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RF Generation Message Board | Gaming | Community Playthroughs (Moderators: techwizard, singlebanana, wildbil52, GrayGhost81, Disposed Hero, MetalFRO) | January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: January 2019 Shmup Club - Lightening Force aka Thunder Force IV  (Read 2385 times)
MetalFRO
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« Reply #30 on: January 15, 2019, 10:42:26 AM »

Further progress! I made it to Stage 10 last night, and have refreshed my memory on the patterns and assault of the Stage 10 mid-boss. Highest score yet also achieved, as I was able to break 2 million, and then some!


How's everyone else faring?
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MetalFRO
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« Reply #31 on: January 16, 2019, 09:47:27 AM »

I wanted to offer a few tips for everyone that should be useful.

1. Speed adjustment and weapon selection can be done while the game is paused. This might seem minor, but if you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, or need to switch weapons in a pinch, and you don't think you'll survive w/o pausing, this can be a lifesaver. Same for speed adjustment. If you're at 100% space and need to make a quick movement, but are in a tight corridor, this can help keep you from careening into a wall.

2. Speed adjustment is granular. Pressing the A button on the Genesis pad (or X on the Switch) will increase speed by 25% each time pressed. At 100%, it will jump back to 25%. HOWEVER, if you hold down the button, your speed will climb by percentage points. It's not super slow, but can be used to adjust a few points at a time. This way, you can play around with the various speed settings to help determine what your sweet spot is, with regards to ship speed.

3. There are lots of hidden power-ups and 1ups in the game. 3 of the 4 stages selectable in the beginning have 1ups that are relatively open, but some of the later stages have 2 1ups each: 1 that is obtainable from a weapon pod, and 1 that is hidden throughout the level. Exploring the full vertical height of each level (where possible) is advised, and if you can hold on to it, the Hunter weapon is perfect for helping to uncover hidden 1ups and also hidden power-ups.

4. Holding down A, B, & C and pressing Start during the attract mode, or at the title screen, or Sega logo screen, will take you to the options menu, where you can select your difficulty. For those struggling with the game, I would suggest using the Easy mode as a way to get to see more of the game, and get used to stage layouts and enemy patterns.

5. The Switch version has "Kids Mode" as well, which makes the game even easier, so for anyone really struggling with it, that's an option as well. Don't feel any shame if you have to ratchet the difficulty down that low. Just be glad we're not playing a Psykio game, where the lowest difficulty levels are "Monkey" and "Baby" slick

6. Have fun! Despite my long lasting love for this game, I know it can be frustrating when you feel like you're getting far, and finding a rhythm, and then suddenly get sniped by a stray bullet. The game can be punishing and difficult, and that naturally leads to frustration. Take breaks from it if you need, or put it away for a bit and come back to it later for a fresh perspective. This can realistically be applied to any game, but I've found for shmups, once I start to get to where I'm not enjoying myself anymore, it's time to play something else, or turn it off. Don't be afraid to do that. Don't just keep playing because you feel like you need to make progress.
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« Reply #32 on: January 16, 2019, 11:05:04 AM »

You forgot to mention how the game tells you whether or not you're doing damage. If the explosion is blue you're not doing any damage. If it's red/orange you're doing damage.

Here's the stage order I use:

1. Strite - 1up in the ocean right after the mid-boss
2. Ruin - no 1up that I know of
3. Air-Raid - 1up right before stage boss on one of the fast moving ships
4. Daser - 1 up near the top of the dunes after mid-boss
6. 1up top path. you have to squeeze between an iceberg and a ceiling. The thunder sword will make short work of this boss.
7. Take the bottom path at the beginning for a claw/craw and blade or top for a 1up and snake. The snake weapon is great for taking out the robot dropping canisters quickly.

The Hunter weapon you can grab in Ruin will help you make short work of Air-Raid and the end boss in Daser (Desert Planet)

It's easy to get sidetracked during the Strite/Gargoyle Diver boss fight but you need to pay attention to his mouth and tail. His mouth will open and glow when he's about to shoot a string of laser shots.

« Last Edit: January 16, 2019, 11:54:56 AM by Addicted » Logged

Stephen Kick: “The thing about classic games was that they were the first for an entire generation. Successive works are going to be important to individuals and even to groups, but never to a whole generation in the same way.”
MetalFRO
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« Reply #33 on: January 17, 2019, 12:11:01 AM »

I did it! I managed the 1CC of Lightening Force on Normal difficulty, final score 3,797,220 points:


I also managed to pull that off on stream, so here's the timestamped section of the video that starts my victory run:


Everyone help me decide - should I stick with Lightening Force, and try for a clear on Hard, or move to Thunder Force IV, with its more aggressive bosses and enemy AI, and try to clear it on Normal?
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louisG
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« Reply #34 on: January 18, 2019, 01:04:45 AM »

OK, I gave this a go tonight and that Bio-Base boss ended my game. I thought I had gotten the sword but I missed it! BTW I'm finding it a lot easier to track movement of objects on my Genesis with CRT than on the Switch. Interestingly enough some stuff was happening that I only remembered from the Japanese version, like really aggressive enemies and fast missiles in the Air Raid level-- maybe there's rank..?

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louisG
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« Reply #35 on: January 18, 2019, 01:08:00 AM »

Hmm it says that level is Wall.. I thought Bio-Base was that miniboss-heavy level with Metal Squad and Wall was the next one..? I must have it backwards. Congrats on the 1cc BTW! I've only managed that with continues. I say you do Lightening Force on Hard next. IMO it fixes a few memorizey situations from the Japanese original, like the opposite of Contra: Hard Corps Cheesy.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2019, 01:40:15 AM by louisG » Logged
MetalFRO
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« Reply #36 on: January 18, 2019, 09:34:13 AM »

OK, I gave this a go tonight and that Bio-Base boss ended my game. I thought I had gotten the sword but I missed it! BTW I'm finding it a lot easier to track movement of objects on my Genesis with CRT than on the Switch. Interestingly enough some stuff was happening that I only remembered from the Japanese version, like really aggressive enemies and fast missiles in the Air Raid level-- maybe there's rank..?

Either it's rank, or adaptive difficulty. I never noticed this as a kid, but since I've been paying closer attention to it the last couple weeks, I've noticed that in various spots, on Normal difficulty, there are some enemies that won't appear if you don't have a shield, or if you've died and are back to default weapons, there may be fewer enemies in different places. It's an interesting detail that somehow I missed out on all those years ago, and fairly innovative for its time.

Hmm it says that level is Wall.. I thought Bio-Base was that miniboss-heavy level with Metal Squad and Wall was the next one..? I must have it backwards. Congrats on the 1cc BTW! I've only managed that with continues. I say you do Lightening Force on Hard next. IMO it fixes a few memorizey situations from the Japanese original, like the opposite of Contra: Hard Corps Cheesy.

Thanks! The 1CC was a hard-fought victory. Bio-Base is Stage 8 with the mini-boss rush, and WALL is Stage 9.

And yes, I'm leaning toward Hard on Lightening Force, because it should be an easier transition, and possibly easier for me to quickly get a 1CC, now that I have relearned a lot of the details.

Speaking of 1CC, I also did a quick 1CC of Thunder Force IV on Easy, on my Switch, so I could unlock the STYX ship for use, since that feature is included in the Switch port.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2019, 09:44:30 AM by MetalFRO » Logged

louisG
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« Reply #37 on: January 18, 2019, 01:12:46 PM »

OK, I gave this a go tonight and that Bio-Base boss ended my game. I thought I had gotten the sword but I missed it! BTW I'm finding it a lot easier to track movement of objects on my Genesis with CRT than on the Switch. Interestingly enough some stuff was happening that I only remembered from the Japanese version, like really aggressive enemies and fast missiles in the Air Raid level-- maybe there's rank..?

Either it's rank, or adaptive difficulty. I never noticed this as a kid, but since I've been paying closer attention to it the last couple weeks, I've noticed that in various spots, on Normal difficulty, there are some enemies that won't appear if you don't have a shield, or if you've died and are back to default weapons, there may be fewer enemies in different places. It's an interesting detail that somehow I missed out on all those years ago, and fairly innovative for its time.

Yeah, I never noticed it until this playthrough either. Being used to the pace of the Switch release minus slowdown, I was able to use the slowdown time playing the Genesis original to take full advantage of switching weapons to nail more enemies. That's when I started seeing the game play harder. I remember Air Raid used to be the level I was best at of the first 4, and now I just explode!

Quote
Hmm it says that level is Wall.. I thought Bio-Base was that miniboss-heavy level with Metal Squad and Wall was the next one..? I must have it backwards. Congrats on the 1cc BTW! I've only managed that with continues. I say you do Lightening Force on Hard next. IMO it fixes a few memorizey situations from the Japanese original, like the opposite of Contra: Hard Corps Cheesy.

Thanks! The 1CC was a hard-fought victory. Bio-Base is Stage 8 with the mini-boss rush, and WALL is Stage 9.

Huh! I guess that means the high score table is wrong.

Quote
And yes, I'm leaning toward Hard on Lightening Force, because it should be an easier transition, and possibly easier for me to quickly get a 1CC, now that I have relearned a lot of the details.

Speaking of 1CC, I also did a quick 1CC of Thunder Force IV on Easy, on my Switch, so I could unlock the STYX ship for use, since that feature is included in the Switch port.

I was thinking that it would be a harder transition than TF4 on Normal. Re Styx on Switch, I *think* I might've unlocked it with continues.

BTW, for people struggling with Bio Base...:
https://shmups.system11.o...topic.php?f=5&t=63491

That level hung me up for years. Hah, I guess it still does since that's where I game-overed! But that was at least because the boss kicked my butt.
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EZ Racer
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« Reply #38 on: January 19, 2019, 12:06:21 AM »

Admittedly, most of my gaming for January has been influenced heavily by the NES challenge. But the past week I've gotten into Lightening Force, and finally feel like I'm beginning to get the hang of it. Still working on clearing the first four stages.

I know most doing this have nostalgia attached, but as someone that hadn't seen it before until recently, I feel like the graphics, sound and fluidity of gameplay are extremely well done. It's just really hard (not unfair, though) because I feel like you have to first learn where everything's going to be as far as items and enemies on each level, then learn how to properly react to everything before you can make progress.


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MetalFRO
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« Reply #39 on: January 19, 2019, 04:17:43 PM »

I know most doing this have nostalgia attached, but as someone that hadn't seen it before until recently, I feel like the graphics, sound and fluidity of gameplay are extremely well done. It's just really hard (not unfair, though) because I feel like you have to first learn where everything's going to be as far as items and enemies on each level, then learn how to properly react to everything before you can make progress.

Bold for emphasis. And yes, the game is very memorization heavy, which some consider a detriment. For me, though, I like being able to decipher predictable patterns and experiment with different approaches, until I get a good outcome. I do enjoy some element of random, but when RNG is too high up in the mix, it can hamper the experience (for me), because it makes you rely too heavily on reaction time and quick thinking, rather than analysis of the situation, and the possible solutions you can devise.
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louisG
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« Reply #40 on: January 20, 2019, 01:01:34 AM »

It doesn't quite get into R-Type territory, but there is a fair amount of memorization, I agree. I think Thunderforce III was lighter on it. IMO the level of memorization required doesn't reflect the randomness in the game, but rather elements like the speed at which enemies move or attack, the "trappiness" of the level design (how much it tries to corral and trap the player-- for lack of an actual term Smiley), and how many hits enemies take (do you have to be shooting them the instant they come on the screen?). I guess overall it's how much give there is in the gameplay, right? TF4, for me, is a bit in the middle as that stuff goes: Most levels have one or two things you have to be aware of, but everything else you can react on the fly to. But it's not one of those games where every second of every level you need to know what's about to happen.. IMO. 'course, I only played it after TF3, so I was already pretty used to the general play style.

I find top view shmups in general to be less likely to need a high degree of memorization (there are some exceptions, like Nexzr or Grind Stormer).

I sat down to play tonight and just exploded over and over! I guess it's one of those days... I do want to 1cc this thing finally before the month is out! It's only been 19 years.. jeez Tongue
« Last Edit: January 20, 2019, 01:03:56 AM by louisG » Logged
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« Reply #41 on: January 25, 2019, 04:16:52 PM »

So I got on a good run, but didn't get a pic taken until right after the screen switched back to the title screen, hence an intentional death to get back to the high score screen. I'll admit it was on easy, but I can normally get to the boss of stage 6 (the ice level). I continue to love the look and feel of this game, even though I'm not very good at it. Interesting bosses and unique environments.

The route I usually take for the 1st 4 is: Strite, Ruins, Air Raid, then Dazer partly because the first three I can get through with minimal deaths, but the boss on Dazer continually gives me fits. I have noticed that when that boss shoots the orb that follows you, if you can get in the position to hit it with Rail Gun it's pretty effective.

Other brief side note, I know MetalFro has said it but I have to agree, I love the metallic (and sometimes inaudible) voice that announces your weapon upgrades. It may not have been intentional, but it adds some fun character and levity to an otherwise intense game.


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MetalFRO
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« Reply #42 on: January 28, 2019, 09:59:49 AM »

How's everyone else doing for score? I've been working on Hard difficulty in Lightening Force, and feeling the burn. Last night I streamed a few attempts, and it was pretty rough. Still hoping to find a groove and make the 1CC on Hard by the close of the month, though.
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MetalFRO
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« Reply #43 on: January 29, 2019, 09:15:17 AM »

I managed to make it to Stage 8 on Hard last night. It seems like it takes me a lot longer to find a rhythm on Hard difficulty, because there's so much more thrown at you. Still hoping to get the clear on Hard by the end of the day Thursday, but I'm not hopeful I'm going to make it. Still, this is progress!
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« Reply #44 on: January 29, 2019, 12:21:37 PM »

I played on the Saturn for a short go at hard. No slowdown makes the game harder than I initially thought. I also tried maniac and it lives up to it's name.

« Last Edit: January 29, 2019, 12:25:39 PM by Addicted » Logged

Stephen Kick: “The thing about classic games was that they were the first for an entire generation. Successive works are going to be important to individuals and even to groups, but never to a whole generation in the same way.”
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