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 Post subject: ST: Eight Forces
PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:12 pm 


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Joined: 25 Jan 2006
Posts: 954
Location: Australia
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EIGHT FORCES COMPLETE STRATEGY GUIDE & DATA COLLECTION

BY MACAW


Table of Contents

  • 1.0 - Introduction
    • 1.1 - About
    • 1.2 - What People Have Said
    • 1.3 - Legend of Star Force
  • 2.0 - Mechanics
    • 2.1 - Controls
    • 2.2 - Power-Up and Bomber Items
    • 2.3 - Stage Flow
    • 2.4 - Scoring
    • 2.5 - Rank
    • 2.6 - Tips for Beginners
  • 3.0 - The Eight Forces
    • 3.1 - P1 Side
    • 3.2 - P2 Side
  • 4.0 - Stages
    • 4.1 - Stage A
    • 4.2 - Stage B
    • 4.3 - Stage C
    • 4.4 - Stage C-2
    • 4.5 - Stage 5
    • 4.6 - Stage 6
    • 4.7 - Stage 7
    • 4.8 - The Second Loop
  • 5.0 - Extra
    • 5.1 - Videos
    • 5.2 - World Records
    • 5.3 - Endings
    • 5.4 - Stuff & Mysteries
    • 5.5 - Other Stuff
    • 5.6 - Useful Links

1.0 - Introduction

1.1 - About

  • Eight Forces is a weird game. Everything about it, the visuals, the music, the theme, it’s all quite bizarre, but fascinating. Not many people know its actually related to the Star Force series, more so as a kind of ‘gaiden’ than a continuation of the story, though none of us will really know for sure considering the games story is incredibly mysterious and nothing is really known about it. Despite the English title displayed, the direct translation from the Japanese katakana of the game is ‘Eight Force’.

    The design of the game is pretty much a cross between Sonic Wings and Star Force. The way each ship has a pilot character, the first bunch of stages being played in random order, the limited time max power, and the resetting from the start of the stage when you die are all obviously inspired by Sonic Wings. The Star Force aspects include many of the original enemies returning (much like they did in all the games sequels), as well as various other things that mimic the original Star Force.

    The general reaction people have when first playing Eight Forces is that it’s just ridiculous. This is due to the absolutely messed weapon balancing. Most of the weapons in the game are overly weak, and new players will find themselves unable to destroy much of anything. You see ships in the game have two different main shot attacks, one when you tap the button and one when you hold the button. Thing is, most of the hold shots are stupidly weak and useless, and even the tap shot isn’t that useful unless you completely exhaust yourself in a single run tapping as fast as you can non stop.

    The answer is, use rapid fire. You absolutely need to use rapid fire if you want to make decent progress out of the game, or get some kind of fun out of it instead of frustration and a broken hand from trying to tap manually. The game is remarkably playable with rapid fire.

    So once this hurdle is past, what is interesting enough about Eight Forces that requires you to play it? Well there are a number of things.

    The most striking feature, something that everyone likes about the game even if they absolutely can’t stand anything else, is the character designs, enemy designs, stage designs, and just the visuals in general. It’s all very damn cool. The characters in the game, the pilots of the ships, the so called ‘Eight Forces’, are some of the most awesome character designs in any shooting game. These include a huge ninja, a totally awesome looking robot, a humanoid tiger that seems obsessed with his physique, and perhaps most famous of all, the unicorn that has a frikkin chandelier in his ship amongst similarly fancy stuff, and he’s drinking a glass of wine. You cannot get awesomer than this.

    The enemy designs are similarly awesome, consisting of a mix between biological stuff, standard spacey stuff, and stuff that’s just weird. Stages also are quite awesome. Particularly memorable areas include the city which seems to have been taken over by a gigantic eye, the boss battle of the enemy transport ship stage you fight against the backdrop of a planet, and the entire final stage in which you rise up over earth, eventually going into space, and then into the enemy headquarters… very epic and cool.

    Apart from the visuals, another good aspect of the game is the score system. Well, depending on your taste I guess, but anyone into the Raizing style medal chaining system will probably get a kick out of it, as the medals eventually lead to an absolutely insane highest value. So damn satisfying and fun.

    Music is rather terrible. There is an arrange of the Star Force theme in there, but most stages have music consisting of short, bad sounding loops. There are moments when it sounds alright, and most of the time it actually fits with the games theme decently considering how bizarre some of the tracks sound, but the game really didn’t get a proper soundtrack treatment at all. Most of the track loops are no longer than about 10 seconds. Strange considering Tecmo had previously released games filled with actually proper music tracks, most notably Raiga - Strato Fighter which even got a soundtrack album release.

    Eight Forces just feels so vast. There’s so much stuff to discover, so much stuff in stages, so many mysterious characters. One of the most interesting arcade shooting games ever released, there is really only one other that comes close, as far as the weird factor goes (see ‘Other Stuff’ in section 5.0 for more info on that).


1.2 - What people have said:

(Spelling errors inclusive)

  • "This game kicks ass. Everyone should play it."
    - shoe-sama

  • “I resent it”
    - Zebra Airforce

  • "It's reall cool and really bad."
    - zinger

  • "He paid too much attention to the vinters' cellar and let some second-stringer
    load the ammo on the ship, so now he has to pay the price, I guess."
    - Ed Oscuro

  • "It's not a horrid game"
    - The Coop

  • "WOW I never knew this game was so awesome"
    - shoe-sama

  • "medal chaining to the extreme"
    - me

  • "1M medals are so awesome."
    - SFKhoa

  • "wtf does this game loop?"
    - Plasmo

  • "Why does the medal counter seem to reset at times for no apparent reason?"
    - The Coop

  • “Here is available the awesome shooter from Tecmo!”
    - Dragon1952

  • "haha wow 90% of my score from one stage section, great medalling "
    - nZero

  • "ghey ninja is slow and sux use drunk unicorn instead"
    - shoe-sama

  • "this game has the best medal chining system ive ever seen"
    - Dandy J

1.3 - Legend of Star Force

  • Star Force (Arcade, 1984)

    Image

    Story:

    "In the year 2010 of Dimension Almanac, there was a mysterious planet named GORDESS which was moving in the darkness of the cosmos for the purpose of mass murder and plunder. Everyone gave up fighting against GORDESS because of its awesome power. One day a brave soldier riding a space patroller challenged GORDESS to fight. People called this space patroller "FINAL STAR", wishing to be saved. You must bring an end to the murders which have been committed for the past 2,000 years."


    Comment of Macaw:

    The original Star Force is a legendary game. It was released in 1984 alongside dozens of similar games, its only real distinguishing feature being that you can blow up heaps of buildings and stuff on the ground and a whole bunch of esoteric weird stuff and secret bonuses to discover (Eight Forces certainly mirrors the original in this aspect). The true impact of the game only came later, when Hudson released a Famicom exclusive spiritual successor to the game during a partnership with Tecmo at the time, that game being Star Soldier. Star Soldier had insane popularity on the Famicom, causing the biggest boom in shooting game popularity since Space Invaders, and spawned heaps of sequels on many different systems, with more games in the franchise still coming out today. During the height of the craze in the late 80’s and early 90’s Hudson held their yearly Caravan tournaments where players would compete for high scores. Star Force was the first game to be featured at the first Caravan tournament.

    Star Force’s influence wasn’t just to the Hudson stuff though, but also to all the Compile shooting games. The Zanac series, Aleste series, Guardic series, Spriggan series and practically all other Compile games in the genre were obviously influenced by Star Force and Star Soldier.

    Its quite interesting to realize that while Hudson was releasing more Star Soldier games and Compile was going bananas with all their shooting games series, Tecmo themselves stayed relatively quiet, only releasing 3 true sequels/follow-ups to the Star Force series, the latter 2 (Final Star Force and Eight Forces) being very low profile.

  • Super Star Force: Jikuureki no Himitsu (Famicom, 1986)

    Image

    Story:

    "In the year 2010 of Dimension Almanac, the mysterious planet named GORDESS was defeated by the space patroller "FINAL STAR". But questions remained, and the mysteries of the murders which had been committed for the past 2,000 years were
    left unsolved. Now you have one final mission to uncover the secrets of the past and determine where exactly GORDESS came from, and if it has been truly defeated."



    Comment of Macaw:

    This game is awesome. Released 2 years after Star Force exclusively for the Famicom, Super Star Force is a bit different to a regular shooting game. Legend of Zelda had come out at the beginning of the year (1986) and Tecmo obviously saw it and thought “hey, wouldn’t it be awesome to add action adventure scenes like this to a shooting game??” and that’s what they did.

    So basically the game involves you first cruisin’ through space shooting stuff Star Force style, but you occasionally come past little areas you can enter, such as shops or dungeons, at which point you get out of your ship and walk around in a spacesuit.

    Shooting stuff gives you ‘Time Points’ which basically acts as both money and your health when you are in on foot mode. Buying new weapons and other stuff for your ship as well as equipment for when you’re not in your ship is essential and a pretty fun aspect of the game. Running around in the dungeons is fairly standard action-rpg esque stuff, but really cool.

    The game has some really interesting elements in that you have to travel back and forth between time, in order to access different areas and to change stuff in the past that will then affect the future, letting you access new areas… pretty ahead of its time for 1986.

    The game in general just has an awesome 80’s sci-fi feel and is totally cool. With the release of Star Soldier in 1986 in collaboration with Hudson, Tecmo perhaps felt that another standard shooter as a Star Force sequel would be a bit pointless, so instead they went in this direction.

  • Final Star Force (Arcade, 1992)

    Image

    Story:

    "2000 years since the last battle... GORDESS has been revived! And this time he's got a nasty attitude probrem! Mankind has sent out the last two remaining battleships. The "BLUE-NOVA" and "RED-NOVA". The fate of the human race relies on you the pirots of these ships! Be brave, and your strength will defeat all obstacles!"


    Comment of Macaw:

    Final Star Force was Tecmo taking the series into more modern shooting game territory, while ditching a lot of the things that made Star Force what it is. Not necessarily a bad thing, Final Star Force is a very interesting game in its own right.

    The games strongest point is definitely in the presentation, atmosphere, and visuals (kinda like Eight Forces I guess). Right from the moment you start the game it all feels quite awesome, with the first stage starting with a boss battle against a huge crazy looking ship that eventually escapes… what’s its purpose? I don’t really quite know myself yet, but it’s awesome.

    Each stage is presented by a screen displaying FINAL STAR FORCE and then the stage name, its overly dramatic and totally awesome. After the first few stages on earth, you then start lifting off out into the atmosphere and into space, and eventually get to the moon and further. The entire course of the game is really exciting making you wonder what’s going to happen next, and towards the end things get especially strange.

    In particular the stage ‘Home! Home!’ is really awesome. It involves a gigantic black missile heading towards earth while Gordess appears and taunts you. Whether or not you can stop the missile in time determines what ending you get…

    When it comes to the mechanics, the most unique aspect is definitely the weapon power up system. It is a time based level-up system, basically there is a bar that slowly fills up over time and once it reaches the max you level up and its starts filling up again, although it takes longer to get to the higher power levels, and dying makes you level down a fair bit. There are 3 different weapons you can pick up, and a really unique thing is that each weapon actually has its own theme music, and the stage music depends on what weapon you are using, boss music overrides these though.

    Final Star Force is really damn cool.

  • Eight Forces (Arcade, 1994)

    Image

    Story:

    ??????????


    Comment of Macaw:

    See section 1.1 above…
_________________
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EIGHT FORCES STRATEGY GUIDE AND DATA COLLECTION


Last edited by Macaw on Wed Jan 14, 2009 9:31 am, edited 6 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:12 pm 


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2.0 - Mechanics

2.1 - Controls

  • A Button (tap) - Tap Shot
  • A Button (hold) - Hold Shot
  • B Button - Bomber

    The tap shot is stronger but requires manually pressing the button. The hold shots are automatic but much weaker, although unlike the tap shots which are always the same (bullets going straight forward) the hold shots for some ships are different, such as bullets going in a wide area.

    All ships have a sub shot, which is used both when you tap the button and hold it down.

    You are invincible from the moment you press the button to use a bomber, to the moment the bomber ends.


2.2 - Power-Up and Bomber Items

  • Power Up

    Image

    Powers up your ship. The main shot (both tap and hold) of ships always stays the same though, so the only thing you actually power up is your sub shot. You can power your ship up 4 times, although when at max power level it only lasts for 10 seconds then you return to the second best power level.

  • Full Power Up

    Image

    Powers up your ship to max.

  • Bomber

    Image

    Gives you a bomber. The max amount of bombers you can hold is 5.

  • Full bombers

    Image

    Gives you max bombers.

  • Purser

    Image

    This attaches to your ship to give you more speed. Your main shots also visibly become bigger, although when you have the Purser your actually a tiny bit weaker (mostly noticeable if you’re using rapid fire). You also get an extra hit, as if you get hit while you have the purser it just gets destroyed and you return to your normal form. Your hitbox becomes bigger if you have a Purser.


2.3 - Stage Flow

  • Eight Forces has 7 stages:

    Stage A - The Secret Desert Base
    Stage B - The Sight of the SOS signal
    Stage C - The City
    Stage C-2 - The Enemies Transport Ship
    Stage 5 - The Underwater Base
    Stage 6 - The Enemies Mega-Bomb
    Stage 7 - The Enemies Headquarters

    When starting a game, you will randomly begin in one of 3 stages (Stages A, B or C). There is another stage though (Stage C-2) which will ALWAYS come after stage C. So if you get stage C as your first stage, the next stage will be C-2 (The Enemies Transport Ship). With the exception of C-2, stages A, B and C are played in random order. Once stages A, B, C and C-2 have been cleared, you will then move onto stage 5. Stages 5, 6 and 7 are played in linear order.

    There is also a 2nd loop. In the 2nd loop some bullets are faster, although there is no major difficulty increase from the 1st loop.


2.4 - Score System

There are four ways to score points in Eight Forces.

  • Shooting stuff
    The obvious way in shooting games to score points, although Eight Forces is a little different from most. You don’t get any points for destroying enemies, at all. Instead you only get ‘chip’ points every time you hit an enemy (10 points per shot). It adds up to make a difference in the end, so certain milking on bosses is actually worthwhile.

  • Medals

    Image

    Medals are where 95% of your score is going to come from. Medals in Eight Forces are mostly quite rare, though two stages have a fair amount in them (Stage C-2 and Stage 6).

    Collect a medal and you will receive a point value. Collect another and the value increments. The maximum value of medals is 1,000,000, hence the reason they are so dominant for scoring. The only way to break the medal chain (causing it to reset back to the first value) is to die. If you miss a medal your chain will still be kept.

    The following is a table showing the increments for the medals:

    Medal Values:
    100
    200
    400
    800
    1600
    3200
    6400
    12000
    25000
    50000
    100000
    1000000


    In addition to the standard medal item there are 2 other special items that only appear in stage 6, Cards and Gold Chests. These are pretty much just medals except when you collect them the medal value increment jumps up more than once. If you are already at max medal value then they will just give you the 1 million.

    Cards

    Image

    Increase by 2 increments


    Gold Chest

    Image

    Increase by 3 increments

  • Excess power ups or bombs
    Collecting more power up or bomb items when you are already at max will give you a 400 point bonus (WHOAA!!)

  • Bomb hits
    Hitting enemies using bombs is similar to hitting them with your normal shot to get points, however with bombs you get heaps more points a lot faster. Most useful when there are lots of things on the screen that you want to ‘drain’ points from, such as the boss of stage C-2 when he hasn’t yet assembled.


2.5 - Rank

  • For those new to arcade games, rank basically refers to a scale that changes depending on how good you are at the game. Generally in arcade games if you are playing well and not dying, rank will increase, meaning a higher difficulty. Many games however have more complicated rank systems.

    The rank system in Eight Forces is still a bit of a mystery to me, although it seems the longer you survive the higher the rank goes, and dying is the only way to reduce the rank.

    Note that for the first bunch of stages played in random order, the latter ones are going to be a slightly harder altered version than if you were to play them earlier, with certain extra enemies and such. This isn’t necessarily part of the rank.


2.6 - Tips for Beginners

  • USE RAPID FIRE
  • Geki Tsubasa is the one of the best characters in the game, and easiest to use.
_________________
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EIGHT FORCES STRATEGY GUIDE AND DATA COLLECTION


Last edited by Macaw on Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:13 pm 


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3.0 - The Eight Forces

Image

This frog dude seems to be some kind of general who is in charge of the Eight Forces. His name is unknown.


3.1 - 1P Side

  • Geki Tsubasa

    Image Image

    Speed: Medium

    Tap Shot
    2 strong shots in the shape of kunai are fired forwards.

    Hold Shot
    4 weak vulcan shots are fired forward.

    Sub Shot
    Shurikans shoot forward and then arc slightly to the side.

    Bomber
    Five shadow forms of the ship are created and then sent forward, spreading out in a wide area as they leave the screen.


    Comment:
    Great character, thanks to a very useful sub shot, decent speed and decent bomber that covers a lot of area.

  • Ryuuou

    Image Image

    Speed: Medium

    Tap Shot
    2 strong shots in the shape of dragon heads are fired forwards.

    Hold Shot
    4 weak vulcan shots are fired in a wide area in front of the ship.

    Sub Shot
    2 fireballs are shot a short distance in front of the ship where they stay for a while.

    Bomber
    The ship fires giant blue dragon heads forward.


    Comment:
    An alright character. More useful once you are used to the stage layouts as then you can point blank heaps of stuff to get max effectiveness out of the sub shot. Pretty good bomber too.

  • Aramis Unikaiser

    Image Image

    Speed: Fast

    Tap Shot
    2 strong shots in the shape of swords are fired forwards.

    Hold Shot
    1 weak vulcan shot is fired forward.

    Sub Shot
    Swords come out from the sides of the ship and fire forward.

    Bomber
    A giant rose is created in front of the ship.


    Comment:
    Good character thanks to his speed, although the sub shot comes out a bit slowly. Also has a good bomber.

  • JRD-014

    Image Image

    Speed: Slow

    Tap Shot
    2 strong shots in the shape of bullets are fired forwards.

    Hold Shot
    1 weak vulcan shot is fired forward.

    Sub Shot
    A crescent energy wave is fired forwards.

    Bomber
    The ship fires a huge blue beam forwards.


    Comment:
    Very hard to use character. Slow speed combined with very narrow shot coverage isn’t the best combination. Great bomber though.


3.2 - 2P Side

  • Polette Panple

    Image Image

    Speed: Medium

    Tap Shot
    2 strong shots in the shape of some kind of magic blast are fired forwards.

    Hold Shot
    4 weak vulcan shots are fired forward.

    Sub Shot
    2 yellow crescents are shot forward in an arcing motion.

    Bomber
    A lamp is shot shortly in front of the ship, at which point a genie appears and moves forward.


    Comment:
    Pretty good character, sub shot is great though sometimes it can be hard to hit small enemies with it. Not the greatest bomber due to fairly small screen coverage.

  • Billy the Phoenix

    Image Image

    Speed: Fast

    Tap Shot
    2 strong shots in the shape of phoenixes are fired forwards.

    Hold Shot
    4 weak vulcan shots are fired in a wide area in front of the ship.

    Sub Shot
    2 phoenixes are shot from the side of the ship and home in on enemies.

    Bomber
    The ship becomes engulfed in a huge phoenix shaped flame, which disappears after a short time.


    Comment:
    Good character. The homing sub shot can fill the screen with little phoenixes hitting stuff for you, although for some reason there are some enemies in the game that the homing doesn’t work on. Decent bomber if you just ram yourself into big enemies when you use it.

  • Mary Dorland & Rop Toial

    Image Image

    Speed: Slow

    Tap Shot
    2 strong shots in the shape of circles are fired forwards.

    Hold Shot
    8 weak vulcan shots are fired in eight direction around the ship.

    Sub Shot
    2 balloons are shot forwards. Once you get more than one power up a huge hammer also gets fired that homes in on enemies.

    Bomber
    5 comical looking giant bullets sweep over the screen.


    Comment:
    Similar to JRD-014, slow moving and narrow shot coverage, though once you get the hammer as part of your subshot she’s actually a pretty good character. Bomber is decent.

  • Huger Ikazuchio

    Image Image


    Speed: Fast

    Tap Shot
    2 strong shots in the shape of claws are fired forwards.

    Hold Shot
    8 weak vulcan shots are fired in eight direction around the ship.

    Sub Shot
    2 muscular arms are created on each side of the ship and flex, at which point they shoot forward (!!??)

    Bomber
    A big yellow version of the ship appears on top of the ship itself while rotating and shooting big yellow energy balls around the screen.


    Comment:
    A pretty useful character once you are used to the weird sub shot that has some delay. Worst bomber in the game however.
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EIGHT FORCES STRATEGY GUIDE AND DATA COLLECTION


Last edited by Macaw on Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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4.1 - Stage A: The Secret Desert Base

Stage Comment:
Easiest stage in the game, though the boss is tricky to defeat without using a bomber. High chance of getting lots of bomber items in this stage.

There are 3 possible medals in this stage.


Stage Outline:

  • Hands in the ground

    Image

    At the beginning of the stage you will come across 3 huge hands coming out of the ground. Destroy them for power ups and potential medals. It appears to be random what items come out, just hope they are medals.

  • Big walkers

    Image Image

    A big walker comes up the screen in the centre from the bottom. Later a 2nd one will come. They fire a simple 3 bullet pattern you can easily avoid. They also have two little arm sections that they will launch out (slowly) at you.

  • Miniboss 1

    Image Image

    You will come across a giant wall with carvings of a face on it. After firing some easy to dodge bullets the wall then rips itself in half and starts hovering around (!!??) It’s easy enough to destroy, and you will notice when it separated in half that a little green tank thing was created behind it (more than one if you don’t play this stage at the start). These tanks shoot bullets directly at you so watch out.

  • Statues

    Image

    You will see a big rock on the left hand side and a statue on the right. Destroy them to reveal power ups. There’s a good chance of getting either a full bomb or full power item from these statues.

  • Miniboss 2

    Image

    First destroy all the head statues on the ground. The small heads will fire bullets straight at you and the big ones will fire big yellow shots all around them. Once they are down you can turn your attention to the big ship. Its only real threat is the miniguns which shoot a stream of bullets straight down so make sure you are not in their line of fire.

  • Boss

    Image

    This big green dude will first lunge down the screen and stop near the bottom, make sure you are right at the bottom of the screen underneath it and just keep shooting it. It will then rise back up the screen a bit and begin firing all kinds of stuff at you, such as the crescent shaped bullets that go to the side, normal bullets shot around the screen, and blue lasers shot straight down. Before it even starts firing you should have already damaged it a fair bit, and when it starts shooting stuff make sure you are just slightly off center from it, just coming back in front of it whenever you see an opening. One of the trickier bosses, if the rank is high or you have a Purser you don’t want to risk losing you could use one bomber and just point blank it for an easy kill.



    Changes if stage wasn’t played first:
  • Giant sphere

    Image

    A gigantic sphere will come down and stop near the bottom of the screen, release a bunch of the dragonfly enemies, then move back up off the screen.

  • Armor ships

    Image

    These annoying ships don’t fire anything, but they take a heap of shots to kill and slowly move towards your ship trying to ram you.

  • More green tanks behind giant wall
    There will be more than one little green tank behind the giant wall miniboss.
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EIGHT FORCES STRATEGY GUIDE AND DATA COLLECTION


Last edited by Macaw on Wed Jan 14, 2009 10:55 am, edited 6 times in total.

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4.2 - Stage B: The Sight of the SOS Signal

Stage Comment:
The toughest of the initial random order stages. The horizontal moving ships are a huge pain, and getting both medals from the 2 crystal area without using a bomber is a bit tricky especially with high rank. Ironically this stage has the easiest boss in the game.

There are 5 possible medals in this stage.


Stage Outline:

  • Crystals in the clouds

    Image

    In the clouds you will see some blue showing, shoot these spots to reveal a crystal that once destroyed reveals wither a power up, bomb or medal. The three crystals at the very beginning will always have two power ups/bombs and one medal (The one carrying the medal being in the top left)

  • Horizontal attack ships

    Image

    The most annoying and deadly enemy that appears throughout this stage are these ships. They come down the screen in a mostly straight line and one they line up horizontally with your ship will them move straight at it, occasionally shooting bullets at you. Make sure you never really have to deal with his by destroying them as they are coming down the screen.

  • Miniboss

    Image

    This ship fires an easy to dodge spread of bullets from each of its big cannons, as well as fires off its wings like boomerangs in a small circle that then return back to it. During this section there are more crystals that release medals, first one of the left of the screen just before the miniboss appears, and then one on the right.

  • Intercepting ships

    Image

    These fast ships will come down at you for a while. They will come again later in the stage.

  • The two crystals

    Image

    These are the two most difficult to get medals from crystals, due to all the enemies and bullets that barrage the screen. Start on the left side and quickly shoot the crystal and get the medal. Then move onto the right side and try to quickly snag the medal without get hit by a bullet or rammed by a ship. If the rank is high you may want to use a bomber here to make sure you get the medal.

  • Fire dragons

    Image Image

    These dragons bust out of the lava and then move straight down. Its possible to destroy them or even weave between them when they are right next to each other, but generally its safest to just find the biggest gap and avoid them.

  • Boss

    Image

    The easiest boss in the game. He fires these little spinny things very slowly at you when he first appears that can be destroyed easily, and even when he starts shooting normal bullets at you the patterns are quite easy to dodge. If you’re using autofire you can take the boss out before he even starts firing his normal bullets.



    Changes if stage wasn’t played first:
  • Armor ships

    Image

    These annoying ships don’t fire anything, but they take a heap of shots to kill and slowly move towards your ship trying to ram you.

  • Fire from volcanoes

    Image

    Fire shoots out around the screen randomly from the volcanoes that are around the same area as the fire dragons. No real pattern, just be careful.

  • Blue ships

    Image

    These ships appear in one certain area and come from behind without any warning. Don’t worry about them smashing into you though, they cant harm your ship as they are moving up.
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EIGHT FORCES STRATEGY GUIDE AND DATA COLLECTION


Last edited by Macaw on Wed Jan 14, 2009 10:56 am, edited 6 times in total.

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4.3 - Stage C: The City

Stage Comment:
This stage can be really tough if you have high rank or are playing it last out of the random order stages. The intercepting missile section and train section are the areas that will require most practice.

There are no medals in this stage.


Stage Outline:

  • Red ships

    Image

    These big ships come out form the sides of the screen and fire a spread of bullets at you once then get to about the middle of the screen. Make sure you are directly in front of them just as they appear from the side so you can point blank them and take them out before they can fire. The pattern of their appearance is left, right, left, right.

  • Miniboss 1

    Image

    This giant eyeball is a piece of cake. It just shoots easy to dodge bullets out in all directions. Things can only get a bit complicated if the smaller eyeball enemies that appear around the same time stop you from destroying the giant eye fast enough before it’s close to the bottom of the screen when its shots can actually be hazardous.

  • Intercepting missile ships

    Image

    These ships come straight down at you and fire bullets. Try to stay in front of the barrage, destroying them as they come. You will inevitably be pushed out to the side at times at which point things can get a bit dangerous, especially if you are close to the edge of the screen. Try to weave back in and continue destroying them as they come.

  • Big ground speeders

    Image

    Many of these appear. The pattern they fire isn’t too hard to dodge but can become a problem if they get too far down the screen. Make sure you point blank them as each one appears to quickly destroy them. Between each big speeder there is one of the eye enemies that comes right down the centre of the screen and a formation of missile enemies comes out of them. Don’t try to destroy them all, just dodge to either side.

  • Two red ships

    Image

    During the ground speeder section there is a point when 2 of the red ships come out at the same time from either side of the screen. Make sure your on the left side and take the ship out, then move down and to the right and avoid whatever the other red ship fires at you before it escapes (or you can try to destroy it as well if you feel like it).

  • Miniboss 2

    Image

    Stay in the centre of this thing and just keep shooting. Eventually it does an attack where it shoots fire bullets out of its cannons, make sure you are out of the line of fire.

  • Boss

    Image Image

    This boss consists of a core as well as the big alien thing that lunges out of it towards you. Firstly make sure you destroy the 4 little turrets that are on either side of the core, then focus on just shooting it, whether you are hitting the alien ore the core it doesn’t matter. When the alien lunges at you make sure you move in the direction away from it that gives you more space to then dodge the bunch of bullets it fires at you. Meanwhile the core itself will fire a spread of big yellow bullets. You will eventually destroy the alien, at which point you can then quickly finish off the core.



    Changes if stage wasn’t played first:
  • Armor ships

    Image

    These annoying ships don’t fire anything, but they take a heap of shots to kill and slowly move towards your ship trying to ram you.

  • Little round ships

    Image

    These will show up towards the end of the stage. They come straight down and shoot bullets at you, and can be very damn annoying.
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4.4 - Stage C-2: The Enemies Transport Ship

Stage Comment:
This stage is where you will do most of your initial medal chaining to get the value up to a million. Another stage with a high possibility of getting lots of bomber items thanks to the Larios.

There are 11 possible medals in this stage.


Stage Outline:

  • Red mechs, yellow mechs, purple mechs…

    Image Image Image

    Red mechs appears first. They simply slide left and right and can be taken out with ease. The yellow mechs are a bit tougher, the shoot a spread of bullets down the screen. The purple mechs are the trickiest, they make some bullets in front of them which then shoot out their own 3 bullet pattern at you. Easy to dodge if there is just one purple mech, but later there are 2 that come at the same time, make a pattern that is very tricky to get through. Make sure you stay close to the top of the screen so you can point blank one of them to quickly take it out before its starts shooting stuff, then move back down the screen and you only have to deal with one of them.

  • Larios

    Image Image Image

    The Larios from the original Star Force returns once again. After the previous section you should then start seeing the enormous enemy transport ship start appearing in the background. Eventually the middle part of the Larios appears, and then shortly later its other section will appear and connect onto it making a box, at which point it will escape off the top of the screen. The trick is, just like in the original Star Force, to not shoot any part of it AT ALL, make sure not even one shot of yours touches it, then eventually the middle point will flash a light which is then when you immediately start shooting it. If you destroyed it, you will receive a medal and a bunch of power ups or bombs. Very rarely the Larios may not drop a medal and instead give you more bombs or power ups.

  • Miniboss 1

    Image Image

    This guy starts out in a fairly compact form and then eventually transforms into a huge mech, and starts firing out missiles and bullets at you. If you are using autofire you will be able to take it out before it even transforms.

  • Turrets

    Image

    You will notice during the miniboss 1 encounter as well as shortly after there are many yellow turrets around. Destroy them, each one drops a medal.

  • Miniboss 2

    Image

    This guy fires easy to dodge patterns at you. Only a problem if other smaller enemies interfere with you destroying him fast enough.

  • Miniboss 3

    Image

    Also relatively easy to defeat, the only thing to look out for is when it opens its abdomen area and fires a blue beam straight down, make sure you are not in front of it. Things can get very messy if you haven’t destroyed miniboss 2 by the time miniboss 3 appears, as they then are doing all their stuff on the screen at the same time, making things substantially harder.

  • Boss

    Image Image

    This thing starts out as a mass on machinery floating around, and then eventually assembles itself into a huge mech. All the yellow sphere bits can be destroyed, with the one in its chest being the core. It will start out by using its limbs to do a kicking and punching attack, if your right at the bottom of the screen these cannot actually touch you. It then does its trickiest attack in which it shoots its hands out around the bottom of the screen which then come up through the middle, you have to weave out the side to avoid this.



    Changes if stage wasn’t played first (Well is stage C wasn’t played first):
  • Extra red mechs
    A couple more of the red mechs will show up just before the boss.
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Stage 5 - Coming Soon...
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Stage 6 - Coming Soon...
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Stage 7 - Coming Soon...
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Loop 2 - Coming Soon...
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5.0 - Extra

5.1 - Videos
Coming soon…


5.2 - World Records

These are the Japanese world records of Eight Forces taken from Gamest magazine:

  • PCM-SIN AUTOFIRE ON 64.387.150 GEKI TUBASA
  • YU38 AUTOFIRE NO 52.605.550 GEKI TUBASA


5.3 - Endings

  • When you finish the first and 2nd loops, you usually get text endings, the one for the 2nd loop being different.

    However, its actually possible to get a cinematic ending with pictures after the first loop, which are different for every character. I haven't yet discovered what exactly the conditions for getting these endings are yet, but once managed to get one for Geki Tsubasa (in which he is standing on top of his ship).

    Once the conditions for the cinematic endings are discovered I plan to fill this section with screenshots of every characters ending.


5.4 - Stuff & Mysteries

  • There are numerous bizarre statues, carvings, and language present throughout the game. What does it all mean? When fighting the boss of stage A (The Secret Desert Base) the background shows some kind of temple with a variety of carvings on it. Look closely... they actually show bosses of other stages in the game.
  • The tune in the game over screen sounds quite similar to R-Type…
  • In all the story scenes, it’s important to look at the speech bubble to see who is actually talking. It’s actually the frog general dude in the continue screen that says the infamous quotes such as “This sucks” and “What did I had done”, referring to his job at commanding the Eight Forces.
  • In the dip switches you can set the language to Japanese, which makes the talking scenes make much more sense if you actually understand the language. The English version however is pretty much a literally translation though, so even though it’s crazily Engrish you still get essentially the same meaning.
  • Aramis Unikaiser mentions ‘Hail to Ruinza’ in his game over message. His homeland perhaps?
  • In Polette Panples continue screen message, the frog general says ‘Croak Croak’ or ‘Kero Kero Kero’ in the Japanese version (frog sound). This is the only point in the game when he isn’t speaking proper language ;)


5.5 - Other Stuff

Character names and item names are official, taken from the flyer and instruction cards of the game.


A couple of other curious arcade games…

  • Bakuretsu Breaker/Explosive Breaker, Kaneko, 1992

    Image

    The only other arcade shooting game that is probably about as weird and bizarre as Eight Forces.

    The game easily has the most nonsensical first 10 seconds of any shooting game around, but the biggest standout thing about the game is the ultra-realistic sprites that are used as bosses and minibosses throughout the game. Basically Kaneko took scans/photo’s of fighter jets, battleships, aircraft carriers, and other stuff and put it into the game. It doesn’t come off as feeling cheap or ridiculous though because the game actually uses it in awesome ways that also make the game more frikkin weird and awesome. For example there is a miniboss in the first stage that is one of these ultra realistic sprites of a jet, but after destroying it a little bit the upper torso of a huge blue demon, drawn in standard hand drawn pixel style, suddenly busts out of it and you continue fighting. The incredible contrast of the two styles is really damn awesome.

    Once again the story is never explained, so the existence of these hyper realistic sprites that randomly turn into crazy demons and stuff is a complete mystery, but insanely awesome and cool. While the game is filled with plenty more of this mysterious stuff, I will just mention one more little thing that about the first boss, who once it is destroyed escapes off the screen.

    Image

    Kinda looks like there’s a dude with glasses there, don’t you think…?

  • Fixeight, 1992, Toaplan

    Image

    Similar to Eight Forces in that there is also ‘Eight’ in the title, again referring to the number of playable characters. Cool.


5.6 - Related Links

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Greatest thread of all time.
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Wow.. I actually want to play Eight Forces now.. This Sucks!
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Very nice effort, had to try the game, not entirely convinced though/yet :D

rtw
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I also had to check this out. I have to play P2 so I can pick the witch who makes it feel kind of like my wussy Touhou games.

Except with really big hitboxes. God, I'm not used to dying when a bullet touches my ship. >_>


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All of it now uploaded except for stages 5, 6 and 7. They will come later...

If any of you have questions, comments, corrections, let me know.

Have fun reading this mammoth page. Even if you aren't the biggest fan of the game, you will surely get fun out of looking at screenshots of all the awesome bosses and characters and such anyway.
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any you tubed vids of this?


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Great guide, sucky game.
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Great job!
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some mad dodging skillz needed on this one lads


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Its certainly tough, but once you practice a little its definitely not impossibly difficulty which many people seem to think.
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I've invested a few days in this, and I'm starting to think that it's as awesome as Macaw obviously thinks it is :D The whole game has a very woozy, dreamlike feeling, with the surreal sprites and the constantly looping, muffled music that makes me feel like I'm drifting off to sleep. The shooting is completely solid, the rank is challenging but ultimately logical. Definitely a game that deserves the attention being lavished on it at the moment. I hope more obscure yet awesome games come out of the woodwork at a later stage 8)
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SOME THOUGHTWS

1.0 this game is like an excellent parody of a shooting game. Tecmo's disgregard for their players at its finest. Everything you think you know is wrong.

1.1 Don't shoot things that drop things too quickly. Tecmo is punishing people who are too greedy. Most noticable in the Desert stage; if you shoot the giant hands or the statues later on (the left one looks like a big rock when first encountered and later a guy kneeling after you chip away the covering, or maybe the characters are that talented) any medal will not come down. Sometimes a bomb will appear at the bottom of the screen though.

1.2 If you get extra bombers use one

1.4 Keep in mind that bombers don't necessarily provide complete immunity

1.3 (Backing up a moment, you get 400 points per extra bomber, and it doesn't stack. It's most important to keep in mind that if you die you lose the medal chain)

1.5 Most boss sux

1.55 But you can get killed by a boss at the same time as you kill it (this happens occasionally to me on the City stage) and you don't get a new player in time to get the powerup dropped, so you lose a chance

1.6 With high auto fires I mainly want a sub shot that comes out quickly, so I have reluctantly dropped Unicron for the moment for Grey Ninja

ADDENDUM

1.7 Maybe MAME fails at this game but one time after loading the same state as usual a bouncy ship thing appeared at the start of the City (blue) stage and shot a fork of about five thin blue lasers out at various angles. Died and reset without thinking.

1.8 Reasons this game hates people: 1) odd hit detection 2) patterns that are easy most of the time but then you get the odd-shaped one that suddenly messes you up. A good example is the big robot thing on the desert stage which launches two fist-like things at you in addition to a spread attack of two layers of three shots; usually you can fit between the outer and middle shots but occasionally it'll fire them at an angle so if you're anywhere within range you die. Occasionally I pull of the feats of great dodging in this game but often it fails.


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 Post subject: Re: ST: Eight Forces
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 4:56 pm 


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Hey dudes looks and this awesome game.

Oh and what a high quality strategy guide!
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 Post subject: Re: ST: Eight Forces
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:08 pm 


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It's not finished, I see.


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Macaw wrote:
[*]Fixeight, 1992, Toaplan

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FixEight is not a shmup, it's a vertical Run N' Gun game (a Spin-Off of Out Zone)
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 Post subject: Re: ST: Eight Forces
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 9:42 am 


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Where did I say it was a shmup?
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 Post subject: Re: Re:
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Ed Oscuro wrote:
1.7 Maybe MAME fails at this game but one time after loading the same state as usual a bouncy ship thing appeared at the start of the City (blue) stage and shot a fork of about five thin blue lasers out at various angles. Died and reset without thinking.


That ship appeared several times when I just played, in different sections and stages. I first thought its appearance is dependent on whether and how fast you kill stuff, but I'm not sure anymore.

Thanks for exposing this game Macaw, it's really worth it.
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