ST: Mushihimesama 1.0 Maniac & Ultra Scoring

For posting and requesting strategic gameplay tips on shmups!
Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:12 am
Location: Arizona

ST: Mushihimesama 1.0 Maniac & Ultra Scoring

Post by Kiwi »

1,061,006,564 Maniac (No Autofire) [WR]
1,842,732,721 Maniac (No Glitch Autofire)
851,950,537 Ultra (No Autofire) [WR]
1,080,775,113 Ultra (Glitch Autofire)
33,880,446,268 Arrange (Xbox/Steam) [WR]

+ a proud owner of a Mushi PCB!

Hundreds of extra hours on PCB and MAME as well!

  • A Button [Shot]
    Holding this button will focus your options, your movement, and show your hitbox. Tapping this button will result in your shot and options firing for a brief period of time.
    With W-Power, tapping A slowly will result in a short barrage of bullets which finish firing before your options do.
  • B Button [Bomb]
  • C Button [Full Auto]
    Holding this button will allow for continuous fire, while releasing it will make your shot and options cease firing immediately.
    If you tap the C button for 1~2 frames, you will fire a single bullet.
There is no damage difference between holding A and holding C

Rapid Shot and Rapid Full Auto are simply configurable autofire buttons for A and C respectively. Keep in mind that autofire rates on the Xbox 360 and Steam ports are displayed in frames + 1. Therefore, an autofire rate of [Trigger Time 1 Interval 2] = 2 frames on, 3 frames off = 12hz. Additionally, I have no experience with PS2 autofire rates. This port uses a different system so, unfortunately, rates for that version will not be covered here.

If you are on PCB or MAME, you should always use autofire settings that hold your buttons for 2 frames per press. Single frames will cause problems during slowdown such as eating a few of your shot inputs.


In this game you are able to choose one of three shot types to start with, but you may also change your shot type in the middle of a run when you encounter a powerup. To do this, let the circular timer around the item run out. It will force the item to change into to a powerup for the next shot type in the rotation (M>W>S). Your new shot is not technically permanent, however. You will be reverted to the shot you chose at the beginning of the game upon your next death.

Not only does your shot type affect what bullets you fire, but it also affects your movement speed.
    Typically regarded as the worst shot type. It is not as strong as W at point-blank range or as strong as S from a distance. However, for a standard Original or Maniac Mode clear it can still perform perfectly fine if you prefer some aspects of it. Its middle of the road movement speed, moderate spread, and decent damage at long range are very attractive to some players. But, except for in one very specific scenario, M-Power is nearly useless for actual scoring.
    W-Power is usually regarded as the best shot type for scoring (but this is not entirely accurate). Despite its slow movement speed, it deals the highest amount of damage in the game when you get close to an enemy and has an incredibly wide shot spread (albeit low damage) from afar. W-Power was thought to be so good that using it was implied when playing the game seriously.
    This is generally the best shot type for scoring because of how it can abuse the firing glitch. It has absurd movement speed which makes it well-suited for large sweeping macro dodges that can trivialize some specific sections of the game, but its tight bullet spread means that you will be forced to work harder on other sections to compensate. It also deals more damage than any other shot type from long ranges, but the damage does not scale very much when at point-blank range.
There are also two different option arrangements to choose from: Trace and Formation. You may wait for the circular timer to deplete on these items as well to force them to switch back and forth.
    Your options will copy your every move and will center themselves on you when holding the shot button. Trace is typically the most useful for scoring.
    Your options are anchored in a fixed formation around your character: two to the left, two to the right. Holding the shot button focuses them in front of you. Formation makes your options deal higher base damage than that of Trace and is useful for scoring in stage 3 of Maniac Mode.





Scoring in Mushihimesama involves two core systems which exist to raise your main counter: chaining and counter banking.

Firstly, let's talk about the main counter. Admittedly, this is not necessary for understanding and scoring this game, so feel free to skip it if you like. All you need to know is that a higher counter produces more points from enemies and amber (except amber from bullet cancels).

AlvaLynsis and I have found the exact formula for how the main counter affects point values. It is actually much more simple than I had previously imagined. There are two formulas:

Amber Formula: Counter/10+Base Value
Enemy Destruction Formula: Counter*2+Base Value

[Amber pieces formed by bullet cancels are not affected by your counter.]

Using this formula, we can determine exactly how many points killing an enemy will give you. Let's use an example:


Let's say I wanted to find out how many points I would get for killing one of these red ladybugs with 60,000 counter. Multiply 60,000 by 2 to get 120,000, then add its base value. Knocking off the turret gives 380 points, and killing its body gives 160 points. Therefore, the destruction value is 120,540 total.

This enemy drops 5 pieces of small flying amber, 3 pieces of small ground amber, and 1 large piece of ground amber. These are the base values of amber:

Small Flying Amber: 100
Small Ground Amber: 200

Large Flying Amber: 300
Large Ground Amber: 500

Now let's apply the simple formula. 60,000 divided by 10 is 6,000. Therefore, the values of the amber are 6,100 for small flying, 6,200 for small ground, and 6,500 for large ground. The totals are 30,500 for the 5 small flying, 18,600 for the 3 small ground, and 6,500 for the large ground. Now we just add up the two totals.

55,600 Total Amber Value
120,540 Destruction Value
176,140 Points

Each bullet hit with S-Power gives 10 tick points each. It takes 4 bullets to kill one of these ladybugs, so we add 40 points


Now, if we look at our score...


We were right!

Here is a list of all enemy base values by stage:

Stage 1
Stage 2
Stage 3 Part 1
Stage 3 Part 2
Stage 4
Stage 5 Part 1
Stage 5 Part 2

Additionally, the point value of amber during end of stage bonuses is different than their typical value. They are as follows:

Small Flying Amber: 100
Small Ground Amber: 200

Large Flying Amber: 1,000
Large Ground Amber: 2,000


It is immediately apparent to all players how chaining works at a basic level. Simply damage or kill enemies continuously to raise the counter and prevent it from dropping. However, depending on your shot type, you may have to get creative to minimize your counter loss in various sections of the game. One useful way to prolong your counter from dropping in sections where enemies die too fast is to tap C quickly (12hz is usually the best rate) on mid–large size enemies to damage them as slowly as possible.

Proximity plays an important role in your counter gain, so point-blanking enemies is essential to your ability to maximize your counter while chaining. Enemies are also invincible when they are first appear at the top border of the screen. If you point-blank them during this time, you can maximize the amount of counter you gain from each enemy.

Some large enemies will "stun" the counter for a very short period of time upon destruction to assist in chaining. Select smaller enemies such as the scorpions in stage 2 have this effect as well.


Additionally, the higher your counter is, the faster it will fall when you drop chain. Here's a blogpost by Sinmoon that has a table which details how much your counter decreases each frame: Sinmoon's Blog

Each shot type builds counter at its own speed. The tiers for counter gain are as follows:
  1. S-Power
  2. W-Power
  3. M-Power


Using an exploit called "supershot," it is possible to increase the damage and counter gain of all 3 shot types by holding C while tapping A at different rates. Here's a list of tapping and autofire rates to use for each shot type.

In the following list, all autofire values listed are for Rapid Shot, and they apply to the Xbox, Steam, and Switch ports (PS2 is different). Also, "Trigger Time" will be abbreviated as TT, and "Interval" will be abbreviated as IN.
  • S-Power
    For this shot, you have two options: 8.57hz [TT 3 IN 2] or 6hz [TT 5 IN 3].

    8.57hz has very slightly reduced damage/counter gain compared to 6hz, but it works with complete consistency without any funky inputs.

    6hz is the optimal rate for S-Power supershot. When using autofire for this rate however, it will not work consistently if you hold C then Rapid Shot. To make it consistent, delay your inputs so that you press Rapid Shot then C and hold both buttons. It's not quite plinking since you should leave much more than just 1 frame between each press, but it's the same concept on paper. To test whether or not your autofire is getting you consistent results and to get a good feel of the timing, practice stage 4 and simply hold up and fire until you die. supershot should get your counter to about 5,500 before your death if it is working correctly.

    The increased damage from S supershot works at any range.
  • W-Power
    Optimally, W-Power supershot should be performed at [TT 1 IN 2] for 12hz. This can be extremely hard to perform without autofire though, so you may have to route around having less damage than most replays if you mash at a slower speed in no auto runs. An alternative to mashing at 12hz is mashing at 6.66hz [TT 1 IN 6] which does nearly the same amount of damage, but is rather precise.

    The increased damage from W supershot only works at point-blank range.
  • M-Power
    7.5hz using anything between [TT 1 IN 5] through [TT 5 IN 1] works for M-Power. Just like S-Power, you should hold Rapid Shot then C with small delay between your presses.

    The increased damage from M supershot only works at very close range.
  • Arrange/Version 1.5
    The base damage of all shot types has been upgraded to supershot levels in these versions and the exploit was fixed. There is no use for supershot tapping in either mode. In Arrange however, there is a quirk you should be aware of. If you hold A without holding C first, you will do a special shot unique to Arrange mode. This shot is much darker and the bullets fly much faster so it is easy to tell when it's working. This special "Arrange shot" gives you much higher counter gain at the cost of less damage. Therefore, you shouldn't use it unless you're scoring. You can avoid using the Arrange shot by holding C before holding A.


This system has been overcomplicated for quite some time and is one of the things that has scared many people away from scoring Mushihimesama. I hope to explain it as clearly as possible and I would appreciate any feedback on better ways to articulate myself if it still does not make sense.

Counter banking revolves around the mini counters that your options build on enemies. This system is only useful on midbosses with the exception of some high-health enemies such as the Nana Bushes in stage 2, some strong body parts in stage 3, and the large grasshoppers in stage 4. This mechanic is disabled on bosses.


In a nutshell, this is what you do: you damage large enemies with your option lasers to grow your mini counters. Then, you flash the main counter on the midboss from red to white to add the sum of those mini counters to your main counter on each flash. Now, let's break down what I mean by that.

In the image below, the mini counters are the small numbers boxed in red. The large number boxed in black is simply a duplicate of your main counter placed on the enemy for viewing convenience.


Each one of your options builds its own independent mini counter as it damages the enemy. The reason why there are two mini counters in the above image is because, at this point in the run, you are given two options (as seen in the image below) and they are both building a counter independent of each other. If one option were to stop hitting the midboss momentarily, its counter would drop a bit and have a lower number than the others.


Now, it is important to take note of what happens when you stop shooting an enemy. The main counter turns from white to red and begins to drop. Then, when you shoot the midboss again, it returns to white.


When the main counter turns from red to white, the sum of your mini counters is added to your main counter. If we are using the above image as an example, every time the counter flickers to white 156 will be added to your main counter (78 + 78 = 156). However, your mini counters will be much higher than this in a run. When I use W-power, I wait for my mini counters to get to around 850 on the stage 2 midboss before I start cashing in which nets me 1,700 counter per flicker (850 + 850 = 1,700). If I do this 10 times per second, that means that I'm gaining nearly 17,000 counter every second. Essentially what this means is that you should hit the midboss with your options until the mini counters are high enough for your liking, then repeatedly damage the midboss, stop, damage the midboss, stop, etc. You may be wondering how you can damage the midboss 10 separate times per second to achieve this result. As you may recall from the first section of this guide, "> CONTROLS <," tapping the C button quickly (optimally holding it for 1~2 frames) will result in you shooting a single bullet. Every time an enemy takes damage, the counter stays white for 4 frames. So, you want to rapidly tap C to hit the midboss with single bullets so that its counter is red, then white for 4 frames, then red, then white for 4 frames, etc. It is easiest to perform this process with 10hz autofire (Rapid Full Auto - Trigger Time 1 Interval 3) on the stage 2 midboss.

If you are wondering how to tell when you should start C tapping for optimal counter gain, a good rule of thumb is to manage your damage to where the midboss is on the verge of changing phases when he times out. You deal more damage while building your mini counters, and less while cashing in on them.

You must perform all of your counter banking on the first phase of each midboss because all of your mini counters disappear when the phase changes. Additionally, you lose a good chunk of your main counter from the phase change explosion because damaging the midboss during the explosion does not keep your counter from dropping for whatever reason.

With W-power, instead of simply holding down A or C on the midboss until you start C tapping, you should be tapping A slowly, but not slow enough to where your options stop firing. This is because you shoot less bullets by slowly tapping A, which will make you do less damage to the midboss, which means you have more time to build your mini counters before you're forced to start C tapping. Additionally, the gaps between your shots mean you will get a few flickers as you're tapping A as well.

When you boil all this down, counter banking with W-Power is simply tapping A slowly to build your mini counters, then tapping C quickly to cash in on them.

I realize this is a bit difficult to grasp, so here's a video for you to dissect. It will also show you how to keep your chain after the midboss.

Stage 2 Midboss Counter Bank With W-Power

You cannot slow A tap to deal less damage with S-Power and M-Power because these shot types continuously fire. Instead, if you hold the button for a short period of time then release, you will get a similar result to W-Power slow A tapping. Here is a video demonstrating that.

Stage 5 Midboss Counter Bank With S-Power

One thing to pay attention to when counter banking is the actual hitbox of the midboss you are damaging. For example, when the stage 5 midboss has his front legs out, there's a relatively flat surface for you to C tap on.

(hitboxes are entirely approximated and are therefore not accurate)


When he puts his legs away, C tapping with W can become a bit of a problem. You see, because the shot is so wide, the middle of the ring of bullets will hit his head, and the sides will hit his wings shortly after. This causes him to take damage for a slightly longer period of time per C tap. You will either have to slow down your tapping speed to compensate for this increased amount of time the counter stays white, or move to the side of the midboss to bank faster off of the more flat surface of his wings.


10hz and 12hz are typically the most useful autofire rates for C tapping, but sometimes you might have to manually tap slower to compensate for odd scenarios such as the one described above. You can utilize 12hz C tapping the most when at point-blank range on an enemy because your bullets are absorbed as soon as you fire them. Any rate faster than 12hz will not be able to flicker the counter at all.

Although it may not look like your options are firing when you tap C for 1~2 frames, they actually are. You can see on the image below that I am clearly C tapping and my options do not look like they are firing lasers, yet the mini counters are white which indicates the options are damaging the enemy. Because of this you can actually make your mini counters drop a little bit slower by having them touch the enemy that you are C tapping. However, you should keep in mind that this will result in extra damage to your target.


There also exists a glitch with mini counters which seems trigger inconsistently. If your main counter drops to zero, there is a chance that your mini counters will drop to zero as well. I cannot establish any solid reason as to why this happens, but just be wary.


Welcome to the empty locking of Mushi! (kinda)

As I touched on earlier, this is a very little known glitch that vastly improves the score ceiling of this game and cements S-Power as the best shot type. Because of it, stuff like this is technically possible and it is likely that this is how the world record of 2.67b was performed. Essentially what it does is it allows you to C tap while firing your lasers at the same time. This makes your damage exponentially lower than what slow A tapping with W-Power allows as well as letting you cash in on your mini counters the entire time you're building them (but cashing in the entire time is only really practical when performing the glitch with autofire buttons). W-Power can perform this glitch as well, but a single bullet from S-Power does much less damage than a single bullet from W-Power. Also, since S-Power's bullets are arranged in a narrow straight line, you don't have to worry as much about the positioning issues caused by W-Power's wide shot which we covered in the hitbox screenshots.

To perform this glitch, all you have to do is plink from C to A. Plinking is a fighting game term which means to push a button 1 frame after another button. To do it once, the frames should ideally look something like this:


It is necessary that there is at least one frame where both C and A are held together as shown above under frame 2. It can be a bit finnicky, but after you successfully plink these inputs you may either let go of A and attempt to repeat the process rapidly, or you may continue to hold A. Doing these inputs rapidly without an autofire macro is nearly impossible however, so it makes much more sense to hold the A button after the plink. You see, holding A after one successful plink produces no bullets for about a half a second before it resumes normal firing. This can be useful for performing the glitch outside of the Glitch Auto category because, if you let go of the A button as soon as it fires the next bullet after the half second delay, you can get two single shots to fire from only one successful plink.

Here's a clip of what that looks like.

Unfortunately, performing the glitch in this way will make you lose most of your current counter at the beginning of midboss fights since the enemy is going to be red for so long. You will still end up with a significantly higher counter by the end of the midboss than if you were not performing the glitch though. Decreasing your damage to let you build the mini counters longer is really that important.

There is quite a bit of nuance to the inputs for the glitch especially when it comes to slowdown (it just stops working during slowdown with autofire by the way), but it's something that you'll get a little bit more used to and will improve with over time.

To perform the glitch with autofire, simply set both Rapid buttons to Trigger Time 1 and whatever matching Intervals you prefer. Then, plink from Rapid Full Auto to Rapid Shot and hold both buttons.


At power level 1, and ONLY at power level 1, tapping A with M-Power produces only two bullets. This means that tapping A quickly produces nearly the same result as the firing glitch. Try just holding Rapid Shot at [Trigger Time 1 Interval 5] and you'll see what I mean.


You can get some ludicrously high counters from this, but it is unlikely for this strategy to be more profitable than using the firing glitch with S-Power. Retaining the counter that you gain is rather difficult due to the very low bullet cap at power level 1. You need to be very close to whatever enemy you are shooting to make sure that you don't run out of bullets and drop counter. Also, you will essentially only be able to get points after counter banking since your low power level will make normal stage chaining worthless.

I have no idea if this strat could actually be useful or not with enough routing, but I figured it deserved to be mentioned regardless. Maybe this is the final frontier of no autofire scoring with TAS-level precision?


As you may have noticed, I have alluded to a "No Glitch Auto" and "Glitch Auto" category. That's because I strongly believe that the categories of this game should be split in three. No Auto, No Glitch Auto, and Glitch Auto. In the above clip and in my 1.8b Maniac PB I perform the glitch inputs manually, so I place these runs in a different category from my 1b Ultra run where the inputs were not manual. This is because the entire meta and all routes change the moment you start using autofire for the glitch due to the possibility of low power strats as seen in my 3b Maniac TAS for the lowest amount of damage. Also, a ton of autofire circuits are not even capable of performing the glitch since it requires each button to be held for 2 frames instead of 1. To prevent people from comparing their scores to the Glitch Auto WR of 2.67b just because they don't want to learn to tap C at 12hz manually, it is important to make this category distinction.


When I play this game, I typically use 10hz and 12hz C buttons for my autofire. However, the steam port only supports one autofire button each for A and C. There are three options that I've found: simple game modification, buying a Brook converter dongle, or using a program like Xpadder for your other C button.

My preferred method is to use a Brook converter dongle. The autofire is fixed at 10hz and is shockingly accurate. Once you have it plugged in, check out their user guide on their website for how to rebind buttons and assign autofire (their Switch dongle user guide is here). Duplicate whichever button you have assigned to 12hz C using the rebind feature, then apply autofire to that duplicated button. I assume the same thing could be done with the Brook UFB's autofire, but I have not invested in one yet to check if the autofire functions similarly.

If you don't want to buy a Brook dongle, Using an external program like Xpadder would be your next best option. Unfortunately I would not recommended an external program for a C button. These programs are very inaccurate with the frame timing of their presses, and you will want consistent results from whatever method you use. However, Olifante has created a simple cheat engine script to replace your A autofire button with a second C autofire button. With this you can have two completely accurate C autos and supplement your supershot with an external program or manual inputs.

Here's a quick guide.

Mushihimesama Rapid Buttons (Direct Download)



This is my setup with S-Power. The only difference with W-Power is I use 12hz A autofire on the thumb button. I currently use a Brook converter to get this result.

Last edited by Kiwi on Tue Jul 19, 2022 6:18 pm, edited 35 times in total.
User avatar
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:12 am
Location: Arizona

Re: ST: Mushihimesama 1.0 Maniac & Ultra Scoring

Post by Kiwi »

[Reserved for potential strat section]

For now, here are the superplay videos for Original, Maniac, and Ultra so you can see some W-Power strats.


I got a pretty good run of 1.84b with S-Power that you can see here. This should be a great video to learn and copy strats from.

Maniac S-Power 1,842,732,721 (No Glitch Auto)

And here's a good Ultra no autofire run I got with a handcam

Ultra 828,551,953 (No Autofire)
Last edited by Kiwi on Tue Jan 25, 2022 6:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Special World
Posts: 2220
Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2009 2:12 am

Re: ST: Mushihimesama 1.0 Maniac & Ultra Scoring

Post by Special World »

Truly an exceptional topic and the one we all need right now. Great work, Kiwi!

To think that such a small bird could ascend to superplayer status—truly an inspiration to us all ;___;
  • catstronaut loves games
User avatar
Posts: 173
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:16 am
Location: California, USA

Re: ST: Mushihimesama 1.0 Maniac & Ultra Scoring

Post by digitron »

Kiwi, your guide and play at this game is amazing, thanks!!
User avatar
Posts: 1326
Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2011 8:38 pm
Location: Sweeedeeeen.

Re: ST: Mushihimesama 1.0 Maniac & Ultra Scoring

Post by Eaglet »

Don't think I will ever play any more Mushi after selling off my PCB years ago, but just wanted to chime in and tell how excellent a guide this is!
Easily read, good flow, clear examples. A+ on the mini-thesis. :)
moozooh wrote:I think that approach won't get you far in Garegga.
Image Image
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Oct 31, 2023 2:23 am

Re: ST: Mushihimesama 1.0 Maniac & Ultra Scoring

Post by samspot »

This is a fantastic resource and I've referred to it constantly while learning this game.

I struggled to get the points needed for both score extends while attempting the Arrange 1CC. After some testing I found a relatively easy way to ensure 1b points in the run. Basically:
  1. Use S-Power & Arrange Shot! (Hold Shot button / A). It’s slightly less damage than Holding C-then-A, but It does a light form of counter-banking automatically that's worth a lot of points.
  2. Use Kiwi’s point-blank strat on Stage 1 boss with Arrange Shot as seen here: If you want more safety you can hang back further in phase 1, but the rest is straightforward. You might as well learn it since Stage 1 becomes such a non-issue when making 1CC attempts.
  3. In Stage 2 try to maintain the S1 boss counter up until the midboss. Use arrange shot to get the midboss to 75%, then hold Rapid Full Auto (Trigger Time 3, Interval 2) until it's dead. This is a bit more dangerous than holding A and killing it quickly, but I don't find it too difficult to dodge at full speed with a little practice.
  4. Assuming you didn’t take any deaths or drop the counter too much, you are on track to get both scoring extends before you finish Stage 3. Feel free to switch back to the normal shot. Personally, C-then-A is a bit tiring so I tend to just stick with A.
Obviously, this isn’t a good strategy for actual scoring, or for anyone already skilled at the game. But maybe it will be helpful for someone else who was in my situation.
Post Reply