden bell will turn red (regular shield), then purple (shippo barrier). You're probably best off to get the latter.

- Afterwards I'd recommend to get another speed-up. You'll get a black bell (speed-down) beforehand, but you can just turn that into a golden bell and then juggle another bell. You're going to have more than enough time and opportunities in the first stage to get a second speed-up.


Now, using the shippo barrier is a colossal nuisance. I've savestated a run all the way to the end (of the first loop, that is!) and found a lot of interesting utilities, particularly against bosses, but it's much harder to pull it off than it looks. Sometimes you can just sit still with the options on top of your ship and it'll grant protection, sometimes you die. It's probably dependent on the exact angle of the bullet. The shippo barrier can also destroy the otherwise indestructible floating cudgels in stage 6 which is a godsend. It's furthermore able to block the large shots of the clone ships in the final stage, they cannot, however, protect against most of the large artillery (lightning bolts from the fourth boss, laser beams from the fifth and sixth boss, charge shot from the large clone ship in the final stage etc.). But since the regular shield cannot grant safeguard against those threats either you're better off to stick with the shippo barrier (besides, due to the massive proportions of the normal shield it'll be neutralized in half a stage, if that).

Lastly, I'm not quite convinced of the spread shot when going for score. You're most likely going to trigger more bells than you can (safely) collect at once during the sections with clouds all over the horizontal length of the screen. GwinBee seems a bit useless (I don't think the shot is much stronger), but at least you get a meat shield along with it.

*The way I see it there's no point trying to control rank. Frankly, if you want to play this game you'll have to put the time in to learn those ridiculous bosses and some of the nasty surprises the stages hold. Hate, hate, hate the last two bosses (sixth stage is omitted in the PCE version, by the way, which I find very pleasant).
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 Post subject: Re: GD: Detana!! TwinBee
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:03 am 


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Time to resurrect this thread. I've been playing this game a lot in the past few months, and I could write up some tips (actually I already did in the video description of my first 1-ALL), but for now I've got a question to ask, in case anybody here knows:

Occasionally in stage 5 the game spawns out of nowhere a bunch of extra enemies and bell clouds that don't normally appear. You can see it in high-level PCB recordings such as this and this, which indicates it's not merely an emulation bug and makes me believe there's some consistent way to trigger it, but I have no idea how. I've done it a couple times myself but always by accident. For reference, the section "normally" looks like this. Anybody else seen this and know anything more about it?
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 Post subject: Re: GD: Detana!! TwinBee
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 4:33 am 


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Here's a powerup strategy that makes for an easy (ish) route through the first loop:

Get purple bell (tail shield) and 1 blue bell (speed up) on the first level. Then on level 5 or later (but not before), grab the bell pickup that can spawn on the ground after bombing an enemy, to get triple shot (important for the ladybug waves on stage 7). Take no other powerups!

A contingency plan if no triple shot spawns is to get green and white bells. (There are lots of ground enemies on stage 5 and 6, so odds of getting triple shot are good) Avoid Gwinbee on stages 3-5. Another contingency plan: If you die on the stage 6 boss (which is quite possible), the ladybugs don't shoot if you have zero powerups, so recovery is possible if frantic.

The main reason for that route is to keep levels 1-4 kept quite manageable at low rank. Many enemies that *would* shoot at you if you were fully powered up...simply don't. That means you can mostly breeze through the first half of the game up to the stage 4 boss, which always takes some thoughtful dodging.

Shepardus showed that you can clear the whole game with zero powerups, and it's not insanely hard. But tail shield is so useful that partial power is easier than no powerups at all. Tail shield can block shots, and TwinBee-seeking plates and cutlery. Tail shield can even take out the rotating cudgels on stage 6, the spinning rectangles on stages 6+7, and - most importantly! - it can block the big scary chevron-shaped shots from the stage 7 midbosses.

Take this with a grain of salt - I've been playing Bells & Whistles (the US version), which has different enemy placement (I think easier overall), and got a very low score...but once the powerup plan was locked and loaded, the route didn't take too long to learn and practice.

Low-scoring 1-life clear: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMnPJsa-klc
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 Post subject: Re: GD: Detana!! TwinBee
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 4:39 am 


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Neat! I'll need to try out this strategy on my next attempt to clear the arcade game. Good to have dedicated Konami rank doctors publishing their work. :mrgreen:
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 Post subject: Re: GD: Detana!! TwinBee
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 11:30 pm 


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I did some digging into the rank system a couple weeks ago, and here's what I've figured out. Hopefully I didn't miss anything important.

Rank is based on your current powerups. It's also based on some factors that the player cannot influence, namely the difficulty setting, the current stage, and the current loop. Since you can't do anything about those it's not really worth thinking about them as part of the rank system, so the rank that you should care about is just based on current powerups. Notably, this means that survival time, as well as how long you've had powerups, do not affect rank. If you play through the early game with no powerups and then power up later, you'll be no better off than if you got the powerups at the beginning, unlike Battle Garegga or Parodius Da's speedups. Rank influences enemy behaviors such as how often they fire and, for some enemies, how quickly they move. I haven't checked what else it might influence but I don't expect there to be anything too surprising there.

In more detail:

Rank is represented by a byte in memory (address $204054) and is calculated from the section in the program code starting from address $4C82. To make it clear, from here on out I'm going to use decimal rather than hexadecimal to represent rank values.

Rank has a base value calculated from the difficulty setting, the current stage, and the current loop. The difficulty ranges from 0-3 (the default normal is 1), stage ranges from 0-6 (just the current stage number, but indexed from 0 rather than 1), and loop is 0 or 1 (0 for first loop, 1 for second loop). The base rank is calculated as:
Code:
Base rank = (difficulty * 2) + (stage / 2) + (loop * 16)

So for example, if you're playing on default settings (normal difficulty) and are on stage 3 of the first loop, the base rank is (1 * 2) + (2 / 2) + (0 * 16) = 3. Due to the stage/2 factor, this will increase by 1 every two stages, and when you reach the second loop it'll increase by 10 (loop value increases from 0 to 16 but the stage value decreases from 6 to 0).

Powerup rank is added on top of this base rank. Each powerup contributes a fixed rank increase:
Code:
Twin shot (white bell) = +1
Options (green bell) = +2
Barrier (red bell) = +4
Tail barrier (purple bell) = +3
Speedup (blue bell) = 0 for first two speedups relative to base speed, +1 for each thereafter
Gwinbee = +2
3-way = +2

For speedups, "base speed" here refers to the speed when you spawn. This is actually represented in memory as speed level 2, since you can slow down twice from that speed. So each speedup above speed level 4 adds 1 to rank.
So the rank increase from my preferred powerup strategy (options, barrier, 3 speedups, Gwinbee, and 3-way) is (2 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 2) = 11.

Additionally, there is a rank cap; if base rank + powerup rank exceeds this cap, then the rank is set to this cap instead. Similar to the base rank, the cap is determined by the difficulty, stage, and loop. It is as follows:
Code:
First loop:
Rank cap = 7 + stage + (difficulty * 2), maximum 16

Second loop:
Rank cap = 31

In practice, this cap is mostly important for 2-player games, since both players' powerups contribute the same towards rank.

So that's the rank system. In a nutshell, all that really matters is your current powerup state, and the specific values for each powerup can be found in that code block above.

Shepardus wrote:
Time to resurrect this thread. I've been playing this game a lot in the past few months, and I could write up some tips (actually I already did in the video description of my first 1-ALL), but for now I've got a question to ask, in case anybody here knows:

Occasionally in stage 5 the game spawns out of nowhere a bunch of extra enemies and bell clouds that don't normally appear. You can see it in high-level PCB recordings such as this and this, which indicates it's not merely an emulation bug and makes me believe there's some consistent way to trigger it, but I have no idea how. I've done it a couple times myself but always by accident. For reference, the section "normally" looks like this. Anybody else seen this and know anything more about it?

I still haven't been able to figure this out. I've recorded inputs from a save state just before this and it just seems random to me. However, getting a star (or any ground powerup?) at the right time before the clouds appear seems to guarantee their appearance or at least make it more likely - just making it appear is enough, you don't even have to collect the powerup. Since the ground powerups are also random, though, that doesn't help too much...

Some other notes:

The barrier provided by the red bell has 9 hitpoints. Bullets reduce its durability by 1, while enemy collisions reduce it by 3. For some reason you can still be hit by a bullet and die immediately when you still have 1 hitpoint left on the shield.

There's an internal counter that keeps track of how many ground enemies you've killed since the last powerup; it's used to limit how often you can get ground powerups. It's carried over between games, which is why you may sometimes see Gwinbee or 3-way shot spawn at the beginning of the game if you play multiple credits without resetting, while you'll never see that happen if you reset the game after every credit (i.e. if you're recording an input file).

Sometimes I don't get bells from some of the clouds in stage 7 that should spawn bells, I think it might have something to do with having too many bells already in the air.

Dumple wrote:
Shepardus showed that you can clear the whole game with zero powerups, and it's not insanely hard.

For those who haven't seen it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWU4-KFvqTA
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