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 Post subject: ST: Rayforce
PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2005 7:12 pm 



Joined: 25 Jan 2005
Posts: 2833
DISCLAIMER:

This ST has survived to the last forum onslaught because of Bydobasher's brilliant work. Many thanks and my infinite gratitude to your actions :D !

0.0 FACT FILES
0.1 THE RAYCRISIS PLOT
0.2 THE RAYFORCE PLOT
1.0 GAMEPLAY
1.1 YOUR SHIP
1.2 BASIC ATTACKS
1.2.1 MACHINEGUN
1.2.2 LOCK-ON LASER
1.3 RANK
2.0 ADVANCED TECNIQUES
2.1 SURVIVAL TECNIQUES
2.2 BULLET HERDING
2.3 CUTBACK
2.4 "DIVE-IN"
2.5 POINT-BLANK
2.5.1 TERRESTRIAL POINT BLANK
2.5.2 AERIAL POINT BLANK
3.0 SCORING TECNIQUES
3.1 IMPROPER LOCK-ON
3.1.1 DUMMY SCORE-LESS LOCK-ON
3.1.2 DUMMY SCORE-BASED LOCK-ON
3.1.3 IMPROPER PLANE LOCK-ON
4.0 STAGE GUIDE
4.1 STAGE 1
4.2 STAGE 2
4.3 STAGE 3
4.4 STAGE 4
4.5 STAGE 5
4.6 STAGE 6
4.7 STAGE 7
5.0 CONCLUSIONS.

0.0 FACT FILES

Rayforce (i will only use this name) is a Taito shmup.Hideyuki Katoh, its designer, is one of the guys that formed G.Rev and worked on Border Down, as you may have guessed by the similiraties in design between the two games.It was produced in 1993, on Taito F3 hardware, and has a good (but pretty simple) port on Saturn and PC: you can tate the game and the BGM is rearranged, and that's all. Zuntata published some rearranged tracks on Rubbing Beat album, all produced by Tamayo Kawamoto. This lovely lady also worked on the normal version (published by ponycanyon ) BGM, her first solo work after joining Zuntata.As you may know, she worked at Capcom from '84 to '88, before joining Zuntata (and did the music for all Capcom games of those years, save Bionic commando and part of other BGMs).The game itself (Jap-Saturn version) costs usually 10 $, even less if you can find the NA or PC versions. It was followed by two sequels, Raystorm and Raycrisis: the former sharing only gameplay and not storyline, the latter being a prequel...

So, what's the plot?


0.1 THE RAYCRISIS PLOT

In a distant future, a giant mainframe is built to basically handle the planet.This giant mainframe goes bonkers and starts changing earth's biosphere because,well, it seems to be "angry" with human beings.In order to slow down its total control of the world, a virus in form of a ship is sent in its coscience, to hack it down.The mission is only partially succesful, since the system still manages to encroach the whole planet, but at least the surviving 0,2% of humang beings can escape beyond the Moon's orbit.

0.2 THE RAYFORCE PLOT

After decades, the plan "meteor strike" is set: a small ship, r-gray 1, is sent to battle the giant mainframe,con-human, and its machines.Con-human is actually located inside's earth core, so the ship has to penetrate earth's atmosphere,crust and finally the nucleus.The secret goal of this mission is to destroy Con-human and thus to make the planet collapse and implode.Of course, our green-haired pilot won't survive to the explosion...but after billions of deads, it's not a true problem, right? [/cynism]

Que Descansen En Paz...

(May they rest in peace, in spanish: it's the title of the ending theme, i suppose its title is a christian prayer).

1.0 GAMEPLAY

This section will cover the basic gameplay and explain how to succesfully manage the game mechanics in order to 1-cc the game,score a lot and live happy.It will be divided in two sections: basic and advanced gameplay.Basic gameplay will be divided in three sections: "your ship" and "basic attacks" and "rank", advanced gameplay in "stage guide" and "neat tricks".This because the only advanced tecniques in the game consist in exploiting stages properly for points, or specific tecniques to deal with some complex sections. Let's then start:

1.1 YOUR SHIP

This game,as i said, was produced in 1993, and this means that we still had to wait about one year, to get the microscopic hit area typical of modern games. Your hit box is roughly the main body of the ship, minus the engines,the cannons and part of the wings (i'll put a pic as soon as i can).This means that you can't go around buzzing bullets like in Psyvariar, because you would easily get shot.One good thing is that the ship is relatively fast, but not too much: say, a Gradius speed 2.This is important to know, because at some point you may get a lot of fast bullets on screen, thanks to rank: you should basically learn the subtle art of tapping, especially when dealing with long sequences of aimed bullets.

Once you're confident with the ship's size, you should become confident with screen's size.Like many old skoolers, the screen doesn't show all the gaming area:you basically see all the time 80% of the total horizontal area and 90% of the vertical area.This means that you can get a lot of nice snipers from the sides, with this condition: if their weapons are on the visible area,they will shoot at you.Also, many kamikaze enemies will exploit the "blind" zones to surprise you (and destroy your ship,of course).About the vertical "blind" area: this zone is actually unreachable, and it starts from the score height.You can't basically exploit that zone for your movements, but you can lock-on enemies from the the upper limit:this means that you may lock-on and hit enemies which are partially off-screen, for your chaining purposes.

Last but not least, we said that this is a pseudo-3D game, for gameplay purposes ("2.5D", perhaps?).This is an important factor once you're dealing with land-based attacks.One thing you should get used to is understanding when bullets or laser shot from lower planes will arrive on your plane and be lethal:this is done by memorizing the length of lasers (well, there shouldn't be any other kinds of bullets from land),and thus ignoring "shorter" (because of perspective) bullets.Of course, this is temporary (they're innocuous until they reach you), but you need to learn this,because you will need to herd them a lot,and thus work with their "delayed dangerousness".

That's more or less all you need to know on your ship.Now, its attacks:

1.2 BASIC ATTACKS

You have two attacks, and they're all you need to use.No bombs, no secret tricks, nothing else save your main machinegun and your lock-on laser feature. Now,let's cover them in detail:

1.2.1 MACHINEGUN

It's your main attack, and will only hit enemies on your planes.It's the usual full forward attack, and usually it's fully automatic: you hold down the button and get a coherent stream of bullets.I know the official arcadia records are labelled as "autofire on" and "autofire no", but i don't know how (and if) to use the autofire-less version.It can be powered up by taking 3 red pods or 1 yellow pod,and partial power-ups will remain even if you die.You will lose a level if you die and max out at level 6.Their aspect and colour is described in this list:

Level 1: two blue streams
Level 2: four blue streams
Level 3: four green streams
Level 4: six level streams
Level 5: six red streams
Level 6: eight red streams

Once you max them out, extra pods will start from 1k and raise in points value by 1k until you max out at 10k (i.e. 1k,2k...10k). The main shot is pretty simple to use, and that's in fact all you need to know about it.

1.2.2 LOCK-ON LASER

This is the principal feature of the game (in fact one of the early versions was called "gunlock"), and the key to big scores.Unlike its 3D sequels, in Rayforce you can only lock-on enemies when below you, even if there's a specific tecnique to be exploited for points (but see the "neat tricks" section). In short: you start with five lock-on lasers and,by taking another 3 power-ups (the "L" icon) you can get a maximum of 8 lasers.You will lose one laser when you die.Destroying an enemy with lasers will trigger a multiplier, which can be computed by using this algorythm:

BV*2^(n-1) with n=1...6
BV*2^n with n=7,8

This means that you will have the following multipliers:

1st laser=x1
2nd laser=x2
3rd laser=x4
4th laser=x8
5th laser=x16
6th laser=x32
7th laser=x128
8th laser=x256

You basically change algorythm base as a prize for long chains: getting 7 or 8 lock-ons is difficult,most of the time, and thus it's rewarded with a bigger multiplier. Now,you may wonder: "how chaining works?", which is a legitimate doubt.Let's start from an example and explain it in detail:
You have 8 enemies and lock-on all 8 of them,their basic value is 100 points and 400 for the last one.This means that you get:

100x1=100+
100x2=200+
100x4=400+
100x8=800+
100x16=1600+
100x32=3200+
100x128=12.800+
400x256=102.400=

121.5k points for one chain.

In order to trigger the multipliers,then, you have to lock-on more than one laser (up to eight,of course) on various targets.Once done it,you shoot and thus release a given number of lasers.Enemies are locked-on as long as they're even partially on screen (i.e. in the entire field of game,thus if they're in the sections that can't appear on screen you can still chain them) or before a 5-seconds countdown expires (usually you will shoot them earlier).There are a few extra tecniques that will be covered in the "neat tricks" section, because they basically exploit the basic tecniques for big points.Once you max out your lasers, the same principle for extra icons (point-wise) will apply.
Now, the last part of basic gameplay:

1.3 RANK

Rank, if you haven't lived on Mars for the last 20 years or so,is a device present in almost all shmups that adjust difficulty according to your perfomance.99.9% of the time,it will make the game more difficult if you're playing well and less difficult if you're playing poorly.In this game rank work in a bit bizarre way...
First, every stage has a given difficulty, which goes from 0 (very easy) to 7 (very hard).Difficulty increases of one level per stage, so you will end up at difficulty 7 (and not 6) by stage 7,since you start from level 1 and not 0.This increase ignores another aspect,your survival time.If you can clear one stage without dying, you will also get an extra level, thus getting two levels per stage.Extending will also give you an extra level, two for the second life:dying is the only way to decrease rank,it will stop rank and basic increase too.Every increase or decrease is worth 1 point, of course if you die twice in a stage it's worth 1x2=2 points.Let's then make an example (BI is Basic Increase,RI is rank Increase,EI is Extend increase,DD is Death Decrease):

1st stage = 0 deaths/ 1(BI)+1(RI)
2nd stage= 0 deaths/ 1(BI)+1(RI)+1(EI)
3rd stage= 0 deaths/ 1(BI)+1(RI)+1(EI)(a)
4th stage= 0 deaths/ 1(BI)+1(RI)(b)
5th stage= 1 death/ 0(BI)+0(RI)-1(DD)(c)
6th stage= 2 deaths/ 0(BI)+(RI)-2(DD)(d)
7th stage= 0 deaths/ 1(BI)+(RI)(e)

Let me explain the notes in order to understand how rank works in this example:

(a) By the end of stage 3, your rank has maxed out.You actually get two extra levels, which is ignored;
(b) By the end of stage 4,you're still at maximum difficulty, but the game has still computed the rank increase;
(c) By the end of stage 5,rank has slightly gone down, because your death has stopped rank increase and basic increase,not to mention it has decreased of one point difficulty;
(d)By the end of stage 6,rank has gone done a bit more, as in stage 5;
(e)By the end of stage 7, BUT BEFORE THE FINAL BOSS, your rank has reached almost the maximum (level 6 difficulty).

As you can see, the rank actually influences difficulty (in other games like Garegga, difficulty actually influences rank, and rank's speed in increase).Before you think dying is a nice option, don't forget that you will lose one level of power per weapon, and this may mean losing the possibility of a x256 multiplier,as you will have 7 lasers in stock and the extra power-up appearing once you respawn will usually be a red (machinegun) pod,unless there are only "land" enemies.

Last but not least,what rank does affect?Mainly, quantity and speed of bullets, on bosses it will trigger more difficult attacks and few more hit points:this is a consequence of its nature (i.e. it manipulates difficulty and its pace of variation).
This is also more or less everything you need to know about rank,so let's pass to "advanced tecniques".

2.0 ADVANCED TECNIQUES

This section covers a miscellanea of important and not easy tecniques that will critically increase your chances of survival or your scoring perfomances.I'm covering them in detail (and in another section) because they're all consequences of the hybrid nature of this game (i.e. a mix between old and new skool, so to speak).Some of them are basically meant to be used once the difficulty level goes up a lot, because the number of bullets shot by enemies becomes so high that you will be literally forced to use some of these approaches. Last but not least, you can easily ignore the scoring tecniques here proposed, if you don't care for score.

2.1 SURVIVAL TECNIQUES

These tecniques are more or less fundamental, in the sense that you will need to use them to save your butt at least once in your play, if you want to survive.Most of them are actually common "old skool" tecniques, here presented for the sake of completeness: i can't take for granted that you have played any older games and thus you know how to deal with some situations.

2.2 BULLET HERDING

There are some sections of the game that will feature small flights of enemies dashing at you and shooting a lot of bullets (if difficulty is high enough).In this case, you need to do the "bullet herding" tecnique.It consists of making the enemies shoot at you while you slowly tap away from their streams of bullets.It's usually done by starting on an angle and then changing side of the screen, but it can have many variants:usually you have enemies on the side you're moving to,so,by changing side,you also destroy the sources of attack.It only works well if you learn to control the stream of bullets, abrupt movements will usually end in a bullet on your nose.

2.3 CUTBACK

A cutback is the complementary tecnique to bullet herding.Instead of slow tappings, it involves abrupt changes of direction, but it's done when dealing with another type of attack.Which one?Those attacks that will abruptly change direction.There are some enemies that,instead of shooting a continuous stream of bullets in your direction, will stop shooting and re-aim if you do a quick movement.Another variant are all turrets in the game:since they shoot their lasers at discrete intervals, if you quickly change direction you will get an open space for your movements.Last but not least, starting from an awkward angle may help,especially if you know what's coming next.

2.4 "DIVE-IN"

This is the most difficult tecnique to use, and it's actually present in rayforce and a few other shmups, to my memory and knowledge.It's basically a variant of safe spot abuse (self-explaining, i hope): some enemies will always shoot toward the bottom, since they have patterned attacks.You can dodge their bullets, then, by advancing/going up on the screen, virtually "diving in" in the stream of attacks. It can't be done if you don't know what's coming next,since you risck to collide with enemies rising in quote.Still, it's very useful in some critical spots.

2.5 POINT-BLANK

No,it's not related to the Namco series, and it's not specific of this game (even if it's one of the first shmups that feature it).It comes in two variants:

2.5.1 TERRESTRIAL POINT BLANK

As i said earlier, terrestrial-based attacks will need a split-second to arrive on your plane, which is very helpful when you can hover more or less on their sources:this because they will appear a bit forward in their direction of shooting, giving you a small (but useful) space for manouveurs.If you can actually hover near them, the terrestrial enemies won't shoot.Be careful! As soon as you go out the "no-attacks" zone, they will immediately resume attacks.

2.5.2 AERIAL POINT BLANK

It works like the terrestrial one, with a difference in range (slightly bigger) and it's even riskier, as you risk collision if done with dashing enemies (especially fast ones).If you can "dive-in" an enemy, point blank can't really be applied, as it works only if you're in front of them (i.e. there's no need to stop shooting if their pattern already is fixed in the wrong direction).

3.0 SCORING TECNIQUES

There three tecniques,and two of them are vairants of the same principle: improper lock-on.Those tecniques can be avoided at will, since most of the time they involve the risk of enemies raising to your plane, or leaving it on screen to shoot before you destroy it.

3.1 IMPROPER LOCK-ON

As i said, it comes in two variants, and now i'll explain their differences.

3.1.1 DUMMY SCORE-LESS LOCK-ON

Some enemies require more than hit to die.This means that you will,for istance, need three lasers on all mechas.You won't get any multipliers if you destroy them with lasers only, but if you lock-on something else, you will get the appropriate multiplier for its lock-on value.

Example:you lock-on three lasers on a mecha and a fourth laser on a 100 points-worth enemy.the result will be:

1st laser= 800x1
2nd laser=0x2
3rd laser=0x4
4th laser=100x16

This means that all lasers placed on the mecha save the first one are score-less.
A similar case is if you lock-on worthless targets (scenery),you will increase the effective number of lock-ons.

Example: you lock-on the cannons on first boss and then an enemy worth 100 points:

1st laser= 0x1
2nd laser=0x2
3rd laser=0x4
4th laser=100x16

This is the "simple variant" of dummy lock-on.The other variant is

3.1.2 DUMMY SCORE-BASED LOCK-ON

It's simple: you need enemies which require more than one laser to be close to explosion (i.e. one laser needed to take them down).If you then destroy them with a single lasers, they will be treated as normal enemies (i.e. one single laser).

Example: the sixth mid-boss must be taken down in this way for big points.

1=300x1
2=300x2
3=300x4
4=0x8
5=0x16
6=0x32
7=300x128
8=2Kx256

As you can see, you can mix both types of dummy lock-on.

Last but not least, another type of improper lock-on:

3.1.3 IMPROPER PLANE LOCK-ON

This is simple: if enemies ascend on your plane,you can still destroy them if you locked them on.Same thing is true if they're on the limits of effective (i.e. including non-visible) field of play.It's pretty tricky though, it will need some consistent practice to be handled well.

4.0 STAGE GUIDE

Here's a guide to stages, with tips and tricks on how to successfully survive and make points. I also list the songs playing during the stages and the theoretical maximum score (cumulative, of course).

4.1 STAGE 1 "Red power to pierce through" (Song: " Penetration") (Maximum score: 800k).

This stage is pretty straightforward...but! At the very beginning, destroy the first two enemies, then suicide against them when they appear on your plane.Lock-on the five small drones coming out from the admiral ship on the right, take the two laser power-ups, and lock those two admiral ships.You will get about 50k more and slow down a lot the rank increase.
Only one thing, you have to place a 6-level chain using the tanks just before the beginning of the space port section (and before the mechas, and the ships popping from below).

First Boss " Dual Lance " (Song: "Experiment one: aggressiveness")

Extremely straightforward, just destroy the various parts for some extra points.

4.2 STAGE 2 "The gravity of blue side" (Song: " G " ) (Maximum score: 1,9M).

The first part with the mid-boss is simple, just slowly guide its bullets while locking-on.On the part with cannons and dockings, do not try to land more than 6-level chains, though.When you have the blue planes, quickly chain them without wasting too much time. Then you have said blue planes dashing from the left: take down two of them on the first flight, then 3 of them (so you can easily have an 8-level chain both times). The last part (mechas from below and manowar ship, "Poseidon") are also surprisingly linear: just destroy everything and it will do.

Second Boss " Guira-Sol" (Song: "Experiment one: aggressiveness")

This is tricky: destroy quickly the upper cannons, so they won't shoot any bullets at you.Then, the boss will launch small drones from its lower hangars. Use them to increase value on those drones, keeping in mind that there are 3 flights of them, and after this phase, the boss will shoot an 8-way aimed series of bullets (easily dodgeable by guiding them).Once you've done with drones and their hangars, take down the boss.

4.3 STAGE 3 "The phantasm of silver" (Song: "Vision") (Maximum score: 2,9M).

First thing: the mid-boss.You have to avoid being in front of it when he shoots with its arms, else it will corner you easily.Destroy quickly the arms on one side and lock-on when it only has a couple of arms, or when it shoots the green lasers.As long as you respect these two basic rules, it's relatively easy.This stage isn't very rewarding,however. You should try to quickly aim 5 or 6-level chains when you have the missile-launchers as lock-on targets. On the lake/fall first part, lock-on the boats and tanks, then try to lock-on the purple ships and the scenery that links the floating isles, taking in consideration that the violet ships tend to move at odd angles and shoot at you a bit before going out of the screen. The only occasion you have for 8-level chains is on the final part (tanks and turret), land 5 lock-ons on the turret and three on tanks, a couple of times.

Third boss " Giga" (Song: "Experiment one: aggressiveness")

This boss is easy once you learn to abuse the sides of the screen.One thing you should do is destroying its central turrets, retreating to the side when they start shooting at you, or you have the combo "turret fire+mines".Stay low on the screen, so you can be sure that you have room to dodge the shots from the lasers on the sides.Once the turrets are gone, the key spot will retreat in the main body of the ship. Destroy all cannons on both sides (while locking-on the core), so you can be sure that the final hit on the boss will be dealt without any minaces from the baddie (and get an extra 100k by destroying it with a 8-level chain:be sure to have it at red level).

4.4 STAGE 4 " The fissure of consciouness " (Song: "Cracking") (Maximum score: 3,9 M)

Ok, try to stay on one side and slowly make a cut-back when dealing with the green drones, what matters is destroying the red one for the power-up (and thus 10k points).Destroy the first row of tanks with an 8-level chain, then use the turrets (three lock-ons each) to destroy two tanks with the seventh and eitghth lock-on.Use the mechas on your right for the same purpose, but do something like "6+2, then 5+3" (lock-ons) for the various tanks appearing. After the other row of green drones, you should try to place 6 or 7-level chains on the blue ships: keep in mind that they will always shoot down, they don't really aim their shots (as said in the general part).Be sure to use turrets and mechas to arrive at 8-level chains again, then use the central tower to do the same job.The tower will go down with 12 lock-ons, so you have room for a "5+3" lock-on chains. The part with mechas is simple destruction.

Fourth Boss " G.P.M.S." (Song: "Experiment one: aggressiveness")

This boss is nasty. You have to destroy quickly three of the four forcepes that shoot the homing lasers (they're on its legs), and lock-on on the small rotating beak. Once you've done this, it will shoot mines, a small ball of energy that explodes into a shrapnel if hit (don't hit!) ,blue frontal lasers and the usual spread almond-shaped shots (stay near a corner to avoid them).You hva to lock-on the body, so you will reveal its inner core: once done that, destroy the two forward legs (and the last forceps), so it will shoot the said spread shot...at some point it will stop above a sky-skraper and will easily go down with a few frontal shots (and you will get an extra 100k too,by "hitting" the skyscraper with the boss).

4.5 STAGE 5 " Toward the darkness" (Song: " Into darkness") (Maximum score: 5,4M).

Ok, on the first part:Start from the upper 8, then lower 8 ships for two 8-level chains.Then, you can improvise a bit, but do 8-level lock-ons by staying on one side and moving as you clear enemies.Once you've done that part, don't stay too low, because the surviving enemies will try to shoot missiles at your butt. Now there will be a rough part: big mechas will come up and try to shoot at you.Stay 45° on one side to avoid their bullet spread, and take them quickly down when they throw the laser grenades.Until you have sky-scrapers on the back-ground, don't try to get more than 6-level chains.Once this section is over, there's an easy 8-level chain.On the "highway" part, lock-on the tanks (after destroying the turrets on the first ones appearing, so you will have easy 8-level chains). The final part is the most difficult: you can easily do 8-level chains on the mechas appearing on the background and quickly coming up, but you need to be careful on dodging, as you will be forced to be in front of them in this case. The trick is staying near the centre of one of them, since they tend to stay aligned (and their spread shot tends to be concenctrated on the centre and extremes of a 45° angle). Rest is almost straightforward.

Fifth boss " Odin" (Song: "Experiment 3:atrocity")

This boss is based on speed. Aim at its cannons, moving on one side just before it shoots its purple lasers. Slowly tap to the centre when it does the yellow bullets attack. After that, it will do the yellow bullet spam, shoot at its head and you will easily see bullets in this pattern. When it shoots the yellow homing pods, get close to hit and then get back, the pods will have an awkward trajectory (for them to hit you), stay very close when it does the green laser spam (and stay centered, another safe spot). It should go down easily.

4.6 STAGE 6 "The end of deep layer" (Song: "Mobius") (Maximum score: 6,9M).

This stage is quite more difficult than the fifth one, but gives the same amount of points, sadly. At any case...Deal with the green drones as always, then lock-on on the missile batteries. Destroy the first two cannons, then use the other two to get an 8-level chain on lock-on batteries. After that, you will get the green big ships:quickly destroy one of them, then do the accompanying pods, then the other green ship (repeat).Some quick chains on the blue ships: then, the difficult mid boss. Destroy the main cannon, then you can do 3 times this trick: lock-on the gates of the side tanks, get seventh and eighth lock-on on the tanks themselves.While doing this, keep going left and right and abuse the sides of the screen to keep low the number of shooting ships.The mid-boss,after that, will go on the desceding platform.Destroy the cannons on said platform, then wait until you can see the pillars:lock them on, lock on the mid-boss with the eighth shot and get 300k (roughly). The rest is simple: lock-on the said pillars and destroy all structures linking one to the other, so they will go down (but quickly regenerate, so be careful).There's another section with the green big ships, but nothing to write about.

Sixth boss "Dynamo" (Song: "Experiment 3: atrocity")

This boss is also pretty nasty. Try to stay on one side and destroy all of its cannons, then do the same to the other side. You have to cut-back on streams of yellow bullets, and be careful not to get hit by the four central lasers while doing this.When you trigger the core, it will cycle these attacks:

1)Non-aimed lasers;
2)Aimed (they appear in couples) lasers;
3)Stream of blue bullets (start from one side, slowly tap);
4) Pods;

Be careful!Destroy as soon as you can all pods, you *don't* want to make them shoot. Once it reaches the red phase, it will shoot a shower of giant purple balls: they're not too harmful, so be sure to lock-on a lot and destroy those pods.

4.7 STAGE 7 "Releasing infinitely" (Songs: part #1 "The plot thickens"; part #2 "Quartz") ( Maximum score: 9,6M?)

This stage is actually easier than the sixth one.At the beginning, just chain a bit and shoot if you get cornered, but don't worry about racking up a few points in case.The mid-boss is simple if you can learn to point-blank it exactly at the centre when it does the orange bullets attack, if don't feel confident with this tecnique, stay on one side and one of the two bullet spams will tend to be slightly out of focus.After the green lasers, stay low and slowly tap, it should quickly go down. When you enter the planet's core, stay high so it will be easier to chain the lavander enemies.The rest is straight-forward: chain 8 enemis, don't shoot the shrapnels released by the bigger ships, destroy the pods which shoot laser (and manipulate the dashing drones as always).The bit before the tower is also pretty linear. At the tower, be careful to always place 8-level chains and get all bonuses, it's a very rewarding section (~1M).

Last Boss "Con-Human" (Songs: first phase "The fates"; second and third phase " Doomsday").

The target of mission rayforce appears, and it will be a difficult fight. The first form will shoot two streams of yellow bullets (just tap) and spread attack:this has many overlapping holes, the most obvious ones are in front of their origins. You have to shoot its lower core to trigger the second form, but you can't be too quick about this, if you want to do some extra points...the trick is this: if you can get the core to be released, you will get 200k extra points.This is done by destroying all of its arms, which is not easy.First thing to do, then, is destroying the extremes of the central arms (which become the lower ones, when you trigger the second form). After that, you need to destroy all other six arms.The central upper ones are the black hole generators:if destroyed, the third phase will be triggered (so no, don't do it immediately). You should laser all arms and destroy one of the two black hole generators, so you can destroy all of them at once and force the core to come out (this only happens if you destroy all arms at once). In the meanwhile, the boss will use two attacks:

1)Green bullets spam: it will dash from side to the other, just go on the extreme border of the side he's gone out from (if it goes out from the right, stay on the extreme right);
2)Black hole: start on the left, only lasers.Shoot as many lasers as you can while circling from left to right the black hole, when it collapses just dodge by tapping the red thingies, if you shoot them they will release bullets early and they may be difficult to dodge;

After the third black hole, if you damaged all arms enough, place a laser on all arms and shoot down simultaneously the remaining generator.The core will be released and you will get 200k points for this.
The third phase is simple, just destroy the inner barriers and lock-on at the same time, being careful not to stay too low on the screen: the violet bullets are shrapnels, and the exploding parts are more or less homing in nature. You can milk this part for about 400k if you have enough patience to destroy all barriers, the boss should time out after 8 cycles. One note: after that attack, it will shoot balls of energy that will explode in three-way lasers, just tap to dodge.

5.0 CONCLUSIONS.

This is more or less everything that you need to know in order to be succesful at clearing the game and scoring well. As you may guess, the game balances lock-on laden sections with more shoot-oriented ones, or a mix of the two.

Some notes on the other songs: The demo song is "The first report", The insert coin (attract mode) song is "On standby", the " experiment 2: destructive of power (sic!)" song is the second theme for boss, it wasn't used in the final revisions. "Q.E.P.D." ("Que descansen en paz" May they rest in peace) is the ending theme, KP-4 is the score chart theme.

One final note on the plot: Red and Blue are symbolic (stage 1 and 2), they're the alternative version of black and white of the yin-yang opposition. "Silver" is the colour of "purification", hence the title "the phantasm of...". The plot focuses on the fact that Earth has become Con-human body. Hence the "fissure of consciousness" (and the others) title (the eyes are said to be the mirror of a soul,etc etc). You basically have to enter con-human's mind (the final stage) and destroy it: this is way the planet implodes at the end of the game. If you think that all this pseudo New stuff Age is silly, blame Taito !
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Last edited by Randorama on Mon Apr 11, 2005 1:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2005 11:41 pm 


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woa much thanks randy(dun mind me callin ya that do ya :))

just thought this could do wit bumping, as i'll also be wanting to check it out again soon :D
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Glad to see you find it useful, of course if you have any questions, please ask :wink:
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Two small things I think I noticed...

1) Really minor thing, but for new players it might be good to note (IIRC) that in this game, unlike in Raystorm and Crisis, you can ONLY lock on to enemies on the plane below you, and not those on your plane. At least that's how I remember it, I might be wrong...

2) Another minor thing: it's not good for score, but you can kill the 4th boss quicker just by blasting off both of its legs on either the right or left side: it'll lose its grip on the wall and fall into the pit below to its demise.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2005 1:38 pm 



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BulletMagnet wrote:
Two small things I think I noticed...

1) Really minor thing, but for new players it might be good to note (IIRC) that in this game, unlike in Raystorm and Crisis, you can ONLY lock on to enemies on the plane below you, and not those on your plane. At least that's how I remember it, I might be wrong...



Damn, corrected, thought i wrote it. thanks for the feed-back.

Quote:
2) Another minor thing: it's not good for score, but you can kill the 4th boss quicker just by blasting off both of its legs on either the right or left side: it'll lose its grip on the wall and fall into the pit below to its demise.


Yes, but i prefer to leave the cheap tecniques for discussion (GDs, in case) or RQ threads, i prefer to treat only the best tecniques in STs. So, do you need other quick kills tecniques, in case :/ ?
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Randorama wrote:
Yes, but i prefer to leave the cheap tecniques for discussion (GDs, in case) or RQ threads, i prefer to treat only the best tecniques in STs. So, do you need other quick kills tecniques, in case :/ ?

"Cheap?" I prefer "Dismantling-Challenged." :P But I only mentioned it because, to the best of my limited knowledge anyways, that's the only boss in the game I've seen in which you can kill it quicker by shooting the "extra" parts instead of the "main" part. Maybe there are others like it, but I thought it might deserve a mention: if you're only including the top-scoring techniques then don't bother.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2005 1:54 pm 



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Ah no, all bosses can be quickly taken down, the difference is that the fourth one has the longest (to do) tecnique. For instance, you can trigger quickly the second boss last form by quickly destroying all of his parts, same thing for the third , fifth and sixth bosses (they will actually time out quickly if you're not fast, the actual challenge is to destroy all sections for points before they time out). Only the fourth and final bosses give you a lot of time for the scoring tricks, which can be easily skipped (the last boss' trick is a nightmare to do properly).
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Just! ..... Cant! ...... Dragmyselfawaysouky!!!

I'm dying to play this game, but I hate having several games on the go at the same time
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Thanks for the guide.

I noticed in the HS section you said the saturn came default on normal and you would have to move it up to 'hard 1' to be on the arcade level...but I've noticed in MAME that it defaults on normal there as well. This is the 'Gunlock' version, thoe.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 2:15 pm 



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You're welcome :wink:


BTW:This a problem of the Saturn version...like Sokyugurentai, they slightly toned down the difficulty for the port. The main difference lies in rank, as it starts at a lower value and maxes out a bit later...

Again, difference is not that big, but in case,it's better if you start on Normal and then you switch to hard 1. Please consider that the original PCB version had differen system, i.e. every stage has a default level which can be raised by rank (if you go in the test menu you can see how does it work).
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 1:59 pm 



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I'd like to see a sample video of the siuciding technique on the first stage. I can't really figure it out by myself...


I can't understand where to suicide and against on wich enemy... I use another strategy, that's less rewarding: I lock on the first five little ships, then shoot them down, take the sixth laser, and lock on the other five little ships + the great one. then, I lock on FOUR little ships and two big ones, and destroy the last little ship with the regular vulcan laser... it's better than regular strategy, but I'd like to implement the suiciding one, because it sounds easy and more rewarding...


I suppose there is a video also on super-play.co.uk, but it's probably an all video, not to mention I've always troubles with big downloads on that site.


Please let me know, thanks :)


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Yeah, the ALL video by Fukuda on Superplay demonstrates this technique.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 5:42 pm 



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CIT wrote:
Yeah, the ALL video by Fukuda on Superplay demonstrates this technique.



NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


LOOOOOOOOOOOOOL


I often have serious trouble like download stall and something like that downloading from that (very good) site... so, an hour ago I tried for the next time and... this time it worked... but I downloaded the Ben Shinobi video instead!!!!!!! He uses a very similar to mine technique :)


Lol, I'll try to download that vid tomorrow (Super-play.co.uk admins ask users to download a single file a day). However, if you can explain I'm glad :)


Thanks for the information ;)


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 8:57 am 



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Lol I managed to download the vid by Fukuda (I did at 250bps... Can't belive) and I noticed that the arcade version is a bit different from the Saturn port also for enemy positioning... it is a bit disappointing because I can understand that the Saturn couldn't handle the soundtrack or the graphics, but not the enemy location... I don't even know if it's possible to execute the suiciding technique at start.... I'll try :)


But this is a bit disappointing :(


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 1:14 pm 



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stratos wrote:
Lol I managed to download the vid by Fukuda (I did at 250bps... Can't belive) and I noticed that the arcade version is a bit different from the Saturn port also for enemy positioning... it is a bit disappointing because I can understand that the Saturn couldn't handle the soundtrack or the graphics, but not the enemy location... I don't even know if it's possible to execute the suiciding technique at start.... I'll try :)


But this is a bit disappointing :(


You need to raise the difficulty to hard 1 or hard 2 to get the right enemy sequence, I think the whole explanation is here or in the score thread.
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I always raise the difficulty to hard 1. It is probably possible to do the trick at this difficulty, but enemy location is different in some spots, so I'm a bit disappointed because the game is QUASI arcade perfect... However it seems very playable end anjoiable, so I don't mind very much about it, but still... I can't understand why they didn't put enemies in the right spots :)


Ah, talking about difficulty, is hard1 the correct arcade rank, or I have to play at hard2 ?


Thanks ;)


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 11:22 pm 



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stratos wrote:
I always raise the difficulty to hard 1. It is probably possible to do the trick at this difficulty, but enemy location is different in some spots, so I'm a bit disappointed because the game is QUASI arcade perfect... However it seems very playable end anjoiable, so I don't mind very much about it, but still... I can't understand why they didn't put enemies in the right spots :)


Ah, talking about difficulty, is hard1 the correct arcade rank, or I have to play at hard2 ?


Thanks ;)


I think it's arcade 2 then, I never experienced the wrong enemy placement on that difficulty.
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LOL, I checked better this time: the enemies seemed to be placed right, it was me that moved differently if compared to Fukuda's play... he stays in the lower section of the screen so the meteorite doesn't get off the ground, for example, and so on I suppose...


But the doubt remains: what is the real arcade difficulty on Sat version?


By now, however, I have to say the game seems to be not too difficult if played only for survival at hard1 rank; and scoring shouldn't be a problem once you have figured out your solid patterns; however the game rocks :)


By now, I can reach the fifth boss, and I'm learning some easy pattern to defeat him, and I'm too curious to see what's coming next :) This game has some atmosphere, Taito designers were real artists :) And also Zuntata were :)


I can also see some Garegga bosses' "ancestors", like the third flying manta boss, for example... Lol, you can damage the wings and the tail, and he has the two spinning turrets: Nose Lavagghin :D And the Black Heart diving burners attack :D


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Lol this game seems to be sooooo accessible... and I can't get to stage six yet! I get there one time only on 1CC and ended with something about 2.5XX.XXX.


All the strategies are perfectly in my mind, but yet I die in random spots... my recurring misses occur especially during stage three, at the midboss, at the point with three waves of missile launcher ships, against the turret barrage at the end of the stage and at the boss. Then I have some random deaths during stage four, and against the turretts on the streets of stage five... luckily I memorised all fifth boss patterns so I shouldn't have more problems reaching stage six in these days :)


Then, stage six... lol it seem you are launched into a more modern manic with tons of bullets filling the screen :)


Guys, this game is not easy... but it's fxxxxxg great :D


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Quote:
Of course, our green-haired pilot won't survive to the explosion...



Uhm... I'm aware of the fact that this game is old and well known, but... it's not polite to spoiler the ending without any f*****g warning!!! :x


Lol, I think that calling you "Spoilerama" for the rest of your life shoul'd be a good punishment for what you did :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: ST: Rayforce
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:20 pm 


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I would like to express my admiration of this topic, for this is possibly my favorite Taito shooter (one of their very best in any case), and the sections about score and rank (rank especially!) help out immensely when I do my practice runs (I can get to stage six on one credit, on Hard 1).

This is done mainly by doing some purposeful suicides on stages 1, 2, and 3, while keeping myself at all times in range of getting an extend by getting as many laser chains as possible. That way, I'm not making a real net gain, nor a net loss, on lives, but the difficulty maintains at a reasonable pace. By stage 4, all deaths are no longer purposeful! :lol: And at that point, the difference in rank is minuscule, so the focus switches to survival and laser-chains.

However, the later posts in this thread have me a bit puzzled, so I will resurrect this thread not only in the hopes that it will spring some more discussion (and assistance) on this fantastic game, but help out when I eventually attempt a spot on the score board.

Does anyone know exactly the arcade difficulty of the Saturn port? Is it at Normal, Hard 1, or Hard 2?

For years I played it on normal (and mind you, this game is damned hard already), but because of lurking this topic I've recently bumped it up one, and haven't noticed a significant change in anything. But it's nice to keep things even and equal, all things considered, and if it'd be nice to judge my scores with some of the arcade scores.
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 Post subject: Re: ST: Rayforce
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:15 am 


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When we had a competition years ago, Saturn players were told to set difficulty to Hard 1 to match the arcade version.
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