The progress from here on out is slow - I can get to the end of stage 5 regularly on 1CC, but cannot defeat the stage boss with any regular occurrence. I still have to find a good pattern for him. I have got to the bosses at the end of stage 6, right at the end of the game, just before your first fight with the devil or whomever has captured your girl, but have not passed them with the shield. I had previously beat them with the knife, but when you do, the game sends you back to the beginning of stage 5 as no weapon but the shield can beat the end boss.
I'm playing this every night after work for about an hour each night and I am still working on the stage 5 and 6 patterns. Hoping to get something down soon to oass the end of the first loop! I'm really eager to start in on the second loop and work for the good ending.
A bit of progress, but progress I'm really happy about! I finally made it to stage 6 on one credit and died facing the dragon from stage 3 during the boss rush. He pretty much made a beeline for me and I kept retreating, but to no avail.
I did up my score quite a bit to 127,800 and I can feel the 1cc within reach. I still need a lot more practice on stage 5 and a good solid strategy for one bottle neck, before the end of the stage that I cannot seem to figure out a good pattern for. This time that I did pass it, was mostly due to luck and some quick shooting.
I'm not sure just how hard the stage 5 full boss rush is gonna be, but I have solid strats down for most of the bosses, so I hope not too tough. I know that completeing the first loop will feel like a great accomplishment, but it is a 2-loop game and that second loop will probably beckon...
I have been practicing Ketsui each night, sometimes a credit, sometimes more. I'm really taking it easy, but I am also still learning alot as I go.
As it stands right now, I can consistently get scores in the 65-70 mill range without too much trouble. In fact, last night, I played a game while watching Law and Order, losing all my lives besides one in the first two stages. Then I turned my focus to the game and no-missed stage 3 and finally made it to stage 5, finishing about halfway through with just over 70 mil.
I will be working on the 1cc for the next few months, getting more familiar with the early stages, but really working on five, as I have no patterns for it. I think I will probably go back to my old grind and play through the game a few times a day using continues when necessary to get some patterns down. With an aggressive bomb strategy, and some good patterns for 5, I think I can do it. Ideally, I'd like to hit around 100 mil, but I will need a good set of strats for 4 and 5 for that to happen.
After I bought this cab, I realized it may be the heaviest arcade cab ever built and I happen to live on the second floor of a two floor walk-up. So, since I bought it, it has resided in my garage, waiting to see the light of day again.
And because I have an awesome job and work for a great company in SRAM, I was told to bring it in for our department and viola - now I can work on the game! Woohoo!
Manhandling the cab into my car and up to the thrid floor at work was pretty easy with an elevator involved at work, so I got it set up in a night, made a few adjustments to the dips and monitor, cracked open an ice cold Heineken and got right down to playing.
It only took a few credits to get rolling again and that first night, I was making it to the end of the third stage with regularity.
Last night, I started playing while everyone was hanging out after work on the porch and drinking beer and started getting to the fourth stage and then the fifth on a single credit. Wow. I actually impressed myself at how fast I was progressing! It does help that you can glitch the boss on stage 4 if, as soon as you hear the boss music, you turn right around and start walking backwards. It takes a few seconds of walking and then the end stage 'Take A Key For Coming In!' greeting pops up and you are done.
Stage 5 is still pretty tough, though I did make it to the boss a few times, but have only fought him 3-4 times and really am not sure about his patterns. I have watched a few superplays - one from Superplay.co.uk and another from the AEX archives which have certainly helped, but this game really requires you to know eqach of the attack patterns of each of the enemies to sucessfully defeat them. It's not a simple case of memorization, as the enemy AI can do - and often does - create new movements and patterns on the go. Red Devils seem to be the best at this.
I ended up my playing last night on stage 5, one stage from the end of the game. Stage 6 is pretty much a boss rush with a short stage in between bosses to get to the end battle and then - you get to do it all over again.
For those who don't know, at the end of all 6 stages, you fight Lucifer and if you defeat him, the game tells you that 'This Room Is a Trap Devised By Satan" and to go back to the beginning and challenge it again. So you have to beat it TWICE to get the real ending. The second loop is harder, with more and quicker projectiles. When you beat it the second time, it gives you the good ending and then allows you to keep playing through it if you'd like. I'm not sure if the subsequent levels are any harder than the second loop, but I can't imagine making it through three loops of this game.