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 Post subject: GD: Aka & Blue Type-R
PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 5:07 pm 

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Joined: 07 Nov 2005
Posts: 1869
Location: Finland
WIP starting post with some notes on the game.

General system

Ship types
Blue Owl is generally stronger & easier to use than Fire Bird if trying to 1 credit clear the game.

Fire Bird / Aka
- Wide shot with no way to narrow down
- Aimable wide shot during unfocused movement
- Linear bomb, always shoots forwards. Easier to handle. Cannot do some survival or scoring strategies & worse at bomb recharging
- Good at taking out weaker enemies in a wide area (but these are not the main difficulty in this game)
- Slightly slower movement speed
- Very high damage with focused shot while point-blanking
- Bad at damaging smaller targets due to wide shot
- Shot might generate score items from hitting bosses faster than Blue

Sort of a handicap ship but it's fun to play. Can be thought of as a kind of Hard mode. Gameplay is more straight forward.

Blue Owl / Blue
- Narrow shot with high damage
- Aimable missile shot during focused movement for additional damage - Burst of missiles when switching from unfocused to focused, Stream of missiles when holding focus
- Missile hits add increased Chain count
- Bomb can be aimed 45 degrees to the left or right, influenced by movement (need to consider this before using bombs or it's a hindrance)
- Good at taking down Bosses and other more powerful enemies
- Slightly faster movement speed
- Needs to maneuver a bit more to deal with popcorn/zako swarms (minor problem)

Stronger ship that also comes with more technical scoring tools. Seems like it's also supposed to be the better ship in the games story.

Powerful weapon that cancels bullets and does decent damage. Uses a gauge system instead of traditional bomb stock (it's more of a special weapon than a cave style bomb). Cancelling bullets with a bomb charges another bomb so can be used back-to-back. But there is an overheat period after each bomb use where you are vulnerable.

Level 1: Bullet cancel aura with no projectile
Level 2: Short range bomb
Level 3 & 4: Medium range bomb
Level 5: Max size bomb that only stops once fully off the screen. Max damage & Score item generation

Since the bomb needs to despawn for a followup bomb to be ready, things like lv5 bomb have a longer 'cooldown period'. Lower charges are more spammable but may be harder to keep up the bomb level.
For scoring generally only Level 5 bombs are used.

Bomb gauge is charged by:
Hitting enemies / destructible projectiles
Cancelling bullets with active bomb
Grazing bullets

There are two extends/1-ups in Arcade mode:
Stage 3 extend: destroy midboss - Giant turret structure that shoots missiles in 1st half. Has a lot of health so easy to miss.
Stage 5 extend: destroy midboss - Murasaki fight, can't really miss this

Rank / Difficulty scaling
This game does not have a rank system. Stages in Score Attack mode are identical to Arcade.

True Last Boss - ???
In arcade mode on a single credit, lose no lives and defeat the Stage 5 Boss.

Background music selection
From title screen, push start while holding corresponding direction:
Neutral + Start - Arcade BGM (default)
Left + Start - Original iOS version BGM

Advanced Techniques & Glitches
Rapid forward missile (Blue Owl): Mash the A button while holding C.
Missiles will fire forwards more rapidly than the stream of missiles from holding A. This does more damage and extra missile density leads into additional chain increase.


Scoring system
The game has no score extends so scoring is purely for competition, etc.

Chain counter
Multiplies value of score items. Max value is 999

Blue counter: frozen during stage transition
Yellow counter: bomb active. Chain resets to 0 after yellow state ends

Chain is increased by:
- Hitting enemies with main shot
- Hitting enemies with power weapon (increased gain)
- Hitting enemies with bomb (major increase)
- Destroying enemies
- Destroying enemies with bomb (major increase)

Chain is decreased by:
- Not hitting any enemies for 1-2 seconds
- Counter resets to 0 after bomb state ending
- Counter resets to 0 when player takes a hit

Chain carries between stages.
Killing enemies rapidly might extend yellow counter time? If not, it's just tied to bomb going offscreen. Your bomb overheat cannot end until the yellow counter is over.

Score items : Stars / gold
Main way of gaining points

Items are generated by:
- Bomb connecting with enemies (on each hit) - main way of getting items
- Destroying enemies
- Bullet cancel into small items on midboss & boss death
- Hitting bosses / large enemies spawns extra items every few hits (item size varies depending on range)

Item value is affected by:
- Chain count
- Time duration until collected, value rapidly increases over time after item spawned (collect in close range for max points)
- Item type (large vs small), usually small enemies explode into small items. Bombs generate a massive amount of large items.

Stage & Game end bonuses
This game has no score bonuses on clearing stages or finishing the game. But there is a True Last Boss with a no death requirement.



Survival strategy
Boss fights are the main source of difficulty in this game. Stages can be dealt with using some STG fundementals & your quickly recharging bomb weapon. Boss fights are designed to put up a fight even if you attempt to abuse the bomb system.

Stage 2 midboss
Murasaki (the purple ship) will fire an aimed shot, think of this as a movement check. You only need to move very slightly for it to miss. If not using bombs, try to damage murasaki first though.
The midboss itself generates so many bullets that you can constantly Level 5 bomb it. This midboss sort of acts as a tutorial to the bomb recharge mechanics.

Stage 2 Boss
Final attack: once the pattern with orange bullets begins, slowly move (tap dodge) up or down. Keep in mind you can't go very high on the screen.

Stage 3 Boss
3rd form, surround pattern with 4 'drones': Move to the very left edge of the screen to simplify dodging this pattern & only need to move up and down. you will also constantly gain Graze. The pattern is static so you can memorize a simple route.

Stage 4 midboss
Speedkilling with bombs is recommended as the last attack is demanding.
During its second attack, the destructibles generate so many bullets that you can charge a Level 5 Bomb from a Level 2 one, so if your charge is low use this to your advantage.
Final attack: very slowly stream left / right so the aimed bullets from destructibles miss

Stage 4 boss
First attack: find a space in the orange bullet grid, then slowly move upwards.
2nd form, last surround attack (blue circle bullet grid, red spreadshots): the spreadshots alternate firing from the left and right borders of the screen. Blue only strategy: fire a bomb off to the other side while absorbing one of the spreads and you will only need to deal with the blue bullets for a moment.
The later attack of 2nd form is much easier than the first two, so focus on staying alive rather than dealing damage.

Stage 5 midboss
Speedkill with bombs recommended since the last attack is dangerous.
Surround pattern (DOOM missile-like): spreads from the bottom of the screen fire out if orange bullets from the 'clone' ship fly all the way down there. Bomb to cancel the orange bullets to make this pattern easy.
Last attack: hold up while bombing or you will crash into the enclosure

Stage 5 boss
First form: staying near the left or right edge of the screen recommended, there is a large gap in the opener and you will destroy missiles on the 2nd pattern. If using this spot with Aka you will deal little damage. Try to cycle your bombs to match with the missile waves from the boss. If bombs are aimed forward they reload faster.


Scoring strategy
Avoid bombing until there is a very good opportunity for the bomb to cover enemy hitboxes and your ship to to point-blank collect items. Either by lining up a lot of enemies for the bomb to cover or a finding a good boss pattern that allows you to stay up close. Chain carries between stages so avoid bombing on bosses after cashing in your chain for that stage.

With Blue Owl (Type-2): Try to hit enemies with missiles as much as possible rather than killing them with normal shots. Optimizing this boosts your chain count for each stage.
With Fire Bird (Type-1): Point-blank bosses and enemies as much as possible to bring out the real damage potential & spawn additional scoring items.

Stage 2 boss
Since the last attacks cannot really be point-blanked don't bomb and instead carry your chain into the start of Stage 3.

Stage 3 boss
1st form: this pattern is fairly easy, so avoid bombing and increase your chain by shooting it normally.
2nd form has a hitbox that covers the entire screen vertically, so bombing it from the bottom of the screen will generate a huge amount of score items. This is the biggest score gain in the entire stage so try to enter with ~900 chain.

Stage 2 & 5 midbosses
These bosses have such a small hitbox that bombing is not good for scoring. Easier said than done though.

Stage 5
This stage has a ton of scoring opportunities. For safety bombing less seems better since you have less risky point blank item collection to do. It's sometimes difficult to see enemies hiding under score items.

Last edited by Zaarock on Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:43 pm, edited 13 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: GD: Aka & Blue Type-R
PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:48 am 

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Joined: 26 Jan 2005
Posts: 2933
Location: Lake Stevens, WA
Actually had a chance to play this for a bit (it showed up in the MPK arcade on Facebook campus) and I was curious how much effect grazing has on scoring It looks like building chains and keeping them does more for score than grazing, but is there any significant incentive to graze if your bomb counter is full?
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 Post subject: Re: GD: Aka & Blue Type-R
PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:00 am 

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Joined: 08 Jan 2016
Posts: 622
Location: Mountain View, CA
Your perspective on Aka vs Blue for survival play is interesting. I agree with all of your observations about shot characteristics and power, but I find that a lot of people still gravitate towards Aka for beginner play, seeing Blue as the more difficult scoring character. Maybe that's because we're used to wide shot picking off nuisances in other titles. As you've said, the bosses are the meat of this game's difficulty.

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 Post subject: Re: GD: Aka & Blue Type-R
PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:11 am 

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Joined: 07 Nov 2005
Posts: 1869
Location: Finland
Vexorg wrote:
Actually had a chance to play this for a bit (it showed up in the MPK arcade on Facebook campus) and I was curious how much effect grazing has on scoring It looks like building chains and keeping them does more for score than grazing, but is there any significant incentive to graze if your bomb counter is full?

It does nothing apart from reload your bombs as far as I know. Same for cancelling bullets but maybe there's some weird interaction I missed. So bullet density gives you chances for bomb reloads & survival but nothing for scoring or boss milking

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 Post subject: Re: GD: Aka & Blue Type-R
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2021 8:02 pm 

Joined: 22 Jul 2006
Posts: 101
Location: Sweden
Could you elaborate a bit on the S4 boss opener?

"First attack: find a space in the orange bullet grid, then slowly move upwards."

I looked at the video you have on Youtube, and are you consistent with this, cause I just can't seem to hit this at all :/

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