3. Story walkthrough
Given the game's linear nature, rather than do a walkthrough in the strictest sense of the word, this will mainly be a series of tips for bosses and any tricky sections of stages. Bosses will be listed in Arcade order, so it'll be slightly out of order for Story. The prologue is only available in the story.
You may want to come back to this after you've beaten story and gotten a feel for the game. Focus on destroying everything without getting hit. When the game asks if you want the route for novice or advanced pilots, select advanced. You'll be doing a trench run past several turrets. You'll need to utilize - but not abuse - the time slowdown in order to destroy every turret. You are likely to die while practicing this one, but that's okay, because:
You can die within the trench run, continue and complete it successfully to get the achievement.
Destroy everything in the Prologue and remain unharmed
Stage I - Moneta Point
The first thing Kolobok does is fires a laser and aims it at the upper left corner. You can sneak a few hits into his face before having to dodge. You'll want to be just above and to the left of him to make it out alive. Note that he starts firing missiles while you're in that position, so don't give him a free hit!
The next big attack to dodge is when he charges at you. Stick to the upper left corner to dodge. Again, he'll fire missiles while he retreats.
Following this is the worst attack he has. He'll fill the screen with a spiral pattern, and I've yet to find a good way to dodge this without use of a capsule. Unless you're practicing/doing a primary weapon only run, the best defense is either a shield or Reflection at the focal point to shotgun the blast back into his weak points.
When he retreats, stay in the bottom left.
During part two, there's a storm constantly pushing you towards the left. He keeps the laser on while firing from his tentacle legs. Make the effort to cut each leg, as it's both a requirement and reduces the amount of lasers on screen.
During the second portion taking down the air traffic tower, it will constantly spawn planes until it is destroyed. Remember that after you destroy it, it isn't a cutscene and you can get hit by the piece of the train breaking away.
The fourth part is a giant gun. Try to figure out when it will shoot and immediately move out of the way. One potential bullet is simply a giant bullet that quickly fires out that will cream you if you don't do that. Similar to the second part, you do have to manually fly over and around it.
At the front of the train when you can see the wheel, if you use Speed Up you'll be able to hit a bar connecting the front wheels. Destroying this will immediately destroy the boss, which is also a requirement.
Stage II - Bokumono
For the first two parts, focus on the front missile ports and turrets instead of the giant beams and rocket launchers. However, keep the giant beam in mind so you can lock it to one corner while you retreat to the other.
When you get under Melkor just above the water, depending on your firepower level, you might want to consider taking out the rotating turrets. At the same time, they don't give you any time, so don't waste too much time on it.
Acridoidea is a pretty straightforward boss. About the only thing I can suggest is the last form, using the turbines to push depth charges. Stay underneath the active engine and pop up to shoot into it only when there are no depth charges above you.
Stage III - Aiborg Factory
Raw Materials Transport
THIS IS AN INSTANT KILL ZONE. The moment you get too far away from the raw materials, you will instantly explode, period. There's more leeway in the back than the front, so you'll want to stay in the middle but err on trailing behind it. Also, a vacuum is pulling you towards the right, so you'll want to correct that more often than not.
Whenever Tsuchigumo shoots a spiderweb-themed pattern, there's typically a spot level with its head that is a safe zone.
Keep an eye out for its charges and lasers similar to Kolobok. Deal with it the same way; when it charges, the upper left corner is safe, firing the laser results in a safe zone just above and to the left of the boss.
When he rapid-fires missiles, you'll want to slowly make an L shape in whichever direction gives you the most room. For instance, if he does this while you're on the left edge halfway up, you'll want to go down just enough to continuously dodge, and when you reach the bottom, go right.
THIS IS AN INSTANT KILL ZONE. And you'll feel stupid whenever you hit one. The crushers will sometimes activate once and sometimes twice. Make sure it's finished before you move on! Similarly, in what felt like the stupidest death I had in that game, if you touch the molten lava, you will die.
You'll want to handle the last section of Angrenost similar to the rapid-fire missiles of Tsuchigumo. Push forward into the mess of turrets, slowly back up, continue in whichever direction gives you more space, then push back into the turrets.
Stage IV - Cardinal Canyon
This is one of the few times that you'll have to actively fight time. You'll need to switch paths to wherever the most enemies are to keep your time up. Especially on a primary weapon only run, this area is a shield killer, between the wasps themselves and the ease of running into the various platforms.
Similar to Tsuchigumo, Libelle doesn't have a set pattern it cycles through. It randomly chooses one of its available attacks and opens up weak points dependent on said pattern. Aside from this, Libelle is mostly straightforward.
When it begins to fire its tail at you, dodge the tail, then get into position to shoot where the tail attaches. It'll come right back and take most of its damage from here.
After you destroy the tail like that, Libelle will charge. Unlike previous charges, the top left corner isn't necessarily safe anymore. He'll charge to random areas before you take him down.
Papa Carlo Chase
When being chased by the wrecking ball, eventually Papa Carlo will start firing bullets at you. For a primary weapon run, you simply need to learn where and how to draw its fire. Otherwise, you can use Reflection to put the bullets back in the turrets, making this much easier.
When dealing with the chainsaw arm, you don't have a lot of room to manoeuvre. Focus on dodging everything and you're likely to destroy most of the turrets. When the bullets disappear, get to the top left corner as quickly as possible.
When dealing with the rock exhaust, the most damage will be dealt with the exhaust door open; however, if you try to sit on top and pump it full of bullets, you'll end up getting hit to no end. Get a few hits in, then focus on dodging the rocks.
Stage V - Mirage Mountain
THIS IS AN INSTANT KILL ZONE. Occasionally, the ground will light up. Make sure you're not above those, since the strike lasers are an instant kill.
If you have a turbo controller, turn off auto-fire here. The orb on his chest reflects bullets; auto fire will result in a hectic and quick death. This orb will need to be destroyed, and when the screen flashes, similar to Libelle switching forms, that orb changes from reflection to damageable.
Mostly a straightforward boss. The boss itself is pretty easy to dodge, the problem is the mobile platform. In the second form, it will call a orbital strike - stay to the very left of the screen to stay safe. While you can't hit the boss during this strike, keep firing so you'll keep the ground from hitting you.
Stage VI - Tira
There are certain enemies you'll want to kill as soon as possible. They're more of a squared design, but you'll learn to recognize them soon enough. They shoot bullets that explode into spirals. Before the bridge, they appear from the top right corner. After the bridge, they're centered with the ship. After the mega battleship and the airship, they'll show up in waves. After the second airship, they come in a pattern; bottom right, top right, bottom, top, followed by a squadron of normal fighters. Try to take these out from top to bottom, because this pattern occurs three times.
The game killer. Domus is fairly straightforward for the first two sections. Destroy a section of the pink core to move on to the next area. One important thing to note is that if you don't have one, after destroying the second core, a shield spawns around a nearby corner.
The third section is full of continuous lasers that, at times, you can't do a thing about. The important thing to note is that with every laser moving, there are safe zones and places where it will shoot a wall, allowing you to get by if you're not able to take out the laser. If you have a shield, you may want to consider bum rushing through some sections to get to the core or to the next area if possible.
The last section is the red laser gate section. THIS IS AN INSTANT KILL ZONE. The moment you touch a gate, you die. Furthermore, the sections you can shoot double as turrets, and you can't necessarily shoot the gate if Domus is rotating and it's behind you. As soon as you take down a gate, it starts spinning in the other direction.
This is a boss that is really only going to be defeated by sheer amounts of practice, especially the red laser gates. Ronotra Koss, Garai and Durak have it slightly easier in having a subweapon that hits through walls. Koss and Durak can hit a gate behind them and hit the final core through a wall and skip the last laser gate, but at the proper angle (with the red laser gate right above your plane) Garai can Cluster Bomb the final core without having to take down a single gate.
THIS IS AN INSTANT KILL ZONE. Immediately push forward and get into the rafters of the railway before the train hits you. When you have the chance, dip down, push forward and get into the rafters to dodge the next train. You don't want to die here, especially after Domus in Arcade mode.
This is another boss to practice, less in terms of difficulty and more for learning where the turrets that shoot the big explosive patterns are to target them first. Aside from that, it's a pretty straightforward fight.
Stage VII - Siriad
Yet another boss to mainly go into Boss Practice for, simply because of the fourth and fifth forms. The fifth form especially is essentially drunken monkey fighting style, in which it tries to kamikaze you and can be a little nerve-wracking before too long.
When the boss is destroyed, you're not off the hook yet, as it fires a spiral pattern with a small slice of a safety zone that will be continuously circling around Ophan that you must survive. There are safe zones where you can position the cockpit to avoid damage, but unless you're confident you know exactly where it is, you're better off circling around, waiting for it to die.
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