Author Topic: Deathsmiles [Strategy Guide]  (Read 29014 times)

Offline EOJ

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Deathsmiles [Strategy Guide]
« on: July 24, 2008, 09:42:56 PM »
This strategy guide is a translation of most of the info in the official Deathsmiles guide included in the limited Deathsmiles DVD release. Other info has been supplemented by the author. GaijinPunch is another contributor to this guide.

1.0 Basics
1.1 Codes to unlock hidden characters + the Canyon stage
Insert a coin, then at the title screen enter:

UNLOCK FOLLETT:
2P: Hold A, B +C
1P: ↑, ↑, ↑, ↑, B,B,A,A, ←, ←, →, →, C, C, C, ↓, C

UNLOCK ROSA:
2P: Hold A, B, +C
1P: C,B,A,C,B,↑,A,→,C,←,B,↓,C,B,A,A,A

UNLOCK CANYON STAGE:
2P: Hold A, B, +C
1P: C,C,C,A,↑,←,→,↓,B,C,C,C,↓,↓,A,B,C,B,A

Once you enter the codes, each feature is permanently (and irreversibly) saved to the PCB.

1.2 On Screen Display:
For 1P:

Upper left: Score on top, Life gauge directly underneath. To the right of this is the bomb stock.

Bottom left: item counter

Mirror all positions for 2P.

1.2.1 Life Gauge
Your life gauge decreases by .5 when you touch an enemy in Normal mode. It decreases by 1 if you hit a bullet in any mode. Every time it decreases by 1, you lose 30% of your item counter.

1.3   Controls

Tap A: Shot (left)
Hold A: Laser (left)
Tap B: Shot (right)
Hold B: Laser (right)
Hold A+B: Lock-shot
C: Bomb

1.4 Enemy type
One of Deathsmiles? most important features to understand is that killing different enemies with the shot, laser, or lock-shot will result in a different amount of items produced in their wake. Whether you are in normal, power-up, or fever mode can also make a difference.

This full chart, adopted and translated from this Japanese page, shows the best shot type to use on each enemy:





1.5 Characters

Windia: Her lock-shot develops in a large ring around her. Her option shoots a crescent projectile when in Laser mode. Her option moves when tapping Shot, but is fixed when holding Laser. A balanced character overall.

Casper: Her lock-shot develops in a large ring around her. Her option shoots a cutter in a boomerang-esque pattern when tapping shot. Her option moves when holding Laser, but is fixed when tapping Shot. Stronger than Windia, but also slower in her Laser mode.

Follett: Her lock-shot develops around her option, locking onto enemies in front of Follett. Her option shoots a wide shot when tapping shot. Her option moves when tapping Shot, but is fixed when holding Laser. Her main strength is her very strong lock-shot that is the easiest to lock-on among all the characters, with a wide firing range.

Rosa: The lock-shot develops around her option, locking onto enemies behind Rosa. Her option shoots a homing rose cluster when holding Laser. Her option moves when holding Laser, but is fixed when tapping Shot. The strongest character, her weakness is her slower speed and the inability to lock-on to enemies in front of her.

1.5.1 Character speed
The speed in ( ) is when in power-up mode.

                       WINDIA        CASPER      FOLLETT        ROSA
Shot mode              46(62)        52(68)      46(62)        36(52)
Laser mode             28(25)        18(15)      24(21)        32(29)
Auto-lock mode         32(27)        42(37)      26(21)        18(13)


2.0   Stages

MAP TOP :       EX (Canyon )                 Castle
MAP MIDDLE:     A-2 (Graveyard)     B-2 (Swamp)       C-2 (Volcano)
MAP BOTTOM:     A-1 (Harbor Town)   B-1 (Forest)      C-1 (Lakeside)


The letters (A, B, C) each stand for Chapters. The chapters are split in two: one half is in the Map bottom, the other half is in the Map middle. The EX (canyon) stage is not part of any chapter, while the Castle stage has two parts and is Chapter 4.

2.1 Stage select
You can choose any of the bottom 3 stages to start, then you choose any of the middle 3 stages. After this you keep alternating back and forth between bottom and middle stages until you have completed them all (you can never choose 2 middle or 2 bottom stages in a row). When all 6 are completed, you then have the option to go to the EX stage, or go directly to the Castle stage.

There are numerous possible routes, all with similar scoring potentials. This is one of the game?s most admirable traits ? a great variety in stage paths without sacrificing game balance.

2.2 Stage Rank Select
You can choose Rank 1, 2 or 3 at the start of each Middle and Bottom stages. Obviously Rank 1 is the easiest and Rank 3 is the hardest. Ranks 2 and 3 increase the number of enemies, the number of bullets, the overall difficulty, and the number of boss phases. In addition, depending on the rank and stage path, different items (bomb and life replenishments) will appear within different stages [See section 4.3 for detailed info].

Ranks 1 and 2 are limited ? you can choose each only once on each level (middle or bottom) of the map. In other words it?s impossible to play all 6 stages all in Rank 1 or all in Rank 2 ? you can do a max of 2 stages in rank 1 and 2 in rank 2 - the other two must be in rank 3. There is no limit to the amount of times you can choose Rank 3.

2.3 Death mode
When you choose rank 3 five times, you enter ?Death Mode?. In Death Mode suicide bullets are fired back at you from each enemy you destroy. These bullets are small, star-shaped, and are absorbable by your option. Once you enter Death Mode, you cannot go back, even if you select Rank 1 or Rank 2 for the sixth stage.

Every bullet absorbed in Death mode is worth 100 points. The +Value (see Section 4.6) is also added to each bullet.

If you choose every stage in rank 3 and go to the EX stage before the Castle stage, then the Castle stage will be at the highest possible rank in the game, called ?Death Mode Level 2?.

2.4 ALL-clear bonus
Your end bonus is calculated by the following equations:

Life bonus: (130 x Remaining lives) x 50,000pts
Bomb Bonus: Remaining bombs x 1,000,000 pts.
Item Bonus: Item counter total x 10,000 points

The totals of each are added together for your total end bonus.

3.0   Power-Up mode
To enter Power-up mode, you have to press A+B when your item counter maxes out at 1000. When in this mode, your attack and option strength are increased, and you are only damaged by bullets, so you are free to move through any enemies on screen. Your item counter counts down from 1000 to zero when in this mode. When it hits zero, you revert back to the normal playing mode.

The rate of the item counter?s decline depends on whether you are in the stage or in a boss fight, and whether or not you press any attack button. Here are full the details:



The conditions can overlap. In the case of the Lock-shot, they always overlap. The lock-shot by itself is -1 for every 2 frames, but since
you have to be pressing A and B to be in lock-shot mode, and each of these also reduces the counter by -1 every 2 frames, lock-shot mode
effectively has a decrease rate of -3 every 2 frames.

Additionally, if you bomb during a boss fight, the two values are added together ([-1 for every 2 frames] + [-4 for every 1 frame]).

3.1 Fever mode
Once you max your +Value (see Section 4.5) at +10,000, you enter what is called "Fever mode". All enemies produce High Crowns when destroyed in this mode, though you still need to use the right attack type on certain enemies to maximize the amount of High Crowns produced.

4.0   Items
4.1 Life replenishment items


Small (Prine a la mode) : fills up .5 of one life block. Gives a bonus of 100,000 pts.
Medium (Strawberry Parfeit): fills up 1 full life block. Gives a bonus of 200,000pts.
Large (Decoration Cake): Fills up 2 full life blocks. Gives a bonus of 500,000pts.

The Decoration Cake is only available during the Chapter 4 final boss fight.

4.2 Bomb (?Magic?) item
The ?Magic? item adds one bomb to your stock. You can hold a maximum of 6 bombs. The bombs give no point bonus unless your bomb stock is maxed out at 6, whereupon each successive bomb is worth 300,000 pts.

4.3 Item appearance chart



*=only during Death Mode

4.4 Point items

Small (Skeleton Ring) : 100pts
Medium (Crown Tiara): 800pts, breaks into 2 Skeleton Rings when it hits the ground
Large (High Crown): 2,000pts, breaks into 2 Crown Tiaras on the first bounce on the ground, then on the second bounce these 2 Crown Tiaras will break into 4 Skeleton Rings.

The Skeleton Rings disappear in 64 frames after being stationary on the ground.

4.5 Item Counter
When you absorb any of the point items during the normal mode, they add to your item counter in the following way:

Large (High Crown): +10
Medium (Crown Tiara): +5
Small (Skeleton Ring) : +1

Additionally, every suicide bullet absorbed during Death Mode adds +1 to your item counter.

4.6 Item acquisition total (+Value)
The item acquisition total, or "+Value", is the core scoring system in the game. When you reach 1000 on the item counter in normal mode, or when you enter Power-up mode, every item absorbed adds to your +Value, which acts as a point bonus added to every item you absorb. It is displayed next to your character as it increases. The maximum +Value is +10,000, which is colored a bright orange. When you reach this, you enter "Fever mode".

4.6.1 Normal mode

High Crown     +10
Crown Tiara     +5
Skeleton Ring   +1

As the values clearly show, it is more beneficial to keep absorbing High Crowns here, rather than have them break.

Each suicide bullet absorbed in Death Mode also adds +1 to your +Value. It is possible to max out the +Value without ever entering Power-up mode, simply by playing through the EX and Castle stages in full max 1000 Normal mode. You are then able to ride this +10,000 bonus through to the end (as long as you don't die, as the +Value is reset when you die) for larger gains than can be had from entering Power-up mode. This is the strategy the pros use for their 500-600mil top scores.

4.6.2 Power-Up mode
In power-up mode all the items are equal, so a High crown will add the same to your counter as a Skeleton Ring. What matters is the +Value. The higher it is, the  higher the value each item will add to your +Value. Here are the details:

When +Value is       0~     +1
                        +100~     +2
                        +200~     +4
                        +500~     +8
                      +1000~    +12
                      +2000~    +16
                      +5000~    +20

Thus, unlike in the normal mode, in Power-up mode it is more beneficial to let the High crowns break into 2, and again into 4, as even at the lowest +Value the High Crown will add +1 but four Skeleton Rings will add +4. At +5000 and beyond the difference is even more pronounced: only +20 for a high crown, but +80 for four Skeleton Rings.

5.0 Extends
Point-based extends are given at 20mil and 45mil points. Each one adds an extra life block. There are no other extends in the game, only the life replenishment items that can fill up your life blocks.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2009, 07:33:27 PM by EOJ »
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Offline Plasmo

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Re: Deathsmiles [Strategy Guide]
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2008, 05:08:23 AM »
Very nice ST, thanks for translating. Eventhough I'm probably never going to play this, I now understand the scoring system. Interesting read!

Offline GaijinPunch

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Re: Deathsmiles [Strategy Guide]
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2008, 09:47:16 AM »
One thing that's a bit confusing in the book and the wiki is the part about the counter drop in Power Up mode.  The part about the bomb is an example that any of the conditions which cause the counter to deplete faster are stackable.  Hence, the bomb thing.  Holding down A = -1 for every 2 frames.  Holding B = -1 for every 2 frames.  Holding A+B = -2 for every 2 frames.   I tested this yesterday.

One other thing the chart doesn't mention.  Some enemies (the flying eyeballs for example) give way more crowns w/ the lock-on shot once your counter hits 10,000 in Power Up mode.  Watch the Follett replay.  He recharges a few times on the eyeballs (and no bombs) where none of the other characters do. Follett's lock on can kill a lot of enemies, where as the other characters' kind of suck.

Offline EOJ

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Re: Deathsmiles [Strategy Guide]
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2008, 01:53:53 PM »
Yeah, Follett can use the lock-shot to get more high crowns from the eyeballs when in Fever mode. Casper, on the other hand, benefits from using laser here. So there are some minor character differences with a few enemies.

Are you sure the lock-shot reduces the counter -2 every 2 frames? The official book says -1 every 2 frames.

One thing I need to add to the guide is the "recharge" technique.
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Budloc

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Re: Deathsmiles [Strategy Guide]
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2008, 06:16:58 PM »
i'm just begining with DS, so thanks a lot for great strategy guide EOJ, it will be helpful  =D

Offline GaijinPunch

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Re: Deathsmiles [Strategy Guide]
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2008, 07:41:01 PM »
I'm quoting the book.  It says nothing specific about A+B, but it does say that pressing A,B, or C results in the -1 per 2 frames drop.  The caption at the side says that any of the conditions will overlap, meaning if you hold two buttons, you lose twice the frames.  Hell, bombing and holding A,B, + C might take off more.

Try it out.  I did the train stage.  Once I hit 1000 I went straight to power up and held down A+B.  Holding down only B doing the same thing resulted in a much longer power up mode.

Offline EOJ

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Re: Deathsmiles [Strategy Guide]
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2008, 07:45:45 PM »
The book says the lock-shot (or "auto-lock", as they call it) reduces the counter -1 every 2 frames. Page 12, on the chart at the bottom, right under the "pressing A, B or C" one. To enter lock-shot you have to be pressing A+B, so that's what I meant.

But since the conditions overlap, pressing A and B each probably also add -1 to the total, so it would be a total of -3 for every 2 frames in lock-shot mode. I'll updated the guide with this info. Thanks!
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Offline GaijinPunch

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Re: Deathsmiles [Strategy Guide]
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2008, 08:31:14 PM »
That could be true to.  It definitely goes down faster.  I triggered it right when I got 1000 on the train stage.  When I held A+B the whole time, I rain out where the super play refills.  When holding down just B, I still had over 400 left at the same spot.

Offline thegreathopper

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Re: Deathsmiles [Strategy Guide]
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2008, 04:36:34 AM »
I cannot find a  way of doing 3 x stages on rank 1 as quoted I think you can do a max of 2 at rank 1 and then a max at rank 2

Ranks 1 and 2 are limited ? you can choose each only once for each Chapter (in other words it?s impossible to play all 6 stages all in Rank 1 or all in Rank 2 ? however, it is possible to play them all in a mix of Ranks 1 and 2). There is no limit to the amount of times you can choose Rank 3.

jaycm1

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Re: Deathsmiles [Strategy Guide]
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2008, 03:17:02 PM »
can someone please explain,on the character selection screen when you select a character there is a option underneath what is this   :)

Offline EOJ

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Re: Deathsmiles [Strategy Guide]
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2008, 03:18:37 PM »
It just lets you choose whether you want to see the demonstration or not before you start playing. Top option is "see the demonstration", bottom option is "skip it".
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jaycm1

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Re: Deathsmiles [Strategy Guide]
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2008, 03:20:54 PM »
thanks mate  :)

Offline markedkiller78

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Re: Deathsmiles [Strategy Guide]
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2008, 12:07:41 PM »
Awsome guide as always EOJ & thanks also for your input GP :)

I'm looking forwarded to playing this again tonight, but for how long remains a mystery :) It's cleared a lot of things up that I was wondering about. Let's see if I can beat the 25m

Offline EOJ

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Re: Deathsmiles [Strategy Guide]
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2008, 06:14:26 PM »
Been playing with Windia recently for this month's competition, and I have to say the Volcano recharge is really easy with her. Just stay on the far left after you kill the blue ogre, wait for your counter to drop below 400, then just as you start moving to the right hit the bomb button, center yourself in the top middle of that big round volcano thing and hold A+B until the bomb finishes. Instant recharge. The trick is to not use the shot or laser at all during any of this (if you do it won't work).
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Offline GaijinPunch

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Re: Deathsmiles [Strategy Guide]
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2008, 01:28:01 AM »
Quote
The trick is to not use the shot or laser at all during any of this (if you do it won't work).

Presumably b/c you kill the green eyes, which are triggering the flood of crowns?

Offline EOJ

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Re: Deathsmiles [Strategy Guide]
« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2008, 03:39:35 AM »
Yes, exactly.
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jpj

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Re: Deathsmiles [Strategy Guide]
« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2009, 03:46:46 PM »
what is the recharge technique?  :)

Offline SinHo

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Re: Deathsmiles [Strategy Guide]
« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2009, 06:52:27 PM »
what is the recharge technique?  :)

That is when you goes out of Power-Up mode by bombing and at the same time recharge the skull counter to 1000. I have fond that the easies place to do that is on the forest stage... just work up the counter to 1000, enter Power-Up mode and use lock-shot on the last large Ivy's at the end of the stage (just before the boss). Bomb just before you kill the second last Ivy, and hold down A+B (lock-shot) until the bomb fades out .... you probably have to milk Crown's from the enemies in order to recharge the counter to 1000.

...  it is also quite easy to refill the skull counter on the house in the graveyard stage.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2009, 01:30:42 AM by SinHo »

jpj

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Re: Deathsmiles [Strategy Guide]
« Reply #18 on: March 10, 2009, 07:57:02 PM »
cheers  =D

Offline EOJ

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Re: Deathsmiles [Strategy Guide]
« Reply #19 on: March 10, 2009, 08:08:41 PM »
The bomb-recharge is a pain in the ass. It's easy at the end of the forest stage, but also not so important for your score there. The main place you need to master it is in the middle of the volcano stage, and it's really frustrating to get the timing perfect (see my post a few posts up for a somewhat reliable way to do it with one character). I'm so glad they got rid of this in DSMBL. It makes the game much more enjoyable.
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Offline SinHo

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Re: Deathsmiles [Strategy Guide]
« Reply #20 on: March 11, 2009, 02:27:18 AM »
The bomb-recharge is a pain in the ass. It's easy at the end of the forest stage, but also not so important for your score there. The main place you need to master it is in the middle of the volcano stage, and it's really frustrating to get the timing perfect (see my post a few posts up for a somewhat reliable way to do it with one character). I'm so glad they got rid of this in DSMBL. It makes the game much more enjoyable.

I agree?.  My score actually decrease if I use the recharge trick at the end of the forest stage (I can get about 10 million), but if I can end the stage with a full skull counter it opens up the possibility to score on the following stage.
? and yes, DSMBL is in my opinion a (much) better game.

Offline Plasmo

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Re: Deathsmiles [Strategy Guide]
« Reply #21 on: March 11, 2009, 07:29:19 AM »
I don't care too much for this game, but since I got the DVD for a very good price I might aswell ask about the bits I didn't understand.

1.Why do ALL players bomb on the Canyon midboss (Beast Dog)? Does it generate more enemies if you kill it quicker or do the players simply want to milk the mass of suicide bullets properly?

2.Isn't there a penality for bombing in Death mode 2? On the DVD the players bomb quite often in the castle stage for survival. Does dying resetts your +Value to ZERO? That would be quite harsh... (as stated in 4.6.1.)

Thanks!

Offline SinHo

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Re: Deathsmiles [Strategy Guide]
« Reply #22 on: March 11, 2009, 07:49:46 AM »
I don't care too much for this game, but since I got the DVD for a very good price I might aswell ask about the bits I didn't understand.

1.Why do ALL players bomb on the Canyon midboss (Beast Dog)? Does it generate more enemies if you kill it quicker or do the players simply want to milk the mass of suicide bullets properly?

2.Isn't there a penality for bombing in Death mode 2? On the DVD the players bomb quite often in the castle stage for survival. Does dying resetts your +Value to ZERO? That would be quite harsh... (as stated in 4.6.1.)

Thanks!

1. that is probably to refill the skull counter

2. I leave the open from someone else to answer


Gwyrgyn

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Re: Deathsmiles [Strategy Guide]
« Reply #23 on: March 11, 2009, 09:11:20 AM »
The only penalty for bombing is that it kills your current counter back to 0, so you lose your Powerup mode. Of course it also can kill enemies on the screen which could hurt score a little, but it's mostly used for the bomb-refill as mentioned above. You lose your +counter every time you leave Powerup mode anyway so it's a pretty light penalty for dieing or bombing.

Offline Plasmo

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Re: Deathsmiles [Strategy Guide]
« Reply #24 on: March 11, 2009, 09:28:58 AM »
Quote
1. that is probably to refill the skull counter
Their counter is at 1000 already, but since it's the Castle stage, the skull counter isn't important anyway.

Quote
You lose your +counter every time you leave Powerup mode anyway so it's a pretty light penalty for dieing or bombing.
I was talking about Death mode 2, where dying costs you 50mill+, but bombing on the other hand none (?) which is surprising.

Gwyrgyn

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Re: Deathsmiles [Strategy Guide]
« Reply #25 on: March 11, 2009, 10:46:32 AM »
The only reason dieing in Deathmode 2 hurts your score a lot is because in the Castle stage (and some others?), it's better to sit on your 1000 counter and rack up the +counter without entering powerup mode. As I recall, blocking bullets in this version racks up your +counter and gives you full points so it's more important to milk the bullets all level than it is to get the mass of items that powerup mode would give you and have to build the +counter back up.

So yeah, dieing drops your 1000 counter down so you'd have to build your +counter back up too, and bombing doesn't do anything since you aren't in power-up mode.

jpj

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Re: Deathsmiles [Strategy Guide]
« Reply #26 on: March 11, 2009, 07:15:55 PM »
okay, so i'll be playing this soon.  and i've read the strat guide and watched a couple of videos, but it still seems a bit confusing with the different modes, and different counters, and weird techniques, and which button reduces which counter every X frames, etc etc.  hopefully it will make a lot more sense after i've played a couple of credits.  but for someone who is a total beginner to deathsmiles, what should i be concentrating on doing?  :)

jpj

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Re: Deathsmiles [Strategy Guide]
« Reply #27 on: March 13, 2009, 11:29:07 AM »
i've read what is said about the recharge technique, but how does it work in principle?  i just had a run where i was in power mode for C-1, and without bombing, after i came out of it, i had a skull counter of 800  ???

and how are you guys generating such high scores?  i must be not doing stuff right as i did most rank 3, and went to (and died) during canyon stage, but only 30 something mill  :(

i tend to start at forest rank 2, then do volcano rank 3, where i get a lot of points in the power mode.  but should i then just try and raise my skull counter to 1000 and try and get the +value as high as possible without dying?  sadly i never took much interest with this game initially, and the only video i downloaded is a pretty low clear of about 80 mill, no canyon.  or should i try to learn how and where to do the recharge technique and go into power mode on each level?  i understand that going all rank 3 will help.  and i haven't memorised which shot is best on which enemy, or always letting the crowns break in power mode.  but does that and suicide bullets, and canyon, really make that huge a difference?  for you guys that can do over 150 mill, what sort of score would you typically get after the first six chapters?  and lastly, are there any decent scoring replays on nico worth checking out?

 :)

jpj

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Re: Deathsmiles [Strategy Guide]
« Reply #28 on: March 13, 2009, 02:35:38 PM »
i gather you always have suicide bullets on canyon?  does that mean the properties of death mode apply here, even if you haven't done 5+ stages of rank3..?

Offline EOJ

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Re: Deathsmiles [Strategy Guide]
« Reply #29 on: March 13, 2009, 06:39:17 PM »
yes, you always have suicide bullets in the canyon. If you do low ranks before the canyon, then you will have less suicide bullets there, however.

As for scoring, you should trigger the 'power up' scoring mode at least once in every stage (except stage 1, if you start at Halloween town). I usually ended the last of the first six stages with 125mil or so, my best was 148mil iirc. Read my guide for info on the scoring. A lot of it depends on your ability to get the multiplier to 10,000 quickly, then ride it out for as long as possible.

You don't need to bomb to recharge, it just makes it easier. If you end powerup mode just as you trigger a lot of large gold crowns, these will boost your item counter near 1000 (or completely 1000). It's just hard to get the timing right, and if you screw it up then the rest of the stage is pretty much screwed score-wise (similar to breaking a chain in DDP games).
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