Welcome back to CAVE Strategy Sessions! Last time, we looked at the basic mechanics of Mushihimesama. In Part II, Per “pestro87” Strand & Luke “Aquas” Schirmer give us an overview of the various modes you can select to play.
Let’s jump right in!
First arcade release of the game. In 1.0 the difficulty/rank will scale relative to how long you have survived.
The counters are displayed on top of Reco. The basic strategy for score is to point-blank the enemies with the C shot. It is also beneficial to point-blank while the enemies are slightly off-screen and invulnerable as each hit adds to the overall counter so you can get a few extra counter increments that way. The overall counter increases when you destroy enemies.
More difficult than Original with more bullets and changed bullet patterns. The overall counter is displayed on the left hand side of the screen and the enemy specific counters are displayed on top of each enemy. If you are playing for score then you need to follow a rhythmic approach to optimizing the counter resets as outlined previously in the last article about the counters. The overall counter will start to deplete within a relatively short time-frame after you don’t hit any enemies with your shot. On top of that the counter will deplete rather quickly so it is important to strategically plan your routes on many sections in order to maintain a healthy counter.
Expands upon Maniac while increasing the difficulty even further. In addition to that there is a True Last Boss (TLB) that appears after the Stage 5 boss if you manage to clear the entire game without using continues.
Version 1.5 features the following changes compared to 1.0:
- New OST by Ryu Umemoto
- Background palette changes
- Gems will move towards you if you hold down A
- Each mode is now accompanied by a MAX version which will start you off at max fire power but the bullet patterns are more difficult- You start with two options (set to Formation) on no-MAX difficulties
- Shooting enemies with the C shot at point blank range generates gems
- Enemies have a longer invincibility period when they are entering the screen. This is useful if you are playing for score as you can bump up the counter and generate gems during this period if you point-blank with C shot
- The overall counter increases faster
- It takes longer for the overall counter to start depleting if you do not hit any enemies with your shot your on Maniac and Ultra
- The overall counter depletes slower on Maniac and Ultra
On no-MAX the rank will scale relative to how long you have survived, just like in 1.0 but not on the MAX difficulties. More on this later.
On MAX difficulties you start out with one bomb as opposed to three but it has auto-bomb which means that if you get hit while you have any bomb in stock, your stock will deplete to zero but a bomb will be dropped.
Much easier than 1.0 Original with slower bullets but Original MAX can be vicious with fast bullet patterns if you play for score since the speed of the bullets are dictated by how high your overall counter is. The bullet patterns are less dense than on Maniac but the size of the bullets are larger. The basic strategy for score is to point-blank all enemies using the red shot type. Each shot at point-blank range will generate large gems and add a lot to your overall counter.
No-MAX remains largely the same in terms of difficulty compared to 1.0. Maniac MAX ups the difficulty from no-MAX but the rank does not increase when the overall counter increases. There is also no survival rank on Maniac MAX. Since the counter is more lenient on 1.5 Maniac compared to 1.0 Maniac, the required routing to maintain the overall counter value is less strict.
Similar to Maniac 1.5 in that no-MAX retains the same difficulty as 1.0 and Ultra MAX ups the difficulty but retains a constant rank. Ultra MAX gets especially hairy during the later stages.
The PC/360 Arrange Mode in Mushihimesama features:
- New OST by various composers from Basiscape
- One available mode only. Difficulty-wise it re-uses the bullet patterns from Maniac but tones down the speed on them. The TLB also appears after the Stage 5 boss if you don’t use any continues but the difficulty of the final pattern of the TLB has also been decreased
- The maximum amount of options has been increased to 6 compared to 4 in 1.0 and 1.5
- You start with maximum fire-power and 6 beetles
- You start with a 30k counter unlike in the PS2 Arrange Mode
- The entire bomb stock will deplete if you get hit just like in 1.5 MAX. This is also different from the PS2 Arrange Mode
- The shot counter is displayed on top of each enemy in a larger font compared to 1.0 or 1.5
- You can switch shot type by pressing D
- Rank increases the longer you survive
- Uses the same colour palette as 1.0
If you are playing for score you want to point-blank as many enemies as possible with A using either the Blue shot or the Green shot. You want to use the Blue shot on the bosses and the first two stages and the green shot on the last three stages. It is worth noting that the increased firepower also means that it’s easier to get gaps in the waves of enemies if you just hold down A or C. This can hurt your score as the overall counter will start to decrease during longer gaps. On Stage 3 it’s recommended to control the damage output by tapping A in order to maintain the overall counter value.
And that covers all of the play modes for Mushihimesama! In next week’s post, we’ll start looking at the individual stages, so be on the look out!