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 Post subject: SD: ESPrade bosses (originally created by zakk)
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 7:08 pm 


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I debated if this should really be the start of a Treatise thread, eventually expanding into stage hints too, but I figured this was a good start. Besides, I'm not nearly good enough to drive a Treatise thread on this game

Anyways, I've noticed my biggest barrier to better play in ESPrade is how to handle certain bosses. I figured some collective brainstorming on this subject might help some of us see better tactics for survival and success in this area. Note I'm going to specifically avoid discussions of boss milking in my text, I'm not really at that level of play in this game, but others who are feel free to throw your input into the mix on this matter..


Helicopter thing:
General notes
The second form of this boss is triggered by one of two methods. Destruction of the main cockpit, or taking sufficient damage. My previous observations seem to show it will occur when it has about 1/3rd health remaining. Causing this change as late as possible (damage wise) can be advantageous for survival, as you have to dodge less of the attacks after it occurs, which can get extreme , especially when this boss is the third one. A safe way to make sure you do the most damage before the change is to only attack the outer parts of the boss, specifically the round 'fan' parts. You'll completely avoid any accidential damage to the cockpit this way. With JB and Irori you can attack with just the B-shot to reduce any wide-shot damage to the cockpit if you feel the need.

Patterns
The intital pattern is tame at any difficulty, just make sure you don't hang out in the 'alley' between the parallel shots too long, as the aimed pink shots can easily pin you here. If you need to cross over the middle of the screen, you can generally do this in one motion through both sets of bullets, as long as you're moving fast and you time it right. You may have to modify your path on the 'far' side and move diagonally down depending on how the bullets are staggered. Again, be careful of the aimed shots here. The blue 'crossing columns' of bullets are also not that difficult. Just watch their paths and make sure you aren't sitting where they will cross, or where one will directly pass. If you ARE directly in the way of one, move! Be aware of WHERE you move, as it likes to trick you into moving right where they will cross. I've noticed this pattern can corner you if you're hanging out on the extreme edges of the screen, watch out. This is very much a concern if you're just attacking the outside fans, as detailed above. Depending on your confidence level you may want to stop attacking and move more towards the center of the screen for this attack.
Next is the purple pattern. The gaps between bullets are fairly large here, just plan ahead and don't be afraid to use the whole screen to get out of the way. Just beware of the two clusters of dark blue bullets that shoot out during this. They converge and that gap you see between them will disappear soon enough. This one is somewhat aimed (maybe 100% aimed, not sure?) so keep moving and stay away from it. This pattern is also bad about pinning you to the edges of the screen if you're in that area to start with, so keep that in mind when setting up for it. Regardless, aggressively seek out the large clear spots when dodging this stuff, it seems to favor that technique.

After the form change
On the first level this is still fairly simple, the patterns are not that bad. Just dodge them, being careful of the long pink bullets' crossing points. Also make sure you don't dodge INTO them as they pass by, those long bullets have a habit of hitting you from behind when you think you're clear of them.
The boss will also spew a single stream of machine gun fire, at all stages. It is possible to cut THROUGH this stream, but on the 2nd and 3rd levels it may be too risky depending on your skill level. I tend to just lead it a bit and mind the screen edges.
There will also be the same 'crossing columns' spread of blue bullets as you see in the first form. Same dodging advice applies, excpet here there's a potential for other stuff (possibly the trailing leftovers of the previous pattern) to be on the screen, only good advice here is to be mindful of that
In the 2nd and 3rd levels these patterns can get thick, especially the radial blue sphere spread combined with the long pink intersecting bullets. I've searched for tricks for this section, (especially in the third level), but the answer seems to just be 'have the skills to dodge it'. This is where it can be helpful to delay the form change until the 1/3rd health mark, if you're fully powered up you don't have to dodge this pattern TOO long. Any advice in this area is welcome.

Well, that took longer than I thought, so I'll break for now. I can probably give competent advice on the first three bosses at least, but after that I'm not helpful, so some of you better players may want to offer some hints there.

-=Zakk


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followup by zaphod:

Here is my lore for the game.

1) the easiest way to get a 16 x multiplier is move towards the enemy while shooting your b button weapon. this will keep the bubbles joine,d and you can get all 16. It's higly advantageous to do so ebcause a) the powerups/smileys will drop SIGNIICANTLY faster, allowing you to collect them before dodging the bullets, and b) you will get MORE powerups/items for killing with a high multiplier.

I play JB 5th, and usually use c button to select.

First tank boss. The bi tip is to wait until the center is cracked to blow off the second front piece. If you blow both center pieces off first, the bos will then spew HUGE amounts of blue bullets form the back two. But if you crack the main shell first, the back legs will not fire, and you can then quickly take out he remaining front piece safely. Then all you have to worry about oare the merging bullets. they start one way, then chnge directions to close off where you thought the hole was. just be mindful of them, and you shoudl dodge easily. Easy as pie. You should be fully tooled up before you ge to the boss anyway.

Psychic boss. He has many attacks, and they increase in itensity as you take out the lifebars. He has a bullet spread attack, which whirls a little in opposite directions (quite ddgable), a "bullet swords" attack that's also quite dodgable, and the large slwo bullet spread, which is quite dodgable, but you have to pay attention,a nd move carefully. He also has the summon 6 planes attack, Sometimes, the planes fire aimed streams (slow dodge) and sometimes just spin and fire relatively randomly. To deal with it, simply hold down a, and dodge constantly. eventually they will blow up, and you can get back to fighting the main boss. At high rank, for the final bar, he spawns an invulnerable clone that has the same attacks. He will always do this if you fight him third, and may or may not do it if you fight him second. Use b shot as much as possible to deal damage faster, as always, and remember that when you wipe out a lifebar, all bullets turn to items.

I'm no good at the helicopter boss yet, an just bomb him a lot, but i know ne can be beaten without t.

And one more tip. There is a "constant counter" technique that can be used in the heavier levels for great survivability. YOu use the super weapon, and absorb bullets til your counter fills up, then release, and collect E items until your counter is nearly empty, then reactivate the super weapon, pausing the counter, and absorb more bullets to fill the counter back up. Score is lousy with this technque, tho. Stil you might want to use it starting at stage 4 or 5... it should carry you towards the boss very well if you've got it down.

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 Post subject: Ysh
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 1:43 pm 


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That reminds me of some basic stuff for the last boss/last form.

At the point where she just starts fling "hands" everywhere I give up on trying to do damage and stick to dodging. For the most part you can dodge everything by simply circling her(Though you may have to swing through certain waves as they slow down since they overlap). Obviously she flies off as soon as you fire the bomb but if you keep it held down she won't fly off. Not terribly useful but eh.

Unfortunately due to the randomness of the stages(I thought it was just based on the character selected) the difficulty of the bosses can change up quite a bit. I seem to have the least trouble with the following paths.

Yusuke: School, Mall, Park(Imo the Park boss is probably the easiest for me)
J-B 5th: Mall, School, Park(The Psychic Guy boss's "fifth form with the clone isn't so bad but it increases the chances of ending up with the dreaded "ships with random spreads" which leads to lots of stupid deaths by fluke bullets.)
The little girl(Forgot her name and it's sad because I 1CCed the game with her): Park, Mall, School (This is the only instance where I take the School boss last is because the girl seems better suited for him.

4th and 5th bosses are another story entirely. There's no real strategy for the first form of the 5th boss(Giant Head) aside from dodge everything. However when it comes to 4th form(Wings + Giant pink bullets) I always end up getting pinned down when she goes into her flurry of shots.

Ah well..Will do a couple playthroughs and see if I have anything useful to add.

EDIT: Just did a retry with all three characters.
J-B 5th: This is the one I got the farthest on.
1st Boss. Yeah cracking the tank should be done first since the bullet spread caused by the rear treads is rough. Other than that he's pretty easy(Well all of the first bosses are easy)
2nd Boss: Psychic Guy. No problem. I had the 200 pickups for the energy recharge so I went ahead and bombed him when i thought I was going to get hit..just to be on the safe side
3rd Boss: Ugh..I take back what I said. The Park(BAY!) boss is rough in the second form. Granted his spread leaves plenty of open spots but they move at a fairly quick pace. Now I'm starting to wish I'd get the Psychic Guy again
4th Level: Choked on a stupid death at the Stealth bomber. Then again all my deaths in these playthroughs are stupid so no matter.

Yusuke I lost to the 3rd Boss(Bay again!). The little girl's 3rd boss was Psychic guy and sure enough I didn't have much trouble with him(Aside from a stupid STUPID death when I smacked into one of the last bullets in his final spread).

So you won't be hearing much more from me until I can at least beat the first three bosses without dying.(and to think I 1CCed this game once..biggest fluke on earth)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 7:55 pm 



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I've revisited the game, and it seems I was wrong about the constant counter bit. once a countdon is started, yo ucannot cgeet the counter to go back up until it's totally empty, though you can still get multiple energy refills out of a single countdown if you've been bombing liek a mad bastard.

One of the keys to doing well in this game is managing your super weapon meter. This is easier said then done. Generally it is advantageous to empty and refill yorur super meter as often as possible, because each time, you can ge more time for energy collection, and when you have the acounter up to 5 hundred or more, you can start to use a LOT of supers, and keep recharging, and this is really helful in the later stages. SO if yo uare playing for survival, don't be shy about usin your superweapon early on. It's like DonPachi in that respect. But you want to ake sure and trigger the recharge when there's stuff to kill!

And remember, you can choose the order of your second and third stage by using button B or C to select your character. with a, it's random.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2005 2:55 am 


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Here's a random tip that i like to use on the Psychic Kid boss (the Valedictorian, as i call him). His most annoying attacks are the ones where he shoots out his bits after clearing a previous lifebar.....once a lifebar is cleared, point blank the bits by holding both the main shot button and the secondary shot button simultaneously....it should take care of the bits really fast and you probably have to do minimal to no dodging whatsoever.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2005 12:33 am 


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The best tactic for average players like myself, is to avoid fighting the tank on level three, as it is consistently harder through its forms than any other boss. Depending on your skill or approach to the game, you should choose the right boss at (possibly) the expense of your favoured character IMO.

The psychic dude I find is the easier of the two other bosses on level 3, with things only getting hairy at the finale when he doubles himself. Unfortunately this level also means you have to fight the robot bug mini boss on level 3 as well, which for me is a serious life/bomb threat in it's first stage.

Taking the copter gives an easy ride to the boss however, and this route should take you to the level 3 boss unscathed (in a sensible run). The best tactic for a non-godlike player is probably to hold out for as long as possible before doing a near full bomb charge, or two half bomb charges if you end up bombing before the final form (which is hellish).

Assuming you are having no bother with level 2 versions of the bosses, choosing the copter is probably the best bet if you can get it down on one bomb bar. The sheer amount of bullets makes the bomb relatively safe if your looking to recharge in the same vein as the level 5 trick of bombing/recharging at the hectic parts.

After that your free to lose all your lives rapidly on level 4 :lol:


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2005 6:21 am 


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can anyone explain the milking technique using mainly the B button?

after watching TAC's replay, for example on the helicopter boss, he just keeps "swiping" with a few B button shots at a time... then striking on the flashing parts to get the x16 on each copter part....

does shooting at a boss with just B button reap larger points or am I missing something here??

I'm also finding that when (using irori) I use my bomb on the largest enemy gunship that shows up in the 1st quarter of the 1st stage.. I just absorb as many bullets as poss until i'm fully powered up to go for more x16 bonuses - does using the shield / bomb reduce points??

I'm really trying to improve my game, so any help is appreciated!
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2005 6:44 am 



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The milking technique is simple. You get points 'sticking' the bubbles to an enemy. Unfortunately it's scaled to the damage a bit badly, so you get a fairly substantial number of points from a boss by peppering it with the low-damage bubbles. Preserving its life as much as possible while reaping points from the contact. Hence what you are observing in the video.

There's probably a good reason for not using the bomb/shield like you described, but I can't think of it offhand. Depending on where you do it, you may run into the problem that the amount of bubbles required to get 16x will kill many of the stage 1 enemies before you can even hit them with the A-shot. Also as you get better, you're going to be powered up fully fairly quickly anyways, so it may turn out to just not matter.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2005 9:03 am 


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zakk wrote:
The milking technique is simple. You get points 'sticking' the bubbles to an enemy. Unfortunately it's scaled to the damage a bit badly, so you get a fairly substantial number of points from a boss by peppering it with the low-damage bubbles. Preserving its life as much as possible while reaping points from the contact. Hence what you are observing in the video.

There's probably a good reason for not using the bomb/shield like you described, but I can't think of it offhand. Depending on where you do it, you may run into the problem that the amount of bubbles required to get 16x will kill many of the stage 1 enemies before you can even hit them with the A-shot. Also as you get better, you're going to be powered up fully fairly quickly anyways, so it may turn out to just not matter.


ok, milking works as assumed then! thanks!

yeah, I'm still getting problems scoring big on x16's but at least with the quick power up i'm scoring better than without it... ah well.. I shall practice some more and maybe note some end of L1 scores with and without...
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2005 2:00 am 



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as I sai dbefore, the easiest way to get the 16x is to move forward as you fire your b weapon. this places the bubbles closer together, so they will reach the enemy faster and givees yo ane asier timing windw for catching them all.


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