________ ___ __ ____ ____ / _____/___________ __| _/|__|__ __ ______ \ \ / / / \ __\_ __ \__ \ / __ | | | | \/ ___/ \ | / \ \_\ \ | \// __ \_/ /_/ | | | | /\___ \ \ / \______ /__| (____ /\____ | |__|____//____ > \___/ \/ \/ \/ \/ ____________________________________________________________________________ |~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~| | Author: A I e x & SClemmons | | Began: February 15th, 2005 | | Completed: May 8th, 2005 | | Email: ScottClemmons(at)gmail(dot)com [Scott] | |____________________________________________________________________________| ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ O============================================================================O | Table of Contents | O============================================================================O ** In order to navigate this guide we have implemented a Ctrl+f system, which means you press ctrl+f in your browser or word processer to bring up the search menu, then enter the letters in brackets on the right of the section that you're looking for. 1. Introduction........................................................(00001) 2. Basics..............................................................(00002) 3. Full Walkthrough....................................................(00003) I - Stage 1.......................................................(00004) II - Stage 2......................................................(00005) III - Stage 3.....................................................(00006) IV - Stage 4......................................................(00007) V - Stage 5.......................................................(00008) VI - Stage 6......................................................(00009) VII - Stage 7.....................................................(00010) VIII - Stage 8....................................................(00011) 4. Miscellaneous.......................................................(00012) 5. Version History.....................................................(00013) 6. Legal...............................................................(00014) 7. Disclaimer..........................................................(00015) ________ ________ \___ __|============================================================|_ _____/ / | _ /|___ | || | Introduction |__ | | || | __| | |____|==========================(00001)============================|____| Gradius, one of the staples in the shooter genre with its unique level-up system, has been around for quite some time. Gradius 1 debuted back on the MSX and NES in the 80's, so it's taken a long while for them to pump out another four games. Sure, there were some Gradius compilation packs here and there, and for the obscure shooter importer, one for the Sega Saturn. However, Gradius V vies to be a throwback to better times when flashy graphics and pretentious menu-driven game play didn't rule the market. Did it succeed? Well, that's in the eyes of the beholder, but we can't deny that Gradius V has made some substantial graphical improvements compared to its bland predecessors. So here we are years later, playing a game that's practically the same as when it started, but still holds a quaint charm that's just enough to hold the shooter aficionado's attention. Maybe things might have been better if they were to implement a system that'd be over-the-top in every sense, but it wouldn't hold the same power that nostalgia does for us gamers. Gradius V surely the last an hardly extant breed of games that hasn't fundamentally changed for over almost twenty years. It's probably worth your attention. ~ Scott Man, Gradius V is awesome, you have this little space ship thing and everything else wants to destroy you, BUT YOU WILL DESTROY THEM INSTEAD! ~ Alex ________ ________ \___ __|============================================================|_ _____/ / | _ /|___ | || | BASICS |__ | | || | __| | |____|==========================(00002)============================|____| When playing Gradius V, you might notice that there are a lot of concepts that you, the player, will have to grasp. Probably the most important of these is to fully understand how the weapon system works. You have to beat the game once to get the rest of the weapons unlocked. There are different 'Types' that you're able to utilize while playing through the game. There are also different way to set up your 'Multiples' so you're able to effectively use the yellow balls to destroy enemies, or just protect yourself. Let's get a rundown of all the weapons and abilites you're able to upgrade via collecting small, encapsulated orbs. 0______ 0 GV /-------------------------\ 0----\/ 1. Speed Up \ /-----------------------------\ Speed up allows for our ship to fly and maneuver faster than before. There is a final stopping point to how many of these you can collect, and that number is somewhere in the ballpark of five or six. To be safe, I'd say keep it around three or four. If you go too slow, you'll have problems dodging when the going gets tough; if you are going too fast, it'll be hard to get through those hard, narrow points in some levels. 0______ 0 GV /-------------------------\ 0----\/ 2. Eagle Wind Missile \ /-----------------------------\ The Eagle Wind Missile is my least favorite missile in the entire game, since I think it's pretty worthless. If your ship is located in the upper-half of the screen, a missile will be fired and levitate upwards, sticking to the ceiling and damaging anything that gets in its way. If your ship is at the bottom portion of the screen, the same applies. ----> | (Viper) | ----> 0______ 0 GV /-------------------------\ 0----\/ 3. Two-Way Missile \ /-----------------------------\ Two-Way Missles deal a double dose of pain to enemies if they happen to get hit by them. Right after you you press the fire button, two missiles will come from the top and bottom of the ship. Unlike the Eagle Wind Missile, these do not stick and 'crawl' across the floor or ceiling. They are great for getting enemies that may happen to be stationary and stick to just the bottom of top of the stage. /\ | (Viper) | \/ 0______ 0 GV /-------------------------\ 0----\/ 4. Two-Way Missile (Back) \ /-----------------------------\ Two-Way Missile Back is pretty much the exact same thing, except that instead of the missile coming out of the front, they come out of the rear of the ship. This is good for clearing enemies that might've escaped your fire when they were located in front of you. I really don't use this at all to tell you the truth. The only time it comes in handy is when there's a level that requires you to move backwards. /\ | (Viper) | \/ 0______ 0 GV /-------------------------\ 0----\/ 5. Photon Torpedo \ /-----------------------------\ The Photon Torpedo is able to land on the ground and go through multiple ground-based enemies before exploding. You won't find this weapon much help on any level that happens not to have a floor at the bottom, but for some stages, it really is a huge booster. Having more multiples means having more bombs, which can lay waste to almost anything that resides on the floor of a stage. It can't go uphill, however, which really sucks. If it could, it'd probably be the best missle in the game. X denotes that when something is hit, the bomb keeps going. (Viper) | \--X--- 0______ 0 GV /-------------------------\ 0----\/ 6. Spread Bomb \ /-----------------------------\ Spread Bomb is great for taking out enemies in large groups that can't really be handled by any other means. If you have, say, a lot of guns on the floor that Photon Missiles are taking to long to destroy, Spread Bomb will destroy all of them in one quick, powerful blast. However, it is hard to hit enemies on their own since this is sort of like a horde-control weapon. I'd recommend it for any mission where you're going to have to fight tons of monsters in a tight, confined space. (Viper) \ \__ ( ) 0______ 0 GV /-------------------------\ 0----\/ 7. Flying Torpedo \ /-----------------------------\ It doesn't get any more straight-forward than this weapon (mind the mild pun). Flying Torpedo is great for taking on larger enemies head-on since other missiles have a hard time reaching high-up places, like bosses heads or what not. It gives your frontal fire power a little more behind it than the other missiles, too. I'd say if you want to just bull-charge through a level, I'd use this. ----------> (Viper) ----------> 0______ 0 GV /-------------------------\ 0----\/ 8. Missile \ /-----------------------------\ The standard missile; there isn't really a lot to this thing other than it just falls straight down into the ground at and angle. Once you get a lot more Multipliers, you can really bombard enemies with these things. I, personally, don't like using this at all, since I think it's pretty worthless when compared to others. (Viper) \ \ 0______ 0 GV /-------------------------\ 0----\/ 9. Double \ /-----------------------------\ Double allows you to fire straight up diagonally upwards at the same time. Double has its uses when if you just want to hug the floor and fire away at the enemies. I personally never use thing thing at all, since I think that tail gun is a lot more effective at taking out enemeis (espcially if you've happened to miss them the first time they get by. _ - _ - (Viper)----------- 0______ 0 GV /-------------------------\ 0----\/ 10. Tail Gun \ /-----------------------------\ Useful for if an enemy happens to skip by you at first. In some levels, you cannot live without out (for instance, the level where you go backwards). The weakness when compared to the Double is that you lose a litle bit of fire power in the front of the ship. I'd pick it over the Double any day of the week, though. --------- (Viper) ---------- 0______ 0 GV /-------------------------\ 0----\/ 11. Freeway \ /-----------------------------\ Free way allows you to have one gun currently shooting while having another firing the same direction that you're currently moving. Say, if you're moving forward at the time, this second one will be firing forward as well. If you're moving backwards, the same applies. I personally don't care for this thing one bit, as I find it a total waste and confusing since it takes so long to master. X X X X (Viper) X X X X 0______ 0 GV /-------------------------\ 0----\/ 12. Vertical \ /-----------------------------\ Vertical is probably a tad bit better than Double in my book. The only thing that Double does have on vertical is that you're able to fire at the enemy before he or she gets to you. Vertical's shot is a ton easier to get inside little fissures or whatnot. | | | (Viper) ---------- 0______ 0 GV /-------------------------\ 0----\/ 13. Spread \ /-----------------------------\ Spread is pretty good for really taking out a ton of regular enemies but is pretty hard to use when it comes time to fight monsters that require you to take them head-on. Most bosses fall into this category along with some other regular monsters. If you combine this with Rotate, you'll have some real monster-clearing power at your disposal; however, I'd really keep enough capsules in back up to select a different weapon come time to fight a boss. _ _ - (Viper)_ - ¯ 0______ 0 GV /-------------------------\ 0----\/ 14. Laser \ /-----------------------------\ The laser is the standard weapon in the game. You'll be forced to use the silly thing until you're able to beat the game through one time and unlock all the other weapons. Laser doesn't do anything too great, but it does do enough well to where you're able to beat the game with it. It becomes almost a relic after you beat the game, though. Laser does meduim damage at meduim speed and has a pretty good range. (Viper) --------------- 0______ 0 GV /-------------------------\ 0----\/ 15. FlameThrower \ /-----------------------------\ Worthless. Garbage. I never use this thing except with rotate multiple to get a force field effect. It's very powerful, but its range is so horrible that you won't even want to use it. You have to get right up in the enemy's face to even begin to do any damage. I personally would stay away from this thing unless you're an advanced player that's able to dodge very well and can hold your own against anything that comes your way. I don't like this weapon one bit. (Viper) ()()() 0______ 0 GV /-------------------------\ 0----\/ 16. E-Laser \ /-----------------------------\ Slow but so powerful it won't matter. E-laser ends any clown that happens to get in front of you; charge this badboy up for some real disaster. It takes a while to charge up, but once it's charged, watch out. Bosses fall to you wish ease, and most bigger, regular enemies won't even know what hit them. The only real downfall is that since it's so slow, you'll sometimes be stuck in a bad position of not being able to fire out another bullet quick enough, which can sometimes lead to unneeded deaths. (Viper) () Charged: ___ (Viper) ( ) ¯¯¯ 0______ 0 GV /-------------------------\ 0----\/ 17. Ripple \ /-----------------------------\ Ambivalence is the only word to describe this weapon. On one hand, it has a ton of potential, but it just falls flat due to the fact it just is so weak. If you're up close, it has some power behind its hit, but once you start getting far away from the enemy, you won't notice anything. It can clear weaker enemies in a breeze, but struggles with everything else. Boss battles will take a lot longer than they should when you have this weapon equipped. ooooooo (Viper) ooo00000||||||||| ooooooo 0______ 0 GV /-------------------------\ 0----\/ 18. Mega Crush (?) \ /-----------------------------\ Once you save up enough to get the elusive "?" icon, you get to use this bad boy on the enemies. It'll clear house of every regular enemy on the entire screen. I'd save it for some really tight situations instead of just using it once you manage to get it. It has the same effect as a blue capsule. 0______ 0 GV /-------------------------\ 0----\/ 19. Force Field \ /-----------------------------\ Standard Force Field that's able to take some damage before breaking down and diminishing. You'll get about three hits before the thing disappears, which is pretty sad. 0______ 0 GV /-------------------------\ 0----\/ 20. Shield \ /-----------------------------\ Shield is my personal favorite, since it can take a lot of damage before it diminshses, unlike Force Field. Shield is only able to take stuff head-on, however. That makes it to where you'll still have to watch you rear most of the game. Since Shield takes forever to be destroyed, you'll have plenty of time to build up for a new one once the old one wears away. Type 1: 0==========0====================0==========0=======0=========0===0 | Speed Up | Eagle Wind Missile | Tailgun | Laser | Spacing | ? | 0==========0====================0==========0=======0=========0===0 Type 2: 0==========0=================0=========0=======0=============0===0 | Speed Up | Two-Way Missile | Tailgun | Laser | Directional | ? | o==========0=================0=================0=============0===0 Type 3: 0==========0====================0=========0=======0=========0===0 | Speed Up | Eagle Wind Missile | Tailgun | Laser | Spacing | ? | 0==========0====================0=========0=======0=========0===0 Type 4: 0==========0======================0========0=======0==========0===0 | Speed Up | Two-Way Back Missile | Double | Laser | Rotating | ? | 0==========0======================0========0=======0==========0===0 ________ ________ \___ __|============================================================|_ _____/ / | _ /|___ | || | Full Walkthrough |__ | | || | __| | |____|==========================(00003)============================|____| o----------------------------------------------------------------------------o | /---o---\ Stage 1 /---o---\ | o-/ (00004) \----------------------------------------------------/ (00004) \-o At the beginning of the level is in most Gradius games you are started off against a number of simple enemies which are designed to drop power ups and prepare you for the coming level. The basic idea for most levels, this one included is to start off with two speed ups and then move on to weapons from there, after you are reasonably equipped you can increase your speed then. Destroy the first two sets of enemies and use the drops to increase the speed of your ship. The next thing you should be aiming for is your first multiple. The next set of enemies that appear will come at the top and then the bottom. Now the first space ship types appear, you'll notice there are some gray ones and some red ones, aim for the red ones as they will drop power up icons every single time. Now you will only need one more for a multiple. Position yourself at either the top or bottom of the screen and shoot the next set of round pods that appear, use that to spawn a multiple. You will need it because a barrage of enemies shows up. With your multiple and level two speed you should be able to take on each one of them, keep in mind they curve toward the centre before flying off the screen. Use the rest of the power up items you get to upgrade your weapon to the laser (or double) whatever you like. When the level begins you should be be equipped with one multiple and one laser, that will suffice just fine. There's a few normal ships that pop up along with some red ones, be sure to target them and grab the power ups. Here is where the first strong enemy appears, in order to destroy it you need to first destroy the small shield in front of the core and then destroy the core itself. Watch out though becuase it will fire laser beams at you. If you're exactly parallel with the core you can squeeze between the laser beams, and fire straight on while they are coming at you. Using the freeze type what you should do is move so that the multiple is either in front or behind you, just make it so that it's firing at exactly the same height so you lasers overlap. Now hold R1 to freeze it there and now since you're firing two overlapping lasers they are stronger and you can defeat the enemy more easily. If you're using any other type besides freeze (except spacing) then you can still use this technique but what you need to do instead is just keep moving left and right in place so that the multiples come down and start doing the same thing, then they will be on the same level as you. For space it will just take a bit longer to defeat this enemy as it will for most, but at least you're more protected. This basic tactic of getting your multiples down on the same level as you to focus everything you have at one spot is important to learn. When that enemy is defeated some new large crafts that take up half the screen will appear, they have a basic attack which is to shoot small projectiles but they can't angle them very well so you aren't in a lot of danger. What you want to make sure you do is destroy all the smaller ships that appear on the screen above and below this large craft, destroying all of them yields two power up icons. Next comes the same thing except there's two of the large crafts. Make sure to destroy both of them before risking going in between. The next section of the level is indeed an interesting one. You've got the ability to scroll the screen vertically and it will loop pretty quickly. Large red spheres surround the entire area. The way these spheres work is that the more you damage them the more they shrink and eventually explode when they get too small. The less you damage them the more they grow and increase the likelihood of destroying you in the process. Focus on blasting all the ones in your way but be sure to watch out for other enemies here too. The main one is a special round pod station that shoots out smaller enemies. Among these smaller enemies is often a red one so you may actually want to hold out on destroying these if you're trying to get more power ups. You'll be attacked from all sides, so spacing will give you an advantage here since it automatically protects you, as will the spinning multiples. For freeze just get some multiples above and below you and hold them there. For direction you can simply spin the lasers around the destroy the enemies long before they reach you. After progressing far enough in this area some normal ships appear including many red ones which gives you a chance to power up as much as possible before facing the boss, which appears right here. Here the basic pattern, the first boss is a large space station thing designed with the sole purpose of murdering you, or so it seems. It work like this, when the boss appears you have to position yourself in the centre of the screen so that the outer edges don't destroy you when it spins into place. Now the boss is temporarily invulnerable at the beginning while is sets itself up. Even after it starts to attack you it will still be invulnerable. The first attack is a barrage of rings coming from all sides of the top and bottom. If you're at the far left side you're about as far out of the danger zone as you can possibly be. Soon this will lead to the boss' second attack and indication that you can now fire. When the boss begins to shoot spread shots of blue energy balls from the right side that's your cue to start attacking. The basic premise is the same as the enemy at the beginning of the level. destroy the three shield blocks protecting the core and then destroy the core itself. Using freeze, rotate or direction you can move left and right to position the multiples on the same level as you and focus your damage as much as possible. With spacing you can't do this but you'll have much better protection from the incoming rings (which can be destroyed of course, the blue energy balls cannot.) Blast the small shields and then focus everything you have on the core. Using four multiples, laser and the tactic to focus your attack on one spot the boss should be dead quickly after the shields are gone. Under any other circumstances you'll see his next attack. For the next attack two large yellow beams fire out of the right side of the screen, you absolutely need to get yourself in between these beams otherwise you're going to have some serious problems soon. Now the boss begins to start spinning, unless you are using the direction multiples (and even if you are really) it's going to be difficult to damage the boss during this time so just focus on staying alive and destroying the pods on the side that fire the rings. When the boss slows down and stops it will be on the left side rather than the right side. Direction is the only multiple type that can effectively damage the boss at this time. If you freeze all your options behind you and move backward you can hit it as well but this is very dangerous. The easiest thing to do is wait until it does one more rotation and stops on the right aide again, at this time you can blast the hell out of the core and defeat it. o----------------------------------------------------------------------------o | /---o---\ Stage 2 /---o---\ | o-/ (00005) \----------------------------------------------------/ (00005) \-o Begin the stage and upgrade yourself as much as possible. Depending on how much weaponry you carried over from the previous stage it will either be easy or difficult to kill the longer strings of ships that come in after the initial round pods. Each of this will turn around on the left side and move back toward the right side of the screen giving you the opportunity to destroy them again. After this a bunch of other single ships appear including a few red ones, be sure to destroy the red ones quickly before the cutscene starts. Following the scene (which cannot be skipped unfortunately) there is a brief period where some square shaped enemies are spawning and moving toward you, just stick to the left side here and fire normally to be safe. COming up is a large door which must be destroyed before you scroll far enough to go through it so make sure you keep shooting at this point, you'll know you are hitting the door if it's flashing. Once you get inside you'll have to face off against a bunch of gun pods on the bottom and top of the screen, along with enemies coming from the side as well. Each of the four types are perfectly equipped to deal with the ground and ceiling threats, just extend your multiples and manoeuvre so that they can be destroyed as you progress. Upgrading to missles which move vertically can be a great help as well. Eventually you'll come to a point where the screen starts scrolling upward, what you want to do here is position your multiples above you as best you can so they can destroy those pods in the walls as you go up. Now there's arather tricky part at the top. The area is thin and heavily populated with enemies so much so that even if you get yourself in there, there's no room to dodge a projectile. What you want to do is get yourself in the small area quickly, then leave again so that you're out in a safer place but your multiples stay in there. This works with the exception of spacing of course but you can just stretch them up to go in the small crevases without you anyway. Have your multiples take out the enemies with you as far from the action as possible. As you approach the right side be sure to move in the quickly and get as far right as you can, when the screen starts to scroll down you will be screwed unless you are able to position yourself correctly. The same tactic applies here as before, use whatever means you have at your disposal to fire downward at the oncoming threats. When the screen begins to scroll to the right again you'll need to be prepared for a new danger. From behind comes a large round alien monster moving hand over hand (or tentacle over tentacle) across the ceiling. Note that you cannot damage this monster simply by firing at it, the weak point is the eye on the left side. What you want to do however is ignore this monster for now because another is about to appear right in front of you. The second the eye opens a dangerous energy ball attack bursts out from the eye, what you need to do is align yourself with the multiples to deal as much concentrated damage as you can to the eye while simultaneously dodging the green energy balls. It's dangerous to say the least. Once the monster is dead you've got a couple of options. You need to destroy the ones behind you but the weak point is on the left side. Here are your two options, each with their own unique danger. You can pass underneath the creature, the danger of this is that when it swings it descends a little so you risk being destroyed if you try and get past it while it's moving. The other option is to position yourself between the grabbing tentacles on the ceiling so it kind of moves around you and you're safely in between. Regardless of how you get there, you need to get on the left side and destroy the alien monster. Same deal with the third one that appears. There's one more of these but it's quite stationary on the right side of the screen. You'll begin to scroll up once again, nothing dangerous here but that all changes at the top. There's a door that wants to close you out, if it closes before you pass through then there's no way to avoid being killed, all you can do is delay it for awhile. The problem is that another of those round aliens is here at the top, fortunately the weak point is on the lower side which your are approaching from so if you've got directional multiples just aim up. For the other ones you'll have to position yourself so that the multiples above you are right on top of the weak point damaging the monster. The instant it is destroyed make a mad dash to the right and get through that door which will try to close on you. Destroy the eyeball when it opens up (or just sit there twiddling your thumbs until it explodes on its own) then navigate underneath the large brain and up again to safety. Despite there being no enemies around here you have to keep firing forward so that you blast open the door ahead of you, otherwise an unfortunate crash is all you get. Right at the start here you're ambushed by countless enemies each which drop power ups with the sole intent of upgrading your weapons, so boost your speed, get some missiles, four multiples, a laser and a forcefield and get ready for the boss(es). The first boss has one primary attack, it opens up and fires a number of missles forward in a straight ahead pattern. The entire front of the boss is the weak point so fire like mad. If you take too long to blast the front off the boss will begin firing different types of missiles like heat seeking missiles and missiles that explode into small projectiles. Destroying the front of the boss leads to the second stage, the boss' new primary weapon is a large laser beam. This basically means that the instant your hear a charging noise and see a build up of blue energy on the front you need to move out of the way. As the boss moves it will also fire some rather easy to dodge laser projectiles but you don't need to worry too much about those. The entire front of the enemy remains the weak point here too so precision aiming is not required, simply move and fire with it, then get out of the way when you see the charge begin. If you take too long on this form then the boss moves to the left side of the screen where it fires small projectiles at you and some heat seeking red lasers. While not too hard to dodge it's probably the boss' most dangerous attack, so be sure to kill him before it happens. You're given the chance to upgrade a bit between the fight, then the next boss is a central core with four large robotic tentacle arms protruding out from the sides that spin around in a dangerous fashion. You will notice that these arms glow red at the tips, when this occurs it means they are about to fire a small projectile which can be deceptively hard to dodge since you are given very little room to manoeuvre. The weak point of this boss are the three small shields on the left side protecting the core, which means that you must fire in between the moving protective arms to hit those three panels. They'll be destroyed one by one before finally uncovering the core. After some time has passed you'll hear a noise and the mechanical arms will curve to a steeper parabolic shape. Now rather than small projectiles they fire lasers and give no warning to when they will be fired besides being on a regular timed interval. In this case all it really means is that you never want to find yourself in the straight path of one of the arms tips. Focus on the arms while firing at the core and only move past one after a laser has been fired recently. Now for the final attack and by far the most dangerous. The boss moves to the right side of the screen and begins spinning his arms at an alarming rate. Suddenly they start firing lasers quickly and then more and more frequently. All the while you should be on the left side shooting at the core with all your multiples aligned as best you can for maximum damage. With the arms moving that quickly you won't have many chances to hit the core so a continuous stream weapon like the laser works well. Position yourself so that you are aiming directly at the core and avoid trying to dodge wildly. Only move if you know one of the lasers is going to hit you and even then only move enough so that you will avoid it, and get back into position. With any luck and enough firepower you should be able to defeat it right as the attack ends. Time for the next boss. This boss is a bit more difficult as you would probably expect successive bosses to be. It fires a symmetric burst of lasers forward so that you really have two options, either try to squeeze in between them or dodge out of the way entirely. There are two places you have to hit this boss in order to destroy it, the shields blocking the two cores. When one of the cores is destroyed only half the amount of lasers are fired so it's a good idea to focus on one at a time. Now note how small the hit box on your ship actually is, here's al interesting tip. If you can line yourself up completely straight with the core then you can fire directly on them and you cannot be hit. Two lasers will come DANGEROUSLY close right above and below you but they will NOT hit you if you're perfectly aligned, remember that they actually have to hit that little dot in the middle of your ship to destroy you, so keep that in mind. There are two other attacks this boss has, for one of them it will tilt on an angle and fire at you. It's too difficult to try and squeeze between the smaller gaps when they're coming diagonally so just move to dodge entirely. The second attack is one where the boss moves up and down the screen quickly firing lasers constantly. In this case you just need to use your best judgment and look for gaps, all the while firing and trying to destroy the cores. Take them both out to defeat the boss. Now for the final boss of the level, and the most difficult of course. The boss has a total of four cores you need to destroy, the order you destroy them really doesn't matter so aim at whichever one seems most convenient at the moment. I find that it's easier to destroy the top and bottom ones at the beginning of the battle and becomes more difficult later so you may want to focus on those two. The boss' first attack is one that fires green wavy energy beams from the top and bottom so to avoid this attack you're going to want to be in the middle of the screen. Now what you can do if you're aiming for either the top or bottom ones is position yourself in the curved area of one of these beams and fire at the boss. Along them green balls appear that grow in size but are reduced as you hit them. Since you'll be moving around a lot here it'll be difficult to focus your multiples on one core, but the benefit of that is they'll be hitting those balls and giving you more room to move, unless you're using freeze of course but that's a risk you can make if you want. Now those green balls will start shooting lasers vertically, at first I found this attack somewhat overwhelming but really it's the easiest thing in the world to dodge. The premise is simple, do not focus on the attack as a whole, rather focus only on the one right in front of you so when you see the lasers pass, move right to get through them, do this one by one over and over until the whole thing has passed by. Now the arms branch off and fire the green beams diagonally so in order to avoid this attack you need to get in the middle and close to the boss. It becomes difficult to hit the lower cores at this point so unless you're using directional just focus on the main section. Also get ready to face the most dangerous attack you've faced in the game so far, admittedly 90% of the time this is where I have my first death in the game, maybe that's an indication that my dodging strategy sucks, but listen up anyway. Basically what's about to happen is two red heat seeking lasers will fire at you from the central piece at a high velocity with almost no warning. This means you need to keep moving up and down so you're ready and then the instant you see red, choose a direction (either up or down, not left or right) and move yourself that way to avoid it. With any luck you should be able to. I find that moving either right above or right below the central core after the attack begins is a pretty safe bet. From here the pattern pretty much repeats, destroy the four cores to defeat the boss. o----------------------------------------------------------------------------o | /---o---\ Stage 3 /---o---\ | o-/ (00006) \----------------------------------------------------/ (00006) \-o The introduction to this level starts like any other, basically you just cycle between the top and bottom of the screen defeating the strings of enemies that appear to pick up as many powerups as you possibly can. Next you'll want to focus on a single red ship that appears in the middle and then a huge upward and downward swooping attack from quite a few ships comes. The only way you'll have much hope of defeating all of them is to use your weapons leftover from the previous level, however you can probably manage it if you move back and aim your weapons straight ahead to get as many as possible, then take out the remainders as they converge on the centre. For these next enemies you need to get behind them in order to destroy them, otherwise use your directional multiples to fire backward. Before they finish another attack from the top and bottom will come in. Take out these enemies but give focus to the red ships that follow, this should power you up pretty well regardless of what you started with. With this last wave of enemies it should lead you nicely into the main part of the level with a multiple and a decent weapon. The first enemies you face is a large ship which fires both small projectiles and lasers at you, don't worry about either of them simply centre yourself on the left side and the lasers will miss you by a mile while the diagonal paths of the projectiles will converge long before they reach you. It should take too much firepower to knock this thing out. Enter the little area and start taking out the gun pods on both the top and bottom of the screen, make sure not to let yourself get too far forward as you will be moving back soon to destroy the enemies that appear behind you. There are some little rolling ball things that fire projectiles in all directions, you'll want to focus your attacks on these things mostly. First your way until you reach a wall. Each of the two walls above and below you has a red dot in the centre, you need to fire on this dot in order to destroy the walls and get through, whether you choose to take the upper or lower path doesn't matter; what does matter is that you stick with whatever decision you make and get ready to move up, dodging all the projectiles as you pass the second wall. Follow the path as it leads you down but wait for the enemy pods to stop spawning ships before you go down, using freeze or direction you can easily destroy the pods behind you to make things a little safer, but be sure you're still firing forward at the wall. The same idea applies at the next part except going up instead of down. Now you'll need to face a new type of enemy, the flamethrower pods. These will fire vertically trying to destroy you as you pass through. Using either direction or freeze you can position your multiples ahead of you and destroy the flamethrowers before you reach them, but with spacing and rotate you'll probably need to time your movement and pass through between bursts of flame. Enemies will be coming down on top of you when you get past them but simply firing forward should keep you safe. No matter what type you're using you'll have a chance to destroy the next set of flamethrowers easily simply by moving down and firing forward. Move into the open area ahead of you. For these things you'll want to centre yourself between their lasers and fire forward in order to defeat them. You will also probably want to focus some attention on those walking red gun pods that periodically appear so you can keep powering up your weapons. Try to find a balance so you can pick up some of the power ups without risking your life too much. Soon after the first two are gone a horde of moderately large ships appear and just start flying around the screen. Since they really don't fire on you much you're basically just shooting them down to get out of the way, but there's also one other thing to focus on. Notice the ground below you has kind of a little spherical pod thingy on it, regardless of what that thingy is, it's an indicator that you can blast through this ground and you're going to have to as the screen will start scrolling down once it's done. You'll be able to hit it no problem with any type just by moving close so do that. Now the hard part begins. You need to find a delicate balance here as well because while it's tempting to position yourself at the bottom of the screen so that you can quickly destroy any new enemies that appear, it's also rather suicidal. Give yourself a second or so to see exactly what it is you're up against before moving down to destroy it. It's pretty basic stuff to start and many of the enemies drop power ups so if you didn't have four multiples before, you'll probably have them after this. Navigate around the block structures as you go down and be careful of horizontal flamethrowers. When you come across the first ones this is an indication that things are about to get ugly. Here's what do do. You've got two choices to make, and it's a big decision so choose carefully. What you're about to face is kind of fight-or-flight situation, you can choose to destroy the oncoming death machines or you can focus your energy on trying to stay alive. Personally after doing this many times I've come to prefer the latter. The idea is that each of these large ships has a few shields protecting the core but even with four multiples and a laser it's going to take some serious damage to blow these things away and there's a lot of them. The energy you are focusing on destroying them will draw your attention away from the gun pods and flamethrowers which provide a significant amount of potential danger when left alive. You can try and destroy each one of these things, you'll probably find yourself overwhelmed near the end but it remains up to you. Personally here's how I like to do it. As always keep in mind the hit box for your ship is ridiculously small. You can squeeze fairly easily between the top of these ships and the ceiling without being destroyed, you also have the added bonus of being above them and away from the danger of their lasers. While either above or below them focus on destroying the gun pods and upcoming flamethrowers so you can maintain safe travel between upper and lower levels. Wait until the large ship passes you by and then move down in between them. It works wonders. You really should only have to dodge between one or two of them before it's over. Beyond that are a few flamethrowers on the ground and ceiling but nothing you haven't faced yet. In the next area you'll have a sort of combination of what you faced before scrolling down, and the area with the walls being destroyed. Fortunately these medium sized ships have no particular weak spot, you can aim pretty much anywhere and destroy them just as easily so focus on staying in between the walls while letting you guns do the talking ahead of you. The final non-boss challenge of the level are a few shielded ships which are spinning around and around. In order to destroy these ships you need to aim everything you have at the core in the centre. Destroying each of these as they come is easy as pie with a laser and four multiples however it's actually those little walking gunners that screw things up. If you find the large ships coming faster than you can destroy them then you'll need to revert to a more evasive strategy. Despite being a 2D plane while the enemies spin in 3D space that's you chance to slide underneath them or overtop of them. Position yourself between and wait for them to spin so they're as horizontal as possible before moving forward. Dodge your way to the open area on the right. You're given one final chance to power up as a wave of small enemies appears. Focus your attention on the red orb that trails each line and get the power up. After these four it's time to square off against the only boss of this level. There's a lot of different ways to fight off this boss and it can be pretty dependent on what kind of multiples you are using. Personally I find directional to be by far the easiest for this battle, but obviously the boss is designed so that it can be defeated with any type. Here's how it works. There's a large spider like enemy crawling between the walls in this area. The first thing you need to do is get below him and since he takes up the entire screen it won't be easy. You need to wait until he lifts one of his legs up and move underneath. This will position you directly beside the main body and give you a perfect chance to fire (always move through the left side since you'll be firing to the right.) At this point it doesn't really matter since you can't actually harm the boss at the start, but keep it in mind for later. Once you get below the boss he'll start firing rings that bounce downward, fortunately these rings can be destroyed so you don't need to worry too much about dodging like crazy. What you do need to worry about however is the stuff appearing below you, don't move down so far that you'll be destroyed by a simple block that appears on the screen. After a few blocks have appeared there's something you need to do. Move underneath the block on the left side. Move yourself so that if you drew a straight line between the block above you and the boss' core, the line would pass through your ship as well. The idea is that if the boss fired a projectile in a straight line the block would stop it. Well this is the idea behind the next attack, a huge laser beam sweeps from one side to the other, but if you're using the block as cover like I explained you will survive. During this time you can focus on eliminating the gun pods to make it safer. Now you've seen almost all of the boss' attacks but not quite all. The next one is very dangerous. When the boss' leg touches the block he knocks it down, the block falls, bounces and disappears off the screen. If you want to avoid this attack you'll need to be underneath the centre block. Don't stay under it or too long however because it will fall soon as well. When there is no centre block and the two on the side drop then just move up and get as close as you can to the boss without endangering your life. By now the core has probably activated so you can begin firing upward at the boss if you've got direction mutliples, otherwise do your best for now, a better chance will come soon. When it seems like no more blocks are appearing below you then this is your chance. Move yourself to the left side so that you can get in between the legs and then fire like mad on the core. Realize however that the boss' most dangerous attack is about to come almost without warning. About five seconds or so after the rings have stopped and the boss has stopped moving it fires an orange energy ball directly at you at a fairly high speed. It's not the speed however that makes it dangerous, but the fact that you're right there in front of it between firing and hitting you there's only a mere few inches. To solve this you need to do either one of two things. Move above the boss and try to find a decent way of attacking from there while keeping your distance, OR while firing on the boss between it's legs KEEP MOVING up and down constantly so that at the first sign of the attack you can hopefully avoid it. A constant firing pattern in here should kill the boss before it starts moving up. o----------------------------------------------------------------------------o | /---o---\ Stage 4 /---o---\ | o-/ (00007) \----------------------------------------------------/ (00007) \-o Start off the level by picking up the traditional power ups from the first couple of waves of enemies that appear. Following these enemies a new type of more biological enemy will appear, but they still come in long strings and can be destroyed in the same way for power ups. Now you'll need to be careful. Pretty much all the enemies in this level are biological in nature, and these next guys are no exception. They are mid-sized creatures that fire both lasers and eyeball projectiles which can be destroyed. There's no core to aim for on these things simply fire at them to destroy them but it will take a bit more damage than most so be careful of other smaller enemies flying around you and try to destroy as many as you can to pick up all the power ups. Eventually the wave of these things will stop and you'll enter "the hole." Much of this level consists of cell-type enemies kind of floating toward you and while they aren't dangerous individually they can be dangerous in numers. Destroy them whenever you get the chance but don't shift you focus from what's in front of you. Take out all those long strings of enemies that kind of meander around the air at their leisure then when you see a kind of cross shaped object with a round core in the middle this is what you're going to need to focus your attention of. Destroy this thing before you get too close, if you don't destroy it then you'll crash into it when the screen scrolls over that far but you also have to be careful when destroying it. When these things die they explode into dozens of small greens projectiles which fortuntely for you can be destroyed. In order to destroy these enemies you just need to aim at the core, don't aim for the extensions or tentacle things because they won't be hurt, just shoot the core. Soon after you'll come to an area where the level is moving and the cores are protected by their extensions at different times, you just need to use your discretion and shoot whenever a good shot becomes available. Remember to keep an eye out for red cells too. The next area brings a new danger, while the level has been moving on its own up to this point this is the first time it poses a threat. The hills and valleys make manoeuvering through this area very tricky. Don't try to rush it, wait until it's safe then squeeze through ass best you can, be sure to be ready to fire on the core things on the other side. You'll also want to aim down at those caterpillar enemies that are crawling across the ground, they might be getting in your way in a second. One of those core things will come up behind you and extend its arms but there's no need to destroy it unless you're really trying to rack up a high score. Now this part with the large peak coming up from the groun can be dangerous. Wait until the roof slides clear of the top so there's an openening and shoot you way through the caterpillars to get to the other side, now this is even more dangerous. There's a little valley in the ground, you need to position yourself down in that little valley with your multiples surrounding you for protection so that when the roof slides across you'll be tucked away safe down there and all the enemies that are swarming on you will be destroyed by the multiples. Here's where things get interesting, the regenerating walls. You need to exercise discretion here because f you just fire like mad you're sure to get yourself killed. Stop firing for a second so the whole wall can regenerate in front of you. Now aim everything forward and blast a hole through it and then move through the hole you blasted. Pretty simple, the wall won't have time to regerate around you. Destroy the gun pods on the ground and ceiling then position yourself up at the top. You'll need to watch out here a huge twirling tapeworm is about to come up from behind you around the middle of the screen, being near the top will allow you to dodge it easily. These things can actually be destroyed, simply wait for the tail end and then shoot the glowing core on the back. Another one pops out of the ground, here's what to do. Avoid it by moving to the upper left corner of the screen but then GET AS CLOSE TO IT AS YOU CAN wihtout dying because if you're too far left the next one will cream you when it pops out. Prepare for another two of them around the middle and get ready to do something crazy. What happens here is three of them appear on screen at once and the only safe place is between them. The idea is this, since they're twirling part of them will be horizontal and you need to position yourself in this little gap between the worms sections that are moving horizontally, if you don't understand you certainly will when you see the gaps between them. Another regenerating wall awaits you. This one is far more dangerous than the last one, get through the initial part and destroy the pods on the ground and ceiling. Now ahead of you is a huge section of regenerating wall. If you destroy it too quickly you'll be sucked in and destroyed when it regenerates but if you destroy it too slowly you'll crash right into it. The solution? Tap the fire button as you go rather than holding it so you bit by bit destroy the wall in front of you but not so far ahead that it'll be regenerating by the time you reach it. Remember, tap the button, that's the key. You can use the little open areas as safe havens to take a break between but there's a long stretch at the end with no safe areas so you'll need to get it right. As if that wasn't enough there are also enemies burrowing through this thing as well. Let your multiples take them. Finally when you make it out of they're you're given a chance to power up your ship with all the enemies that appear and then it's time to face off against the boss. The boss is a large biological core on the right side of the screen that has the ability to launch a number of different attacks. First of all before getting into the attacks you'll need to know how to damage the boss, a small pod moves back and forth on the main core, you must destroy this pod before you can actually damage the boss. Once the pod is destroyed now's your chance to fire on the large core, you'll have a limited amount of time to do this before the pod comes back and you have to destroy it again. As for the attacks the boss' first attack is a kind of spinning laser sword attack, and lots of them. These electric beams are spinning on a 3D plane so in order to dodge them you need to recognize when they're actually on the same plane as you and when they're not. You can pass through them "technically" as long as they're in the background or foreground. Use this to help you dodge. The second attack is easier to dodge. Huge spikes pop out from either the top or bottom but as long as you're moving either left or right when they pop out and don't stop for no reason they aren't going to hit you. During this time you should be firing on the core of course. The next attack is a bunch of those pods that fire the green balls popping up and erupting. Move back to the left side so you can hit the boss while still protecting yourself from the oncoming projectiles since they can be destroyed. The fourth and attack is the most dangerous one. A stream of fire comes out that shoots fireballs at you. You're actually going to want to get close to this thing so you can avoid being near the front of the moving fire. Eventually it will form a loop around you and the difficult part begins. Each flame ball starting from the back will explode into five and you need to dodge them as they come at you. There should be enough room in the loop you just need to be paying attention and aware of the direction they're coming from. The fifth and final attack is no problem, a bunch of small lasers appear that can't hurt you but try to follow you. In a few seconds real lasers shoot down on the path of those four and block you in wherver you were so don't let them trap you in a small area, give yourself room to move. One of the pods will fire smaller lasers at you from the bottom but if you gave yourself room to move you can easily dodge between them. After this the pattern repeats so just keep blasting. o----------------------------------------------------------------------------o | /---o---\ Stage 5 /---o---\ | o-/ (00008) \----------------------------------------------------/ (00008) \-o Same beginning as always here, the enemies will appear in (somewhat longer) strings as the level begins on the top and bottom. Soon enough you will encounter something that you will be encountering in copious amounts soon, a meteorite. This level is covered with them in all shapes and sizes bouncing erratically off one another. The small ones can be destroyed while the larger ones can be blasted into smaller pieces and then be destroyed. Soon enough other smaller ships will begin appearing using the meteorites as shields, many of these will be red ones so blast through the meteors in order to get the power ups. Be careful of the slightly larger enemies that come in pairs behind the large meteors, these will approach giving you a chance to destroy them but after that they descend back a little and fire large yellow laser beams straight ahead, obviously something you should avoid at all costs. A few long strings of ships appear and move vertically to try and take you down, dodging between these is quite simple however the meteors make it quite difficult. You pretty much need to watch what's coming at you from both directions and find and open space where they intersect, it's not pretty. When the main level starts you'll find yourself in a scrollable area similar to what you faced while battling the large spheres in the first stage. You'll need to use this feature to your advantage so you can dodge oncoming dangerous without having to worry about upper and lower boundaries. Be careful though as it doesn't take long to scroll once around so the danger you're trying to dodge below you may very well appear overhead before you know it. Keep an eye out for meteorites that are slightly redder than others, those ones will drop power ups when destroyed as you may have already figured. Now what you have ahead of you for the next little while is an extremely dangerous are with moving platforms that will not only crush you but converge meteors into tighter areas and force them directly into your face. Indeed this part is not pretty. What you have to do is pay attention to whether the platforms are moving toward you or away from you and correct your path accordingly. Basically at certain times you will find yourself almost crushed by the platforms above and below you (however if you're in the middle you won't ever be crushed) but you will face much higher danger from not only the meteors but also the small gun pods at the top. Use your multiples to clear the area around you as best you can so you can focus most of your attention on the moving platforms, and secondly the meteors that are coming directly at you. With four multiples you should have no problem destroying pretty much anything coming at you, assuming of course you don't just fire at the last second. When you finally get out of that brutal section you'll be faced with three vertical walls that can be destroyed. Behind each of these is a plethora of meteors just waiting to launch forward and smash into you, the benefit of knowing this in advance means that you can aim at only one of these doors, leaving all the other meteors trapped and posing no danger to you. This isn't a foolproof tactic of course, they'll still be bouncing around back there and occasionally coming loose, and all the meteors are still coming at you from the right side of the screen. Now this next part is where you have to be really careful, there's an upside down mountain and a rightside up mountain one after another meaning you have to move almost vertically with meteors raining down on you. Having the direction multiples will really come in handy for this part however others will work just fine too. Place your multiples above you and use them to protect you from the meteors that are raining down. It's easy to find yourself in a position where you're cautiously holding back waiting for an open chance to go up but that will rarely come and you will find this tactic ends up getting you trapped in the end so take a risk and manoeuvre between them as you head up. Afterward there's a good chance to upgrade yourself with all the red ships that fly in the wave here. Be careful in the field of floating rock structures that can't be destroyed, just move in and around them while still firing to protect yourself from oncoming meteors. After another huge stash of power up enemies it's time to face the boss. This boss actually has an "introduction" that is more difficult than most boss fights themselves. In my opinion this is another area where you need to make a choice of what strategy you want to use and then stick with it. Here's how it works, the boss will smash its way through the dense concentration of rocks while dropping bomb pods behind it. These pods will then explode into two circles of small projectiles which can be extremely dangerous. The two most important things to know are as follows: First, these pods can be destroyed before they explode and no projectiles will come out effectively eliminating all danger; second, meteorites will block small projectiles , so get behind one for an instant shield. The choice of tactic comes with the fact that these two things are almost mutually exclusive. If you're chasing the boss trying to destroy the pods quickly before they explode it will give you almost no chance to dodge, while focusing on dodging will mean you get almost no clear shots to try and destroy the pods so you either have to ruthlessly follow the boss despite a huge danger from meteorites and changing directions, or remain in a good hiding spot. When it comes to trying to stay alive I find the hiding tactic works about 500% better than the aggressive tactic. No matter how many multiples I have I can never seem to destroy every single pod before it goes off, maybe it's just me but that still means the danger level is pretty high. If however, you can position yourself in the meteor cloud WITHOUT firing so that you're hiding and not destroying the meteor shield that protects you it can actually work to keep you alive pretty well. After a certain amount of time has passed the real boss appears on the right side. This fight is all about balance, similar to the last one an offensive approach will work more effectively in terms of speed but is also much more likely to get you killed. Surprisingly the boss' first attack is its most dangerous one. What happens is that meteors are now coming in from the left side of the screen (behind you) while kajillions of small projectiles are coming in from the right side of the screen. You need to find a position that balances your ability to damage the boss while also providing the most meteor shielding. Let me illustrate, on the left side of the screen you will have the most possible meteors in front of you meaning the most shielding, however as you're trying to shoot the core all those meteors in front of you will be blocking YOUR guns as well. The closer you get the less shielding you have and so this is where the balance comes in. I find actually that one effective tactics is to not attack at all during this time and just focusing on staying on the left side of the screen while dodging and not shooting. When the next attack comes up it's time to let loose. This attack is painfully easy to dodge, it's just yellow lasers coming out of the top and bottom of the boss, but there are none in the middle so when you're aligned with the centre of the boss and its core you can not be hit by them. That's not to say you can't be hit by the meteors behind you but as an added bonus those yellow lasers will blast almost every meteor before they can hit you if you position yourself far enough to the right. Once the attack ends with a final burst from every laser cannon the small projectile attack starts over and it's time to repeat the process. o----------------------------------------------------------------------------o | /---o---\ Stage 6 /---o---\ | o-/ (00009) \----------------------------------------------------/ (00009) \-o Take out the first four strings as you always do and then position yourself in the centre so you can smash those figure eight enemies that lop in from the right side of the screen. Now watch out for the other ships that loop around and get ready to blast through a total of six red ones, this should already have you upgraded nicely regardless of what you started with which is good because it's about to get dangerous. A number of spherical pods fly in on screen and begin to fire lasers in every direction, they'll be criss crossing with other lasers so get yourself somewhere that you can be safe while still firing on the other incoming enemies because this part of the level will power you up like no other. Things will slow down a bit when the ships that fire the yellow lasers appear but you'll still have to deal with heat-seeking kamikaze ships from all sides, let your multiples take care of these as you enter into the large structure and the true beginning of the level. Don't let those spinning laser pods hit you as they fly toward the left side of the screen, that is actually a very common occurance. Get your multiples in front of you to take out the swarms of enemies before you reach them and then get ready to face the main enemy of this level... radioactive green sludge! Get accustomed to this stuff quick because you'll be seeing a lot of it. For now all you need to do is fire downward to clean it out from underneath you. As you approach the fountains that spill it down on top of you what you need to do obviously is put your multiples above your ship and have them fire forward over your head so that the goo that falls will be disintegrated before it hits you ship. Note that the lasers is by far the most effective way to clean up all the goo around you. Personally I like just spinning the type 2 directional laser around and around to really clear things up. When you get down into the thin lower tunnel get your multiples in front of you in preparation for when the wall slides way and a huge avalanche of goo pours down on your head. The same wall will move back allowing your to continue to squeeze your way through to the next section here. There's a tiny little rectangular area in the ceiling here for you to move into, this way the sliding wall will pass underneath and you can go out again. Watch for the goo that's fountaining down on your head here and wait for the walls ahead of you to separate so that you can move past and continue on your way. This part is really dangerous and you may have a hard time trying to figure out how to stay alive. The two walls on the ceiling are moving closer which allows you to pass through but then prevent you from going any further (unless you're blindingly quick of course.) The real solution is to shoot that central mechanical piece that connects the two walls and is pulling them together, then it is destroy they will begin to move apart which only means that on the other side your path is about to be blocked. Basically you have to wait for the last second to blast it so you've got the most time in order to get across before it closes up again. It only gets nastier from here. As if oodles and oodles of green go everywhere wasn't enough, the level itself is about to shake things up. The whole thing will begin to rotate meaning that the ooze will spill in pretty much any direction the level starts to tilt. It won't exclusively choose one direction either, it will tilt back and forth and back and forth putting you in extreme danger every time. Always be ready to position your multiples above you to protect you from the slimy stuff. You pretty much just have to stay alive though almost a dozen back and forth tilts before finally approaching a dead end. Wait for the walls to slide away and head through to reach a thin path. Now not only will you need to dodge goo falling from above you'll also have to navigate quickly between the platforms above so that you aren't crushed between them and the bottom of the scrolling screen. Make sure to take out the gun pods and focus on the enemies just as much as the goo, remember there's more than one kind of danger here. When you reach the top you'll find the level tilts and scrolls down through a thin passage that acts like a funnel so if you've got type 2 just aim directly up and otherwise position your multiples above you and hope for the best. Your ability to multitask is tested whenthe goo keeps dropping but you must also deal with spinning laser pods. Don't rely on your guns to clear out the goo all the time, remember than you can dodge the green spheres as easily as you can dodge any other projectile. After successfully passing the green goo you get to take a relaxing ride... scrolling backward. Obviously the direction type is going to help the most here however freeze can have its uses too by putting them behind you and moving up and down. The other two won't change much, you'll need to get close to the enemies before you can destroy them but fortunately a number of normal small pod strings come at you first giving you a chance to power up. The most dangerous part however are the yellow laser ships which come in and block your only escape route. You'll need to utilize the help of whatever multiple type you have in defeating these. I will however tell you this now, you CAN squeeze between the yellow laser ships and the square blocks, I've done it a hundred times, the hit box of your ship is microscopically small so get right in the centre and just squeeze through there unharmed. Now you'll get all the power ups you could every dream of here, the only real problem is you'll get so many at once it can be hard to land them on the exact bonus you want. No complaints here. Finally we reach the (first) boss of the level. Personally I find having a high speed for this guy works well and it's easy considering how many power ups you just got. What this boss does is fire two sets of lasers that are angled in the same direction as the outer shell, and one set angled in the same direction as the inner core making dodging more difficult. What you have to do is take out the three layer shield and destroy the core all while dodging the dozen or so lasers being fired at you. If you are perfectly aligned with the core you will be able to damage it and the lasers from the inner circle won't hurt you however there's always a danger from the outer core lasers since you never know how they will be angled so it doesn't seem to work out quite as you would like all the time. As I said for me what works best is to just have your speed up and dodge the entire thing each time moving back into position with lasers blasting hoping at least some of them hit the core. It's kind of erratic but it works. The only other attack he has is when he throws the entire ship at the left side of the screen, but having high speed like I said will make this attack fairly simple to dodge. Make sure you're in the centre of the screen when this boss appears, sometimes it's hard to judge where you will be safe but stay in the centre and you'll be fine. Now this boss is crazy and I find that it's one of the hardest to be able to defeat without dying, sometimes it seems easy to do and sometimes it seems like you're dying constantly, it's quite random (just like the boss.) What it does is spin around inside the wall and drop gun pods, after it has done this for awhile it lets off and starts bouncing around while simultaneously dropping gun pods wherever it hits. It has a single core with two shielded areas which is good because the fact that it spins for the entire fight makes hitting it with any level of consistency rather difficult. Really it will depend on the type of multiples you're using but none of them will have that much of an advantage over the others, the advantage you get being able to change your angle of fire with type 2 is balanced by the fact that you're stationary and vulnerable while doing it. You have to destroy the gun pods though, because too often you will find yourself focusing on two things at once: trying to hit the boss in the core and trying to dodge him as he bounces around. While you're doing that thinking "man it's hard to focus on two things at once" all of a sudden BAM! That third thing you weren't even thinking about, a gun pod projectile, just killed you. Blast those things off the sides and then focus all the attacks you have on the core of this thing to eventually blast it out of the sky and off into the background forever. Get in the centre of the screen again before the battle starts. When this boss appears it fires two large lasers horizontally above and below you to trap you in a smaller area, then fires two bouncing lasers that criss cross and try to destroy you. In order to dodge them you need to get inside the safe area, the diamond shaped pattern they make as they go. All the while you should be firing forward to destroy the shields on the three-cored boss, AND making sure to dodge the small projectiles that are emitted when a shield is destroyed. Now the boss only gets more exponentially difficult from there. You wouldn't think it with this next attack where is basically just fires small lasers at you which can be easily dodged by either going above or below the boss, but when it flies to the left side of the screen prepare for the worst. Here's what you need to do, dodge the onslaught of small projectiles coming out of the back as well as the straight yellow lasers. Soon enough you'll find yourself blasted by two heat seeking red lasers. Get yourself in a safe position as best you can when these appear and then jump up or down at the last second to dodge them. Eventually the boss will return to the other side of the screen again and begin firing angled yellow lasers along with small projectiles. By now you should have two two cores on the front almost destroyed. To get the final core you don't need to attack from behind, although you can there is still a central shielded area on the front you can break through to reach the core on the back, and try to do it quick because the boss will move from two angled yellow lasers to four angled yellow lasers. For this boss which is reminiscent of the fourth level boss from Treasure's other masterpiece, Ikaruga, what you need to do is get yourself down at the lower left opening on the boss so you can fire forward and hit those spinning pods on the inside. Other missiles will surround the boss but can be dodged easily. The ones you want to watch out for are the ones with the red tail fire, they will explode into an array of small projectiles moving in every direction. You can't actually damage the boss at first but when the five cores open up and appear blue it means everything is fair game and to go in blasting. You won't have a lot of time here at the beginning but if you align your four multiples with you regardless of the weapon you're using you should be able to damage each one significantly. Get to the right side of the screen before you are crushed and be prepared to dodge the spinning laser attack which gets bigger as it goes but nothing you haven't seen before, a simple up and down movement will help you avoid this easily. When the chance comes get to the upper left opening on the boss this time and finish it off before it does anything else, compared to the previous boss this one is cake. o----------------------------------------------------------------------------o | /---o---\ Stage 7 /---o---\ | o-/ (00010) \----------------------------------------------------/ (00010) \-o Following the first found of enemies that come you'll get a chance to take down three red ships to power up three times, and this is nothing compared to what's about to come. An enormous amount of both red and blue squares appear out of nowhere allowing you to power up to max from almost nothing. Now while you're picking up the incredible amounts of power ups you need to also watch in all directions because circular formations of enemies will begin spreading out and posing a serious danger to you. In fact it becomes almost impossible to focus on collecting the power ups while dodging simultaneously, that is unless you're using the rotate multiples or using aother types to act in a similar protective manner. Next a whole wave of large shield protected ships appear, you can try to destroy them if you have enough firepower but they appear and leave so quick that it's much easier to just focus on dodging. Each time a shield is destroyed a number of small projectiles will fire out so watch for those as well. Here comes the fun part, more enemies than you've ever seen in your entire life coming like a title wave from the right side of the screen firing small projectiles periodically and dropping a ton of power ups. Do you best to blast as many as you can to reduce the danger to yourself and then watch out for the ones that come behind you as you enter the tunnel. Shoot through those little diamonds that are in your way between the blocks. This is what I consider to be THE hardest part of the game, if you judge difficulty by "how difficulty it is to do this without dying at least once" as a=opposed to how many times you die. Obviously this kind of thing takes practice and in the end it's probably not as difficult as the harder bosses but I've never successfully navigated it without dying before. Basically what you have to do is move up and down along with the scrolling screen which is moving at a fantastic speed and blast your way through enemies and little diamond things. You must also modulate your speed and speed up and slow down depending on the timing of those doors. When you do die you have barely any time at all to collect your multiples before they are long gone behind you and often you will find you come out of this with no multiples at all. Near the end there's a section of platforms moving up and down that is somewhat reminiscent of the originaly Mari Bros. games down in the underground parts. Anyway if they're going up you need to move up with them and quickly change to moving down in the next section, rinse and repeat until you escape. When that part is finally over you'll at least get the chance to upgrade a bit but make sure you don't shoot these enemies until they are in front of you otherwise all the power ups will just float away. Now prepare yourself for a boss which is neither overly tough nor overly easy. What happens is the boss fires blue laser beams which bounce off the ceiling. He fires them one after another and all at different angles so you can't really predict the next move too well, you need to be flexible and ready to make a swift dodge at any given time. Fire on the boss' five cores all the time you are dodging and prepare for even more variation in the path of the lasers as the roof converges and the tunnel becomes thinner. You must remain aligned with the centre of the boss at all times so when it fires the horizontal yellow lasers you'll be able to avoid them. After awhile it does an attack where it sets fire to the ground and ceiling but as long as you're in the middle you'll be fine. What you need to watch out for is when the ceiling and ground start angling as well and the boss fires a whole ton of small projectiles at you while you're trying to move up and down to avoid crashing, it's not pleasant. This is all the boss will really do the whole time so keeping firing and of course, dodging. You'll kind of get the start of the level feeling again here as things kind of ease off a little from what you've been facing. Destroy all the small ships that come your way here and try to make up for any power ups you lost recently. The primary danger here comes from the enemies that spawn on the screen and seek toward you, your tactic will really depend on what type of ship you are using but basically just use your multiples to protect you from the incoming enemies. Soon enough there will come a point where you need to navigate between very thin paths to get though and all the while small projectiles will be flying toward you, this part makes the normal forcefield look rather appealing. When the walls start moving this is your cue to centre yourself and be ready to dodge at any moment. Unless you've memorized the level you're never going to know which wall is going to launch toward you next to the best thing to do is get as close to the middle as you can and be ready to move away from walls that are coming at you. The ones you want to watch out for are as follows. At one point there will be parallel dip shapes in both the ceiling and floor that will make a pocket when they slam shut, you're going to want to be in this pocket area to avoid being crushed. After that the wall in front of you closes quite quickly and DOES NOT REOPEN so even though it's only been on screen for a second you must get through it. You need to be quick on this next part as well, you'll need to blast through a bunch of enemies and get as close as you can to the right side of the screen and then zig zag back and forth up to the middle to safety. Following this comes a part with four large rolling spheres. Each sphere will move when shot but cannot be destroyed. What you do here is roll these along with you and use them to block the beam that is firing either up or down from the floor or ceiling. Place one of them in the path of the beam and then move through safely. Remember to keep bringing it further along because there's more than one of these, do do this you'll either need to work with a bunch of them at a time or let your multiples shoot them across once you're safe. After this when the wall opens up is a section with a near infinite number of power ups, every single enemy will drop them as you go up and down over and over through this section which really isn't that dangerous at all. What is dangerous however is the part that follows afterward, with the magnetic drones. If there has ever been a good time to focus your attention on your ship's hit box rather than the ship itself, now is that time. This entire section is an exercise in close calls. These magnetic drones will float toward your ship and there are so many of them that you need to manoeuvre between them quickly so they don't get too dense, but the quicker you move the more danger you're in, it's an unfortunate situation to say the least. Stay on the left side which is the safest for as long as possible but after the screen starts scrolling past it you're on your own. As if this wasn't enough there are stupid little guys trying to blast you from the ceiling as well. Anyway just do your best to stay alive, eventually they'll explode and you can relax by facing off against probably the hardest boss in the game. Hooray... I hate this guy, thing, whatever it is. It starts off simple enough, the top and bottom of the screen are covered in big waves of gravity that pull you toward the ground and ceiling while the boss fires small projectiles at you, enemies fire projectiles at you and the three pods fire big blue balls of energy at you. There's stuff flying all over the screen and it's extremely difficult for you to dodge because you're being pulled around all the time. What you need to do is to destroy these three main pods to get the real fight to begin. What happens now is similar to what you did when you rolled the spheres to block the lasers except now the spheres are rolling themselves. You need to destroy the three cores which are each protected by five shields while simultaneously dodging projectiles and laser beams. From my experiences actually I find the primary cause of death in this fight are the spheres that are made to protect you. When you consider their awkward curving path, speed and large size they really do pose a large threat. Regardless you must use them to protect you from the lasers firing vertically at you. Though your first thought might be to move far to the right so you have time to prepare and dodge the spheres this will ultimately lead to a guaranteed death when the boss launches itself to the left side of the screen. If you're looking to do this without dying, you're going to have to take the risk and stay on the left side. The only thing that ever ends up working for me is pretty much just sacrificing aiming entirely. You need to focus 100% of dodging in this fight. Another boss follows but it is very unlike your traditional bosses. This multi-legged freak of technological nature is walking through the tunnel and you cannot get by unless you move from space to space between his many legs, the premise is the same as the third boss except the way this thing move with its three leg walking instead of four makes it a bit more difficult. You can't even hurt the boss until it has made at least one complete pass over you. Compared to the previous fight however this one is a cakewalk. Once you get used to the movement pattern beating this boss without dying isn't too difficult at all. I find that the trick is not to get too greedy. If there's one pod left at the top your first instinct will be to try and squeeze though small places and do dangerous things to get to it even if it has already passed by but keep in mind it's not hard to just casually move between the legs, and the boss will always come back for another chance. It takes more time to wait, but considering you won't die it's certainly worth it. Now all you need to do is battle the simple enemies until you reach the end. There are no more bosses and only one final challenge. Near the end a whole load of enemies will come at you from the right side of the screen and it's easy to get caught up in destroying them all but while you do the door in front of your is slowly closing and if you don't make it through in time then it's a guaranteed death. Either way it marks the end of the level. o----------------------------------------------------------------------------o | /---o---\ Stage 8 /---o---\ | o-/ (00011) \----------------------------------------------------/ (00011) \-o You've pretty much completed the game by now but this acts merely as a bonus level to tie together the "story." It's back to the second stage again where you play as the other ship who appeared and you go through the other section of the large station. Fight through the fist wave of enemies and watch out for all those multiples stealers behind you, they'll grab your multiples and then... you will have no multiples! This stage acts almost identically to the second stage, with the one difference of course being that it's a mirror image. One interesting thing to note is that the other ship will behave exactly as you did during the second stage assuming you're playing through normally (it won't appear at all if you're using stage select.) When you reach the end the other ship will go on just as it did before. Now it's your turn to destroy the eye. In old fashion Gradius tradition the boss of the game can be defeated with little to know effort at all, and with that the game is over. Once again the universe has been saved by the Vic Viper. ________ ________ \___ __|============================================================|_ _____/ / | _ /|___ | || | Miscellaneous |__ | | || | __| | |____|==========================(00012)============================|____| 0______ 0 GV /------------------------------------------\ 0----\/ 1. Official Gradius V Soundtrack Song List \ /----------------------------------------------\ 01. Opening 02. Select - Weapon Array - 03. Universe - Stage 1 - 04. Stage Boss 05. Intermezzo 06. Teto Ran 07. Bigcore Mk-II 08. Fortress - Stage 3- 09. Cell - Stage 4 - 10. Meteor - Stage 5 - 11. Something Green - Stage 6 - 12. Bigcore 13. Bigcore Mk-III 14. High Speed - Stage 7 - 15. Impregnable Fortress - Stage 8 - 16. Elephant Gear 17. Demo 18. Battleship - Stage 2 and 8 - 19. Last Enemy 20. Staff Roll 21. Name Entry 22. Game Over 0______ 0 GV /------------------------------------------\ 0----\/ 2. Codes \ /----------------------------------------------\ Code 1: Up - Up - Down - Down - Left - Right - Left - Right - L2 - R2 Effect: Gives you 1 Speed Up, Missile, Double, 4 Options & ? Code 2: Up - Up - Down - Down - Left - Right - Left - Right - L1 - R1 Effect: Gives you 1 Speed Up, Missile, Laser, 4 Options & ? - Every extra hour you play, you earn an extra credit. Once you play the game for a total of seventeen hours, you get free play. I have free play for some odd reason <_<. ________ ________ \___ __|============================================================|_ _____/ / | _ /|___ | || | Version History |__ | | || | __| | |____|==========================(00013)============================|____| Version 0.00 - (March 23rd, 2005) - Began the walkthrough Version 1.00 - (May 8th, 2005) - Completed the walkthrough ________ ________ \___ __|============================================================|_ _____/ / | _ /|___ | || | Legal |__ | | || | __| | |____|==========================(00014)============================|____| This document is copyright (c) 2007 by A I e x & SClemmons. The follwing information pertains exclusively to Alex. I am no longer active writing guides for video games, and thus I will no longer any questions or update with any corrections sent through email. It is likely that after this point this guide will never be updated again. I am aware that there are errors occasionally and I apologize for those. Please do not email me any corrections, or ask me for any help with this particular game, as I will not respond. It is also not necessary to send any email to thank me for the work, I will say right now that you are very welcome. Furthermore, please do not contact me about hosting this guide on your website, I will not grant permisson. I am still willing to take action if I find this guide being hosted anywhere other than GameFAQs.com, IGN.com, or a very small number of other select sites. Finally, if you need to contact me for some reason that is not covered above, then you can reach me at StarOceanDC(a.t)gmail(d.o.t)com. ________ ________ \___ __|============================================================|_ _____/ / | _ /|___ | || | Disclaimer |__ | | || | __| | |____|==========================(00015)============================|____| A I e x's Profile - http://www.gamefaqs.com/features/recognition/45802.html SClemmons' Profile - http://www.gamefaqs.com/features/recognition/23401.html Thanks/Credit (Scott): - Dunbine and Midwinter for the codes. - Web Apperance for some strategies. Check out his FAQ(s). Big Juice Marcus Eyton Golding - AKA Masters, Daremo, KMasters, KDaremo, BJ, Konji Masters, IIMastersII, MGolding, MEgolding, GOLDINGme, Baha2005 Ilose2Sashanan04 about 56 other Internet Handles that have no relevance. - For being my biggest writing influnce. I love you Big Juice. Thanks/Credit (Alex): ASCII title is care of: http://www.rootsecure.net/?p=ascii_generator Thanks to CJayC for continuing to keep GameFAQs running smoothly, and the same to Sailor Bacon. Thanks to Sean, Mark and Jeremy here at the University of Guelph, thanks to everyone in the GameFAQs FAQ contributor community for being great people, and thanks to everyone who takes the time to send feedback. Thank you very much finally, to anyone and everyone reading this walkthrough. O============================================================================O