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 Post subject: ST: Mars Matrix
PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2005 6:54 pm 



Joined: 25 Jan 2005
Posts: 2833
This thread wouldn't have survived without Bydosmasher's brilliant work.Many thanks again :D !

MARS MATRIX

FACT FILES

In the 25th century, Mars is home to millions of immigrants.This because Earth was going to be overcrowded, and thus the colonization of a terraformed Mars was the only solution.Problem is, at some point, an unknown source of energy,located in The south pole, is discovered by the local goverment.All of a sudden, a declaration of indipendence arrives to Earth.What's going on?Earth fleet goes to discover it, with the new "Mosquito fighters" acting as intruders...

Mars Matrix is the second Takumi/Capcom game (of three) on cp2, and one of the finest ports of a shmup around.It's basically an "upgraded" version of the gigawing engine, and one of the toughest non-looping shmups around. The game was developed by Takumi, a company that had some ex-Toaplan members (like Cave,Gazelle and Raizing...) as programmers.In the credits of this game, i can tell you that there's Masahiro Yuge (Tatsujin 1 and 2) as sound programmer (the composer is Yasushi Kaminishi),and probably other ex-Toaplan guys as well (if you know who,please tell me!).

The original arcade game could actually be maxed out, score wise: this means that you could get 999,999,999,990 points, if you played in a flawless way.This feature had been removed in the port, since they added to extra digits in the score.Also, all larger enemies and boss parts are worth more in score, meaning that the scores are somewhat bigger (basically, about 30-40%, but i'm not really sure: it seems they're worth x5 or x10 times their original value).

The Dreamcast port features a credits system, id est: every time you play, your score acts also as credits, so you can buy new features and tailor your gaming options as you like.Not only you have this interesting option, the programmers inserted a whole "extra" version in it. "Extra" versions of a game, in case you don't know, are usually upgraded versions of a game, usually with different enemy sequence, most of the time more challening (this case is not an exception, and i suggest you to avoid it if you already find frustrating the normal game).Add a score attack mode and you get a lot of potential fun!

Since it's a dreamcast port, Capcom and Takumi added a lot of FMVs that actually give a better idea of what's going on Mars and why the Mosquitoes go around destroying giant scarabs and trees of life.Speaking of trees of life: there's one image, during the intro, where a kabbalistic tree of life is shown...i suppose there are some new age lame references (i know the kabbala, or qabbalah, is a tad more ancient, but the New Age movement recycled these beliefs, in modern times), the two giga wing games have similar themes too.Don't ask me about this stuff, i just know that they made such references, google is your friend in case you want to know more.

Once we covered random details regarding this game, we can actually talk about the



GAME MECHANICS

Ok, some of you may probably have read my Border Down ST.This ST will be different, and shorter, since Mars Matrix (from now on MM) has less game mechanics to consider.This doesn't mean that the game is simpler, it has just less "parameters" to consider when playing.A peculiarity of the game is that you just need one button.Why?
Because you basically have four different attacks.I know, know, you will say now "Why four? i have three attacks and one defense system on one button!".This is the wrong attitude.The Mosquito Reflect Device (from now on MRD) is actually a weapon, and the most powerful of the four at your disposal.Once you learn to quickly reflect back hundreds of bullets, you will understand the judo-like attitude behind the game (use their force to hurt them) and thus learn to master this device. At this point,let's start in order with the

MOSQUITO TYPES

The game basically offers you two mosquito types, or ships.This basically means that they followed a trend of the last years, and put a "wide shot type" (mosquito 01, the red mosquito), and a "forward shot type" (mosquito 02, the blue one).

MOSQUITO 01

Wide shot,average speed,good for beginners (it covers all screen with its attack,at higher levels) and experts, the former statement motivated by the shot, the latter by the speed (not the ideal one to chain properly).

MOSQUITO 02

Frontal shot, very fast, good for intermediate/experts, chaining is easier to do,given the speed, but you have to be good with its full frontal shot.

Once we have a basic grasp of the two mosquitoes, we can actually explain chaining and thus scoring, the former being the main cause of your level up.

CHAINING AND ITS DERIVED ASPECTS

The basic idea behind the game is actually taking the giga wing mechanic ("reflect and score!") to a more complex level:how?Simple, you now chain the bonuses you get from reflecting bullets,and instead of getting power ups, you upgrade your ship by reaching a given multiplier score.Now, let's first talk about

CHAINING


Before all, i will give you the excellent facilitypro's chain calculator, an invaluable tool to find out how many experience points you will get from any kind of chain! At any case, i'm also explaining the mechanics behind chains in detail,so please continue reading.
Basically, every energy you get will give you a given score to your multiplier (called "exp", experience score) and, as long as you have the Chaining Bar (from now on CB) with some energy, the value of cubes will increase.Let me be clearer: as long as you chain simple (basic value:+1) cubes, the number of Experience Points (from now on: EP) will increase with a +1 linear ratio.Id est, the first cube will be worth 1 point, the second one 2 points,the third will be worth 3 points, and so on.This means that if you chain three +1 cubes, the fourth cube will be worth 4 points, and you will get 1+2+3=6 EP.At this point, as long as you keep the chain, you can figure out how many EP you get: the formula is :

N(N+1)/2

Another example is this: you make a part of a stage getting all small cubes of +1 value.The total of cubes you get is 100, so :100(101)/2=5050 EP. Now, you can also get bigger cubes, up to a value of +50 points.Not only that: since we speak of chains, you have to consider that the CB has to be refilled: a full bar means 8 seconds of time you can go without getting cubes, and you get extra seconds every time you get a cube.The bigger the cube is, the more seconds you get.Actually, if you get a lot of cubes in a row, there's a limit related to the cube's value.At this point, let's write a table to show these values:

VALUE EXTRA TIME MAXIMUM EXTRA TIME

+1 +1 sec. 2 sec.

+5 +2 sec. 3 sec.

+10 +3 sec. 4 sec.

+50 +8 sec. 8 sec.

As we can see, a long chain of +1 cubes is risky,since your Maximum Chain Duration (from now on MCD) is a quarter of the absolute maximum.Best thing is getting every once in a while bigger cubes and then getting a steady quantity of small cubes.A chain of bigger cubes isn't,EP-wise, very good: since the value increase is related to cube's value, it's better to get a lot of small cubes.An example: if you get 10 +1 cubes, you get in EP the sum from 1 to 10. If you get 2 +5 cubes, you arrive at the same value (+10),but a lot of less EP (in the former: 55 EP;in the latter: 15 EP). This because you basically skip values, or, in visual terms:

1ST EXAMPLE 1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9+10

2ND EXAMPLE 0+0+0+0+5+0+0+0+0+10

If you think in these visual terms of "series development" (my calculus skills are now crappy, please post corrections), you can see that you basically "skip" EP by not getting all possible values, once you start a chain.Now, time-wise, a bigger cube actually does help, even if you get less points.
In said case, you have, making a couple of value of TIV (Time Increase Value) and MCD (in brackets), a different series of value :

1ST EXAMPLE 1(1)+1(2)+1(2)+1(2)+1(2)+1(2)+1(2)+...+1(2)

2ND EXAMPLE 0(0)+0(0)+0(0)+0(0)+2(2)+0(2)+0(2)+...+2(3)

This because your MCD is equivalent to TIV when you take the first cube,and the MCD won't increase if you don't take bigger cubes.One thing you can easily guess is that if you take a big cube at some point,and then you switch back to small cubes, you can feel safe about the MCD and get a huge chain value.This basically marks the difference between Value-Costant Chains (from now on, VCC) and Value-Noncostant Chains (from now on, VNC).Exempli gratia: you take 10 +1 cubes, then a +50 cube, then another 300 + cubes.Let's write the complete log of the chain:

1 TO 350 VNC

EP 1+...+10+50+51+...350= 58.980

TIV 1+...+1 +8 +1...+1=318*

MCD 1->2----->8------->8 =8**

*This is the amount of extra seconds you can virtually get,no stage lasts 318 seconds, actually.

**If you actually chain cubes quickly and,once you collect the +50 cube,you never let pass more than 1 second between a cube and another.

This means that you basically get a good EP value and you can be pretty sure that the chain won't end,since in this example you are from a given point at the maximum MCD and keep it for the rest of the chain.Let's make a VCC example, same final value:

1 TO 350 COSTANT CHAIN

EP 1+...+350= 61.425

TIV 1+...+1=350§

MCD 1->2 =2§§

§See above
§§ See above

Let's make a final comparison, then:

VCC VERSUS VNC

VCC VNC

EP 61.425 58.980

TIV 350 318

MCD 2 8

the conclusions we can come to are these:

1) VCCs are usually more rewarding, especially if VNCs are based on big value gaps;
2)VCCs last more, but this is inifluent beyond the 240 seconds (longest stage,the fourth);
3)VNCs are safer,since the MCD is always higher;

This basically means that you should actually aim at VNCs at the beginning,but gradually switch to VCCs (when there's the chance to do it) once you learn to chain properly.Once we have explored the aspects of chaining, we can dissect the

DERIVATED ASPECTS

The two derivated aspects are basically score and power level.This means that chaining at once increases your score and your main weapon power.How?

SCORE

This is pretty simple...the EP act as a multiplier for every point you score.if you have an EP of 10, and you destroy an enemy worth 10 points, you score 100 points.The Dreamcast version has some increased values, that is, some larger enemies and mainly parts of bosses and mid-bosses have a x10 value, and the score has 14 digits instead of 12, so you can't max out like in the arcade version. You also get,at the end of every stage,

these bonuses:

TIME: seconds left x100kxEP

LEVEL: level reachedx100kxEP

ENEMY SHOOTDOWN: Number of enemiesx100kxEP

And that's all you need to know about scoring.Now about

POWER LEVEL

It's actually pretty simple, both Mosquitoes will change form at given EP values.These values are:

FIRST LEVEL : 0 points

SECOND LEVEL : 1k EP

THIRD LEVEL : 10k EP

FOURTH LEVEL : 100k EP*

FIFTH LEVEL : 200k EP

SIXTH LEVEL : 400k EP

SEVENTH LEVEL : 800k EP

EIGHTH LEVEL : 1,6M EP

*You also get an extra life, and another one is obtained by destroying the mid-boss on the fourth level.

Both Mosquitoes will become very powerful at level 8, and every level means also a form change, but the hitbox is will always be centered on the cockpit, basically.This actually only affects main shot, all other attacks will always remain at the same level and characteristics.Aside that, we have to mention one final factor, before speaking of our weapons: this is

RANK

Calm down, take a bowl of prozac+, get drunk, i mean: chill. Rank in Mars Matrix is only "local". This means that,in some points, killing very quickly some enemies will trigger other formations to appear in the screen (and this one year before Ikaruga,but i don't think it was the first game to use this feature).The effect of this Dynamic Enemy Sequence feature (from now on,DES) is that in some points, if you're very fast, you can avoid killing a chain by being too fast.It's actually a limited feature, so you shouldn't honestly worry...At this point, let's finally talk about the

ATTACKS

All four attacks, as we said, depend from one button.This basically means one thing: turn off the other functions, or unmap them for the other buttons.The arcade configuration has just one button, do the same.Why this?Because using more than one button will cause some nasty delays when you need to switch attacks: trust me, if you're using auto-piercing and you need to trigger the MRD, you will notice half a second of delay, enough to kill you in many occasions.You don't really want this, so the best thing is using just one button, since Takumi optimized the four functions to work in a smoother way (the arcade version requires a tenth of a second more to charge the piercing shot, dreamcast version is a tad faster and smoother). Once we have just one button to use, we can actually start studying it detail the various attacks, starting from

BASIC SHOT

The basic shot ( from now on BS)is the only upgradable weapon in the game, and comes in two variants: wide (mosquito 01), and forward (mosquito 02), like we said earlier. It is used by simple tapping, and its usage should be avoided most of the time, since you will surely destroy too many enemies and it will be more difficult to collect their cubes. So, the only shot you can upgrade is also the less useful.Cool, isn't it? It's actually more useful than you may think, in overcrowded sections the BS can clean the screen more quickly than the pierce shot, if you're fully powered up though.

PIERCING LASER

The Piercing Laser (from now on: PL) is your true main weapon. It's simple: don't shoot for about half a second and a violet ball of energy will tell you that the laser is ready.It does a devastating damage through everything it encounters, for the equivalent of half a screen of range (horizontal length, of course).While the MS will give you points only if you land hits, the PC will consider every single hit as a kill (say, if you need ten hits of level 8 for an enemy, a piercing laser laser will be the scoring equivalent of ten hits), you can actually damage less an enemy by not hitting it in its core.This means that you can,for example, place two PLs to kill an enemy that takes 8 BSs, so you'd score 10x2 instead of 8 times a score.

MOSQUITO SYSTEM

(From now on, MS) This is your true weapon of mass destruction.It basically consists of a device that sucks bullets, let them rotate in an energy ring surrounding the ship, and release them back against enemies.
It's triggered once you hold the button, and the bar in the lower corner of your side will will be depleted the more you use it.You need about 5 seconds to completely deplete the MS energy, and after you will release the bullets, it will start replenishing (for a total of roughly 10 seconds to go from 0 to full) after half a second roughly.An important thing about the MS is how you reflect bullets: as i said, bullets are sucked in the energy field surrounding the ship.

This field makes you invicible and is also a strong melee-like weapon (the strongest if hits the enemies,roughly like two piercing cannons at once per second of contact), and the bullets rotate into this field according to your movements (right=clockwise, left=counterclockwise). Once you release the button and the bullets, they will move in the direction of the field radius focused on the bullets. This means, using your hit-box as the centre of the field, that bullets will go up if they're right in front of you (trace a radius from hit-box to bullet: that's the direction).

This also means that you have to omve roughly in the opposite direction of the attack, once you absorb it, to reflect it back at its source...And that you can use two tecniques:

1)The pseudo-gigawing tecnique: dive into a mess of bullets, make a quick 360° rotation, then put the joystick in neutral position, and release bullets, they will roughly go in all directions.
2)The instant backlash tecnique: go close to an enemy, let it shoot and go in the opposite direction of its attacks while absorbing bullets, the release the said attack in front of the enemy.

These two tecniques, once learnt properly and done in a micro-second (actually, half a second is the minimum amount of time you can use to absorb bullets) are the key to complete the game on one credit.Also, don't forget that only flying enemies release cubes,and the MS allows you to
generate cubes (always worth +1 per bullet) by reflecting them against ground enemies.

GRAVITY HOLE BOMB

(From now on, GHB) This is your last resort.Basically it works in this way: once you deplete the MS energy, you wil trigger this and renounce to reflect back any bullet. It will do the rough (very rough) equivalent damage of 15 PLs in a diameter of the horizontal length, and less damage outside this virtual circle.This means that enemies in the corners of the screen, if you release it exactly at the centre, will be only slightly damaged.This also means that most of the time it's absolutely useless, and you will probably have an hard time to survive if you didn't destroy the meanest enemies on screen.

At this point, we can have a general look at the

STAGES: TIPS AND TRICKS

As you may have guessed, Mars Matrix allows you more freedom than the usual chain-based shmup. This because you can quickly fill gaps in your chain by quickly reflecting a few bullets.Of course, a more rational approach will grant you survining and chaining long enough to fully power-up your ship and build up an excellent score (which go hand in hand, in this game). Since i take for granted that most of you readers have the DC version, i will use the replay videos on that version to point out the key tecniques to chain the stages, putting (after i take some of them) pics to indicate key spots for chains.Bosses come after the stages, btw.At any case:

STAGE 1

This stage is relatively easy to be chained for its entirety, but it can give you the third best chain in the game, once you can squeeze every single cube off it.Let's start:

The first thing you should do is PL the first storm of green enemies, being careful to clear them from right to left.When another storm comes and starts shooting at you, stay at the bottom and MS the bullets.Continue chaining up to the three gray things, point-blank the first two with PL and suck all bullets from the third with MS, to reflect them back at the green ships or the asteroid.

Destroy three of the four red ships, you should be ready with MS for the fourth:stay on the left and milk it to use MS at point-blank. Next session is simple, just do short MS at point-blank against the three big tanks, at the third tank you can MS the bullets from the orange plane too.Keep the chain, when you get to the flying fishes section be careful to be at a good chain level...take down one green spammer (just before the boss) to boost up the gauge, then quickly suck in all bullets from centre to right and MS to the left, you can easilly hit +900 chain by this point (or an average of 400k EP).

STAGE 2

This stage,unless you are the Mars Matrix god, is divided in two chains.You should MS one or two of the carriers at the beginning of the stage, then destroy the turret on the right to trigger the +50 cubes.From there up to the end of the deck/bridge section, MS with instant backlash tecnique, even if it's very difficult to keep the chain going (bullets are too slow).There's the final part of this section that's the real problem...if you can reflect against the turret on the left (the one before the rotating turret), you may have a chance. You can get about 100k EP and about +550 chain.

If you have to restart the chain, skip the first row of bullets from the rotating turret, then absorb and backlash one second before you trigger the GHB. destroy all scenery and keep the chain going by instant backlashing the blue ships quickly.If you can destroy the tower (scenery) at the centre of the screen,before the spiders, when the spiders start appearing on screen, you should be sure of getting the chain going. milk a bit the spiders and then destroy all blue ships and green carriers, but stay distant and instant backlash attacks, if you're too close they won't shoot because of point-blank distance. You can get about 300k EP and about +1k chain.

STAGE 3

This probably the most interesting (and difficult) stage to chain in the game, because you just need a general method and to be very fast in doing your MSes with backlash tecnique. The most important thing is taking down the red ships, because they will release the +5 cubes, which are your best bet to keep the chain going.At any case:

Destroy all turrets on the first palace and then the central scenery section, then reflect back the bullet spam on the tea pots (yes, here they have a purpose!).Try to strech vertically the reflected bullets, so it will be easy to keep the chain going before you get the first red ship appears (i.e. MS the bullets directly up).The general method is this: start from one side, MSto the other side, take the cubes and destroy everything by shooting, MS as soon as you can, repeat.The most annoying enemies are the gray cannons, the aerial enemies are not to difficult to keep in line.One you are past the big turrets, be ready: you will get two red ships shooting at you (after the last green ship).destroy them and MS the shots from the second couple to the turrets on the right. BE CAREFUL IN DOING SMALL DODGING MOVEMENTS, while shooting the central of the three respawning turrets.once the cannons from above will start shooting, wait until the last second to MS their attacks and the giant screws on the left, they will release +5 cubes.

From now on, you can do quick MS backlashes to keep the chain going up to the boss, but you will probably lose it a bit earlier. you should still have racked a about 1M EP, and +1,5k chain. If you can keep the chain going, you can pump it up to 1,4M EP and roughly about 1,8k chain (very diffcult!).

One note: what's important to do is MS the bullets to the side you're moving to.If you're on the left, MS and move to the left, release them and cover the screen with cubes, so you will move to the right while collecting cubes.Once you arrive to the respawning turrets, you're almost done,just milk them (destroy the central one!).

STAGE 4

This is probably the most brilliant stage in its design.You basically have three chains, the last one being the most rewarding.Also, the boss usually represents a sort of "wall", difficulty-wise, for many players.Fear not!I'll explain in detail how to bap the baddie without sweating (and swearing too much).At this point, i'll divide the stage in 3 checkpoints.

First checkpoint:

The first section is centered on the two manowars.In this case, you have even more freedom than in the third stage, but you should be VERY careful of the blue ships with the backlash attack.The trick is this: stay on the manowars and destroy everything with BS. reflect the blue ships' bullets when they're overwhelming, and quickly take dawn the main deck (at the top of the manowars) to trigger the +50 cube.Continue the same method for the second manowar and then destroy the remaining blue ships before the mid-boss. This part should be worth +400 chain and 50k EP.

Second checkpoint:

Quickly PL the mid-boss and reflect back the first bullet spam attack.Take the extra life, start the chain and go on the lower left.If you're the master of tapping movements, you can shoot and slowly move to the left,doing instantaneous MSes to clear the path.This will make you lose a few points.Why? You have three fluxi of green careers: one from the lower left, one from the upper right, one from the lower right.These careers will stop appearing if you miss one of them and they flee out of the screen.By tapping left-to-right, you will surely lose the lower right stream, which isn't a real problem though.Now,as long as you VERY SLOWLY move to the right and reflect a few bullets while doing it,you should be able to make the situation clear enough to survive this hellish zone intact.When you see the flagship of the fleet on the background, you may actually trigger a bomb to clear the screen, as the last orange drones on screen will be easy to destroy. This section will give you about 200k EP and a +1k chain (very inflated).

Third checkpoint:

This is the most interesting section of the stage. Milk with PL the engines of the flagship before it goes out of the screen, then quickly take those down (and the turrets above them) when they reappear, MS the central section.Go on the left and take down quickly the two far left sections, the one which shoot.Now, go on the central tower and PL as soon as it starts shooting, then reflect up to a split second before the GHB, then retreat on the bottom and shoot, while slowly tapping to avoid the pink aimed streams and refilling the mosquito.Once you're done, repeat the MS and you will destroy the said tower, revealing a fountain of cubes.Destroy everything else and you will have created a nice and rewarding chain.it's worth about 250k EP and a +700 chain. The grand total is thus about 500k EP, for the stage.

STAGE 5

This stage is designed to let you "easily" arrive at 1,6M EP, so you will get the eighth level of power.There are two main points where you have to be careful with your chain:

1. The first point is after the first rotating sphere (well, the thing on the right that has other spheres around it).You will need to reflect bullets on your right (against the tanks) from the small sphere on the left to keep the chain going.You will then have a lot of red spammers that, once blown, will transform all bullets into cubes, so you shouldn't have problems until...

2. ...The end of this passage.Stay on the right, and destroy the red spammers just a moment before they leave the screen.At this point, you should have the small sphere entering the screen from the left and shooting at you: use their attacks to create a few cubes to keep the chain going during this lull, the rest of the stage is pretty straightforward (but reflect bullets to increase your chain). It's worth +1700 chain and about
1,15-1,20M EP if you do it properly.

STAGE 6

This stage is actually pretty simple, as long as you destroy everything in sight and you always do instantaneous backlashes. Score-wise, it's better if you use the BS a lot, so you will destroy everything in sight (important if you aim for a big score). Do also consider that the teleporting enemies won't appear if you're exactly above their spot of appearance, so you can exploit this trick to keep them from appearing. One important thing: there are three giant squares shooting a gazillion bullets at you, near the end of the stage. The first one will starting moving on a rail at some point, if you destroy it when reaching the vertical-oriented part of the rail, you will not get the fourth square in its resting place.Of course, you will need this fourth square if you're playing for score. Finally, i would say that whatever you get (EP-wise) on this stage, it's good.

Let's talk about the bosses, at this point.

FIRST BOSS

This is a pretty simple boss, it has these attacks that can be milked with an MS:

1. The first central shot (pink bullets);
2. The last two aimed streams of bullets;
3. The other aimed streams, start the chain by destroying the violet discs while being slightly on one side;
4. The last attack, just before it starts to shoot more bullets.

All attacks sum up to about 120k EP if done correctly.

SECOND BOSS

It's even more linear...but there's a trick to milk more exp points.Ok, destroy the armour part and once it starts the spread attack (pink and blue bullets), MS to the maximum.If you do this WITHOUT destroying the armour part, and you suicide, you can respawn getting all cubes and reflecting back another row.

Without the suicide tecnique, it's about 50k EP and 200+ chain.
With the suicide tecnique, it's about 150k EP and 550+ chain.

THIRD BOSS

This nasty giant bug is actually the first though challenge of the game (not that the level is easy, eh).

Ok:
1. Point blank it with PL, then reflect the second and third (after dodging the first...) streams of bullets from the pods.
2. Keep hammering PL on the violet bullets, but be sure to stay a bit lower (i.e. in front of its arms).
3.PL the bug while staying at the centre of the bullet field, after 3-4 PLs do a consistent MS on the boss and trigger quickly the next form (you need to dodge the pink streams by moving left and right,avoid vertical movements).
4. simply shoot the green pods while being on the boss,there's a small chain:when it reveals the beam, dodge.
5.On the last bullet spam, shoot or PL, after two-three seconds, charge a huge MS (by exploiting one of the two rotating attacks) and destroy the boss.

This boss can give you a total of 90k EP, with all its attacks.

FOURTH BOSS

This boss is officially impossible, if you don't understand the first attack.It basically shoots a very fast and aimed backlash attack at you, with two circles of bullets to make things more complex.The trick is this: do a point-blank MS on the central stream,being hyper-quick in doing this (this is the "Mode7's tecnique", btw).A backlash MS will do, once you learn the timing.This attack will be repeated 10 times, if you can do said tecnique 5 times (alternating the MS with a careful dodge, let it aim and miss you by quick dodges,but be careful on the circles) you will be almost safe...PL it a lot before it starts the new attack and keep doing it until the next bullet spam is complex to navigate, MS as many bullets as you can and reflect back at the last second.It should go, at this point.

FIFTH BOSS

This boss isn't difficult as long as you're EXTREMELY careful in taking down quickly the various sections.

1.The first wagon will shot a lot of bullets and have green ships shooting missiles: PL 5-6 times, shoot and then reflect the first attack, using NO MORE than half a gauge.
2.PL on its SIDES, the main body won't accuse damage: after 7-8 PLs, half a gauge will do.
3.Same as above, you can use up to 3/4 of the gauge, because the next section is weak.
4.It should go down with about 4-5 PLs, else reflect something back.
5.The first part is simple:go exactly in front of it and MS when it triggers the side streams of bullets.Refill from to 1/4 to full your gauge, then PL the second form a lot and stay low and central, so you can easily use your BS and see where the destroyable bullets go. Once the pink bullet spam ends, you can reflect the second attack and finish the boss with a proper reflect.
This section can grant you a rough total of 50k EP.

SIXTH AND FINAL BOSS(ES)

1.
The keeper of the tree of life, the first of the four final bosses, is surely the most difficult, due to its huge amount of hit points. PL it as much as you can before it starts shooting, the arrow-like bullets have an hole on the side of their pattern (roughly at 30° left and right).If you're having problems, trigger the only bomb you really need in the game, and stay away from the boss until you replenish the bar.When he goes to the left, do a quick MS in FRONT of it and escape to the other side.Do the same when it comes back to the right, then wait for it to start the circular spam...absorb everything and just before the bomb, reflect on its body, it should do.

2.
The first form of the tree of life: easy, be careful on its central spam, once you've refilled your gauge MS it away.

3.
The tree of life itself...PL as much as you can, then go on the left and slowly tap to the right to destroy the aiming pods, MS once done this.Repeat this action three times, being careful to MS no more than half a gauge the first two times (difficult, i know: be careful to find a hole in the pattern, to increase your survival chances).

4.
Uriel ( i think). Simple, PL it and reflect the first attack, it should do.

This boss can be worth about 50-70k EP, but at this point it doesn't really matter...
One last thing:



TRIVIA

In no particular order:

The first three turrets on the left, at the beginning of stage 2, and the turrets on the first building of stage 3 can be substituted by teapots if you meet some criteria.They are:
1)Destroy them before the other turrets (on stage 2);
2)Destroy them without taking down the central part of the building (on stage 3);

They can be used to generate cubes if you reflect back some bullets against them.

On Stage 2, if you're quick enough, you can have a red tank appearing on the right, on the clouds (!!) just before the turrets.

On stage 3, if you reflect a good deal of bullets on the pods on the right of the final building (the ones popping out if you keep shooting them), you can get a +50 cube.The turrets that shoot at their left are considered like scenery: it means they will release +5 cubes.Other scenery buildings can be worth more, +10 or even +50. Main decks of ships on stage 4 are to be considered scenery (+50), buildings on stages 1,2,3, those weird turrets on stage 5, those big moving squares on stage 6.

The mid-boss on stage 4 releases a 1-up bonus, if you destroy it. Once you destroy the fifth boss, it will still rotate trying to face you.


CONCLUSIONS AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

First, many thanks to Facilitypro and his chain calculator, which is extremely useful in finding out how many exp you get from a chain, regardless of the cubes' value you get.Thanks again!

Considerations:
this game basically revolves around building stage-long chains by using all your four weapons at disposal. What you should do is basically learn to quickly create cubes by reflecting back bullets on the spot, when you're in a hurry: aside that, stages allow a good deal of freedom, chain-wise.Once you memorize enemies that release bigger cubes, you can link stage subsections in any way you want. This is the strongest quality of the game, you can play it your way, once you know some given checkpoints. Now, we all wonder: why those cretins never did a second chapter...? (Ok, the extra version rocks too, but i wanted a whole new game,sigh).

FINALLY, A NEW EDIT: ( 9-11-2004)

I hope the stages and bosses' guide is comprehensible enough to understand what's going on during the tutorials. I may add a few pics to give a visive help to the written part, and in case you have specific requests on anything, please let me know, as i can rip a replay and put some pics to clarify obscure/bizarre passages.
Have fun!
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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 11:22 pm 


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Hi, Sorry for ressurecting this but I had a question from the ATTACKS portion. What do you mean by mapping everything to one button? I understand what you mean by the delays between switching use between weapons (which I am trying to get rid of by reading this thread). Can someone enlighten me? I'm playing the dreamcast version and I'm not sure how to map it all to one button to get rid of the delay between auto-pierce and the bullet grav thing.


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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 1:40 am 


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I'm not an expert on MM< so someone feel free to correct me if I mess something up here...

What you say about "mapping everything to one button": it's pretty much already done for you. In the original arcade version all 3 attacks (shot, piercing gun, barrier/bomb) were done with a single button, depending on how you tapped/held it. The same goes for the DC version (whichever button is mapped as "shot" should work like this), except that it allows you to map some functions (autofire, rapid piercing gun) to separate buttons if you like. What Rando's saying is that, while using several buttons can be more "convenient," for lack of a better word, it also means a bit of additional delay when you stop using one weapon and start using another, whereas if you were just using the "single button" method you could switch more quickly by simply adjusting your rhythm, or just holding down The Button that you were already pressing anyway.

In case you weren't already aware, here's how the weapons work when you use the one-button method:

Shot: tap The Button rapidly.

Piercing Gun: tap The Button more slowly. You probably noticed that when you stop shooting energy gathers at the front of your ship: once it's gathered enough, the next time you press The Button the piercing gun is released. If you can get the rhythm of presses down and learn how long you need to wait before pressing The Button again, you can fire it repeatedly.

And obviously, for the Barrier, hold The Button, and for the bomb, hold it until the meter's empty.

Hopefully that helps...
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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 1:48 am 


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BulletMagnet wrote:

In case you weren't already aware, here's how the weapons work when you use the one-button method:

Shot: tap The Button rapidly.

Piercing Gun: tap The Button more slowly. You probably noticed that when you stop shooting energy gathers at the front of your ship: once it's gathered enough, the next time you press The Button the piercing gun is released. If you can get the rhythm of presses down and learn how long you need to wait before pressing The Button again, you can fire it repeatedly.

And obviously, for the Barrier, hold The Button, and for the bomb, hold it until the meter's empty.

Hopefully that helps...


Hey thanks alot! This is exactly what I needed explaining...


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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 6:46 am 



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The arcade version has all four functions (shield, shot, piercing laser, bomb) onto one button. The DC allows you to use the auto-piercing gun and the auto-shot, i.e. once you use one of the two you need to use another button to use the multiple function.

This causes lag: if you spend 5 seconds with the finger on the auto-piercing button and then switch to the multiple function button (e.g. to use the mosquito system), you will get about 0.3 seconds of delay in activation, while if you use just one button, you get around 0.1 seconds of delay when switching functions.

The arcade version has different timings, the DC version makes things smoother with one button.
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 Post subject: Re: ST: Mars Matrix
PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:52 pm 


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Where are extends?
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 Post subject: Re: ST: Mars Matrix
PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 1:37 am 


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100k exp and stage 4 midboss.
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