Deathsmiles double extend in Forest of the Lost [strats]

Started by darkidol, October 05, 2011, 12:30:20 PM

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I thought this level deserved a small topic of it's own since it seems to be the bane in a good run for so many people.  Until recently I used to select Level 1 in an otherwise Level 3 route to the Castle.  It always felt awkward and foreboding when it came time to play it. 

After seeing a snippet of the superplay DVD (Casper/SWY) and seeing it's amazing potential I decided to try and make friends with the level.  After, I don't know - around 50? - training playthroughs with Casper, I now always select it at Level 3 and end up with the first extend plus a 1000 counter.  My scoring in the level went from zero to good very sharply and it all seems to depend on small idiosyncrasies on dealing with several particular enemies.

After the first few spiders it is possible to get up to 67 on your counter from the first batch of Sahagins.  60 or 62 is good - 64 is what SWY gets in the superplay - but below that you will be looking very slightly uphill.  I'm not sure if it's letting them spit a stream of bullets or getting close to them - or a combination of both - or if it's got something to do with the spiders that makes the counter end up higher.

Hitting the first Ivy properly is crucial to whether you're looking at a single or double extend.  The technique seems to be to pop it at such a time as to gain from the scrolling screen.  The timing needs to be spot on because otherwise you will do what I still keep doing over and over again: either a) unnecessarily force my cutter on it early, thereby killing it too quick - ending up with a counter about 101, or b) leaving it too late where it's bullets become very clustered and harder to dodge and a segment of it ends up off-screen (to the left) - ending up with a counter of something like 127/147.  This has potential but I think it needs to be around the 160 mark if you are going to get the double.

Some tips: don't do what I did and practice over and over to time the cutter killing it with you lasering it's head, thereby maximising it's crown tiara output.  I don't know if that is even possible and would be hugely grateful if anyone could confirm.  Also be very wary of how you kill the spiders before the first Ivy approaches.  Popping them properly will determine whether you kill it too early or not.

The next Ivy over the landed part is easier to gain from because it moves more straight than the previous.  This also will give the chance to jab it with a cutter tap, then duck underneath (if it's flashing red, bonus) and wait for the next one snaking it's way up to then time it so you pop both at the same time.  This should give some helpful slowdown to catch the first two Sahagin with your familiar.  (N.B. I'm playing the PAL console port and notice more slowdown in Arcade mode than Xbox 360.)

Aflter these Sahagin it's a matter of bursting all the floating Islands with your familiar.  Try to get the first two ASAP so when you're moving down and popping the mini-Islands the small slowdown from your speediness should help you manoeuver to a position underneath the last Island where you almost kill both the first Sahagin and last Island at the same time.  If you have 1000 counter before the last three Sahagin jump up you are looking at a comfortable single extend after a decent run of the last section.

But you need to kill the last floating island with your familiar in power up mode to get the double extend.  All the difference seems to stem from how quick you max your +value before the last section of the level.  I'm not sure if popping the last three Sahagin while in power up mode is as crucial as the last floating Island but it can't but help...

Not much point going into detail about the next/last part of the stage since it's much more like the skull farming on the other stages of the game (particularly the Graveyard) and just really depends on general skills required by the game - bullet pattern knowledge, best positioning for the bounces.

Hope this was helpful.  It should be to players around my level.