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    FAQ/Walkthrough by Finaxos

    Version: 1.2 | Updated: 03/10/03 | Printable Version | Search This Guide

    MARS MATRIX FAQ v1.2
    For Arcade
    By Finaxos@yahoo.com
    3 October 2003
    
    This release is meant to be another step towards an in-depth FAQ of Mars
    Matrix - Hyper Solid Shooting (c) 04/2000 Capcom. I hope to receive
    contributions of dedicated Mars Matrix players to upgrade and complete
    this FAQ. Mail me at Finaxos@yahoo.com so we can combine our knowledge
    and perfect the Art of Playing Mars Matrix. I will definitely include
    your recommendations in the next version of this guide.
    
    Copyright 2003 Friso 'Finaxos' Roest.
    
    This document may not be reproduced under any circumstances except for
    personal, private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise
    distributed publicly without advance written permission. Use of this
    guide on any web site or as a part of any public display is strictly
    prohibited, and a violation of copyright. Only www.GameFAQs.com and
    www.GameSpot.com are allowed to host this document.
    
    =========================================================================
     TABLE OF CONTENTS
    =========================================================================
    
     1.  INTRODUCTION
     2.  BASICS
           - Normal shot vs. piercing cannon
           - Capture bullets
           - Reflecting
           - Grinder
           - Gravity hole bomb
           - Level-up
           - Player-up
           - Gold mines
     3.  SCORE
           - Time
           - Level
           - Shootdown
           - Total
           - Score optimization
     4.  SHIPS
           - Mosquito 01
           - Mosquito 02
           - Comparison
     5.  STORY
           - AD 2100
           - AD 2250
           - AD 2309
           - December 8, AD 2309, MARS
     6.  WALKTHROUGH
           - Stage 1
           - Stage 2
           - Stage 3
           - Stage 4
           - Stage 5
           - Stage 6
     7.  MISCELLANEOUS
           - Ending
           - Secrets
           - Technical data
           - Evil chemistry
           - Descended Masters
    8.	DREAMCAST
           - Arcade mode
           - Elite mode
           - Score challenge mode
           - Extra's
     9.  REVISION HISTORY
    10.  SPECIAL THANKS
    
    =========================================================================
      1.  INTRODUCTION
    =========================================================================
    Mars Matrix is a raw over-the-edge shooter, which challenges the human
    bounds of reaction. Mastering this dark and splendid game is a true
    homage to the Altar of Speed. The Arcade does not have a secret shop like
    in the Dreamcast version, and additional coins for a continued play won't
    allow you to put a hiscore down. So there is just one way: start at Stage
    1 and get there on one coin. As far as ending the game is concerned, i
    don't know whether it is possible. Let me know if there is anyone who
    came close, and let me know how you did it! Beware of this great game
    though, because hidden within it, is an addictive and powerful current of
    destruction.
    
    =========================================================================
      2.  BASICS
    =========================================================================
    NORMAL SHOT VS. PIERCING CANNON
    
    Typical of the sober and purely functional outer set up of the game, it
    has assigned all weapons to just one button. So here you have it, the
    chief among shooters, and all you need is one joystick and one fire
    button. Tapping the A-button will enable normal shooting. Normal shot has
    an unlimited range and for this reason is the main weapon to use in
    attack. As you gain levels the shot will get more powerful and spreads
    out a little.
    
    Interrupted tapping (with minimal a one-second interval) will enable the
    piercing cannon. It works sort of the other way around as in DonPachi.
    The piercing cannon is a powerful short-range attack that equals about 10
    single shots, depending on how close you are to the enemy. The closer you
    are, the more damage it will do. Use it for big crafts to save time on
    the kill. It is absolutely essential to know when to use which type of
    weapon, especially when dealing with gold mines. More about that later.
    
    CAPTURE BULLETS
    
    Pushing the A-button and holding it for at least a quarter to half a
    second, will bring out the 'Mosquito'. It is sort of a black hole that
    surrounds your ship and sucks in bullets. It is very useful if you want
    to pass through a wall of enemy fire, because you will be invulnerable
    when it is activated. The GHB meter will slowly drain and the Mosquito
    ends when the meter is finished, or when you release the A-button. An
    essential aspect of this function is that you will be invulnerable for
    exactly one second after you have released the A-button. So you can
    release the Mosquito even if you are only half way through a curtain of
    bullets, and do the rest on invulnerability, while the meter is
    reloading. When the meter is reloading you will be vulnerable, without a
    last means of saving yourself, for at least another 1 second or more
    until the GHB meter is full again. The reaction time of the Mosquito is
    not good enough for a split second rescue, because the Mosquito just
    takes more than a split second to activate. It requires anticipation if
    you want to rely on it. A good way to get a feel of the Mosquito and the
    refill time is to try to pass a few stages without shooting. You do not
    get points for sucking in bullets.
    
    REFLECTING
    
    There is another aspect to the Mosquito that makes it very valuable as
    well. If you release the Mosquito before the meter is empty, the bullets
    inside the Gravity Barrier will spin off and form gold cubes wherever
    they hit steel. The direction in which the bullets fly off is a resultant
    of the centrifugal force of the rotation of the barrier and that caused
    by the movement of your ship. You can actually see the bullets trace
    along the barrier when you move your ship. To reflect bullets to your
    right, you have to move to the left first, before you release the
    Mosquito. The move to the left will make the bullets trail to the right
    of the barrier, from which point they will shoot off once they are
    released. This function feels very natural and responds well. Always try
    to reflect bullets in a direction where they will encounter some
    artillery or other objects, and to a place where the cubes can be
    gathered without too much difficulty. Reflecting does not give any points
    other than the damage done to the enemies that are hit by the reflected
    bullets.
    
    GRINDER
    
    The grinder is a term for a weapon functionality that is related to the
    Mosquito bullet capture. The gravity barrier will do damage to any
    opponent it touches. In most cases it is not strong enough for an
    immediate kill, but slowly grinds down your opponent. However, small
    enemies can be taken down by it almost immediately, which can help a lot
    in keeping an xp chain alive while you are in Mosquito-mode. Big enemies
    can't be destroyed by it, but since you can't use normal shot or the
    cannon in Mosquito-mode, you can use it to do some modest damage in the
    meanwhile.
    
    GRAVITY HOLE BOMB
    
    Holding down the A-button for 3 seconds until the GHB meter is completely
    drained will result in a gravitational explosion which will destroy
    pretty much every visible enemy and all bullets, giving you some space to
    breathe again. Experienced players will hardly use the GHB. Instead they
    reflect just a fraction before the GHB kicks in. If you have captured
    enough bullets this will do even more damage, and more importantly, yield
    a lot of gold.
    
    LEVEL-UP
    
    Your ship can rise to greater levels of firepower, by gaining xp's. There
    are two reasons to try hard to level-up, or at least get as much xp's as
    possible:
    1)	Level-up will make your normal shot more powerful.
    2)	Higher levels will increase the points you get at the result screen.
    (see the chapter about score)
    
    Almost all kills will release one or more gold cubes. If you catch a cube
    you get 1 experience point. However, if you catch the gold cubes one
    after another with no more than a one-second interval, you get a bonus,
    which will increase by one point for every cube caught within the time
    interval. This is called chaining. The length of the time interval
    depends on the value of the chain. Chaining the gold cubes will give you
    +1 xp for the first cube, +2 for the next, +3, +4, +5, etc. If you keep
    chaining the cubes at the beginning of Stage 1 for example, you will
    level-up to 2 before arriving at the red pincer crafts. The total number
    of xp's given rises exponentially as the chain proceeds. Take a look at
    the numbers below, where i will give an approximation of the total number
    of xp's corresponding to a few typical chains:
    
    +100 chain =   5.000 xp's total
    +200       =  20.000
    +300       =  45.000
    +400       =  80.000
    +1000      = 500.000
    
    There is a meter that shows the combo or chain rate of xp's on the top of
    the screen. It is the green line below the icons that display the amount
    of ships you have left. This meter fills according to the progression of
    your chain. At +10 it fills only a little, and fades in about a second.
    However, if you are able to get the next gold cube the meter fills
    slightly more to +11. When it is empty, your chain ends and you will
    start at +1 again at the next cube. In Stage 2 the meter is full at +200,
    which will give you quite a few seconds to link on to the next chain. In
    Stage 5 the meter is not even half full at +400, giving you only a two to
    three second time interval. The big blocks of gold cubes are definitely
    worth catching, because they make the meter shoot up momentarily to +80
    or +100, giving you some time to look for the next cube, while
    maintaining the chain bonus.
    
    The points needed for each level are the following:
    - Level 1 at        0 xp's
    - Level 2 at    1.000
    - Level 3 at   10.000
    - Level 4 at  100.000
    - Level 5 at  200.000
    - Level 6 at  400.000
    - Level 7 at  800.000
    - Level 8 at 1600.000
    
    PLAYER-UP
    
    This paragraph can be kept very short. Giving bonus-5lives does not match
    the hard no-nonsense character of this game. Mars Matrix is made to take
    lives, not to give them. Just for the sake of tradition the game does
    give a life - two in fact... for the entire game. One when you reach
    100.000 xp and one after killing the mid-boss in Stage 4.
    
    GETTING KILLED
    
    Getting killed is something that is made particularly easy in Mars
    Matrix. Fortunately you can only get killed by bullets. You can't crash
    into asteroids, buildings or enemy ships. This gives you more flexibility
    in making chains and avoiding enemy fire. The hitbox of the fighters is
    realtively small (see Chapter 4) allowing some radical bullet grazing.
    Similar to neo-classics like ESPrade and Guwange everything lethal is
    primarily colored pink or blue. If you run into it and get killed, you
    want to be sure to take full advantage of the fact that your next ship
    will be invulnerable for an ample 4 seconds. Your ship will be flashing
    on and off during this time. This also goes for the beginning of a stage.
    
    GOLD MINES
    
    On every level there are one or more 'gold mines' - that's what i like to
    call them. These gold mines are enemies that will give you a generous
    amount of gold in a continuing stream when shot the right way. There is a
    mine in Stage 5 for example, which turns every single bullet into gold,
    time after time, filling the screen with hundreds and hundreds of gold
    cubes. The first mine however is at the beginning of Stage 1. After the
    rotating black metal craft with the pink bullets, a red lobster shaped
    craft will appear. Shoot it with your piercing cannon and gather the
    gold. If you shoot the next two fast enough, you will get a fourth. The
    gold will smoothly take you up to level 3 with over 10000 xp's. Even
    though the game has hardly started, life will have become a lot easier
    already.
    
    It is essential to know the right type of shot to fully utilize the gold
    mines. In level three there is a great mine in the form of ventilators
    (airco on Mars is a must). Normal shot works best to get the maximum out
    of this gold mine.
    
    =========================================================================
      3.  SCORE
    =========================================================================
    The result screen at the end of each Stage counts the total score for
    that Stage. For each player there is a bar for time, level, shootdown and
    total. This chapter will give insight in the way the scores for these
    parts are calculated. I will use a dot signification between each ten
    thousand points for score, to correspond with the colors of the score in
    Mars Matrix, being yellow, orange and red. This division also corresponds
    with the Japanese numbering system, which has a four-digit base, contrary
    to the Western three digits.
    
    Any Dreamcast players reading this FAQ should note that both points for
    score and level seem to be given differently in the DC version, even if
    you play it in the Arcade mode.
    
    TIME
    
    Formula:    number of seconds left after shooting the boss
                X number of experience points
                X 100
    
    Example:    30 (if you beat the boss quickly)
                X 20000 (average chaining)
                X 100 = 6000.0000
    
    LEVEL
    
    Formula:    number of experience points
                X level
                X 1000
    
    Example:    20000
                X 3 (level 3 starts at 10000 and ends at 100000)
                X 1000 = 6000.0000
    
    SHOOTDOWN
    
    Formula:    ??? score depends on which enemies you shot down. Usually
                about 20% of the amount for total score
    
    TOTAL SCORE
    
    Formula:    Here the above mentioned scores are summated on top of the
                basic score (the same total that was on the top of the
                screen. The basic score is calculated by multiplying the
                craft specific score by xp and number of kills. The following
                table gives the specific scores per craft.
    
    Table of scores Stage 1                        basic score  kills  chain
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    - Green H-shaped craft                                   10   +10    +10
    - Red pincers                                            50
    - Golden H-craft                                        150
    - Black metal craft with loads of pink bullets          200
    - Red lobster craft                                     100
    - Huge vertical moving tank                             500
    - Brown double canon tank                               100
    - Green ball craft                                       10
    - Mini vulcano-shaped turrets                            40
    - Middle turret                                         200
    - Wooden shed                                           200
    - Metal hangar                                          200
    - Silver rotating darts                                  40
    - Big green sluggish crafts                              50
    - Green sparrow-like crafts                             250
    
    These basic scores are multiplied in the first place by the xp level,
    similar to the Get Point System in DDP. In addition there seems to be a
    multiplier involved for the number of previous kills and chain status.
    The formula is something like this: score*XP + kills*(+10) + (chain+1)*XP
    
    I am not overly interested in maths, but i believe understanding of the
    score system will help to figure what to shoot to get a hiscore. I would
    be happy to receive input from anyone on this matter. Even good
    suggestions on the names of the crafts will help, to improve readability
    of this FAQ. Mail me at Finaxos@yahoo.com.
    
    At the result screen all sub-scores are added to the new total score. For
    the example given above this would be:
    
    Time          6000.0000
    Level         6000.0000
    Shootdown     3000.0000
    Total       1.5000.0000
                ----------- +
    New total   3.0000.0000
    
    This score is a good aim for beginners. It cost me quite a few coins
    before i had a steady score of more than 3.0000.0000 for Stage 1. But
    then i didn't know the tactics i know now. So after reading walkthrough
    chapter of this FAQ you might advance a lot quicker. Mars Matrix veterans
    will have a score with 2 digits in red for Stage 1.
    
    SCORE OPTIMIZATION
    
    Okay, so who cares about how the score is build up? Well, if you want to
    go for a hiscore you need to know your point of focus. Here's an example:
    Milking the boss for xp's on level one (by taking it easy on him until
    the laser scene) might lose you 15 seconds of time. 15 x 20000 x 100 =
    3000.0000 points. But you can easily gain 60000 extra xp's, resulting in
    an extra 60000 x 4 x 1000 = 2.4000.0000 for level score plus an
    additional 600.0000 points for every second of time left for the time
    score, just because you earned more xp's. Does this make sense? ...well,
    just read it again. Take into account that every xp counts again for both
    basic score and level and time scores in the result screen of all the
    later Stages!
    
    =========================================================================
      4.  SHIPS
    =========================================================================
    There are two types of ships you can choose in Mars Matrix: Mosquito 01
    and Mosquito 02. For a while i was hoping to discover a secret third
    ship, but i didn't find one and it probably doesn't exist. Below are the
    specifications for Mosquito 01 and 02.
    
    MOSQUITO 01
    
    Color 1P:    red
    Color 2P:    orange
    Shot type:   wide (wide blaster)
    Fire power:  *** (4 seconds to kill a pincer with single normal shot)
    Max speed:   *** (1.9 seconds to traverse the screen horizontally, all
    levels)
    Mobility:    high
    Width:       11,2 m
    Length:      16,4 m
    Height:      7,4 m
    Weight:      27.924 kg
    Engine:      R2 Maroni / 2628 Mk IV
    Max Speed:   5.96/s
    
    Below is a representation of a level 5 Mosquito 01 ship. The zeros mark
    the area of the ship that can not be damaged by bullets. Only if a bullet
    enters the hitbox as marked with the number 1, the ship is destroyed.
    Note that the hitbox is just a small portion of the ship, and that the
    wings and tail can graze through bullets without harm. The size of the
    hitbox stays the same throughout the game. Even though your ship will get
    bigger after level 5, the hitbox will still be the front part and the
    cockpit of your ship, corresponding to the hitbox as depicted in the
    figures below.
    
    Figure 1: Hitbox Level 5 Mosquito 01
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                       0000
                                      000000
                                      000000
                                    1111111111
         0                          1111111111                         0
         0                            111111                           0
        000                           111111                          000
        00000                       1111111111                      00000
        00000                       1111111111                      00000
      000000000                 000011111111110000                000000000
      000000000               0000001111111111000000              000000000
      000000000               0000001111111111000000              000000000
      000000000             00000000111111111100000000            000000000
    00000000000             00000000111111111100000000            00000000000
    00000000000             00000000111111111100000000            00000000000
    0000000000000           00000000000000000000000000          0000000000000
    00000000000000000000    00000000000000000000000000   00000000000000000000
    0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
    0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
    0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
    00000000000000000000000    00000000000000000000    0000000000000000000000
    0000000  00              000000000000000000000000             00  0000000
    0000000                  000000000000000000000000                 0000000
    0000000                  000000000000000000000000                 0000000
    0000000                00000  00000000000000  00000               0000000
    0000000                         0000000000                        0000000
    00000                           0000000000                          00000
    00000                           0000000000                          00000
    000                               000000                              000
    00                                000000                               00
                                      000000
                                      000000
                                      000000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    MOSQUITO 02
    
    Color 1P:    blue
    Color 2P:    light blue
    Shot type:   straight (laser shot)
    Fire power:  ***** (2 seconds to kill a pincer with single normal shot)
    Max speed:   ***** (1.6 seconds to traverse the screen horizontally, all
    levels)
    Mobility:    low
    Width:       12,2 m
    Length:      16,2 m
    Height:      8,1 m
    Weight:      21.405 kg
    Engine:      R2 Maroni / 2628 Mk IV
    Max Speed:   6.56/s
    
    Figure 2: Hitbox Level 5 Mosquito 02
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                       0000
                                      000000
                          0           000000           0
                         00    000  1111111111  000    00
                         00     000011111111110000     00
         000             00      0001111111111000      00            000
      0000000            00       00111111111100       00           0000000
    00000000000          00         1111111111         00         00000000000
     00000000000        000         1111111111         000       00000000000
      000000000000      000  0000   1111111111   0000  000     000000000000
       0000000000000    000  00000    111111    00000  000    000000000000
         0000000000000  000  000000   111111   000000  000  000000000000
          0000000000000000000000000011111111110000000000000000000000000
           00000000000000000000000001111111111000000000000000000000000
            000000000000000000000000111111111100000000000000000000000
              00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
               000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
                0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
                  000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
                        000  000000000000000000000000  000
                        000  000000000000000000000000  000
                         00  000000000000000000000000  00
                             000000000000000000000000
                             000000000000000000000000
                             00000  0000000000  00000
                             000     00000000     000
                                      000000
                                      000000
                                      000000
                                      000000
                                      000000
                                       0000
                                       0000
                                       0000
                                       0000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    FIREPOWER
    
    The Mosquito 01 starts the game with 40% less firepower than the mosquito
    02 as a level 1 fighter. However, at experience level 8 the firepower of
    Mosquito 01 is only 10% less than that of Mosquito 02. This is the case
    when comparing the impact of the total beam of both normal shots. A
    single fire strand of the shot from the Mosquito 01 inflicts less damage
    than the aforementioned 10% when compared to a single laser beam of
    Mosquito 02, because the total beam of Mosquito 01 is wider and
    encompasses more separate fire units.
    
    The increase of size of your normal shot when you upgrade from level 1 to
    level 2 would suggest firepower is doubled. This is not the case. There
    is only a 12% increase in firepower for Mosquito 01 at each level. For
    the Mosquito 02 it is 9%. So with the advance in levels, Mosquito 01
    slowly starts to catch up in firepower with Mosquito 02. The following
    table shows the amount of damage for all levels and for both fighters.
    The normal, level 1 shot of Mosquito 01 is used as a reference point,
    with a value of 1.
    
    Table of firepower
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ship            Level    1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Mosquito 01              1     1.1   1.3   1.4   1.6   1.8   2.0   2.2
    Mosquito 02              1.4   1.5   1.7   1.8   2.0   2.2   2.3   2.6
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    The power of the piercing cannon stays is the same for both fighters and
    remains constant for all levels. The damage per second of the piercing
    cannon is about 4 times that of a normal shot, if you compare a continual
    repetition of both shot types.
    
    COMPARISON
    
    Mosquito was the name for the most powerful ship in the classic Arcade
    game 19XX. I would say the name Mosquito makes more sense in Mars Matrix
    because of the ability of the ships to suck in bullets. For Stage 1 and 2
    i would say the mosquito 02 is the best ship. It is fast and has the
    strongest firepower, enabling you to destroy everything in sight and to
    keep chaining the xp's. However, those aiming to go beyond Stage 2 or 3
    could consider taking Mosquito 01. It's mobility is much smoother than
    Mosquito 02, which makes it easier to swirl elegantly through a screen
    full of bullets. Bullet grazing is easier because the hitbox is easier to
    monitor for Mosquito 01 because of its shape. The higher speed of
    Mosquito 02 sometimes becomes a disadvantage when dodging bullets on the
    square centimeter. The wider shot beam of Mosquito 01 is useful in the
    later stages, because in these stages you rarely are able to move nicely
    in line with the enemy to shoot it. One advice if you are playing with
    Mosquito 02: the ship moves faster than the gaps in the bullet patterns
    from bosses. In these cases i recommend tapping the joystick to get a
    continuous, but slower horizontal movement. Personally, i stick with
    Mosquito 02, because i prefer problems as a result of moving too fast,
    over those that are result of not being able to move fast enough.
    
    =========================================================================
      5.  STORY
    =========================================================================
    AD 2100
    
    The overpopulation of the world has caused starvation problems in
    developing countries due to massive food shortages. It is during this
    time that many international disputes and civil wars break out all around
    the world.
    
    AD 2250
    
    Immigration to the Arctic of Mars has begun to solve the global problems.
    This led to improvements within interplanetary transportation technology.
    Then while digging for resources on Mars, a special encrypted chip was
    discovered. The chip was named 'Infinity'. After intensive research by
    the Government they learned that Infinity contained information of a
    highly advanced technology.
    
    AD 2309
    
    The United Army utilized the technology of Infinity to help station the
    'MOSQUITO' Local Battle Small Fighter in Mars to settle the dispute for
    the independence of the planet.
    
    December 8, AD 2309, MARS
    
    Fifty years has passed since the immigration project to Mars began. The
    Planet used to be a barren wasteland, but now it is home to millions of
    families and workers.
    
    Apart from the above there is some additional text flashing over the
    screen. The letters are difficult to read and the text scrolls up so
    quickly that my first assumption was that it probably is a lot of
    nonsense that isn't even meant to be read. There is no pause button on an
    Arcade Cabinet anyway.
    
    To save you the trouble of deciphering the text, here it is:
    
    AD23050s25
    B.Rinn et al. announced the first identification of organic compounds in
    meteorite. The authors further suggest that these compounds in
    conjunction with a number of other mineralogical features observed in
    this rock, may be evidence of ancient civilized society. It is important
    to note while this evidence is strong, it by no means establishes the
    fact of extraterrestrial life.
    
    ...hmmm, muh-aybe there is extraterrestrial life. I was hoping to
    decipher a statement that was not stating the obvious.  Below is a little
    bit more babble-text from the intro-screens that in my opinion doesn't do
    justice to this awesome shooter. It could be some kind of feint though.
    In a future version of this FAQ i intend to give some interesting
    background info in the chapter about the chemistry of this game. Anyway,
    here's the text i mentioned:
    
    Mars is the God of War. The planet probably got this name due to its red
    color. Mars is sometimes referred to as the Red Planet. (An interesting
    side note: the Roman god Mars was a God of Agriculture before becoming
    associated with the Greek Ares. Those in favor of colonizing and terra
    forming Mars may prefer this symbolism) The name of the month March
    derives from Mars.
    
    =========================================================================
      6.  WALKTHROUGH
    =========================================================================
    STAGE 1
    
    Title: Securing the Phobos satellite
    
    Mission: Immediately after the abrupt declaration of their independence,
    the Federal Government dispatched the United Army "General Presidential
    Defense Force" that had been stationed on the moon. In Order to gain
    control over the airspace of Manitially planned to secure the Phobos
    Satellite.
    
    Strategy: This Stage starts with 24 non-shooting green H-shaped crafts.
    Make long horizontal strokes back and forth across the screen and chain
    the gold cubes. The Air Defense Command Center seems to wake up after you
    shot the first 24 enemies, and the order has goes out to shoot back. Keep
    up the same strategy and you will level-up just before the next type of
    crafts appear; the red pincers. Use your piercing cannon on them. Doing a
    short Mosquito and reflecting the bullets of the H-crafts can help to
    enhance the chain and link it through to the pincers. The enemy patterns
    change according to how well you are doing, particularly how quick you
    destroy the enemies. Don't be too fanatic with the pincers, or you will
    get 3 gold H-crafts that turn out to be awfully offensive. Wait for the
    rotating black metal craft with the pink bullets at the top of the
    screen, while Phobos starts to enfold itself in the background. Pierce
    the first and move to the middle to pierce the next one. Wait for the
    third, while moving slightly to the left side of the screen. Activate the
    Mosquito and absorb as much of the pink bullets as you can from the third
    black metal craft. At this point you will see a number of asteroids
    coming into the screen from the right. Move to the left to allign the
    bullets to the right side of you barrier and reflect the bullets of the
    mosquito on the biggest asteroid, before the GHB kicks in. The reflected
    bullets will turn into gold cubes, which will add nicely to your chain.
    Be quick to welcome the lobster crafts that will arrive in the middle
    from the top. Pierce the first three lobster-crafts fast enough and you
    will get a fourth. After the second you can reflect whatever bullets the
    third might produce to the incoming asteroid at the right. Don't let this
    interfere with killing the lobsters quick and smooth. The cubes of the
    third or fourth will smoothly take you up to level 3. By the way, if you
    killed the first two black metal crafts too slow, the third one won't
    appear. In this case you still can continue the chain if you move to the
    formation of green H-crafts that will precede the arrival of the
    lobsters. After you eliminated the lobsters, don't move to the huge tank
    right away, but kill some smaller riff-raff first. If you finished with
    the big block of gold from the last lobster, you will still have a few
    seconds to continue this chain. So shoot some more gold because 250 xp's
    for every cube is worth it. Don't bother to shoot the brown double cannon
    tanks, because they give no gold. Whenever you have a full meter and have
    any enemy bullets in reach, convert them into gold by absorbing and
    reflecting them. The huge tank is a willing victim to reflect on and
    shoots a steady amount of bullets. Keep this up and you will have around
    30.000 xp shortly after the lobsters. It is possible to continue the
    chain until the turret, which idealy takes your xp level up to 80.000.
    The turret will give you +10 and will thus give you slightly more time to
    find the next link to your chain. That would be the silver darts, and
    there is a smooth way to continue your chain. Dive in between the darts
    and take them down with the grinder in a flash, while you gather the
    gold. The grinder is ideal for this group, as they are destroyed easily
    and diving into it without Mosquito is risky. Don't use the grinder too
    long because you need a full meter again shortly after this, when the
    green sparrows arrive. First a formation of 15 big green sluggish ships
    arrive, apparently unaware there is a war going on as they cruise through
    the screen without shooting a bullet. Maybe just a shuttle service
    between Phobos and Mars or some tourists. Anyway, wrong time and wrong
    place for the friendly ships. The next enemies in the form of green
    sparrow ships make up for the sluggish ones with a serious load of
    bullets. While you leave the airspace of Phobos, go to the extreme right
    center of the screen. Stay there until the sparrows appear and shoot at
    you. Wait until the bullets get near and activate the Mosquito. Move to
    the extreme left center of the screen absorbing almost all the bullets
    and release the Mosquito. The screen will be infested with gold cubes,
    adding more than 30.000 xp's if you are lucky! Be careful not to hold the
    button too long, or the Gravity Hole Bomb will come out, giving you only
    a few cubes.
    
    Boss: This is the last defense at Phobos standing between you and Mars.
    In general the boss will flash once after it has arrived, to show the
    moment from which it will take damage. Shooting it before the flash is a
    waste of bullets and your spaz endurance. The boss of Stage 1 can either
    be killed fast, or milked for xp's to get a maximum score. If you go for
    gold you will be confronted with four attack modes. First use your
    piercing cannon 4 times while you wait for the red bullets. Absorb the
    bullets and reflect them just above the bridge. This way you will catch
    them in one move up, giving +100. Secondly, little blue bullets will
    spread like a disease. Move to the side of the screen and dodge while you
    work the wings with your pierce shot. The third attack comes in the form
    of big groups of bullets. Dodge two groups and absorb the other two.
    Reflect above the bridge again to get a +200 chain. Ideally you will have
    more than 100.000 xp's now, and gained a life. Stay above the bridge
    while you wait for the fourth attack mode. This attack consists of wedge-
    shaped bullet patterns. Just stay on the upper side of the bridge where
    the bullets won't reach you. As soon as your meter is full again, move
    directly on top of its guns, to absorb as much bullets as possible.
    Reflect one last time to bring the final blow and collect more than +300
    in gold. Whith 18 seconds left on the timer, the boss falls down. You can
    see the shadow of Mars waiting for you in the background.
    
    The boss can also be killed quickly. If you want things to be over in 15
    seconds - with 30 seconds left on the timer - this is the way to do it:
    Start with 3 piercing shots in the middle of the boss and activate the
    Mosquito when the bombs come directly towards you. Explode the GHB on the
    bridge of the ship. If you did a good job so far, the boss will skip the
    part where he shoots the square formations of bombs. He will continue
    with the wedge shape patterns of bombs. You will have a full GHB again by
    now, which you can use for the final blow.
    
    STAGE 2
    
    Title: Descending to Mars
    
    Mission: The Phobos satellite has been secured. We are preparing to
    execute mission code 009 and are ready to enter the Mars' atmosphere. The
    entrance point is at 3557. Each unit should move to the attack point by
    12:00 hour. The next target is Marineris Front Base.
    
    Strategy: This Stage starts with another gold mine, as you enter the
    airspace of Mars through the clouds. This time the lobsters are blue and
    there are a bit more of them. All the better for the xp-rate! If you
    divide the screen in three vertical columns from left to right as 1 2 and
    3, it will be easier to memorize the sequence in which the lobster-crafts
    will appear. They will do so in the following sequence: 1, 3, 1, 3, 2, 1,
    3. If you have the sequence memorized you can welcome them with the
    piercing cannon before they start throwing out too many bombs. In order
    to keep gathering gold cubes, you can give some of them some slack and
    kill them later. After the last one, pierce the engine building on the
    right two times. You might want to activate your Mosquito while you
    gather the huge blocks of gold from this building, and empty your gauge
    with a GHB to catch the gold blocks of the building and to clean the
    screen. Shoot everything on sight in the next few scenes and keep active
    (kicking in an open door). Stay on the left side of the screen when the
    nasty gold colored frantic-bomb-throwing H-crafts come in. I suggest you
    use the GHB one or two times. Don't forget to have a look at the awesome
    scenery of this Front Base if you happen to have some spare time. At some
    locations the openings in the infrastructure allow you to look through
    and see the structures of Marineris below, clouded in blue. In one of the
    next scenes there is a round mounted gun turret slightly on the left side
    of the center, which shoots a lot of bullets in a radial manner. This one
    is not as nasty as it looks. Just line up vertically below it and
    eliminate it with a sequence of normal shots or pierces. Shoot some of
    the buildings on both sides after that, to collect some gold. You can
    develop a reasonable +200 chain from here. When the four-legged vehicles
    march in, use a GHB. Three tanks are barely vissible on the top of the
    screen. Be sure to take them out with your GHB in order to get another
    gold mine: the green rooftop-shaped crafts (a bit like the ones from
    Gigawing). Try to find a link from the +200 chain to these rooftop
    crafts. You can choose either halfway left or right when they arrive and
    stay on that side or switch from side to side to take down a few more
    rooftops. The latter method works best with a pierce shot, while the
    first runs quite smooth with normal shot. Just keep the rain of gold
    falling and you will get over +300 even if you didn't link up from the
    four-legged vehicles. Prerequisite of getting this mine is that you
    immediately finished off the tree tanks after the regiment of four-legged
    vehicles.
    
    Boss: Start directly underneath the left track wheel of this tank,
    because it will be easier to dodge the first set of bullets. Use your
    piercing cannon. Move to the right track wheel to dodge the first set of
    bullets, and move to the center to avoid the second load. Don't use your
    GHB or even mosquito yet. It is easy enough without them. The formations
    of v-shaped bullets are easy to dodge as well. In the meanwhile, hit the
    boss with as many pierces as you can, preferable in the center. Activate
    the GHB when the boss starts spewing out the fan-patterned bullet series,
    and move on top of it to reflect with maximum impact. Reflecting is
    indeed a rewarding option, and even more damaging than a GHB if you
    captured enough bullets. It will be enough to take him down and stop the
    timer at 32 seconds or so. Don't forget (yeah...right) to collect +250 in
    gold while the boss explodes. On a sidenote: if you don't feel like
    beating the boss for some reason, you can ignore it and it will go away
    by itself once the timer reaches zero. Pretty funny isn't it... that the
    boss will go away if you ignore it? I never tried that in real life yet.
    Keep it in mind for later stages, where keeping alive by dodging might be
    an alternative for dying while getting points.
    
    STAGE 3
    
    Title: Surprise attack
    
    Mission: The 'ACID' unit that belongs to the number 201 Independent
    Armada is starting to make a feint alone. The goal of this mission is to
    secure the 'Marineris Spaceport' that has been occupied by the rebellion.
    Since this mission has been classified as extreme, no support will be
    available.
    
    Strategy: Rising out from the canyon in which Marineris Front Base is
    located, you will get a glimpse of the sun as it is set in the cyan sky
    of Mars. Hovering above you is the outline of something that looks like a
    machinated insect. You will find out its real nature later. Start on the
    bottom left of the screen and wait for the black hawk type of crafts to
    appear. On black hawk is immediately followed by two others on each side,
    forming a semi-circle formation. Their shots diverge nicely, and all you
    have to do is move slowly to the right to avoid the bullets. Take down
    the five fixed double turrets in the bunker with your piercing cannon and
    end with the command post in the centre of the bunker. Some goodies will
    appear which you can take down by reflecting gold. Don't expect to build
    any significant chain yet. After a pause things will start to get a bit
    crowded and dodging will have to be your main point of focus. Red and
    green Y-shaped crafts start materializing and they start shooting loads
    of bombs in a caterpillar-like pattern. Apart from this, there are quite
    a few fixed white ASA units on the ground that shoot long straight rays
    of bullets that can totally block your way. Both the Y-shaped crafts and
    the white ASA units are equally threatening, so you will just have to
    kill 'em all. Move in strokes between the patterns of bullets and use the
    GHB whenever you get trapped. Try to see the big picture in this maze of
    bullets. You will be rewarded for your endurance by a gold mine. Leading
    out from the right of the large square building (with the metal mushroom
    shaped radar posts) is a transport belt, which carries something that
    looks like ventilators or so. You can see only three of them, but in fact
    there is an unlimited number of them being transported away rapidly from
    the square building. This is a huge gold mine. Keep shooting them with
    your normal shot and you can get more than 400.000 xp's for this chain
    alone! Since this is such a fine gold mine i suggest you drop whatever
    you were doing when the ventilators get in sight. Never mind about the
    remaining enemies and bullets and start mining. You will survive. Watch
    out for the tanks that ride into battle just after the mine. They shoot
    from short range. Basically all you keep doing in the rest of this Stage
    is swirling from left to right and back. Keep this up when you come to
    the crossing where the large tracked artillery moves in. The black hawks
    deserve the main focus because they drop the most bombs.
    
    Boss: Remember this one from the beginning of the stage? Now you have a
    nice frontal view on this crabby bastard with its four ugly eyes. Start a
    little to the left at the bottom of the screen again. The boss will
    releases 14 blue balls that will make a formation on both sides of the
    boss and shoot a group of straight bullets. Quickly move to the left to
    avoid them and move slowly to the right directly afterwards to avoid the
    next series. Activate your GHB before the pink bombs from the boss reach
    you and detonate it on the head of this mutant war machine. Avoid the
    random moving purple force fields, and stay in the center of the boss. He
    will start to fire his Goalkeeper / Vulcan Phalanx in a straight line
    down. As a result of its own movement, the bullets will form two zigzag
    lines between which you have to move as if driving a Formula-1 race. This
    will give you enough time to reload your GHB for the next scene, where
    the boss will fire a spiral pattern of blue bullets. Reflect for maximum
    impact. You will be done with him - or maybe need one or two pierces.
    Collect the +300 in gold while crab seems to get cooked.
    
    STAGE 4
    
    Title: Red sky project
    
    Mission: With the success of the feint mission, the spaceport has been
    secured. The decision has been made to alter the next assignment to
    mission code 075. The ACID unit should assemble with the fleet and
    destroy the remaining enemy forces. Keep in mind that there is a powerful
    gravity source high up in the air and in the Antarctic.
    
    Strategy: Congratulations if you made it until here on one coin. Your
    skills will start to look impressive to the layman, but in the light of
    what is ahead, you merely passed the warm-up. So let's move on. Start
    this stage by flying through the bullets for as long as you are
    invincible - that is 4 seconds - to get the best aim at your opponents.
    Incoming from the right are 6 silver rotating darts, which you already
    know from Stage 1. In the middle a formation of 4 blue space-shuttle-like
    crafts moves in. Their bullets come in blocks of two rows with about 10
    bullets per row. The short interval with which they fire allows you to
    move in for a kill. Using the piercing cannon almost exclusively gives
    the best results, especially if you kill the blue enemies before they
    come into the screen. The piercing cannon is ideal for the upcoming
    spaceships as well, because each gunturret takes one piercing shot. First
    another 6 silver darts come in, followed by another group of 4 blue
    shuttles. In the meanwhile, on the left side of the scene the spaceship
    arrives. When the front deck of this ship has traveled half of the
    screen, your invincibility will be at an end. Get ready to use a GHB to
    get some space again. You may want to reflect bullets. The presence of
    the huge battleship and a steady stream of bullets are the right
    ingredients for a great chain. However, staying alive is starting to
    become a bit of an issue at this point as well. The battleship has a
    number of defending turrets, which are aligned in the following way:
    
    X           X
    
    
        X   X
    
          X
       x     x
       x     x
       x  X  x
       x     x
          X
    
    While you take this ship apart piece by piece with your piercing cannon,
    i suggest you make an occasional sortie to the side to wipe the blue
    shuttles from the sky. The second spaceship from the rebellion fleet will
    arrive and you can take it apart as well, using a GHB only when things
    get crowded. You will come to the mid-boss shortly after this. It looks
    like a capital X. Start with the piercing cannon on its upper right side,
    where its first attack mode won't reach you. Use the Mosquito yet when
    the linear blue bullets come in and reflect on him. It will take him down
    if you have done well. Collect the gold and the Player-up. In the next
    part of the stage the golden H-crafts spread an ocean of bullets. These
    golden H-crafts have been incredibly offense all through the game, but
    this time things get extra crowded because there are so damn much of
    them. You have to stay on one side and move from down to halfway the
    screen until the bullets surround you. Use a quick Mosquito to pass
    through the bullets half way to the other side of the screen, and take
    the rest on invincibility. The other side is still relatively empty when
    you arrive, and you can repeat the same tactic moving up as the bullets
    come at you. You will have a full meter just in time to escape to the
    other side of the screen with a short Mosquito again. I did not encounter
    the powerful gravity source that is mentioned in the mission statement.
    There is no difference in the refill or drain speed of the GHB.
    
    Pre-boss: Before you will get to the final boss you will have to pass the
    enormous purple blue enemy command ship 'Exodus' that spans the entire
    screen. Immediately after its arrival, i advice you to start working on
    its rocket exhausts with your piercing cannon. It won't do any damage at
    first, but it will add to your score. From the moment it will take
    damage, you will need two piercing shots for each exhaust pipe. Continue
    with another two pierces for both the cupolas above the exhaust pipe.
    Don't use a GHB on the middle gun turret, but gather as much bullets with
    the Mosquito as you can and reflect on it. Reflecting with this amount of
    bullets will take it down at once, while a GHB won't. When fighting this
    ship, keep in mind that most of the cupola's can be destroyed before they
    start shooting. Take down the long oval turret that shoots the pink bombs
    on the left with just one pierce. Move directly to the one on the left
    and dismantle it with 4 pierces. Now you have a rare break in the
    continual shoot-out this game presents, and you can you use it wisely by
    destroying as many separate units of this ship as you can. Move to the
    left side of the screen when the upper central turret starts shooting,
    because it will be easy to start avoiding bullets from there. Use a GHB
    when the ship starts moving to the left, to reveal the shooting platform
    on the right side. Empty your GHB on that one, and give it whatever
    pierces it needs after that. Once again you will have a moment of peace
    in which you can destroy the ship in a more comfortable way. Stay on the
    outer edge of the screen when the bullets start coming in again. It is
    easy enough to avoid them up to the point where the ship starts moving
    down. Use your mosquito and you have made it! ...Passed the pre-boss that
    is. Don't bother to destroy the last central turret of the ship, because
    it can soak up an awful lot of damage. If you do manage to destroy it, it
    will spew forth a jet of gold cubes until it disappears from the screen.
    If you were quick you'll get a +150 chain from that. In any case, shoot
    it for some extra points as soon as it stops throwing bombs.
    
    Boss: This boss reminds me of one of those Swiss army knifes when you
    fold everything out. Be that as it may, it is definitely the hardest boss
    so far. Give it 5 pierces after the 'ready-flash' and move to the lower
    right side. Trace the moves of the boss to avoid the bullet whip and to
    slide between the spaces in the bullet front. I use one GHB when the rain
    of bombs starts falling. Then i die and use another GHB. Staying in the
    middle and dodging bullets by moving up and down works for the next
    series. The vertical line shaped bullets are harder to dodge than i
    assumed, the first time they came at me. Small and delicate moves do the
    trick. If you continued your normal shot while doing this, you will kill
    the boss with about 40 seconds left on the timer. Get ready for Stage 5.
    Just as in Area 5 of Rayforce you head towards the darkness.
    
    STAGE 5
    
    Title: True darkness
    
    Mission:  The remaining enemy armada and the enemy command ship 'EXODUS'
    have been destroyed. At this time, the enemy's remaining forces are
    assumed to be down to 20% approximately. The mission is now entering the
    final phase. Our fleet will stay in orbit, backing up the ACID unit,
    while you attack the headquarters of the enemy.
    
    Strategy: Those who get to level 5 on one coin have definitely been able
    to cross a boundary of some sort. There are a numerous who can make it to
    level 4, but i have not heard of very few who made it to level 5 on the
    Original Arcade. I have not been able to do it myself, and for that
    reason i don't consider myself worthy to write this part of the
    walkthrough. I call upon those who did it, to be an inspiration and guide
    for those who are destined as well. Please mail me at Finaxos@yahoo.com.
    
    STAGE 6
    
    Title: Forbidden fruit
    
    Mission: no data
    
    Strategy: -
    
    I am not worthy yet again.
    
    =========================================================================
      7.  MISCELLANEOUS
    =========================================================================
    ENDING
    
    December 13, AD 2309
    The rebellion has been crushed and the Mars independence wars have come
    to an end. Needless to say, ACID Unit has made a strong name for
    themselves. But despite the victory, what was the true purpose of this
    war? The Federal Government has been investigating, but the truth has yet
    to surface. There are many different opinions, but no real conclusions.
    It will be only a matter of time before the investigation closes and all
    the questions will be left unanswered. But within the ashes of Mars,
    people slowly began to rebuild their homes and lives. They do not care
    about the controversy of the war, they only know that they want to start
    rebuilding their homes and lives on Mars.
    
    After the war, civilization improved in all areas. The technology of
    Infinity was utilized for the P.N.T., Planetary Network System. People
    began to immigrate to planets outside the Solar System. Also, the Neuro
    Network System 'EDEN' has been installed, which controls all the systems
    in the planets. Peace has finally been restored...
    
    [The last image is a petal of the rose. At this point you will be allowed
    to enter your initials.]
    
    STAFF PROJECT 'RED ALERT'
    
    Takumi
    Programmer: Takafumi Nishi, Kaju Ishii, Toshihiko Onodera, Naoto Sakurada
    Object designer: Ken Taketoshi, Tatsuhiro Suzuki, Hiroki Akiyama, Yuki
    Ootou
    Scroll designer: Kazumi Yogi, Tadahiro Mukaide, Akemi Ootaka
    Music composer: Yasushi Kaminishi
    Sound programmer: Masahiro Yuge
    Concept Mechanic design: Choco, Shorp, Nadialove Kitty, Norihiro Takikawa
    Planning: Ikuwo Satoh
    Producer: Yukikazu ozaki
    Executive producer: Tomoaki Fujimoto
    
    Capcom
    Producer: Tatuya Minami
    Support: R&Dept. #3, Tomoshi Sadamoto
    
    Presented by Capcom
    Developed by Takumi
    
    SECRETS
    
    There are number of places where a specific mode of operation will
    trigger score- or xp bonuses. The following is a list of secrets that i
    have encountered so far:
    
    Red tank in Stage 2
    While you finish off the lobsters at the beginning of Stage 2 a little
    red tank may appear on the mountain ridge at the middle right side of the
    screen. The order to finish of the first five lobsters is 1,3,1,2,3,
    based on the divisions in columns as presented in the walkthrough
    chapter. After finishing these lobsters fast enough the red double cannon
    tank will appear. The base score bonus for blowing up this little tank is
    around 1 oku. Destroying the tank has no further effect on the score or
    difficulty level.
    
    Teapots in Stage 2:
    Three teapots will appear when you destroy the first three square gun
    turrets at the left side at your point of entrance of Marineris Front
    Base. Use your piercing cannon from right to left and do not damage any
    other ground artillery before the gun turrets are down. When you shoot
    anything after that the teapots will pop up. You can get a base score
    bonus of about half an oku for each teapot.
    
    Teapots in Stage 3:
    At the start of Stage 3 you will arrive at a large bunker. The order in
    which you destroy the bunker determines whether or not you will reveal
    the hidden score bonus. If you destroy all the black double turrets first
    and end with the middle piece of the bunker, ten teapots will appear. The
    remains of each turret will turn into a gas stove on which the teapot is
    heated. Shooting the teapots will give you a score of around a 1 or 2 oku
    per teapot. So the 10 teapots are good for an addition to your score of a
    two-digit number in red.
    
    Last picture in DC gallery:
    The last picture in the image gallery of the DC version is completely
    blank, except for a kettle on a stove in the bottom right corner. Those
    designers at Takumi must have had something going for these teapots.
    Maybe they scheduled test-playing the stages at tea-time.
    
    TECHNICAL DATA
    
    This paragraph is intended for reference for those blessed arcade purists
    that either have, or intend to build a cabinet with an original Japanese
    Mars Matrix board. The data are available all over the net, but i have
    included them because i prefer to have a summary at hand in this
    document.
    
    Table of menufunctions
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1) Input Test (test the buttons and joysticks)
    2) Output Test
    3) Sound & Voice Test
    4) Color Test
    5) Dot Cross Hatch
    6) Game Data (Coin Counter)
    7) Game Settings
    
    7.1)
    -  Difficulty 1-8 (factory setting=4)
    -  Number of ships (factory setting=3)
    
    7.2)
    -  Coins per play and continue
    -  Continue on/off
    -  Monitor flip
    -  Attract sound on/off/half volume
    -  Sound Qsound/mono
    
    8) Memory check
    
    
    Table of Hardware specs
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Conversion class:   Capcom CPS II Jamma
    Screen type:        raster
    Screen orientation: horizontal
    Screen aspect:      4x3
    Resolution x:       384 pixels
    Resolution y:       224 pixels
    Colors used:        4096
    Video frequency:    59.63 Hz
    Joystick:           Sanwa JLF-TM-8T
    Sound:              Capcom Q-Sound, amplified stereo
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    EVIL CHEMISTRY
    
    The outer shell of Mars Matrix appears to be nothing more or less than a
    hard-core genocide shooter. However, the game contains subtle hints of a
    deeper layer and a message of another kind. Appendix 1 shows the image of
    the Kircher Tree of Life, which is visible in flashes in the
    introductional scenes of the game. Beyond it is yet another image...
    
    I intend to release this paragraph when the game has achieved cult status
    and when i have finaly worked out for myself the conceiled nature of the
    game.
    
    DESCENDED MASTERS
    
    Gathered below are the names of the Descended Masters, those that have
    made it into Stage 5, the stage of True Darkness. These Masters have
    conquered the Four Elemental Stages and have been initiated into the
    Pentagon of War by the Fifth. Stooped down into the Red Ray of Mars, the
    Descended Masters have proved by their powerful Will and the red color of
    Mars, to be worthy of partaking in the Forbidden Fruit which lies beyond
    human endeavor, being the Sixth and Final Stage. May these hiscores be a
    guide and inspiration for those that are destined to descend onto Mars.
    
    Since few players have revealed themselves as being able to made it into
    Stage 5, for the time being i will just list the top hiscores of
    dedicated Mars Matrix players. Please send your score to
    Finaxos@yahoo.com so i can complete the list. In a future version of this
    FAQ i hope this list will be dedicated exclusively to those that have
    made it to Stage 5 or beyond.
    
    Table of hiscores
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Rank  Name  Score           Xp        Ship  Stage  E-mail address
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
     1st  XXX   0000.0000.0000  00000000  02    0      @
     2nd  XXX   0000.0000.0000  00000000  02    0      @
     3rd  XXX   0000.0000.0000  00000000  02    0      @
     4th  XXX   0000.0000.0000  00000000  02    0      @
     5th  XXX   0000.0000.0000  00000000  02    0      @
     6th  XXX   0000.0000.0000  00000000  02    0      @
     7th  KAI    744.8270.2480    734326  02    5      Kaihawaii@hotmail.com
     8th  F      382.6933.0480    672045  02    4      Finaxos@yahoo.com
     9th  DPF    245,1478,8152    ?       02    4
    10th  LAO    174.2632.3890    150683  01    4      Leandro_u2@iq.com.br
    
    =========================================================================
      8.  DREAMCAST
    =========================================================================
    Mars Matrix owes part of its fame to the Dreamcast version. Even though
    the DC version of the game may not be the real thing, it comes pretty
    close and has a lot of extra's that make it fun to play. In this chapter
    i will give a quick overview of DC matters, so that the Arcade player at
    least knows what the Sega player is talking about. The Dreamcast version
    has three score modes. I willgive a quick overview of these below.
    
    ARCADE MODE
    
    According to the booklet this is "A perfect conversion from the original
    game". Well, forget it! It is not. Unfortunately the specific scores per
    craft are different, and possibly the scoring system as well. On the
    Dreamcast you will easily score a factor three higher than on the
    Original Arcade. Other than that, the game is indeed identical. It is the
    same in regards to speed and number of bullets as the Arcade with factoy
    settings (difficulty 4). If you use a PAL-DC with Utopia bootdisk, it
    will be 20% slower, so make sure to use the DC-X in that case. As in the
    Original Arcade, putting the game to difficulty 8 will not change the
    speed, but only slightly increases the number of bullets the enemies
    shoot. The difference between difficulty levels is just a nuance, so the
    balance of the game is not disturbed.
    
    ELITE MODE
    
    Elite mode is an enhanced mode in the sense that you can adjust various
    options like combo time, ship speed and GHB charge speed. There are two
    Elite modes: A and B.
    
    - Elite mode A is almost a completely new game. The background graphics
      and the bosses are the same, but all other enemy ships and formations
      differ from the arcade mode. It is definately a lot of fun and almost
      equally addictive as the Arcade Mode.
    
    - Elite mode B uses the same line-up as arcade mode.
    
    SCORE CHALLENGE MODE
    
    Score challenge mode has a special feature: killing an enemy with the
    piercing cannon results in a spray of small stardust gold cubes. Each
    counts as a regular +1 in any chain, so you chains go skyhigh. The
    ringing of the gold cubes all through this stage is very enjoyable and
    you can move up to level 8 in just one stage.
    
    EXTRA'S
    
    Since cd's can pack a lot more information than the outdated CPSII, Sega
    managed to include a lot of extra's. A long intro, a shop where you can
    buy all kinds of options, A gallery with pictures and last but not least:
    Strategy modes. There is one strategy mode for each stage, which gives a
    replay of a very proficient player. The strategies that are shown are a
    great inspiration but are by no means the ultimate way to play Mars
    Matrix. Even though the player in those replays is more skillfull than i
    am, i found strageties that yield higher scores and more gold. This is
    the beauty of Mars Matrix. No matter how many times you have played it,
    you will improve and find better ways to maximize your score everytime
    you play it.
    
    =========================================================================
      9.  REVISION HISTORY
    =========================================================================
    v1.2, 3 October 2003:  - updated chapter about score;
                           - rearranged chapters to a more logic set-up;
                           - added the paragraphs secrets and technical data;
                           - added a chapter about the Dreamcast version;
    
    v1.1, 1 June 2003:     - added a copyright statement;
                           - added a paragraph about the grinder;
                           - added a paragraph about getting killed;
                           - added the hitbox figures;
                           - added tactics for maximal xp score in Stage 1;
                           - added a walkthrough for Stage 4 and improved the
                             walkthrough chapter as a whole;
                           - updated hiscore list;
                           - added revision history.
    
    v1.0, 6 May 2003:      - basic set-up.
    
    =========================================================================
     10.  SPECIAL THANKS
    =========================================================================
    I want to send out special thanks to the following:
    - AlchemistA, for sharing his insights about the evil chemistry of the
      game;
    - Kai Albrecht, for sharing the screenshots of his excellent Stage 1 xp
      combo's and his translation of the menu options of his Japanese
      B-board.
    - Leandro Almeida, for the detailed description of some hyper solid
      tactics to maximize xp level in Stage 1. I love that line: '...and tbe
      screen will be infestined with gold!'
    - MrMonkeyman, for giving me info on the number of xp's needed for level
      7 and 8 and for his efforts in comparing Original Arcade and DC Arcade;
    - Randorama for taking the time to answer some of my many questions;
    - Shmups shooterforum at www.shmup.com, www.the-nextlevel.com and sheep's
      www.world-of.arcades.com;
    - Takumi, for making the greatest shooter ever! From now on, i will have
      to try every single shooter from this company. I guess i'll start with
      High Raine, although it just can't get any better than Mars Matrix.
    
    =========================================================================
    Appendix 1
    =========================================================================