Ikaruga FAQ (Dreamcast / Gamecube)
Copyright 2003 Pierre "Saffran" Bancov
Version 1.90 (5th of May 2004)

DISCLAIMER

This 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 other web site or 
as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited, and a violation of 
copyright.

All trademarks and copyrights contained in this document are owned by their 
respective trademark and copyright holders.

As far as I know, I'm placing this FAQ at GameFaqs and I have allowed a copy of 
it at Neoseeker. I'm allowing people to cite this FAQ, but be sure to credit me,
especially for the translations!  

The following line has 79 signs. Adapt the Editor size to it!
1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111

SUMMARY
I)    About this FAQ
II)   The basics
III)  Chapter 1
IV)   Chapter 2
V)    Chapter 3
VI)   Chapter 4
VII)  Final Chapter
VIII) Extra Inning
IX)   Chain Grid
X)    Extras
XI)   Credits

HISTORY:

7th of June 2003:
Ver 1.00: Made the general outlines and gave theoretical indications about 
chains for all chapters. My best score at the time is 24,693,840.

30th of June 2003:
Ver 1.20: Made a few spelling corrections and noticed a few errors in the 
walkthrough, changed the style of the FAQ. Gave practical tips about how to
make chains or survive some difficult parts. Added the Chain Grid. Changed the 
word "ennemies" to the actual names of the Hitekkai. Ever since I've met SIN, 
I have to estimate anew the numbers of chains one can achieve. You're awesome,
man. My best score right now is 28,562,460.

10th of September 2003:
Ver 1.50: Added the texts of the Gallery 2. Tuned my chain grid up. Described 
at lengths the last rows of Chapter 2. I now officially hate Chapter 1. 
No score update: while I did get better at some parts, I can't put them into 
a single run. The lack of playing between end of July and end of August also 
helped. (I'm all rusty...) 
I'm thinking of a Hard FAQ, as well as a Dot Eater FAQ.  

25th of October 2003:
Ver 1.70: Added translations of the Gallery and Sound Test. Modified slightly 
the translations of the texts at the beginning of each chapters. Added a few 
"Alternative Methods".

23rd of February 2004:
Ver 1.80: Added a DVD score line. Added attack methods for Shigi, Uzura, and 
Misago. Described how to chain the Utatsugumi "inside" during 4-2. Tuned up the
Chain Grid, which seems still off within the chapters by around 150k. (Chapter 
2, 3 and 4) I have gotten a slight score update. I might do a much better one 
soon though. I'm getting started on the Hard FAQ.

5th of May 2004:
Ver 1.90: Added the introduction chapters that were hidden on the DC GD ROM and
in the GC booklet. Changed minor things in the FAQ - corrected sentences and 
such.

I) About this FAQ

I'm writing this FAQ because Ikaruga is so much fun that it is worth 
explanations. Most gamers will play this shooter until they clear it (which 
means about 3 hours), but even considering some might try to get better scores,
the majority of the gamers will stop playing this game way too soon for my 
tastes. Rank S++ is not the end, but the BEGINNING.
That said, keep in mind that I am not the God of Shooting Games (I fancy myself
as being one of the top 20 players worldwide at this game, though). If a little
help in achieving 30 Millions is OK with you, then read on...


MAPPING:

1) w are small white ennemies.
2) b are small black ennemies
3) I'll make out the big ennemies with W's and B's 

 BB       
BBBB or   WWW
 BB       

4) Your ship will be noted (w) or (b).
5) I will sometimes include the edge of the screen, like this:

------------ (more or less long, depending on the place I need)

Every other thing should be obvious enough.

            
II) The basics

The most basic concept of this game concerns the colors.
Each color represents an attack polarity.
There are black ennemies and white ennemies.

Your ship is one of the very few ones that can successfully change between the 
polarities.

Moreover, it has an absorbing system. If you are of the white polarity, it will
absorb white bullets and lasers and convert them into raw energy. Black bullets
would however destroy your ship. Change your color to black and you are then 
able to absorb black bullets and lasers and whatnots, but white shots are now 
lethal to you.

Last but not least, attacking black ennemies with the black polarity will 
inflict normal damage upon the ennemy, but if you attack with white, it deals 
double damage. The reverse is true as well: white shots will inflict normal 
damage to white ennemies, while black shots deal double damage. 

Now for some advanced little things:

1) Your ship is very, VERY small. As in about 4 pixels long and 1 pixel large. 

2) Don't underestimate the points you can do only absorbing ennemy shots. To 
give you an example, over the first few ennemies of the first chapter, you can 
earn over 30000 points only absorbing the residual shots. Your high score in 
Easy over the first section of the game is 385420 points, in Normal you want 
over 413020 points. My best is 418220 points. And that's only the difference 
over 22 chains. 

3) The Practice Mode is your best friend. To access a chapter in the Practice 
Mode, you must survive until the desired chapter without making any credits.
For example, if you made your first credit at Chapter 3 in Easy Mode, it will 
open you Chapter 1, 2 and 3 in the Easy Section of the Practice mode. 

4) Don't watch the Ikaruga DVD yet. It's only going to make you realize how 
incapable you are at shooting games. ;) It also will indicate you the ultimate 
conquest methods, and you're going to "imitate" the better players instead of 
actually getting better.

5) All the ennemies in Ikaruga have names. Follows a description, for I
included them in the shoot-through.
   a) Utatsugumi: Round, weak ennemies.    
   b) Toratsugumi: Very small, they never shoot. Come in sets of 3. Weak.
   c) Renjaku: They look a little like you. Some shoot, some don't. 
   d) Torafuzuku: Big. Shoot bullets or laser beams. Resist 12 homing lasers.
   e) Ajisashi: The big cruisers of Chapter 1. Resistant.
   f) Isuka: Triangular ships, their moves are erratic. Are suicidal.
   g) Misosazai: Only appear in Chapter 2. Shoot lasers straight down.
   h) Toki: Slightly bigger, they shoot as fast as you. Resist 2 homing lasers.
   i) Chougenbou: The lords of Chapter 5. Resist 24 homing lasers.


III) Chapter 1

Difficulty: Easy
Boss: Eboshidori
Rank S achieved at 3,000,000
Rank S++ achieved at 3,400,000
Max score : approx. 4,240,000 
DVD Score (WIZ): 4,287,340

                      "I am not alive, thus I can't die. 
               I won't give up even if my Ideal isn't fulfilled. 
                 My will, just as my regrets, won't ever end"


The game starts with 6 white Utatsugumi from the right, then 6 black ones from 
the left. In Easy Mode, you don't need to think long about it, in Normal and 
Hard Mode, just shoot them down with the appropriate color and absorb all their
residual shots.
After that another 6 white Utatsugumi appear from the right, then another 6 
black ones from the left. This time however they move slightly differently. No 
problems here. If you have absorbed all residual shots until now you should
hear "Energy Max!". That's the spirit.
Then come 36 Toratsugumi. Wait a moment before shooting or you're bount to
break the chain. 18 white ships to your left, 18 black ones to the right. See :

---------------
    www bbb
    www bbb
    www bbb
    www bbb
    www bbb
    www bbb
    --> <--   

Take out the rightmost black column, then place yourself at mid-height and 
release. It kills the 12 black ships. Absorb, scroll slightly down, turn white,
and shoot all out, releasing once again. 
If you've been fast enough, 3 extra Toratsugumi come right then 3 others left. 

You have made (max) 22 chains and have 385420 points in Easy Mode, or around 
410020 in Normal and Hard Mode.


                                   IDEAL

                         "Alas, the Ikaruga departs.
                     What could make those people move,
                   Who were secluded against their will?
                     This is probably none other than 
                       The very basic will to live"


3 white Renjaku from the left, then from the right. Shoot them down either with
your black shot (in Easy Mode) or shoot the first 3 with white, absorb, then 
release the power on the next 3 (and absorb) in Normal and Hard Mode.
3 black Renjaku from the right, then from the left. No problems there. 
3 white Renjaku from the left, then 3 black ones from the right. In Easy Mode, 
you should stay either black or white and shoot all ennemies. In Normal and 
Hard Mode, release white, absorb, turn black and release.
3 white Renjaku that stay at the left, 3 black ones that stay at the right. 
They start shooting after a few seconds. In Easy Mode, no problem whatsoever. 
You may want to absorb the black shots though. (or at least part of it). In 
Normal and Hard Mode, turn white, kill the white ennemies and absorb, turn
black and repeat.
Now come 6 Renjaku at the same time: (they stay at the top of the screen)

------------
   b    w
  b w  b w

You'll be most certainly starting black at the very right, so -stay- black, 
kill the two whites at the right edge, then -stop- shooting until you get in 
front of the last white. If you're fast enough, you will destroy all 3 whites 
before they start shooting. Since you're black, you can then calmly kill the 
black ones, and absorb their shots. (and their residual shots in Normal Mode). 
In Hard Mode, apply the same method, but don't stay too close to the ennemies or
you won't be able to dodge the residual white shots. 

Now the patterns get a little more complicated. 3 white Renjaku will appear : 
one at the right, one at the left, then another one at the left. Turn white 
because they will start shooting. (same method in every Mode)
Then another 3 white Renjaku will appear : two at the right then one at the 
left. HOWEVER, before the last white ship has appeared, a single black Renjaku 
will scroll slaloming down. Which means that you have to pay attention to his 
shots, and that you can't simply keep shooting blindly.
Once you have killed the last white ship, several black Renjaku will scroll 
down the screen. Ultimately, it will look out like this :

-----------
 b8     b9

   b7
 b5     b6
     b4
 b2     b3
   b1 
-----------

The best would be to kill b2 and b5, then to wait for b8 and b9 to appear, then
release the power of your gage. However, in Easy Mode, your gage won't be full.
That's why you have to turn white before releasing the power. But in Normal and
Hard Mode, your gage -will- be full. Stay Black and after killing b2 and b5 
empty your gage.  

If you have been fast enough, you will be rewarded with 3 white Renjaku (they 
shoot!) coming down fast from the left, and then short after that 3 black ones 
(they also shoot) coming down fast from the right. If you think ahead, you'll 
kill the white ones with your black shot, so that you can move fast enough to 
the left (thus evading the white shots) and kill the black ones with your black
shot too (since they shoot).

Immediately after, you will disappear through the clouds for a second. If you 
haven't killed the black ships by now, they will turn invulnerable! You will 
have to wait for black ennemies again to complete the chain before attacking 
white ennemies again. This leads to a huge point loss. 

At this point of the game, you should have 39 chains. (maximum)
Try to get 900,000 at this time of the game. This will force you to learn how 
to absorb effectively ennemy shots. 

Once you reappear from the clouds, immediately 3 white Toratsugumi appear at 
the upper right corner, then 3 black ones at the upper left. It shouldn't be a 
problem.
Now it gets tricky. 24 Utatsugumi appear at the same time, then start moving. 
They start in this position:

------------                   ------------
                                           
    bwbw                           wbwb
  bwbwbwbw                       wbwbwbwb
  bwbwbwbw      then move to     wbwbwbwb
    bwbw                           wbwb

 (12345678)       BEWARE!!!     (21436587) 

------------                   ------------

They keep switching between both positions.

It doesn't look hard, but if you want to make a big score, you will have to 
attack fast. VERY fast.
Once they've appeared, they won't move for one second. During that time, you 
have to kill one column of two and one column of four ennemies (6 ennemies : 2 
chains).
Each time they move, one color will shoot, which adds to the difficulty. First 
color that shoots is white. That's why I prefer starting with them.
This is how I kill them : I am black and kill column 3 and 1. I sweep the 
screen to the right, killing 2, 4 and 6. The ennemies move once again, I stay 
black because the black ennemies have shot. I move at the utmost right to kill
column 8, then sweep left to kill 7 and 5. 

If you don't feel too confident about this, just kill all Utatsugumi of one 
color first. You won't then have to worry about shots of another color than 
yours. If you're in Normal and Hard Mode, you will have absorbed enough 
residual shots to have a full gage, so change color and use it.

Have you been fast? One set of 3 white Toratsugumi should appear from the upper
left, then one set of 3 black ones from the upper right, and if you've been 
REALLY fast another white set should appear from the upper left.

HOWEVER, these "Bonus Ennemies" only try to remove your attention from BIG 
ennemies that now come up in the screen.
Look at the situation:

------------                ------------
b BB    WW w                b BB    WW w
 BBBBbwWWWW                  BBBBbwWWWW 
  BB    WW                    BB    WW  
              If you have    w -->
               been fast       w -->
                                 w -->

------------                ------------

The Torafuzuku count for one in the chain. So killing them + the two Utatsugumi
around makes exactly one chain.
Check your gage : if you play in Easy, it's probably empty. If you play in 
Normal or Hard Mode, it's either full in case you didn't use it against the 
ennemies before, or half-filled if you used it and absorbed what you could.

If you play in Easy Mode, put yourself just in front of one of the big ships, 
take the same color, and kill it with its two little satellites. Pay attention 
to the other shots from the side. Once you've killed the Torafuzuku, the 
Utatsugumi will flee (if they're still alive, so be sure to shoot them down) 
and let another Torafuzuku appear (complete with two Utatsugumi, makes another 
chain). You won't be able to damage it for one second (while it enters the 
screen and takes its place). Then go kill the other ones. 
You can alternate between the two: first start with white, then go kill the 
black while the second white appears, then go kill the second white while the 
second black appears, then the second black. It makes 4 chains.

If you play in Normal or Hard Mode : check your gage. Is it full? Use it on the
big ennemy of the SAME color as yours (say, on the white if you're white). It 
IS better to start with white, because the white Torafuzuku shoots first. It 
will explode and liberate 50 residual shots, that's about half your gage. 
Absorb them, then immediately empty your gage again (still white!), move to the
other side, change color. The black one should be weak but still alive, 
deliver the killing blow (you are now both the same color), you'll get once 
again 50 residual shots! Empty your gage immediately again (you are black, 
the homing lasers all try to destroy the second white Torafuzuku), change your 
color to white, move to the left, destroy it, absorb, empty your gage (still 
white!), turn to black, move to the right and destroy the last few black ships.

It isn't easy to explain, because that makes a lot of steps, but if you 
actually try that method, it's very easy to do. What can I say? Practice Mode!

Alternative Method:
As you kill the 3rd extra chain (white) fly straight down under the black 
Torafuzuku. As soon as your shots start hitting him, flight up/left, then sweep
to the right. It kills the whole black chain, as soon as you killed one white 
Utatsugumi release white! As you absorb the residual bullets, fly down/left and
release white once again. Change to black, as soon as you're under the second 
black Torafuzuku fly straight up and kill all 3 black ennemies, release black 
and fly to the right in case you missed one white ennemy. 
You CAN get up to 9 extra sets with this method, I can do it several times in a
row on my good days. The key point is how much you absorb from the white 
Torafuzuku, and how you place yourself after that. If you don't fly down/left, 
your homing missiles will either kill the black Toraf, leaving you with a 
meager 1 homing left for the second white Toraf, or they will waste one homing 
worth of damage on a little Utatsugumi, which means you'll need more time to 
kill the black Toraf, hence loosing out 1 if not 2 extra sets. Practice! 

If you have been fast enough, more Bonus Ennemies (Toratsugumi) will be coming.

    CASE ONE                            CASE TWO

----------------                    ----------------
 b ->      <- b                      b ->      <- b
  b ->    <- w                        w ->    <- b  
   w ->  <- w                          w ->  <- w

  the ennemies 
  scroll down
                         OR


----------------                    ----------------

Consider this a set. Even considering you have been incredibly fast, the most 
you can get are 9 sets. That makes 18 chains, which are over 450000 points! (In
2P mode, I have seen 10 sets)

The key to killing them is to place yourself in the middle, slightly to the 
left in case one and slightly to the right in case two.

In Hard Mode, of course, things look grim. You can try changing color between 
each set, but that takes loads of training. I try to limit myself to one color.

OK, let's check the chains: you should be somewhere between 53 chains and 74 
chains. 74 chains being the maximum, if you can achieve them, you are really 
good. This should get you around 1,840,000.

Next to come are 3 black Renjaku flying from the middle to the right, followed 
by 2 white ones flying from the middle to the left. The best method to kill 
them is to turn white, place yourself left, and shoot like mad while you move 
to the right. It looks like this:

--------------
    w-> w->
 <-b <-b <-b

 (w)--------> 
 

After that comes another white Torafuzuku, it shoots after one second an 
enormous laser. In Easy Mode, you may want to absorb some of it for later use. 
In Normal or Hard Mode, your gage is already full (or almost full). You're 
white. As soon as you can hit it, release your power and absorb all you can 
from the residual shots. 
If you successfully destroy it, a ring of Utatsugumi will come up and move in a
circle, quite fast. At the same time, mini-rows of Toratsugumi will appear. The
faster you have been, the more ennemies appear.

It looks like this -eventually- if you let them all appear:

-------------
     b w
     w b
     bww      
   w w b w    
  b  b w  b   
 b   w b   b
  b  b w  b
   w w b w
     bww      

--------------

The best is to place yourself like the following. Notice that if you do it soon
enough, only 2 or 3 mini-rows will have the time to appear before you can start
shooting, letting you more space and time to plan your next moves.

-------------
     b w
     w b
     bww      <-- the mini-rows have only gotten started!
   w     w    
  b       b   
 b      (w)b
  b       b
   w     w
      w      

--------------

Once you're placed there, shoot away. The Utatsugumi will literally move into 
your line of fire, in a convenient order (3 whites, then 3 blacks, then 3 
whites, then 3 blacks). You just have to pay attention as to WHEN you start 
firing. They move very fast.

Once you've killed the ring of ennemies, slalom between the Toratsugumi and 
kill them in the right order so as to make more chains. I will give you my 
attack pattern:

------------     
    b 9      <-- After killing 9, release power!
    8 b        I have been white the whole time.
    b 7       
    6 b      
    b 5            
    4 b            
    b 3      
    2 b        
    b 1        
                     

------------                                                

Already the next ennemies are coming to you and want to turn you into metal 
scrap. These are two Ajisashi with several cannons on them (each cannon is one 
unit in the chain, the big ship is worth one unit too). After a while 14 mini-
rows of Toratsugumi will start appearing, this time moving differently.
If you destroy the Ajisashi, two more will appear. But you will have to destroy
all that in the right order, and fast enough to boot, to get Bonus Ennemies.

Let's see. If you destroyed all the mini-rows, it looks like this:

------------------
bBBb              
 BB               <--- The black Ajisashi moves down, then right.
bBBb                   I turn white and destroy all cannons,
bBBb                   then I destroy it as fast as I can.
 BB               
bBBb
              wWWw
               WW 
              wWWw<--- The white Ajisashi moves up, then left.
              wWWw     It's already moving left as I'm done
               WW      with the black one. I turn black 
              wWWw     and destroy all I can, fast. 
------------------

But not TOO fast! Because then the next ones would appear at the SAME TIME, and
believe me, unless you're playing in the 2 Players Mode, you DON'T WANT THIS!

This is what happens when you destroy both ships too fast:

------------------
       w  w   bBBb     
        bb    bBBb <--- Toratsugumi are coming down!
       w  w   bBBb      
        bb    bBBb       I need to move carefully 
       w  w   bBBb        and to shoot precisely
        bb    bBBb       to go on with the chains!!!
wWWw   w  w         
wWWw    bb            
wWWw   w  w        <--- The white Ajisashi shoots a lot.
wWWw    bb              It will come in my way when I'll
wWWw                       try to kill the mini-rows. 
wWWw                      This situation is not good.
------------------

This would be bad enough, but the worse is the moves of the Toratsugumi: the 
ones at the edge move to the center, and the ones at the center move to the 
edge, and they repeat that process endlessly. You have to shoot a single, 
precise shot right in the middle, when both ships of the same row are at the 
exact middle of the screen, in order to shoot them down in one shot.

If you wait a little before killing the first white Ajisashi (you remember? 
Scroll a little up), the second black one will appear alone, and thus the 
second white one will appear later, at the upper right corner.

Now look at all those ennemies. The Ajisashi are worth 13 ennemies ; that means
that you MUST kill one mini-row of the same color to complete the chain. You 
may want to try limiting yourself to that for starters. 
Once you have gotten enough self-confidence, try shooting them all! This is how
to proceed:
The Toratsugumi should be appearing already when you are about to destroy the 
first white Ajisashi. Once you've destroyed it (not too early, remember), the 
second black one will appear. It looks then like this:

------------------ 
     7  bb    bBBb
     6 w  w   bBBb <--- The best is to start destroying the mini-rows     
     5  bb    bBBb      while the Ajisashi takes its place on the screen
     4 w  w   bBBb      (because you can't shoot it) so kill in order:
     3  bb    bBBb       1 then 3 then 5 (2 chains, black)
     2 w  w   bBBb       
     1  bb    




------------------

If you are fast enough killing 1-3-5, you will notice that for about half a 
second, there are only white ennemies in the middle of the screen : rows 2, 4 
and 6. You can use your auto shot (Twin Shot) for half a second, thus killing 
2-4-6 very fast.
Turn white and go on with the twin shot : you'll need about 3 seconds to 
destroy 7 and all 13 targets of the Ajisashi. It IS possible to use the energy 
you have in your gage, but I'm not keen on using it there. I save it for later.
But maybe that's why I'm too slow, so who knows? Try your own killing method. 

Once you've destroyed all that, another white Ajisashi appears :

------------------ 
    14 w  w   wWWw
    13  bb    wWWw <--- The order here is different:
    12 w  w   wWWw      start with 9-11-13 then release power!
    11  bb    wWWw      Be sure to scroll down the screen
    10 w  w   wWWw      so as to not miss 8
     9  bb    wWWw       
     8 w  w             The timing here is crucial. If you tap the A Button  
                            three times -and only three times!- fast enough, 
                            you can destroy 9-11-13 blindingly fast. 
                          Turn black and shoot all out! (use your gage!)


------------------

You can of course apply the same order as with the black ship : 8-10-12 then 9-
11-13 then Twin Shot + Special Attack for the rest.

You have until now made between 77 and 110 chains. If you made 110c, you are 
allowed to be proud of yourself.

If you have been fast, Bonus Ennemies (once again Toratsugumi) will appear.

-----------------
b b b w w w b b b
    --------->

But if you have been so fast that several lines appear, beware!

-----------------
b b b w w w b b b
    --------->
w w w b b b w w w
    <---------
b b b w w w b b b   <---- You can get AFAIK up to 6 lines 
    --------->           

    And so on
   and so forth

-----------------

I'll let you guess how to make combos here. These are Bonus Ennemies, and the 
difference between an average player and a good player comes out precisely in 
this part of the stage. A hint though : if you kill the white ships of the 
first and second line, you will then have 3 or 4 lines with black ships in the 
middle of the screen, and once you've killed all the blacks ships 4 rows of 
white ships will be conveniently waiting for you to destroy them... and then 2 
or 3 rows of black ships... and so on. 

It was believed for a very long time that 132 chains were the absolute maximum,
but a few players achieved 133, even 134 chains. I have no idea how, though. 
That is, I know how, but I can't mimick that method. I always seem to mess it 
up as one point or the other... 

Anyway, your score should be between 2,800,000 (110c) and 3,450,000 (132c).

"WARNING, the big ennemy is approaching at full throttle.
 According to the data, it is identified as Butsutekkai"

Now comes Eboshidori. This Boss has a white sword and a black shield.
First it attacks you with the sword. Look:

---------------
 b   WWWWW   b   <--- the black little satellites are useless.
    WWWWWWW           They do shoot, but you should ignore them.
     WWWWW      
       S
  (5-way shot)

     
      (b)
---------------

Absolutely no problems here. If you want to kill it faster, stay black. But 
don't release the power of your gage! Once the Sword has been destroyed, he 
uses the Shield. 

---------------          ---------------
 w   WWWWW   w            w   WWWWW   w  
    WWWWWWW                  WWWWWWW    
     WWSSSS                   WWSSSS
        SS                      (b)
      <--->       then 
                  
      (w)
     
---------------          ---------------

The shield shoots black shots, quite a lot of them at that. But if you stay at 
the bottom of the screen, you can stay white and evade all the shots without 
major problems.
However, you don't want to do this. What I do: as soon as the Black Shield 
starts shooting, I empty my gage (I'm white), then turn black and stay really 
close to the shield to absorb as much shots I can, all the while firing. I need
one full white gage plus about 2 seconds to kill the shield, and get between 
56% and 100% of my gage full.

And THEN you can start damaging Eboshidori himself.
He has a white satellite at the left and a black one at the right. Ignoring 
them is the key to killing the boss faster.

I stay black. I empty my gage (useless in Pal GC Mode), and shoot all out. When
Eboshidori throws the white grenades, I slowly retreat to the bottom of the 
screen (the closer you are, the faster they explode). All the while evading the
shots, I scroll up the screen and wait for the black grenades. I stay on them 
and absorb. The whole process is repeated once, then I release the power in my 
gage and shoot him at blank point. He dies before firing the 5 way white shots.
IF I see that he will have the time to shoot, I scroll fast down, then fast up 
between the shots. My record (for now) : 75 seconds left. 

Alternative Method: 
Stay black as long as you can. Empty your gage (once again, on a Pal GC this 
won't work) and shoot all out. When the white grenades are about to explode, 
quickly change to white and sit on them to absorb as much as possible. As soon 
as you can, change back to black and sit on the black grenades. When you're 
done absorbing black, release and change to white to sit on the next few white 
grenades. Change to black, absorb, release. 74 are possible, plus you get quite
some points for all the absorbing you've done (20-30k).

In 2 Players Mode, one player can stay white and "cover" the other player while
said other player uses the black shot. Then inverse the roles against the black
shield. Then kill Eboshidori while being both black. He may have more energy, 
you are not only two, but you have probably two full gages. The extra life bar 
he has won't be much help to him.


IV) Chapter 2

Difficulty: Normal
Boss: Buppousou
Rank S achieved at 4,600,000
Rank S++ achieved at 5,000,000
Max score : approx. 6,260,000
DVD Score (WIZ) : 6,266,910

The stage starts with Utatsugumi:
3 whites at the right.
3 blacks from the right
3 blacks from the left
3 whites from the right
6 whites from the left
6 blacks from the left

It makes 8 chains. The faster you killed them, the more ennemies you'll get 
later.

Next are Isuka. Those are a real pain, but once you are able to look through 
their moving and shooting patterns, this area becomes an exciting challenge.

---------------
  |         |
--|->     <-|--  
  v         v

      (w)   


---------------

Basically, Isuka come out from the corners of the screen, circle you once and 
fly away. Example: If they entered from above at the left, they will fly down, 
under you, move right, fly up, then left (they cross your fireline) and 
disappear at the left edge. 

You'll notice that at about the place where the directions cross on my ASCII 
map, you will regularly see 3 ships of the same color "meeting" for a brief 
moment. I'm sure there is a way to move between each of those spots and kill 
all Isuka appearing. Whenever I try to do this, I either die or break the 
chain. Right now I'm looking for the spots where I can safely destroy the Isuka
that hover there. 

OK, there are 44c possible, the pattern is complicated and I haven't been able 
to duplicate it safely until now. If you can find the review of the Ikaruga 
Appreciate DVD, the movie is up on that page. (It's at Insert Credit)
There are 2 alternative methods on http://www7.plala.or.jp/tb/
NOTE: those methods can be easily changed into a 42c pattern, which requires 
very little training to achieve! You might want to have a look.


Here is an easy 40c method, if you're good you may even achieve 41c:
Kill the first 8 chains as fast as possible. Be white, upper corner right, kill
1c, turn black, get back to the center, kill 2c, turn white, kill 3 chains and 
release. Fly immediately left. 
Let the first black Isuka fly past you. Kill the next 3 white ones, then at the
same spot the 3 next black ones, then 3 white ones. Now come 4 black ships. 
Kill 3 and follow the last one to the right, stop shooting. When you're under 
the upper right cross (on my ASCII map) shoot continuously. You should get 3 
black Isuka then 3 white, fly all the way left to kill 3 black then 3 white 
ones. Get back to the center. Kill a black chain, a white chain, another black 
chain, 4 white ships come. Kill 3 of them, follow the fourth left and once 
again, when you're under the upper right cross shoot all out. You'll get 3 
white ships, then 3 black ones, then flying left 3 white ones, avoid one white
and shoot 3 blacks, 3 whites, 3 blacks. If you're lucky you should get at the 
upper left cross one white ship flying all down, about at the center another 
white that flies left upwards, and a last white at the right that flight almost
straight upwards. This is the last chain you can get, but it's not easy.


After that, two white ships (Misosazai) will shoot continuous laser beams, 
while several Utatsugumi "parade" in front of you. Look:

---------------
     W w W    
   b | w | w  
  bb | w | ww  
  bb | w | ww  
  b  |   |  w 
     |   |     
    (w)  |    
         |    
---------------

Most of the time you will have made a chain with black Isuka just before those 
ennemies appear. If you missed 1 or 2 black Isuka to make a chain, complete 
your chain and ignore the rest of the black ships!

If you made a complete chain just before those, start with the black Utatsugumi
then move to the right and kill the 6 white ones at the rightmost.

Now new ships arrive:

---------------
  w  WwwwW  w      
 w w |www| w w  <-- The Isuka at the side arrive slightly later. 
     |www|          They also disappear very soon : release power!
     |bwb|   
     |b b|  
     |b b|     
     |b b|       <--- at about this height, they change direction!  
    b|(w)|b           Be sure to kill them before they escape you.
 b   |   |   b
----------------

If you stay in the middle, you can shoot the black Toratsugumi with calculated 
Single Shots, then dispose of the rest of the white ennemies with your Twin 
Shot. Finally, when the white Isuka come at the sides, release the power in 
your gage (you had more than enough time to fill it thanks to those big lasers)

Until now, you can safely have 22 chains, but if you tried to destroy the 
erratically flying Isuka too, you should have between 38 and 44 chains. (44c 
should be the maximum. I said SHOULD.)
Your score should be around 840,000 (38 chains) up to 1,000,000 and something.


                                   TRIAL

                   "The more stubborn your own will is, 
                 The more Trials you will be blessed with.
          Of course, if you can avoid the Trials before your eyes,
                 It is also possible for you to flee them.
                     But the real purpose of a Trial
                     Is to make your soul stronger."


You're greeted with 2 rings of Utatsugumi. One of them moves clockwise, the 
other counterclockwise. 

---------------
       b           
    w  b  w     
  b w     w b     <--- As you see, every two seconds,
  b         b          4 ships of the same color will 
w w  (w)    w w        be aligned. Place yourself down 
  b         b          right in the middle and shoot!
  b w     w b       
    w  b  w       
       b        
               
---------------

You start in the middle of these rings. Either stay there and shoot ennemies 
two by two, or try something cheeky : move down until you've moved under both 
rings, place yourself in the middle and shoot the 4 ennemies in front of you.
(That's what I do)

Depending on how fast you have defeated those, you will get bonus ennemies. 
These are "additional" rings that close down on you. Imagine them like inverted
ripples : they come in a large circle and all move towards the center of the 
screen.

The strategy here is to kill (with SINGLE SHOTS) a few of them so as to get a 
way out of the circle. I generally kill one chain then get out of the circle. 
Then I place myself just under the middle point of the screen, wait for the 9 
Utatsugumi left to be concentrated in a single point, and shoot them all 9 with
a single shot. 

---------------
       b           
    b  w  b     
  b w     w b     <--- As you see, I take the ennemies down
  w         w             with the -same- color they are. 
b w   bx9   w b          This is important in Normal Mode,
  w   (b)   w             and even more so in Hard Mode!
  b w     w b       
    b  w  b       
       b        
               
---------------

The maximum you can get there are 5 circles. (w, b, w, b, w) Max 28 chains. 
Your score should be around 1,600,000. (66-68c) 

After the circles, you come to an area with big blocks seemingly glued one to 
another. This however isn't the case. Your ship CAN fly -between- the blocks. 
Useful to know if you want to tackle the Dot Eater Rank.

---------------
WWWWWW   WWWWWW
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX <--- Don't worry, this wall will open itself in due time.
WWWWWWWWWWWWWWW <--- the white blocks shoot.
                
XXXBBBXXXBBBXXX
               <---- the black blocks shoot. 
WWWXXXWWWXXXWWW      when destroyed, two black Utatsugumi appear.
<--WWW   BBB   
WWWBBBWWWBBBWWW
   BBB   WWW-->
WWWXXXWWWXXXWWW
---------------

This area is easy, but you need to be fast and precise if you want to achieve a
lot of chains.

How to get 12 chains in Normal Mode:
Your gage is already full, you turn black and kill 3 white blocks, get in and 
kill 3 black blocks (as white), get black again and kill 3 white blocks, turn 
white and kill the 3 black blocks that are on the screen, stay white and 
release your gage. Complete your chain with white blocks, then kill the 2 black
blocks and the following 4 Utatsugumi, then the 9 white blocks.
The key point is to kill the first blocks very fast. Be fast enough and you can
get 13c out of this part.  

After that, a few more blocks! This time with Utatsugumi dropping down the 
screen. It's easy, but you have to be fast to get all the chains.
In Easy Mode, there aren't that many bullets on the screen. In Normal, you will
have to switch fairly often. In Hard Mode, sometimes you won't dare killing the
ennemies, because it would mean your certain death.

After all that, you'll see two "Generators". These are "plants" that are mass-
producing Toratsugumi. Of course, you don't want to kill the generators. Just 
stay in the middle and destroy as much as you can!

---------------
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
GGGbbbb wwwwGGG
   XXXb wXXX    
      b w      
   XXXb wXXX   
      b w      
   XXXb wXXX   
      (w)      
---------------

VERY IMPORTANT:
When the second wall starts to open, you need to prepare for the next area. If 
you want many chains, you will have to prepare your chain status. You need to 
have killed 2 white ships before starting the next area. Once you are at the 
level of the last unbreakable blocks (the one before the Generators) finish 
your chain then kill two whites ennemies, then go up the screen and enter the 
next area. 

Within the whole blocks area, you should have done 12 + 19 Chains, and have 
killed 2 white ships. If you did more, you're very good!

Your score should reach 2,500,000 soon if not already. 

Now comes an area that looks easy, but if you want to earn several chains 
you're going to sweat (especially so in Hard Mode).

At the side, unbreakable cannons shoot lots of bullets while turning around. 
Eventually, you'll notice that the shots form circles of bullets, the color is 
different each time.

The first ennemies you'll see are Utatsugumi:

---------------
XX           XX
        <----WW       
      wbw      <-- those move. After a few seconds, 
     b w b           the white Torafuzuku comes
XX           XX               
 b           w 
b b         w w
      (w)
XXX         XXX
---------------                

You start with the obligation to kill one white ennemy to complete your ongoing
chain. I'd advise to kill one of the middle. Then kill the blacks and whites at
the left and right sides, then the blacks in the middle. 
That leaves you with two little whites and one big white ennemy (exactly one 
chain, how very convenient) that you should destroy as fast as you can. Turn 
white and release your full gage, it should be enough.

If you destroyed the Torafuzuku soon enough, 12 Utatsugumi appear at the sides 
of the screen (6 blacks at your left, 6 whites at your right). You should have 
enough time to kill them.

Then two black Misosazai position themselves at the upper part of the screen 
and fire black lasers continuously. 12 white Utatsugumi are only waiting for 
you to destroy them. 

---------------
BB ------>       <-- the black Torafuzuku comes later. Read on.


XX  B     B  XX
ww  |     |  ww
ww  |     |  ww 
ww  |     |  ww
XX  |     |  XX      once your gage is full, turn white.                
    |     |          Place yourself in the middle, slightly down.
      (w)       <--- Release! You should hit all 12 white ennemies.
---------------      
                     
                

In Normal Mode, the residual shots from the white Utatsugumi give you enough 
energy to fire once again, you are still white! And thus destroy the black 
Misosazai. It summons 12 black Utatsugumi (they appear where the white ones 
were). Kill them all, then a black Torafuzuku will come from the left and shoot
a huge laser beam. As soon as he enters the screen, scroll up and release your 
black gage at him (white gage in Easy Mode, because your gage isn't full). He 
dies, summoning yet another set of 12 ennemies. 

After those, you have made another 22 chains. You should be around 116 / 120 
chains. If more, you're very good! You should also be over 3,000,000.

After that come little walls and blocks and ennemies... and still cannons that 
shoot like mad at you. The usual.

Here is the complete mapping of the section:

BBBBBBXXXWWWWWW  <-- those ennemies are "BB"s and "WW"s
BBBBBBXXXWWWWWW      1 line means 3 ennemies, so 1 chain.
      WWW   ww 
XX    WWW   ww 
 bb   WWW   ww 
 bb   BBB    XX
 bb   BBB   ww 
XX    BBB   ww 
 bb   WWW   ww 
 bb   WWW    XX
 bb   WWW      
BBBBBBXXXWWWWWW  <-- Line 2
BBBBBB   WWWWWW  <-- Line 1

Not really difficult. You need to remember two things:
After killing line 1 and 2, you should see the 6 black Utatsugumi. Kill them as
fast as possible, so that you can release your gage when there still only are 
the 3 white blocks in the middle (important!!!!).
Then ignore for now the black blocks, wait for the 6 white Utatsugumi, kill'em 
fast and destroy the 3 black blocs in the middle, ignore the white blocks for 
now, wait for the 6 black Utatsugumi at the side, etc.
Once you've destroyed the "WW"'s, there should be on the screen only the last 6
"BB"'s. If you have destroyed the ennemies very fast, these are the only 
ennemies you can reach with your full gage, so release it! And go immediately 
slightly over the indestructible bloc in the middle.

The section brings you extra 19 chains. You should have between 135 and 144 
chains. Which means your score is now over 3,500,000. 

You are coming to the next "Generators". This time around, you see 3 of them at
your left and 3 of them at your right.

---------------
(ennemies here) 

XXXXXX   XXXXXX
Gb bw bw bw bwG      The white Toratsugumi go ---->
Gb bw bw bw bwG      The black Toratsugumi go <----
Gb bw bw bw bwG  <---Don't stay in the middle or you'll shoot 
   (b)               ennemies that belong to the next area!!!
      XXX      
---------------

I make 15 chains there before going. You can make more (22 I'm told), but it 
may be bad for the rest of the level. (you have to use your power gage, and 
that means most of the time that it will destroy an ennemy belonging to the 
next part and thus break your combo) 

Alternative Method: 
Choose a side. When you've done a few chains, wait next to the Generators. If 
you're next to the black Generators, change to white, kill the black 
Toratsugumi as soon as they're out, then kill fastly all 3 Gens. It's 
important! When your gage is full, fly at the bottom of the screen and release.
It SHOULD destroy 2 white chains and all 3 white Generators.
This method also works with the other side.  


The next ennemies are two rings of Utatsugumi that fly on the exact same course
(which is why I can't make a little map, since b and w are on the same spots) 
HOWEVER, one ring turns clockwise, and the other counterclockwise. Which means 
that for a split second, the ennemies are one next to the other (and not one 
over the other, if you see what I mean. If you don't, play the game, you'll 
understand)

12 ennemies of each color in those rings, so all in all 8 chains.

Then come two Torafuzuku:

---------------
 b BB     WW w 
  BBBB   WWWW 
   BBb  /wWW   
      \/        <----- They shoot big lasers at their opposite sides!
  (w) /\               When you destroyed one, a second one comes.
     /  \

---------------

Destroy them as fast as you can! The faster you did, the more "Bonus ennemies" 
you'll encounter. Remember the middle of Chapter 1? Try using about the same 
method.

Before tackling said Bonus ennemies, your score should have reached 4,300,000. 
Which means that even if you didn't get any, you would reach Rank S++ after the
boss.

Those Toratsugumi appear in rows, and slowly slalom down the screen. They start
in Position 1 and arrive in Position 2 one line after, and repeat the process 
endlessly. You can get (AFAIK) up to 10 lines. Maybe more if you are 2 players.


    ---------------         
  b w b w b w b w b     <-- Position 1 (move -->)         
    b w b w b w b w b   <-- Position 2 (move <--)
  b w b w b w b w b          
    b w b w b w b w b                         
  b w b w b w b w b     Since they move in opposite directions,
    b w b w b w b w b   for a split second they will be aligned      
  b w b w b w b w b     in columns of the same color. Shoot them!
    b w b w b w b w b   (of course, you can shoot them down             
  b w b w b w b w b     each one separately, but it's slow)
    ---------------

I generally get 6 lines and make 14 chains out of them. If you get 9 lines, try
making 24 chains (27 should be the maximum). But it's very difficult.

You should have around 170 chains now. I've seen 184 chains, but I think more 
are possible. I don't really know, I'm guessing 202-203 chains. That's a whole 
lot, I know. Repeat after me: "the Practice Mode is my best friend..."

HOW TO CHAIN 9 LINES:

Here a bigger map: Shoot them in that order!!!

   -------------------------
 62 54 64 71 48 75 81 78 80
    57 53 66 70 47 74 40 77 79
 61 52 63 69 46 73 39 76 30
    56 51 65 67 45 72 38 27 33
 60 50 59 68 44 21 37 26 29
    55 49 58 16 43 20 36 25 32 
 12 13 10 15 42 19 35 24 28    
    09 06 08 14 41 18 34 23 31 
 11 05 07 04 03 17 02 22 01    
   -------------------------

All 9 rows can appear on the same screen, but you won't have the space to pick 
up the downmost row, so be careful! Let's take this one step after another:

The first row appears. Before the second row has appeared, you've killed 01, 02
and 03, thus one chain worth of -black- Toratsugumi. 
On the screen: 

-------------------------
 06 08 14 41 18 34 23 31  (goes -->)
 11 05 07 04    17    22  (goes <--)
        <--(b)

As the third row appears, you should have killed 04, 05, 06, 07, and 08.
On the screen:

-------------------------
 13 10 15 42 19 35 24 28   (goes -->)      
 09       14 41 18 34 23   (goes <--)     
             17    22      (goes -->) 
 (b)

As the fourth row appears, you've already shot 09, 10, 11 and 12. Even 13!
On the screen:

-------------------------
 49 58 16 43 20 36 25 32  (goes -->)
          15 42 19 35 24  (goes <--)        
       14 41 18 34 23 31  (goes -->)        
                17    22  (goes <--)
 (b)--> 

As the fifth row appears you've killed 14, 15, 16 and wait under 17.
On the screen:

-------------------------
 50 59 68 44 21 37 26 29  (goes -->)
 55 49 58    43 20 36 25  (goes <--)
          42 19 35 24 28  (goes -->)        
             41 18 34 23  (goes <--)
             17    22     (goes -->)
              (b)

A split second later, look! That's where you shoot a short burst.

-------------------------
  50 59 68 44 21 37 26 29  (goes -->)
55 49 58    43 20 36 25    (goes <--)
           42 19 35 24 28  (goes -->)        
            41 18 34 23    (goes <--)
              17    22     (goes -->)
              (b)

When the sixth row appears, use the same trick under 22. 
I'd advise you to kill 22 then wait for the right moment.
On the screen:

-------------------------(30)(goes <--)
 51 65 67 45 72 38 27 33     (goes -->)
 60 50 59 68 44    37 26 (29)(goes <--)
 49 58    43    36 25 32     (goes -->)
             42    35 24 (28)(goes <--)
          41    34 23 31     (goes -->)
                             (was line 01)
                    (b)

When the seventh row appears, you've destroyed 23-27 then 28, 29, and have 
already shot to destroy 30 (so that it dies just as it appears on screen).
On the screen:

-------------------------
 52 63 69 46 73 39 76 30     (goes -->)
 56 51 65 67 45 72 38    (33)(goes <--)
 50 59 68 44    37           (goes -->)
 55 49 58    43    36    (32)(goes <--)
          42    35           (goes -->)
             41    34    (31)(goes <--)
                      (w)    (was line 01)

Wait for 31, 32 and 33, then get to 34. You should already be firing when the 
eighth row appears on the screen. (I'll consider you killed up to 36)
On the screen:

-------------------------
 53 66 70 47 74 40 77 79  (goes -->)
 61 52 63 69 46 73 39 76  (goes <--)
 51 65 67 45 72 38        (goes -->)
 60 50 59 68 44    37     (goes <--)
 49 58    43              (goes -->)
             42           (goes <--)
          41              (goes -->)
                 (w)      (was line 01)
-------------------------

Now comes the last line and the end of the screen! Be fast or you'll miss some 
ships, and it's going to be hell to think of another pattern...
As the ninth row appears on the screen, you are firing and destroying black 
ships, more precisely 41 and up. (I'll consider you killed up to 45)

------------------------- 
 54 64 71 48 75 81 78 80  (goes -->)
 57 53 66 70 47 74    77  (goes <--)
 52 63 69 46 73    76     (goes -->)
 56 51 65 67    72        (goes <--)
 50 59 68                 (goes -->)
 55 49 58                 (goes <--)
        <--(w)            (was line 03)
                          (was line 02)
------------------------- (was line 01)

Now kill up to the last row's black ship (48) then turn black and kill the last
column of whites at the left edge. (49-54)
Turn immediately white and sweep the left edge of the screen, making a little 
flick at the right to pick 58 (it's about to disappear!) otherwise shoot all 
out until you've cleared 55-66.
Now there are only 3 black ships on the screen, at the other edge. Stay white 
and sweep through the screen until you've shot 67-75.
You have enough time, so don't mess up the last batch of ennemies. Shoot 
precisely 76, 77, 78, then use the twin shot to pick 79, 80 and 81.
There, all done. 27 chains. Be ready for a whole lot of training, though.

Since 9 rows are really hard to get, I'll include the shooting patterns for 1 
to 8 lines.

   -------------------------
 bb ww bb 04 03 05 02 06 01     1 line, 2 chains
   -------------------------

   -------------------------
 08 05 07 13 11 14 12 ww bb     2 lines, 5 chains
    09 06 10 04 03 15 02 ww 01
   -------------------------

   -------------------------
 15 12 18 20 27 22 26 24 25     3 lines, 9 chains
    13 11 17 19 09 21 08 23 07
 14 10 16 04 03 05 02 06 01 
   -------------------------

   -------------------------
 14 ww 13 26 28 23 31 19(34)    4 lines, 11 chains
    09 27 12 25 29 22 32 18(35)
 07 05 11 24 15 21 30 17 33
    08 06 10 04 03 20 02 16 01
   -------------------------

   -------------------------
 36 15 34 19 32 24 28 39 42     5 lines, 14 chains
    35 14 33 18 30 23 26 38 41
 09 13 12 17 31 22 27 37 40
    07 05 11 16 29 21 25 ww bb 
 08 06 10 04 03 20 02 ww 01
   -------------------------

   -------------------------
 54 51 48 45 42 43 35 27 30     6 lines, 18 chains
    52 50 47 44 41 21 34 26 37
 53 49 46 16 40 20 38 25 29
    11 13 09 15 39 19 32 24 36
 12 06 07 14 38 18 31 23 28
    10 05 08 04 03 17 02 22 01
   -------------------------

   -------------------------
 50 48 56 44 39 58 57 60 bb     7 lines, 20 chains
    52 47 55 43 38 59 33 ww bb
 49 46 54 42 37 40 32 24 28
    51 45 53 41 36 19 31 23 26
 09 13 12 14 35 18 30 22 27
    07 05 11 15 34 17 29 21 25
 08 06 10 04 03 16 02 25 01
   -------------------------

   -------------------------
 54 51 60 64 44 66 37 ww bb     8 lines, 23 chains
    56 50 59 63 43 68 36 ww 30
 53 49 58 62 42 65 35 69 27
    55 48 57 61 41 67 34 24 29
 52 47 45 46 40 19 33 23 26
    12 13 10 15 39 18 32 22 28
 07 05 09 14 38 17 31 21 25
    11 06 08 04 03 16 02 20 01
   -------------------------

And since we know that 10 lines are possible...
*Note* My old pattern was almost impossible to apply.
Here is Andypro's 10 rows patterns, as he showed in a prototype video.

   -------------------------
 54 66 60 72 73 78 87 82 85     10 lines, 29 chains
    53 65 59 71 48 77 86 81 84
 52 64 58 70 47 76 40 80 83
    51 63 57 69 46 75 39 79 30
 50 62 56 68 45 74 38 27 33
    49 61 55 67 44 21 37 26 29
 bb ww bb 16 43 20 36 25 32
    12 13 10 15 42 19 35 24 28
 07 05 09 14 41 18 34 23 21
    11 06 08 04 03 17 02 22 01
   -------------------------


"Warning! The big ennemy is approaching at full throttle. 
 According to the data, it is identified as Butsutekkai"

Meet Buppousou. He has a big body and only 4 sensitive areas. The two first are
two red protective parts. One reacts to white shots, the other to black shots.
The 2 next areas are just under those protective parts. Get the protective part
to open with white shot, go past it, and turn black to hit the sensitive area. 
The other side needs a similar treatment : open the part with black shot, fly 
past it and hit the sensitive area with your white shot.

Meanwhile, Buppousou will shoot at you. A lot. Especially so in Hard Mode.

Right from the start, shoot white on the left hatch. Open it completely, turn 
black, release your power, fly past the hatch and shoot all out in the white 
sensitive area. If you have released a full gage, don't worry about the closing
hatch: you WILL destroy that weak point before the hatch closes down on you. 

You're black, move to the right, closest to Buppousou's right wing. It shoots 
white from the left, black from the right, then again white from the left, and 
again black from the right. You should be able to absorb most black shots.

Open the hatch to half, turn white, release power, move left. The left wing 
starts shooting a whole lot of white bullets, you should be able to absorb more
than a full gage. Empty your gage before the hatch closes, move right, turn 
black, open the hatch completely. Move right to absorb the black shots, fly in 
front of the sensitive area once you have slightly over half your gage full, 
turn white (this is dangerous, so beware!) and release. It should be enough to 
kill the boss. Time left over 77 seconds. 

My record is (for now) 80, but over 73 is OK. In Prototype Mode, 97 were proven
possible.


V) Chapter 3

Difficulty: Hard
Boss: Shigi
      Uzura
Rank S achieved at 5,000,000
Rank S++ achieved at 5,400,000
Max score : approx. 7,400,000
DVD Score (WIZ) : 7,675,800

You may finish this level without loosing a single life and still get a lousy 
Rank B+, because the 3rd Chapter is the one of the most difficult to conquer.

NOTICE : I mapped the stage as it appears in NORMAL MODE. In Easy Mode, some of
the parts are a lot easier to do. This means however that you get less 
ennemies, hence less chains.

From the very beginning, scroll up in the screen. (You absolutely need to do 
this.) About 2/3 up the screen is OK.

Ennemies are divided into several units : 

                b
Mixed Units:  wb bw   (move continuously, ships of the same colors      
                w     meet in the middle. Wait for the right time!) 

Attack commandos:   ---------------
                    w             w 
When they arrive    w             w  
where you are,      w-->  (w)  <--w

Kill the Isuka when they meet in mid-screen. 
Killing both the mixed units (Utatsugumi) AND the commandos (Isuka) is going to
take some training. Eventually, you will get 22 chains.

Now I will map the rest and write explanations when necessary.

    
 21 XXXXXXXXX  MU    <-- means Mixed Unit                     
 20  bbb  www  XX                                   
 19   XX  www  XX       
 18   XX  www  www       
 17   MU  XXXXXXXXX         
 16   XX   www bbb    
 15   XX   www  3w   <-- the 3w and 3b   
 14  www   www  3b       come later!!!
 13 XXXXXXXXX  MU   
 12  bbb       XX    <-- The XX are moving blocs.    
 11   XX       XX        They shot huge laser beams!
 10   XX       www    
 09   MU  XXXXXXXXX
 08   XX   www bbb    
 07   XX   www        
 06  www   www              
 05 XXXXXXXXX  MU                 
 04  bbb       XX       
 03  3w        XX      
 02  3b        www   <-- the 3w and 3b       
 01       XXXXXXXXX      come late!!!!   
                                  
This is how to do it: (Refer to the map, please)

As soon as you've made the 22nd chain (just before the mapped part begins), 
release power. It kills L 02 www. Fill up 3 blocks of your gage, release 
immediately to kill L 04 bbb, fill your gage as much as you can and go quickly 
kill L 05 MU before going back and killing 3w and 3b. Release to destroy L 06, 
07, 08 www. Fill up 3 blocks and release to kill 08 bbb. 
Destroy L 09 MU, then L12 bbb, then L 13 MU.
Release! Destroys L 10 and L 14 (left www).
Fill up the gage and fire when you got 9 blocks. Destroys L 14, 15 and 16 www.
Fill up your gage 3 blocks and release to destroy L 16 bbb.
Move in to destroy L 17 MU. Go back to destroy 3w and 3b.
After destroying 3w and 3b, release IMMEDIATELY. Kills L 18 www right.
Fill up 3 blocks and release! Kills L 20 bbb. Fill up 9 blocks and release! 
Kills 9w L 18, 19 and 20. Go in and destroy L 21 MU.               
               
XXXXXX   XXXXXX               
W b w b w b w B  <-- the W and B are          
W w b w b w b B      actually 2 small
W b w b w b w B      cannons. Beware!
            
Here is the order: (bigger map)
               
XXXXXXXXXXXX      XXXXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXXXXX      XXXXXXXXXXXX
30  22 20 23      14 11 13  24  <-- immediately after 24, release white power
29                           6      and fill up to the maximum!!!!!
28  21 17 19      10  9 12   5      You can time this with the big white laser.
27                           4      It takes a little practice. At first,
26  16 15 18       8  1  7   3      you should concentrate on 1 to 24. Don't
25                           2      kill 25-30 until you're sure you can do it.
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX    XXXX
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX    XXXX     <--- Moves up then left, shoots laser beams.

After that, 2 rings of Utatsugumi. They exchange their position every second.
This part is extremely easy when you have a full gage.
While the ennemies place themselves on the screen, you can't touch them, which 
means that THEY can't touch YOU either. Fly until the middle of the ring. Wait 
for one color to circle you, and release! You should be of the same color as 
the ennemies. (this is very important!!!) Kill the rest with normal shots, as 
fast as possible. You may get Bonus Ennemies. 

Generally a few sets of 3 Toratsugumi. One left, one right, then another one 
left, another one right, etc. It is possible to get up to 5 extra chains, but 
honestly, I have yet to do that regularly. It kinda "happened" twice to me 
until now. The point is to destroy the whole ring of white Toratsugumi with 
your black shot, then release, all that before the black ennemies surround you.
You can alternatively destroy 9 whites, release, and finish off the whites, 
but you'll get most certainly 4 extra chains. 

I'm almost sure the player known as "Jason" or "JasonS" has a 78c video. You 
might want to ask him. Be aware though that it is absolutely overkill. 

You have around 70 chains. 76 is OK. Which means you should be around 2,000,000
right now.

                                   FAITH

                  "In this world there is nothing absolute,
                        One may someday feel unsure
                       And sometimes even feel lost.
                         In order to overcome this
                        One must have a strong Faith
                       And know how to take action." 


Big white ships called Toki fall down the screen, shooting just like you. At 
first 6 whites, then 6 blacks, then 3 of each. It shouldn't be a problem 
killing them. Use your gage at the right moment to destroy them fast.

Here is a 12 extra sets method:
Start white, place yourself on the left. Kill 3 white Toki (flying slightly up)
and release your gage. Fly down to the right to absorb as many bullets as you 
can, change to black, kill the 3 black Toki to the right (flying slightly up), 
release your gage, fly down to the left to absorb as many bullets as you can. 
Kill the next white Toki as black, fly to the right, change to white, kill the 
white Toki and absorb, change to black, fly to the left, kill the last white 
Toki and release your gage. 

Then come Isuka, ONE AFTER THE OTHER, 3 whites, 3 blacks, etc. These are Bonus 
Ennemies. You can get in 1P Mode up to 15 extra chains. (I've achieved 14)

Then you'll see laser beams coming from the walls. In the meanwhile you'll have
to destroy a few Utatsugumi flying around.
The white lasers come from the right, the black come from the left. In 2P Mode,
the first player can stay all the time black and the 2P can stay all the time 
white (if you both stay on the same line, you'll absorb the laser beams and 
save each others)

--------------
   w w   b b  
 w w w w b b b 
 w w w b b b b
   white laser
  <-----------
         <--(w) 

--------------

Then the inverse:

---------------
   w w   b b  
 w w w b b b b 
 w w w w b b b
  black laser
  ----------->
 (b)--> 

---------------

Then white again:

---------------
   b b   b b  
 w b b w b b w 
 w b b w b b w
   white laser
  <-----------  <--- kill the black columns, turn black and release!
      <--(w) 

---------------

And then black again...

---------------
 b   b   b   b
 b w b w b w b 
 b w b w b w b
  black laser   <-- Kill b left, then all the whites, then release!
  ----------->
(b)--> 

---------------

Maximum 45 chains. (that's about another million points)

Now the space where you can move gets smaller. White suicide ships 
(Isuka again) scroll down while black suicide ships scroll up.


---------------
    |w w w|   
    | w w |      <---- Piece of cake: kill as many as you want.
    |  |  |            Remember to stop when you achieved a chain!
    |  v  |   
    |     |   
    | (w) |   
    |     |   
    |  ^  |   
    |  |  |   
    |b b b|      <---- When those are all up, slalom them down and release!
    | b b |            In Easy mode, slalom down and shoot them 3 after 3.
---------------

It goes like this for some time. I can release my gage twice. I couldn't say 
how many chains you should be doing here, but one thing is sure, once you know 
how to do this your score improves drastically. Try at least 14 chains. If you 
kill all ships, you can get 42 chains, but honestly Ifm at a loss as to what 
attack pattern you then have...

What I learned from intense playing sessions is that 95% of the time you black 
homing lasers will automatically go shoot black ennemies. Make a few white 
chains, release, make another few chains, release, etc. I'm myself trying to 
find out how much you can achieve with this attack pattern. 

Now you'll see shutters that close before you. You should be in the upper half 
of the screen to survive. Miss Shigi is on your tail...

You should have around 3,700,000.

As more shutters close (or seem to), you'll encounter yet again a few Isuka.
You'll find 4 groups of them. Between each of these groups, you'll have to 
destroy 3 white Utatsugumi that block your way in the shutters.

First and second group : (try shooting only one column at first)

---------------
        w
      b w    <---- In Hard Mode, the first ones will be all white.
      b w          The second ones will be all black.
      b b          But the third and fourth will have this form!
      w b          
      w b
      w

    (w)->
---------------

Third and fourth group :

---------------
        w
      w w
      b b   <--- If you stay exactly in the middle, you can use the Twin shot.
      b w        Once you know how to do this, other gamers will stare in awe.
      w w        The trick : be black under the two blacks, or white under the
      b b        single black (but still enough in the middle to shoot both!)
      b
      (w)
---------------

Then 10 shutters will close really fast, while rows of ennemies block your way.
This looks bad, but it's easy to survive.

   b w                                   b w
   w b                                   9 b
   b w    Here the order for 3 chains -> b 8
   w b       In case you missed          7 b
   b w     a white ship along the way,   b 6
   w b       you can use the last one    5 b
   b w      to complete another chain.   b 4
   w b          You can also simply      3 b
   b w     stay in the middle and wait.  b 2
   w b                                   1 b

Look carefully. Did you notice? Yes, you can make 4 chains in this part. But 
that takes yet another load of practice. (w chain, b chain, b chain, w chain)

Then another 21 shutters will close at random. One Utatsugumi each shutter. 
Miss Shigi is behind you and breaks the shutters as if they were mere twigs.

(w chain, then b, w, b, w, b, w)

*************
OK, I've received mail about this. It really IS easy. Don't look at your ship, 
don't look at the shutters, look at the Utatsugumi! If you can shoot them down,
you're automatically placed just right to avoid the closing shutters.
In Hard Mode... I don't know. I've survived that part a few times, avoiding the
black ennemies. But it requires a very high amount of practice. You CAN shoot 
the first one as white then quickly change to black, but then you'll have to do
this for all seven chains in a row! (Ludicrously difficult to achieve)
*************

Shigi will fly through the middle of the screen! (and open the way)
Move to the left or the right to avoid her.

Then you'll see this:

---------------
   Miss Shigi
______   ______
 w w       w w  
______   ______
 w w       w w   <---- in Normal and Hard Mode, be white and release power!
______   ______        in Easy Mode, ignore them. (your gage is empty anyway)
 w w       w w 
______   ______

      (w)
---------------

Then 6 white Utatsugumi will circle around Miss Shigi and the fight will start.

---------------

    B  BW  W   
      BBWW
    W  BW  B    <--   The separated W and B are extra canons
                 that move around Miss Shigi and fire laser beams.

      (w)

---------------

Funny little detail: Miss Shigi is actually counted as a normal ennemy, which 
means that you should make 2 chains with her parts.

Well, what to say? You're going to have to change color very often (especially 
in Hard Mode). Miss Shigi's parts give residual shots when they explode, which 
adds (at least in Hard Mode) to the difficulty.

Of course, during the fight, it may happen that the space you're flying in gets
smaller (generally from one side) so pay attention to the walls.

IRC user "knite" pointed out that my previous description wasn't really 
helpful, so here follows a more detailed attack pattern:

When Shigi starts shooting, you have to be white under the right-down black 
cannon. As white, release homing, shoot all out. Be sure to avoid the black 
laser by staying a tiny little bit more to the left. Follow that black cannon, 
i.e. sweep to the left. When it's almost dead, change to black and kill it, it 
gives you a lot of bullets.
Change to white. You are right now in front of the black part of Shigi's head, 
so you're doing good damage. The white cannons get in front of you, so you can 
absorb the lasers. When your gage is full, go slightly to the right and release 
white homing on the next black cannon (it should be coming your way just about 
now). That should kill it.
Stay white but scroll a little down, because the head starts to shoot, and you 
don't want to die on black shots now. Avoid the black shots but stay white and 
fire. You can even release homing, the black head will die before you can 
destroy any white part.
Now you've chained the black parts! So either stay white and release when you 
have full homing (it's a safe way) OR wait for the white cannons to be going to
the sides of the head to change to black and release black quickly. You have to
get quickly back to white because the white cannons are already coming your 
way. 


You are at around 170 chains. If more, you're very good.
BTW, if you have destroyed everything possible, you should have reached the 
5,000,000 mark by now.

The faster you killed her, the more ennemies you get between her and Uzura.
Those Bonus Ennemies are tricky. If you kill one, two will appear out of it. It
goes on like this several times...

The white ships fall from the upper left to the lower right AND REBOUND at the 
end of the screen and on the walls at the edges. The black ones fall from the 
upper right of the screen and rebound too. What I do is concentrate on one 
color until I've made about 12 chains, then change. 
Don't worry about dying: if you feel like there are too many ennemies on the 
screen, go all the way right or left. You can't touch the external walls, and 
if you're there the ennemies can't touch you either. But it's all the more 
difficult to make lots of chains form this spot.

I always want a full gage at the start of the boss fight against Uzura, so 
after a while I just kill all I can and absorb the residual shots.

Just so you know, the best score I've heard of is 7,675,800. Since there is so 
much to absorb lying around, I'd say roughly 6,400,000 points come from the 
chains. That means 250-something chains. Well. Good luck?

"There is no refuge. Unable to avoid firing."

Uzura... this boss is going to kill you so many lives it's not even funny. You 
will need serious practice to defeat him swiftly and without dying once.


      W B 
    B  x  W
  W    x    B
 B x  xXx  x W
  W(w) x    B
    B  x  W
      W B


It looks like a ring of 14 towers shooting towards the center. It has 4 lines 
of blocks (North / South / East / West) and those lines happen to be in motion.
In Easy Mode, the blocks on those lines don't move. In Normal and Hard Mode, 
they do. The ring of towers moves counterclockwise, then after 50 seconds 
clockwise. In Hard Mode, they move very fast and shoot a whole lot.

14 towers mean 7 white and 7 black towers. Defeat all of one color, and Uzura's
very body will start shooting laser beams (2 blacks, 2 whites).

My record (for now) is 73. In Prototype Mode, I did take her at 91, but with 8 
full gages....

One hint: as soon as you can move, place yourself in front of the next black 
tower but quite down on the screen, and release your power (you're white) It 
will kill the black tower BEHIND you, which will be later of great use (you'll 
get a second and a half to take a break later on)

Safe strategy:
Since the tower ring moves faster each time you destroy a tower, just shoot 
them down to very little life and release your gage. It should take care of 
about 5 or more towers at once, Uzura starts shooting, and you can release 
another full gage 3 seconds later that takes care of the rest.   

(I got the Safe strategy from the Ikaruga Boards on GameFaqs)

My usual strategy:
I'm starting black. At 9 o'clock, I slip between the left moving block and the 
black tower. Staying black, I shoot the white tower in front of me and destroy 
it. The wheel of death starts spinning slowly.
Now, changing to white as the white, destroyed tower gets to my side, I shoot 
the black tower in front of me until it has very little life-force left. I do 
NOT destroy it.
Changing my position slightly, but staying in the up-left part of the wheel, I 
wait for the next tower to come into my line of fire. Again, I shoot at it with
the inverse polarity until it's almost dead, but I DON'T destroy it.
After a while, you will notice that the white tower you DID destroy at the 
beginning is coming again to you. When it's positioned at your left, you should
be white, shoot the black tower in front of you until it dies then release your
homing! (your homing will be full by now)
It destroys 5-6 other towers, and the core of the boss will start to shoot huge
laser beams.
For some reason, I'm always closest to the white beam, so I jump into it, 
absorb like crazy and release once again when my gage is full. The boss dies.

Again, thanks to "knite" for pointing out the lack of explanations on the boss.


VI) Chapter 4

Difficulty: Very Hard
Boss: Misago (comes 3 times)
Rank S achieved at 5,600,000
Rank S++ achieved at 6,000,000
Max score : approx. 7,720,000
DVD Score (WIZ) : 7,803,280

OK, prepare yourself. This is a stage that I absolutely adore, because it's 
both beautiful and very hard. Plus it will make you understand very precisely 
how good or how bad you are at this game.

It starts with 9w and 9b (Toratsugumi). The white ennemies start at the left, 
the black ones at the right. Either destroy the black ones first (stay white 
the whole time) or try to stay white in the middle and destroy all whites. I 
guess the first method is slightly easier, but I prefer the second method 
one myself.

Then come 3 white Toki at the upper left, followed by 3 black ones at the upper
right. Since they shoot (and quite a lot at that) you MUST take them down with 
the same color.

Then come 3 black Toki from the upper left, and 3 white ones from the lower 
right. Followed by 3 white ones from the upper left and 3 black ones from the 
lower right. It looks like this:

---------------
B-> B-> B->   "
(w) " " " "   "    
" " " " " "   "
" " " " " "   "
" " " " " "   "
" " " " " "   "
" " " " " "   "   
" " " " " "   "
<-W <-W <-W <-B
---------------

Of course, you're not going to let them. Be black and kill the first 2 black 
Toki as soon as possible. Turn white and stay where I drew the ship on the map.
Release the power. You have to make sure the third black Toki dies before your 
homing lasers shoot down the 3 white ships!
You're white, the next 3 white ennemies come. Use exactly the same method, this
time turning black and emptying a black gage.

As soon as the black ennemy dies, more Toratsugumi come down the screen.

---------------
  www bb www
  www bb www            These are Bonus Ennemies. Be fast...
  www bb www     <-- stay black right in the middle. 8 extra chains.
  |        |         
   ->    <-
      
      (b)
---------------

If you have shot down every ship, you have 20 chains. That's the maximum.
Your score should be around 384,040. (my max 406,340)

                                  REALITY

                 "And then Reality reared it's ugly head.
                           What did you seek...
                           What did you see...
                           What did you hear...
                           What did you think...
                           What did you do..."


The cute little flying fortress you see in the background approaching far too 
fast for your tastes is sweet little Misago. She has a problem, namely you, and
she's going to state her mind clearly.

First, take a look at her:

---------------------------
          ___ ___
        /         \       
       /           \
                          
     /      XXX      \ 
    /      XXXXX      \ 
    \      XXXXX      /
     \      XXX      /
                        
       \           /
        \ ___ ___ /       
         
---------------------------

You will never see her in her entirety on the screen (except in the background)
and the most impressive about her is the way she shoots.
She has 6 cannons that shoot black counterclockwise, and 6 cannons that shoot 
white clockwise. She has a moving external wall that can squeeze you into scrap
if you don't pay attention. She will show you her other secrets as you progress
through the stage.

First, move between her core and the external wall and destroy the 6 black 
Utatsugumi at the left. Then for a while will come only white ennemies (from 
both left and right). And then sweet Misago starts shooting.

It's going to take a lot of practice to get used to this fire pattern, but you 
have to practice that stage up to the point where you do this automatically. 
Basically, you'll have to be black when you move upwards or to the right, and 
white when you move left or down.

If you play in Easy Mode, the external walls will protect you from her shots. 
But in Normal / Hard Mode, extra ennemies will appear around her external wall,
and they shoot, so you won't be secure there. It looks like this:

---------------------------
          ___ ___
        /    bb   \ w      
       /    bbbwb  \ b
             ww ww    w    
     /      XXX www  \ b
    /      XXXXX bbw  \ w
    \      XXXXX bbb  / b
     \      XXX bbb  / w
            www wb    b    
       \      www  / w
        \     ww  / b       
---------------------------

Does it look impressive? It is. And if you look at the stage description, 
you'll notice you can get almost 8,000,000 in this stage alone! This means 
killing all the ennemies inside and outside the wall. 

Start with getting used to the rhythms of that boss. Inside the wall, ennemies 
appear in group of 3, so it's not a problem to get chains. The problem starts 
when you shoot ennemies outside the wall. For now, just ignore them, OK?

Here a little list of what ennemies get out and how:
6 black Utatsugumi from the upper left (2c)
24 white Utatsugumi from both left and right (8c)
18 black Utatsugumi from both left and right (6c)

In the middle row, 51 Utatsugumi from the upper left (17c)
-they alternate (3w, 3b, 3w, 3b, etc, end with 3w)
-they have constant speed
-if you concentrate on them only, you should survive this part easily

In the row closest to Misago, a black Utatsugumi chain will come down. Follows 
close a white Utatsugumi chain that comes up. Immediately after another black 
chain comes down, followed by a white chain. (4c)

In the row furthest from Misago, a white chain comes down, then a black chain 
comes up, then another white down, and then another black up. (4c)

Outside Misago in Normal and Hard Mode, 26 white Utatsugumi and 25 black 
Utatsugumi, alternating (w b w b w b etc). (worth 16 chains)

***********************
HOW TO CHAIN THAT PART:

Start as black, move at the top left corner. Black Utatsugumi fall in the 
screen, kill all 6 of them. 
Sweep to the right and pick up 6 white shrimps, wait at the right for 3 more.
Sweep to the left and pick up 9 whites. 
Sweep right and get 3 whites + 6 blacks.
Sweep left and pick up 3 whites and 3 blacks.
Get to the center and watch the top left corner. When you feel the 3rd black 
shrimp will enter the screen, release your full black gage. It kills 9 blacks.

Up to that point, you have 16 chains.

The outer ring of Utatsugumi appears. If you want to know how to chain those, 
watch the DVD run and the omake section. You can also look for Rjpageuk's 234c 
video in prototype mode.
Seeing that chaining that ring is probably the most insane maneuver in the 
whole game (it's a close call with Hard Tageri bullet eat), I won't talk about 
it. I can chain about 11 chains out of 24 in there, but it seems to be my best.

Anyway. Concentrate now on the ennemies "inside" the walls. You will have to 
change polarity very often in there, so train this area aplenty.

First, get the white chain at the right. Follows a black chain. Another white. 
Another black. (4c)
A black chain appears just left from the next white chain.
Pick up the white chain first (5), then as you get the black (6) a white chain 
appears under you, at your left. Get it. (7c)
Meanwhile another black falls down, and at its right a white one. 
Pick the black chain (8), then sweep right. You kill 2 white chains. (10c)
A black chain falls down, another one is climbing up.
Shoot the falling one (11), kill the next white chain. (12c) 
Now the next black chain should be just side to side with the climbing black 
chain : kill both of them at once. (14c)
Let the next white chain come nearer. You will notice another white chain under
your ship, climbing near the core. 
Get slightly lower in the screen, so that you can pick first the white chain in
front of you (15), then the white chain that was under you. (16c) 
You can now pick up the 2 black chains in front of you. (18c)
Two white chains are now coming, they shouldn't be a problem. (20c)
Wait for the next black chain. 
As you pick it up (21) you notice a black chain climbing under you. Wait.
Pick up the white chain in front of you (22). Go to the LEFT.
Pick up the next black chain (23), then going to the right the black chain you 
have been ignoring until now. (24c)
And from the left comes the last white chain. (25c)
***********************

Once you've scrolled all up, a lot of white little ships will circle extremely 
close to Misago (extra 14 chains). The wall will shut, so you'll have to get 
outside.

If your chain status is empty (i.e. you've just completed a chain), you can try
killing the black ennemies that come next.

---------------
 b---->  <----b  <--- The Isuka will scroll once back and forth.  
 w       (w)  b       That means they come twice in your line of fire.
 w            w       Kill the 3b the first time around, and the 3w next.  
    ________
 /          \
---------------


Another load of white ennemies come from the left, as well as a few black 
ennemies. If you play in Normal or Hard Mode, place yourself like this:


----------------
bbb-><-bbb
   (w)
wwww-><-wwwwww
 ___  _______ w
/             \
----------------

Once you've killed all black ships, release your full white gage. It should 
give you enough time to place yourself back inside Misago. (2 + 12 chains)

You'll have to scroll Misago down. It looks the same as the first part, except 
the ennemies are now at the left edge. Just try to stay alive at first, OK? We 
can talk about chains later.

OK, so you're more interested in chains?
If you ignore the ennemies at the side, you should get: 
-a middle row, starting and ending with white, all in all 17 chains.
-in the row closest to Misago, a black chain from below, a white chain from 
above, then another black chain from below and another white chain from above.
-in the row furthest from Misago, the exact contrary : white chain from below, 
black from above, then white from below, then black from above.
-outside Misago, 26 black and 25 white Utatsugumi, alternating. (16 chains)

***********************
HOW TO CHAIN THAT PART:

Again, I won't tell how to chain the outer ring, it IS insane.
Plus, no one in the world (until now) can get all extra 16 chains. WIZ gets 11.

From the right, a white chain. Then black. Then white. (3c)
You'll see a black chain climbing under you.
Get lower on the screen, pick it up (4) then the black chain falling. (5c)
Follow 2 white chains getting down. (7c) A white chain climbs.
Kill the next black chain (8), a black chain appears above the next white.
This is tricky:
Get lower to the left, pick up the NEXT white chain (9), then wiggling left and
right pick up with single shots the climbing one. You will wiggle, because as 
you fly left to pick up the first white shrimp, the next one will be directly 
under you, so you'll have to fly right to get out of the way, only to fly once 
again left to pick it up, fly again out of the way, and AGAIN fly left to 
complete the chain. (10c) It IS tricky at first, so train that part!
You now see 2 black chains in front of you, easy. (12c)
Wait for the next chains.
Pick up the next white (13), then the next black. (14c)
You should see a black chain under you. Get in the low right area!
Pick that black chain (15c) and stay about where you are, go lower yet.
Now, in front of you are 2 white chains, and a 3rd one comes suddenly from your
right. If you're not low enough, you'll die! 
Pick those 3 chains (twin shot is OK) (18c).
Now pick up chains as you go left again: one black (19), one white. (20c)
Two black chains are at your upper left and fall down.
This part is dangerous in Normal and Hard Mode, because the shrimps of the 
outer ring are shooting at you. Pay close attention to your polarity!
Kill each black shrimp separately! No twin shot! Get 2 chains (22c)
Now pick up the next white chain (23c), wait a little.
You should have no problems getting the next black chain. (24c)
And even less problems getting the last white chain. (25c)
***********************

Once you've scrolled all the way down, Misago will drop the wall. She prepares 
12 new cannons (6 black, 6 whites) and starts laser beaming around her. One set
of beams spreads out clockwise (black) the other counterclockwise (white).

---------------
    wXXXXXw
     bXXXb
      wbw 

        (b)
      
---------------

You'll have enough to do as it is, I know, but you're supposed to make chains 
here. What I do : place myself as white at about 2 o'clock. If you're placed 
correctly, a white laser hits you dead on. The black lasers look like they will
hit you, but they will start moving in the other direction!
Now, from there, go clockwise while twin shooting (you're still white).
As you go, you should pick up 3 black cannons.
Change quickly to black and move fast again at the up-right corner.
Change again to white. As you go clockwise again, pick up the last 3 blacks.
As soon as you killed the last black, release your full white gage.
Remaining time between 38 and 40 seconds.


Counting the first Boss part of Misago, I have around 130 chains.
If you followed this FAQ so far, you should have 124c.
Your score should be slightly higher than 3,000,000. 

Misago retreats and will rotate upside down. In the meanwhile, some of her 
minions will be dancing before your eyes, tempting you to make more chains. 
However, this isn't exactly easy.

-----------------
     b b_b w 
     b b_w w  
     w w_w b  
     | |_| |
     v |_| v   
     ^ |_| ^  
     | | | |
     b (w) w     
     w     b     
     w     b     
-----------------

You'll understand that ASCII map when you'll see the enemies moving. The ones 
in the middle turn at 90 angles and switch sides between each height level.
The ones at the side are tricky. If you wait a little, they look like this:

 b    or    w
 b          w
b/w        w/b   <--- they occupy the same space.
 w          b
 w          b

For a split second afterwards, they will be in the right order!
Bigger map:

          
  b3

  b2
  b1     <--- Since b1 moves up and w1 moves down, you can only shoot 
  w1          them down at this very moment. Practice your timing!
  w2
 
  w3

If you kill all ennemies you can get 36 chains.

Theoretically, this is how to proceed: (very hard to do)
The first column appears left, the next one right. Wait in the middle. Fly 
slightly left and kill the first column, then fly right until the exact middle,
pick up 1 chain, fly right and shoot the right column, fly left and pick up 1c 
in the middle, go on left and shoot the next column, fly right, kill 1c in the 
middle, fly right to kill the next column, and so on and so forth. It's 
insanely hard to do, but it works. 

Meanwhile cute little Misago has turned on the side. She offers you a trail of 
moving cannons:

----------------

__            __
__|bbw-><-wwb|__  <-- the cannons come out of some pipes at the sides.
                      These pipes move up and down sometimes. Beware.
     (w)
----------------

Here is the order of both pipes. You can achieve 18 chains.

wbwbwbwbwbwbbbbbbbbbwbbwbbw--> <--wwbwwbwwbwwwwwwbwbwbwbwbwbw

In Normal Mode, you'll need training, because they shoot twice as fast as in 
Easy Mode. In Hard Mode, they shoot twice as fast as in Normal Mode. 

Here is an example on how to chain them: (you're white the whole time)

Start at the (lower) right. Kill 2 whites, fly left and kill 1w and 2b, fly 
right and kill 1b and 2w, fly left and shoot 1w and 2b, fly right and shoot 1b 
and 2w, fly left and shoot 1w and 3b, fly right and shoot 1b, fly left and 
shoot 2b, fly right and shoot 6w. (9c)

Then fly left and shoot 4b, fly right, kill 1b, ignore 1w and kill the next 1b,
wait for 1w, fly left and kill 2w, then 1b, fly right and kill 1b, let 1w go, 
kill the next 1b, wait for the next 1w then fly left, kill the 2w in the 
middle, kill 1b, fly right and kill 1b, let 1w go, kill the next 1b, wait for 
1w, fly left and kill 2w, then 1b, fly right and kill 1b, let 1w go, kill the 
last 1b and shoot the last 3w. (+9c=18c)

Then Misago shows your her multi-ways cannons.

-----------------
 Black     White
(7-way)   (7-way)

 
WWW BBB   BBB WWW   
       (w)
-----------------

Three things: 
The "BBB" and "WWW" count for one ennemy. 
You can get under them. 
They turn over themselves and spread bullets.

The easiest method is to kill the black cannons first. If your gage isn't more 
than half-full, turn white and release your gage, turn immediately black and 
absorb the 7-way shots, firing all the while. In Easy Mode I'd advise you to 
keep whatever shots you can absorb for later. In Normal Mode, you'll absorb 
about 70 residual shots when the 7-way cannon explodes. Release as a black! 
You should finish the cannons with 20 to 24-25 seconds left.


If your gage is full:
Place yourself right in the middle of the two black cannons, go straight up. 
When you're at mid screen, go slightly down and to the left and release as 
black. Absorb the residual shots, fly up left and kill the last cannon, absorb 
and release still as black. Be sure to train this little trick, because it's 
very easy to mess up. I mess it up about 1/3rd of the time...

Even better method: 
When you are at that aforementioned spot, release white and immediately scroll 
up then right! It should kill all black cannons, and you're then right in front
of the white 7 ways cannon. Shoot all out, absorb about 10 bars, get out of the
way (left-up is best) change to black and release. It kills the rest.

*********************
HOW TO FIND THE SPOT?
When the turrets are over, press pause. Look at Misago in the background. 
There's a column of metal pipes and wires, see?
There is at about mid screen some kind of round platform with a kind of metal 
fence around it.
Just there, you should see a huge white metal pipe going up-right. (like the 
jugular above your collarbone)
At the height where the fence stops, position your ship over that huge pipe, 
ever so slightly to the left. The spot is right there.
Pic to prove it is taken from a video, but seeing I have no webspace, I'll wait
for a future update to give some link. 
*********************

You should have more than 4,000,000 now. If you don't, you're going to need a 
miracle to get Rank S++.

Misago retreats once again to show you what she's got. In the meanwhile, Isuka 
ships will tackle you.

They come in groups of 3 and throw themselves at you. Once they took their aim,
move slightly to the side and kill them in groups of 3. 
After those little groups, a whole ring (white) will do the same. Retreat under
the aim point and use your Twin Shot. If you destroy them all, a black ring 
will come as a Bonus.

In this last part, you can make 29 chains.

If you killed all ennemies except the ones outside Misago (as you scroll her up
and down) you should have 209 chains.

"There is no refuge. Unable to avoid firing"

Misago... now comes the time to end it all.

She ensnares you into inside an artificial arena. At the center, her weak 
point, protected by 3x4=12 layers of protection. (6 whites, 6 blacks). For 
the walls of the arena, she fires continuous laser beams. Depending of the 
difficulty mode, these are: 
Of one color in Easy Mode.
Of two colors in Normal Mode. (bw or wb)
Of four colors in Hard Mode (bwbw or wbwb)

First things first, you'll have to destroy her protective layers. A third of 
your gage will be necessary for each protection. Once you've destroyed two 
protective layers, you will be able to stay in the space there and fire some 
more.

-----------------
      XXXXX
    WWWXXXWWW 
   XXWWWXWWWXX
   XXXWWWWWXXX
    XXXWWWXXX 
      XWWWX
   
C (b)           C 
\               /
 \__C_______C__/
-----------------

Of course, things are not so easy. While the outer wall moves clockwise, Misago
spins on herself counterclockwise (she does move a little excentered though) 
and reversed.

Once you have destroyed 4 layers, you can access her core. It's white. In Easy 
Mode, that's no problem. It Normal and Hard Mode, the core shoots extremely 
powerful laser beams (not the whole time though). Even if you absorb, you're 
most likely to get pushed back to one of the walls of the corridor and crash.

Try to have more than 57 secs left when you kill her. Once you can do that, 
train to find new attack patterns. This will help you get used to the cannons. 
Eventually you should be able to kill her with over 75 seconds to spare. 

*****************
Try this: As soon as you can move, be white, move in front of the white layer. 
Turn black, shoot it down, follow her to the right, turn white, shoot the layer
down. This gets dangerous but try it: stay in that "channel" and turn black, 
destroy the third barrier. Turn white and release, it breaks the last barrier 
and Misago should start shooting a big white laser from the core. Absorb and 
release, after 2 times absorb until you can safely get out, turn black and 
release. It should be enough to kill her. You have 76 seconds left or so.
Note that you can try it with the layers at your left; at the beginning, just 
wait as black until it moves in front of you, then follow it. It's less 
dangerous and just as effective.
*****************
 

VII) Final Chapter

Difficulty: Very Easy / Very Hard
Boss: Tageri (3 forms)
Rank S achieved at 4,600,000
Rank S++ achieved at 5,000,000
Max score : approx. 5,860,000
DVD Score (WIZ) : 5,856,040

This stage is my favorite. Tageri is an excellent boss, the stage flies by very
fast, and the ennemies are all very impressive. The music score is also very 
good.

It starts with Toratsugumi suicide troops that fly exactly in your direction. 
Stay at the beginning at about mid-screen, and move ever so slowly down. In 
Normal and Hard Mode, you'll have more than enough residual shots to fill your 
gage about 6 times, so don't worry about releasing the power. This goes on for 
127 white ennemies. That means 42 chains and 1 ennemy, try to get 42 chains.

Then come 3 white Renjaku shooting (they disappear fast), then another 6 white 
ones, then immediately after 6 black ones.

Kill the 3 first Renjaku, then place yourself 3/4ths of the screen to the 
right, in the lower part of the screen. Change to black. When you know that 
the next white Renjaku is about to appear, sweep to the left. 
Now everything goes fast: as soon as you've killed 5 whites, change to white to
finish the last one, then immediately sweep to the right to kill all 6 black 
Renjaku.

Alternative method: (even better)
Kill all 127 Toratsugumi, then all 3 Renjakus. Now, leave the rightmost Renjaku
alone, stay white and move to the left to kill 5 white Renjaku with your normal
shot. Then immediately fly to the right, still firing white, to kill 6 black 
Renjaku with your normal shot. Your gage is already full, you won't have to 
wait at the next ennemies. 

After that comes a ring of white Renjaku, they shoot all in the middle. Stay in
the middle, white, absorb all. As soon as your gage is full, release! And 
absorb (you'll hear "Energy Max"). Immediately after come 12 black ships 
(once again a ring). Release. You should reach the 1,300,000 mark.

After that the Toratsugumi suicide squadrons attack anew. This time they appear
in a circle, but each one after the other (very fast). Kill what you can and 
release your power, absorb as much as possible and repeat with the next flow of
ennemies.

This goes on for another white 95 ennemies (31 chains and 2 ennemies). Stop at 
31 chains! (important)

Then 3 white Toki come from the left, and slightly later 3 black ones from the 
right.

---------------
  WW       BB
WW  WW   BB  BB

  (b) then (w)


---------------

Once you've destroyed them, 3 white Toki appear at the upper edge and 3 black 
ones slightly later at the lower edge. If your gage is full, simply release the
power. You need at least 9 blocks to destroy them all. You reach 2,250,000.

---------------
WW     W     WW
      (b)



BB     B     BB
---------------

***************
Alternative Method for Hard Mode!

---------------
  WW       BB
WW  WW   BB  BB         The point is to release your homing missiles
                             and of course to absorb like crazy!
  (w) then (b)


---------------

You need to have absorbed at least 4 or 5 blocks!

---------------
WW     W     WW
      (w)
                     Release white, absorb the maximum.
                       Then release once again white.   
                          Turn immediately black.
BB     B     BB
---------------
***************

And then the most impressive ennemies appear on the screen : the Chougenbou.
They shoot about 150 bullets each second and liberate over 120 when you kill 
them in Normal and Hard Mode. Just stay white. Once you've killed one, it also 
liberates 11 Utatsugumi. Once you've killed most of them another Chougenbou 
appears...

---------------
<-- WWWWWWW -->
     WWWWW
      (w)



---------------

Chougenbou are "Bonus Ennemies". You'll most certainly encounter 3 or 4. If you
get faster, you can encounter up to 7 of them, but in order to do this you must
try to take them down as a black ship. It prevents you from absorbing their 
huge number of residual shots...

Look at the ASCII map. There's a reason why I made it that way. Stick as close 
as you can to their mouth as white to get the better score. You will fill up 
your gage each and every second, so you can use your homing twice to kill them,
then once again to kill the ring of Utatsugumi. (you are so close to the 
Chougenbous that you will be INSIDE the ring when it appears)

You have something between 106 and 118 chains (maximum), and probably around 
3,000,000. The last Chapter begins...

                               METEMPSYCHOSIS

                      "And then the Karma will go back
                     To the will it belonged to before,
                     And will shake awake the First One,
                   The first conscious being still present
                   At the deepest corner of one's memories.
                       And so, the Ikaruga departs..."


...and ends right there. Meet Tageri.

                   "I am the One who allows you to live.
              I told you to seek to walk down the right path...
                Are you telling me you don't understand this?"

He has 4 snake-like heads. They shoot a few bullets (even more when you've 
destroyed them) At the side, hand-like robots shoot a grid of lasers.

---------------
  BB WW WW BB  
H             H

  (w)

---------------

Sorry, but the grid of lasers I can't map. Imagine that both "H" shoot a 9-way 
laser, each way being of another color. 
Basically, the trick is to absorb all you can and to release your gage on the 
each of the opposite color. But it will take time until you can move on the 
grid without dying once.

You have 80 seconds to destroy it. Try to remain with over 50 sec left. With a 
little training, you should be able to achieve between 57 and 62 seconds.

*****************
You start with a full white gage. Release on the left black head and move to 
the other. The hands start shooting. Absorb the white lasers and release a full
gage. It should kill the right black head. Now change color and move left until
the next two black lasers meet, absorb and release a full gage. Move 
immediately left, change to white. When the left black head has died, move to 
the next black lasers, change color and release. It should finish off the last 
white head, you should have 57-59 seconds to spare.
*****************

When all 4 heads have been destroyed, he reveals another face : one bigger big 
black snake head, and a white one.


                      "You can't feel what you see...
                    But you can feel what you don't see.
                  Is that what you're trying to tell me?"


The hands now shoot about 5-7 bullets each and every second. Meanwhile, a 
serpent-like little ship will aim at you and let a trail of laser behind (which
you must absorb if you want to move out.) Of course, you will get a white AND a
black serpent. (it would be too easy)

---------------
  BBBBXXXWWWW 
H             H


          (b)  

--------------- 

As you see, I start with the white head. That's because the black head is the 
first to shoot. I can stay black and absorb the bullets for a little while 
before moving out of the way.

You have another 80 seconds. Try to destroy it with over 50 to spare. With 
training you might achieve up to 64. (very dangerous though. 63 is easier)

*****************
Look at the map. Stay here as long as you can, if you must move then fly 
straight up towards the white head. Then absorb as much black as you can while 
scrolling down. The white serpent should get out about now. Lead him down as 
much as possible, then fly towards it, move out at the last moment and finish 
off the white head. You should succeed. If not, no problem, move straight left 
until you're under the black head, turn white, release your full gage, move 
downright and this time make sure you finish the white head. Turn white, move 
left, and when he's coming too close to you fly left and absorb the new white 
serpent. Release. It should be enough. You have 53 to 60 seconds left.
*****************



                   "You are aware of this, too, aren't you?
    Until the very end of Time, you won't ever escape this Metempsychosis"


And now his third form. Tageri is, at the core, a giant Ying-Yang ball. He 
inverses polarity every second (faster as he takes damage) and shoots 12 homing
lasers (which means he has your super attack down pat). The hands shoot bullets
vaguely in your direction. In Easy Mode only a few, in Normal Mode you should 
have trouble avoiding them, and in Hard Mode you MUST absorb some of them if 
you want to have enough space to move.

The method to win is very easy: stay in front of him, always the same color as 
he is. Once you've absorbed his homing lasers, release immediately. He will 
inverse polarity before your lasers hit him, so he will take double damage. He 
has something like 12 full life bars in Normal Mode. (Slightly Orange, Yellow, 
Light Green, Dark Green, Light Blue, Dark Blue, Light Purple, Dark Purple, 
Purple Grey, Grey, Dark Grey, White if memory serves right.)

For the people who want a better score, absorb the white shots from the head at
the beginning. Place yourself as white on the head, release your gage when it's
half filled, wait for it to go max, get to the side, switch to black, release, 
change immediately to white and get back in front of Tageri. It may only be an 
extra 20k, but it's nonetheless an extra 20k. 

You have once again 80 seconds to kill him.
In Easy Mode, you kill him at 61 sec left (provided you didn't die in between) 

In Normal and Hard Mode, once the timer reaches 60, FEAR will install itself in
your heart: Tageri starts -shooting-. And I mean SHOOTING. To give you an idea,
after 5 seconds there will be 12 white homing lasers, 90 white shots and 60 
black shots on the screen, plus the ones from the hands. The bullets go slowly 
down the screen, in columns of 3. 

---------------
    bWWhWWb      <--- the "h" is Tageri's head.  
H bbWWWWWWWbb H
 bbbbWWWWWbbbb
wwwwwwwwwwwwwww
bwwwwwwwwwwwwwb
bbbwww(w)wwwbbb
bbb         bbb
---------------

You get the idea? It's filled with bullets.
Destroy Tageri as soon as you can and you get 55 or 56 seconds left.


    "And so... walk that path until the End, so you don't regret anything.

                       'I am not alive, thus I can't die. 
               I won't give up even if my Ideal isn't fulfilled. 
                My will, just as my regrets, won't ever die... '
                        We should all have known this!

                 Do you think we will ever see the Freedom?"


EXTRA NOTES:
Let us think for a moment. We get points for absorbing bullets. Hmm. The 12 
homing lasers bring 12,000. If we add, say, 20 bullets each second, that makes 
14,000 points and more each second (actually more, since Tageri is now 
inverting polarity every 6/10th of second). 

If you kill Tageri as fast as possible, that makes :
Your Score (around 3,200,000) + {(59+60+55)*10,000} = 4,940,000. (Rank S+)

However, if you wait until the last second before killing him...
(3,200,000) + (14,000*54*10/6) + {(59+60+1)*10,000} = 5,678,000 (Rank S++)

This is how you do this:

---------------
    bWWhWWb      
H bbWWWWWWWbb H
 bbbbWWWWWbbbb
wwwwwwwwwwwwwww
bwwwwwwwwwwwwwb
bbbwww(w)wwwbbb
bbb         bbb
---------------

OK, you're about in this situation. By now, you should have stopped shooting, 
because that would kill Tageri. He should have less than a third of his last 
life bar left. (important!)
Move slightly up, then left, down and right. This way you will (more or less) 
absorb a circle of bullets, which offers you a little spare room for you to 
change color. (and a place to escape if the bullets from the hands come too 
close to you).
Since you always stay at about mid-screen, that means that the room behind your
ship is almost always free. It's a nice contrast on the picture, and will give 
a little rest to your nerves. You won't have the constant pressure "one wrong 
move and everything's over!". It sounds like nothing, but absorbing this extra 
space should help you keep your cool.
At about 30 seconds left, you should start getting confident. Try to watch the 
clock few and far between. When you've seen something under 10, count the 
seconds. Release your gage at 2 or 1 if Tageri has only very few life-force 
left.


IMPORTANT NOTICE:
If you die twice during Tageri's last from, he WON'T shoot at you. (Only the 
homing lasers and the hands). That's why you're better off killing him sooner 
if you notice that you can't adapt to the flow of bullets. Better safe than 
sorry. 
In Hard Mode, this doesn't apply. You're really better off killing him ASAP. 
If you train long enough to almost dot-eat him, you should get over 6 million 
points, about 1,8 million come from absorbing the shots of his last form. But 
one wrong move and you're losing precious lives. 

Tageri in Hard Mode in insanely hard to beat. Really. At about 54 seconds left,
he changes polarity every half-second, actually even faster. You will barely 
have the time to change polarity and move up just enough to absorb 3 rows of 
bullets. You won't be able to make some free space around you. The method there
is to absorb a free space over 1 or 2 rows of bullets, then change to the other
color (stop moving!) so that you absorb his homing missiles, and immediately 
change back to absorb the last row, change again to absorb 1 or 2 rows, etc.
You can slow him down if you just start hurting him (deplete about 3-4 life 
bars) then wait. He'll be building his speed up to the maximum at 48 seconds 
left and not 54. But after that you'll have 7 or 8 life bars left to deplete, 
and honestly you'll already have enough to do as it is. 

What you do is up to you. Train like crazy in Practice Mode, it's there for a 
reason! 

VIII) Extra Inning

Difficulty: Very Hard
Boss: Ubusunagami ouki no kai
No Rank
Max score : between 4,190,000 (arcade options) and 9,690,000 (beginner options)


A huge glowing yellow crystal floats in front of you. Yes, yellow. Not black 
nor white, freaking damn yellow.


         "Restrain devices are disactivated, you can't shoot anymore"


---------------
      YYY
     YYYYY
      YYY


   (w)

---------------

At first you'll have to avoid / absorb shots. It shoots white clockwise and 
black counterclockwise. If you survive this for 10 seconds it will send you 
dart-like lasers (these aim directly for you).

*****************
To survive this, you can fly around him. It's fairly easy to do even when the 
dart-like lasers start appearing. If you're not confident in your skills, just 
stay about 2/3rds down the screen and change color whenever you need to. 
*****************

If you survive yet another 10 seconds, it changes the strategy. Four laser 
beams (that move with you) plus extremely fast rings of bullets. Of course, 
each ring is of a different color. And of course of different speed. If he 
shoots a slow white ring, be sure that a fast black ring will meet you head on
before the white ring had a chance to get to you.
If you survive yet another 10 seconds it sends 4 times more dart-like lasers.

*****************
Surviving this is quite easy as well. Basically, you will have to change color 
faster and faster, the difficulty will be provided by the dart-like lasers.
If you see one of them appearing near you and if you think you have more than 
enough time to absorb it, do absorb it as soon as possible. They have the nasty
habit of delaying their attack until the last possible moment, so take steps to
avoid this.   
*****************

If you survive 10 seconds of this it will stop moving the laser beams and stop 
sending darts. It then lets the laser beams move clockwise or counterclockwise 
(depends) and shoot bullets in all directions, slowly.
If you survive 10 seconds, the speed of the laser beams increases drastically.

*****************
This is, honestly speaking, the only difficulty of this boss. I still lose 
lives there. The point is that the closer you are to the boss, the less you 
will need to move to absorb all the bullets of a set color. It is easy at 
first, but after a few seconds your eyes will have trouble telling the colors 
apart (it sounds stupid, but it really IS the case). If you start putting 
distance between your ship and the boss, you will at first have less problems 
avoiding the shots -in front- of you, but you're most likely to die because 
of the shots -beside- you.
*****************

You CAN die even when the timer is at 0. Don't relax until the game goes 
automatically to the last sequence!


"Release the restrain device. Using the released power may result the 
possibility of destruction of the ship."

"You did your best. Was I helpful for you?"

"I am deeply grateful to you."


                  "Do you think... we did the right thing?
                  It's alright... I'm sure that sometimes, 
              The day will come where we understand each other.
              And then we'll walk together into the far future... 
          Because Life is given from one generation to the next one"


EXTRA NOTES:
For each spare life, you get 500,000. 
You can absorb bullets for about between 120,000 and 190,000.
Hence a maximum of 4,190,000.

If you play with other options, you can make more than 40,000,000. But these 
options aren't valid in the Challenge Mode, so don't use them. It will just 
give you a harder time to get used to the game. But it may make it easier for
you to get new levels for the Practice Mode. 

Theoretical Best Score :

 4,240,000 + 
 6,260,000 + 
 7,400,000 + 
 7,720,000 + 
 5,860,000 + 
   190,000 =
____________
31,670,000 +
 9,500,000 =
____________
41,170,000


Lives left * 500,000.
If you play in Extend 1 with 4 spare lives, that means
4 + 15 = 19 * 500,000 = 9,500,000


IX) Chain Grid (slightly off I fear!)

Here I'll write down what chain and score milestones you *should* meet while 
playing. I'm roughly evaluating my *best* performance. 

Some players score much better!

1) IDEAL

Text Sequence:    22c,     418,220.  -->     412,000 is OK
Clouds:           39c,     911,160.  -->     890,000 is OK
Mid-chapter:      74c,   1,860,000.  -->   1,728,000 is OK  (70c)  
After Ajisashi:  110c,   2,796,000.  -->   2,680,000 is OK (106c)
Bonus:           130c,   3,330,000.  -->   That one is up to you!
Eboshidori:        74,   4,112,180.  -->   72 is OK. Aim for 3,500,000.

2) TRIAL

Text sequence:    42c,   5,075,380.  -->   4,200,000 is OK.  (38c) 
Before blocks:    70c,   5,800,380.  -->   4,900,000 is OK.  (66c)
+ 2 Generators:  101c,   6,585,480.  -->   5,700,000 is OK.  (95c)
- 6 Generators:  142c,   7,675,480.  -->   6,850,000 is OK. (136c)
Torafuzuku:      170c,   8,455,480.  -->   7,500,000 is OK. (162c)
Bonus:           188c,   8,872,480.  -->   That one is up to you!
Buppousou:         80,   9,779,420.  -->   73 is OK. Aim for 8,500,000.

3) FAITH

Text sequence:    78c,  11,859,220.  -->  10,450,000 is OK.  (76c)
Isuka Up&Down:   120c,  12,945,220.  -->  11,500,000 is OK. (116c)
Shutters:        148c,  13,670,220.  -->  12,200,000 is OK. (140c)
After Shigi:     186c,  14,675,220.  -->  13,050,000 is OK. (170c)
Bonus:           202c,  15,115,220.  -->  That one is up to you!
Uzura:             73,  15,954,660.  -->  64 is OK. Aim for 14,000,000.

4) REALITY

Text sequence:    20c,  16,360,260.  -->  14,380,000 is OK.  (20c)
Misago 1:   41,  129c,  19,240,260.  -->  16,800,000 is OK. (106c)
Misago 2:   27,  183c,  20,695,260.  -->  17,850,000 is OK. (146c)
Isuka:           212c,  21,443,220.  -->  18,600,000 is OK. (175c)  
Misago Boss:       78,  23,028,560.  -->  73 is OK. Aim for 20,000,000.

5) METEMPSYCHOSIS

Text sequence:   114c,  26,171,260.  -->  22,900,000 is OK. (106c)
Tageri:       59-60-1,  28,761,580.  -->  24,800,000 is OK. (54-56-55)
Last Boss:    8 lives,  32,905,280.  -->  Aim for 27,400,000 (5 lives)

X) Extras

*Gallery Mode 2 Texts*

Shinra: He has an almost stubborn faith in his beliefs, but at the same 
        time his young age makes him sometimes reckless. However, in complete  
        contrast to his outrageous looks, he can keep his temper in check.
        Since his goal in life is to have absolutely no regrets when his time  
        has come, some people may think he's eager to die.

Kagari: A former Hitekkai pilot of the Hourai Army, she battled against Shinra 
        piloting a Butsutekkai. As a second generation pilot, her genes were
        enhanced, which gave her an incredible resistance compared to normal
        pilots. 
        She lost to Shinra in battle, and was saved from the crashing of her
        ship. After that, partially trusting him but partially doubting him
        too, she became interested in Shinra's Life Philosophy and now fights
        at his side, piloting the Ginkei.

Old Man Kazamori: Kazamori is the Elder of the "Ikaruga Village", which became 
                  a place where people got ridden of older folks due to the
                  political actions of Hourai.
                  He is wise, can see the bigger picture behind the little
                  things in society, and can take the right decisions at the
                  right time. He is thus a big mental support to Shinra.
                  He built the Ikaruga with the help of Amanai, Shinkai and a
                  few others. He threw himself into the battle because he
                  believes someday freedom will come to the people.    

Amanai: Before he was sent to the "Ikaruga Village", he was an incredibly
        skilled Hitekkai blueprints engineer. At first he lost the will to live
        when he arrived, and looked then more like a living corpse than
        anything else, but Kazamori could talk him into helping create the
        Ikaruga battleship, which he drew the blueprints for, and even
        assembled most of the parts.
        He has this somewhat crazy side, just as any genius engineer, and has
        quite some difficulties to be sincere with other people, but he is good
        at heart.

Shinkai: A little obnoxious, somewhat crude maybe, he is the Mayor of the
         Ikaruga village, for he knows how to take care of people in need.
         He's as straightforward as he looks to be, but being no expert when it
         comes down to emotions, he sometimes can get on your nerves. 
         He's a kind of a "big brother" to Shinra and is the one who introduced
         him to Amanai, even helping the both to become friends. 
         He knows quite a few things about machinery, but since Amanai hates 
         his rough ways with delicate, precise work, he's only allowed to help
         when the team needs brute strength.  

Hourai Tenrou: She was an Esper, so when she found the Stone-like in a desert 
               cave in the depths of her country, she was downright assaulted 
               with strong empathic waves. She believed they were a sign of the
               Gods, but she harmonized them to her own psychic waves without
               realizing the true intentions of the Stone-like. Soon afterwards
               she went berserk. 
               For all official means, she was driven by her devotion to her 
               holy goal, but in her insanity, she decided to implement the 
               Stone-like within her own ship, and in order to achieve that 
               placed restrictive devices on it. Then she started the war.
               She should be still young, but her face is full of wrinkles, 
               and her hair is of a pure white, letting her appear very old.


*Prologues: Extras taken from the DC GDROM and the GC bonus booklet.*

[I corrected a text part that was already written in English in the 
"PROLOGUE.TXT" data on the DC GD ROM. I did so to keep in flow with my 
translation. The original data says : "the Sword of Fudoumyouoh"]


Prologue 1: Hourai

Hourai. Historically, it was a small country at the outskirts of Honshuu. But 
now, claiming to be a vessel who received the powers of the Gods, it has 
conquered military every other country under the name of "peaceful 
unification", for they believe they are the "Chosen Ones".
It all started when Hourai Tenrou, the leader of this country, started to 
display "miraculous" skills and powers. It happened after she encountered "the 
Golden-Glowing Rock of the Stone-Like God", which was discovered several years 
before deep below the surface of the earth.
Amidst this, there was a group called "Tenkaku", who battled against Hourai, 
for they wanted to free the people. They used battleships they called 
"Hitekkai", but they gradually suffered more and more losses, until they were 
wiped out. 
However, a young man among them miraculously survived. His name was Shinra.


Prologue 2 : The Village of the Grosbeak

A few days after Tenkaku was defeated... Shinra could be seen working on 
building a new Hitekkai, made from spare parts and other salvaged remnants of 
fallen battleships.

He wasn't trying to run to a certain death... but he hadn't been thinking about
surviving, either. Energy burned inside him like hot ashes, and he looked like 
some kind of demon.
"Freedom"... The longing for this vague form of "peace", a forbidden thing in 
our time and age, had now turned into a simple excuse to justify his course of 
action.

Eventually, as the night was about to end, Shinra sat down in the cockpit of 
the Hitekkai he'd just finished preparing, the "Shirasagi" ("white heron").

(Why am I rushing things?... No, I'm not in a rush... well, I shouldn't be... 
but still...)

He soundlessly started the engine, and slowly flew off... When the altitude 
reached 800m (about 2400ft), as it entered the range of the defense radars, the
Shirasagi was attacked by Hourai's Hitekkais.
Displaying his uncommon skills, Shinra destroyed the ennemy ships one after the
other, despite the low qualities of his own Shirasagi.

(Why am I fighting?... I'm supposed to live in freedom, right?... but where am 
I heading to?...)

Suddenly appeared in front of him the Butsutekkai "Eboshidori" piloted by the 
Hourai General "Asami Kagehisa".

Asami: "A survivor of Tenkaku... I'm impressed you've come so far all alone..."
Shinra: "So what's it to you? I'm putting my life on the line here, but I mean
          it a lot more seriously than you lowly bastards do..."
Asami: "...Mph. How green you are..."

Shinra evaded all of Asami's attacks, and seemed to be a superior position in 
the fight, but...

Asami: "Oh ho, you're quite skilled. Well then, how about THIS?"

The "Eboshidori" fired 5 balls of light, all of which made a wide arc towards 
the "Shirasagi". 

Shinra: "Homing bullets!?"

The "Shirasagi" was hit by the homing attack of the "Eboshidori" and suffered 
great damage. It fell off in blacks clouds of smoke. 

Shinra: "Shit!"
Asami:  "Young One, it's a brave thing to face your ennemies alone... but your
         life isn't here for you to bet on it."
Shinra: "What's the retarded talk for? I'm not done with you!"
Asami : "Mph. Should you survive this, then let us meet again."

Asami flew away without paying further attention to the crashing "Shirasagi".

Shinra's Hitekkai was belching black clouds of smoke, and crashed into a 
village deep into the mountains. This village was called the Village of the 
Grosbeak, and only elderly people lived there, being rejected away here during
the process of "peaceful unification" - to say it bluntly, it was a dump for 
old-timers.
As the ship crashed on the ground, Shinra was thrown out of the cockpit, and 
saved by some villagers.

In the house of the Elder Kazamori. Shinra was still sleeping, the Elder 
watching over him. The rays of the sun seeped through the shouji, and outside 
the room lit by the sunset, the crickets could be heard chirping.

Inside of Shinra's conscience, two human shapes vaguely took form.

Man: "Don't worry... sometime the day will come when we understand each other."
Woman: "And then, we'll walk towards the far future, for Life is given from one
generation to the next..."
Shinra: "... the future..."

As Shinra gradually retrieved consciousness, the Elder Kazamori appeared in his
foggy sight.

Shinra: "Hm? ...Where am I?..."
Kazamori: "This place is called the Village of the Grosbeak. You've come here 
when your Hitekkai crashed... do you remember anything?"
Shinra: "The Village of the Grosbeak... you mean that dump- err, no, I mean..."

Kazamori let a smile grow on his face...

Kazamori: "It's ok. It seems everybody thinks so."
Shinra: "Wait! What about my Shirasagi?"
Kazamori: "Your white heron? Oh, you mean your Hitekkai... it's not going to be
of any use anymore. You should already thank the gods you're still alive."
Shinra: "That was the last Shirasagi... !!... Shit!... God dammit!"
Kazamori: "... ..."


2 Months later...

Shinra watched the sunset from some cliff near the village. The Elder Kazamori 
walked slowly up to him.

Kazamori: "You're going, right?"
Shinra: "Thanks for taking care of me. I am forever indebted to you."
Kazamori: "Yes, well... ... But please tell me, why do you fight? In some 
twisted way, you should be able to have an easy life if you obey Hourai."
Shinra: "Now that I'm alone, my duty as a Tenkaku member is as good as null and
void. But, even if for only one brief moment in my life... even if my body is 
to turn to ashes, I don't want to have any regrets regarding my life. I've 
decided I would defeat Hourai and regain Freedom."
Kazamori: "Well, it sounds like the right thing to do... But couldn't one say 
it's a pretty egotistical view on things?"
Shinra: "But, if I fight for those who believe in me, and if the result happens
to bring peace and freedom to everyone, wouldn't it make it a good thing to do?
Kazamori: "There always are those who do not wish so. And there are also those 
who want other forms of peace and freedom. They all yearn for their own 
freedom, but end up fighting, for they don't understand what freedom is... And 
in the end... they end up killing each others, without an afterthought, in the 
name of freedom. In our longing for peace, we mustn't turn into mass-murderers.
That is, at least, my take on it."
Shinra: "... ..." 

Shinra was hesitant, confused. Elder Kazamori smiled... then nodded.

Kazamori: "Freedom and Peace have as many forms as the number of people in this
world. When you fight, never forget this... By the way, did you plan on 
fighting bare handed?"
Shinra: "Well, I..."
Kazamori: "Ha ha ha, just follow me."
Shinra: "Where to?"
Kazamori: "Follow me, and you'll see."

A slight smile on his lips, Kazamori lead the way.

Shinra was brought in the depths of a cave at the edge of the village. There 
was a huge, artificial cavity underground, made entirely of metal, and within 
it, among all kinds of weapons and mechanical parts, a single Hitekkai 
was lying.

Shinra: "This is... a Hitekkai."
Kazamori: "Yes. We named it Ikaruga ("Grosbeak")."
Shinra: "What does it do in such a place? ... But..."
Kazamori: "Well, our village is a dump for old-timers, you see... the people of
this world don't seem to need us... but every life, every will, every presence,
everything has a reason to be. There is nothing you don't need. The Ikaruga is 
the shape and form of our freedom, the evidence that we exist. We believe it is
something that will revive mankind."
Shinra: "Revive mankind...?"
Kazamori: "You don't need to understand that now. Each one will notice what it 
means soon enough."

The two people preparing the ship (Shinkai and Amanai) took notice of Shinra.

Shinkai: "Hm? There's a stylish face over there. Elder Kazamori, is he the...?"
Kazamori: "Yes. This is Shinra."

Shinra slightly bowed his head in their direction.

Shinkai: "The name's Shinkai. I'm helping around. This old man there is called 
Amanai, and he's the genius former engineer that designed and built the 
Ikaruga."  

All the while still checking and working on the ship, Amanai glanced sideways 
at Shinra, and then... 

Amanai: "Mph!... he's radiating bloodlust, he looks like a demon."
Shinkai: "Aw, c'mon, you still want to pilot this yourself? You should stop 
now."
Amanai: "Pff, that's none of your business! ... Hey, loverboy!! Don't. Break. 
This. Ship!"
Kazamori: "You see, the Ikaruga is a little different than your average 
Hitekkai. You're going to need training, but... will you pilot it?"

Shinra didn't answer the Elder's words. He nodded...

[A few days have passed]

The flying tests were in their middle phase when Amanai noticed a flying object
approaching the Village on the radars.

Amanai: "Huh? What is... Hey! Loverboy! Hourai is attacking us!"
Shinra: "I can see that as well. Judging from the size, it's probably a 
Butsutekkai... I'm off to stop it!"

As he let the Ikaruga hover higher, he clearly saw the ennemy. The Butsutekkai 
fired homing bullets, but Shinra instantly changed to the appropriate polarity 
and absorbed all shots. The Butsutekkai stopped dead in its track, having not 
expected that reaction out of the Ikaruga. But then he attacked anew, this time
with the opposite polarity. But Shinra only had to change polarity to absorb 
those shots as well. Shinra noticed that the pilot was clearly getting nervous,
so he used the "Power Release". The lasers all hit the Butsutekkai... that fell
off towards the Village. Shinra dropped with the Ikaruga as fast as he could to
follow the ennemy ship.

It was pure luck that the Butsutekkai didn't hit the normal houses. Instead it 
fell at some distance of the village. Shinra landed roughly with the Ikaruga in
the immediate surroundings, and looked around. 
That's when he saw a human shape.

Shinra: "There's someone! Could that be the pilot?" 

When Shinra had walked up to the shape, he noticed it was a woman lying there.

Shinra: "What the??? A woman?"

As he tried to lift her up, he noticed that she was about his age.

??: "ugh..."

She was still breathing, and let out a hiss of pain. Shinra took her by the 
shoulders and shook her awake.

Shinra: "Hey! Hang in there!"

Did she react to Shinra's voice? In any case, the woman opened her eyes. 
However, she immediately pushed Shinra away, and still breathing heavily, she 
started to shout.

??: "Kill me! I'm not that eager to live, that I'd accept becoming your toy!"
Shinra: "... fucking dimwit! What are you blabbing about?"
??: "If you don't want to kill me, I'm committing suicide, here and now!"

The woman took a knife from her equipment, and shoved it directly towards her 
thin neck. But just as it was about to rip her jugular and turn it into a blood
fountain, Shinra hit her wrists hard, and the knife fell on the ground. She 
tried to get the knife back, but Shinra kicked it away.

??: "Why? Why do you save me, your ennemy? Why?"

Right after she said this, she passed out on the ground. Shinra took her in his
arms, and went back to the Ikaruga. 

Shinra: "What a woman... she's like me... Like I was not so long ago." 

Two weeks later, as he finished the training, Shinra went back to Kazamori's 
home.

Shinra: "Mister Kazamori, what happened to the woman?"
Kazamori: "She's sitting in the backroom down the aisle... Now, don't worry. 
She had indeed quite some temper when you first brought her here, but... she's 
a lot calmer now. She doesn't look suicidal anymore. Take it easy."
Shinra: "I really brought you and the villagers a lot of trouble... I'm sorry."
Kazamori: "Don't sweat it! It was quite interesting to take care of a young 
woman for a change, it had been a while. You don't need to make excuses."
Shinra: "You said she was in the back room down the aisle? ... I'm going there 
to meet her."

When Shinra got to that part of Kazamori's mansion, that woman wasn't doing 
anything out of the ordinary. She was sitting there, still, apparently 
listening intently to the chirping of the crickets.

Shinra: "... Can I sit next to you?"

When Shinra addressed her, she turned her face to look at him, then nodded. 
Shinra sat on the wooden aisle, and looking at the forest in front of him, he 
started asking questions.

Shinra: "... I didn't get to know your name yet. Who are you? I think I've told
you before, but my name is Shinra."
??: "Kagari... my name is Kagari."

That had only been a whisper. She was now looking at the same spot Shinra was 
looking at.

Shinra: "Kagari, uh? Cool name."
Kagari: "You're a strange one. The villagers too... Why did you save one of 
Hourai such as me?"
Shinra: "I couldn't harden myself enough to let a wounded person die. I guess 
it's the same for Mr Kazamori."
Kagari: "Kazamori... the old man, right? He and you seem to talk about 
"Freedom"... but does that really exist?"
Shinra: "... to be honest, I don't really know. But the Elder said that 
"Freedom takes as many forms as there are people". If that's the case, then...
the "freedom" I'm aiming at surely exists... somewhere."
Kagari: "As many as people... somewhere..."

Kagari seemingly whispered again Shinra's words. Both sat in silence on the 
wooden floor for some time, but then Kagari stood up.

Kagari: "Shinra, could you take me at my Butsutekkai? ... Don't worry. I'm not 
going to run away or anything."
Shinra: "Well. it's fine by me, but... I don't think you could use that piece 
of junk anymore, so.. what are you going to do with it?"
Kagari: "Don't ask... just, please, take me there."
Shinra: "... OK."

As they both came to the place they first met, which means in other words, 
where the Butsutekkai crashed, it was impossible not to see the huge remnants 
of the ship.

Kagari: "You were right, it looks pretty bad. But I guess if it's still intact,
then it's okay..."
Shinra: "It? What do you mean by "it"?"

Kagari didn't answer Shinra. She opened halfway a hatch on the belly side of 
the Butsutekkai. Shinra tried to get a peek... there was a Hitekkai inside.

Shinra: "A Hitekkai?? How in the world?"
Kagari: "It's mine. I had to coerce the maintenance chief to get this one. It 
looks like it didn't suffer that much damage... I'm glad."
Shinra: "You used extortion? The poor guy must have been scared shitless..."
Kagari: "Most certainly."

Kagari smiled broadly. It was the first time Shinra saw her smile.

Shinra: "And how is that ship named?"
Kagari: "Ginkei ("Silver Bird"). It's called Ginkei."

Amanai: "Hmm. That's quite some ship. Probably cost a lot of money."

That's what Amanai about spat after his first glance at the Ginkei.

Kagari: "Indeed. Actually, it cost so much that it was deemed useless for mass 
production, and only few of those exist."
Amanai:" And? What did you have in mind, girl?"
Kagari: "I'd want you to... equip this Ginkei with the same parts as the 
Ikaruga."
Shinra: "What did you say???"

Shinra shrieked when he heard Kagari. But Amanai only crossed his arms, then 
glared at Kagari, at her ship, and finally replied in his usual demeanor:

Amanai: "You want me to equip it? And what then? You wouldn't dare bring out 
the know-how from the Ikaruga to Hourai, would you?"
Kagari: "I don't plan on fleeing. Moreover, I have no place to go back to in 
Hourai. I just... I just want to see that "Freedom" you all talk about. That's 
the only thing I'm trying to achieve here."
Amanai: "So now you want to see the "Freedom"? Mph! Coming from a Hourai member
to boot, this is really unheard of."
Kagari: "I... used to believe that Hourai was right in her actions. But after 
coming here, and hearing so much from Shinra and you villagers about "Freedom",
the idea kind of grew on me, and I want to see it for myself."
Amanai: "Hmm. Say, Loverboy, that girl surely got all nice. Kazamori and 
Shinkai told me she had quite the temper at first. She wanted to commit suicide
or something, right?"
Shinkai: "Now, now, good old Amanai. Her Hitekkai seems to be a very good ship,
and it would be better to have her help, since Shinra's Ikaruga is kind of all 
alone in there. I guess we could use the same kind of parts as the Ikaruga's, 
so why not do her the favor?" 

Mayor Shinkai offered a helping hand into convincing Amanai. Said Amanai was 
still making a face, clearly not thrilled at the idea, but eventually he turned
around and went to where his stock of spare parts was.

Amanai: "I swear, they just give you loads of work and think nothing of it... 
Hey, girl! You're in for some training when I'm done! I hope you already know 
that the Ikaruga isn't just your ordinary ship!"
Kagari: "... Thank you very much."

Kagari bowed her head deeply towards Amanai and Mayor Shinkai. Shinra had been 
watching the exchange the whole time in silence.

Shinra: "Are you sure about this? You're going to be considered a traitor of 
Hourai, you know?"
Kagari: "I don't care... If... if the "Freedom" surpasses Hourai's ideals, and 
if it exists, then... I'd really want to see it. That's all."

Shinra and Kagari exchanged such few words as they went from Amanai's lair 
underground back to Kazamori's mansion.

Shinra: "... I don't really have a thing against having more allies. On the 
contrary, you're welcome. Once again, I hope we'll work great together."
Kagari: "So do I, Shinra."

[originally continues at the alternate version of the Chapter 1. I cut it here 
to be in tune with the flow of the story. The rest comes later, please read on]


Prologue 3: Meeting again

The flight tests on the actual machine were almost completed. At Shinra's 
request, the tests had been conducted with real bullets, fact that didn't go 
unnoticed by Hourai, who dispatched reconnaissance patrols. 

Amanai: "OK, the ennemy planes are dummies, but the bullets are real, do you 
follow me? If you let your guard down, this ship will instantly transform 
into... your coffin! Ha ha ha!"
Shinkai: "... this isn't supposed to be funny..."
Amanai: "Hey, loverboy here lives, or he dies, am I supposed to care? But I 
can't have my precious Ikaruga turned into scrap..."
Shinkai: *sigh*
Kazamori: "So... are you all set?"
Shinra: "Whenever you want."
Kazamori: "... then please start"

Shinra, piloting the Ikaruga, destroyed the dummy ships one after the other.

Shinkai: "Wow, he's pretty good."
Amanai: "Mph! That's the Ikaruga here, what do you... huh?"
Shinra: "That is..."
Kazamori: *frowns*
Amanai: "... what's that?... Loverboy! Ennemy, incoming!"
Shinra: "I know."

Asami's Butsutekkai, the Eboshidori, appeared in the sky.

Asami: (that's the young man I saw last time... so he survived...) "Oh ho, 
I see you're training, fine, fine. Did you get any better?"
Shinra: "Who knows? Try me and see for yourself?" 

Asami's eyes got serious...

Asami: "Mmm... well, then... here I go!"

Once again Shinra engaged combat with the Eboshidori... Asami was overwhelmed 
by the possibilities of the Ikaruga, and was having a hard time.

Asami: "Damn, what's that?" (I've never heard of any Hitekkai that could change
polarity instantly... what's more, that one seems to absorb the bullets...)
Shinra: "What's up, General?"
Asami: "... well, then!"

Asami fired a shower of homing bullets. The Ikaruga absorbed all the bullets...
then used the "Power Release".

Shinra: "Gotcha!"
Asami: "!!"

Shinkai: "did he take him down?"

Just as the Power Release was about to hit the Eboshidori, Asami used a dummy 
decoy and cleared the place.

Shinra: "He... just swapped place?"

Asami: *grins* "Well, it looks like you've gotten a very interesting Hitekkai 
here... Shinra! Let us meet again..."
Shinra: "..."

Shinkai: "He's crazy..."
Kazamori: "But he's also extremely skilled..."

The old folks just stared at the Ikaruga...


First Chapter : Ideal

[Version 1]

Hourai first heard of the Ikaruga when Asami reported to her that he had 
encountered the Ikaruga during it's flying tests, and had fought it with 
his own Butsutekkai, the "Eboshidori". But the Ikaruga had hold its own. 
Hourai decided to surround their teleport station, the "Sword of Acala". 
Shinra and his companions decided to start a rebel attack.

Ikaruga - boot sequence - starting...

Ikaruga : "System Boot... Final Check. Placing protective wards Rin - Pyou - 
Tou - Sha - Kai - Jin - Retsu - Zai - Zen... 20 min. after ejecting from the 
Sword of Acala, the main engine ignites. Are you ready?"

Kazamori: "I am not alive, thus I can't die. I won't give up even if my Ideal 
isn't fulfilled. My will, just as my regrets, won't ever end. My comrades... it
is time."
Amanai: "I did all I could. The rest is up to his skills."
Shinkai: "Take care."
Shinra: "... start."

The locks restraining the Ikaruga were opened, and the ship started to fall 
down. It entered the teleport device placed on the floor. 
And then, as the flying "Sword of Acala" started to glow, the Ikaruga was 
propelled into distant skies... 

Alas, the Ikaruga departs. What could make those people move, who were secluded
against their will? This is probably none other than the very basic will to 
live.

Kazamori: "Until the day water droplets bore the stone... our path will be 
fraught with perils..."


[alternate, with Kagari]

Soon after the Ginkei was prepared, and Kagari had started to train, Shinra 
encountered one of Hourai's henchmen, "Asami Kagehisa", piloting his 
Butsutekkai "Eboshidori". Shinra had fought him once in the past with a ship 
he had built on his own, the Shirasagi, but he had lost then. This time the 
Ikaruga clearly overpowered the Eboshidori. Asami barely escaped, but the 
Eboshidori was destroyed. Not only Shinra, but the villagers as well, thought 
that the time was ripe - and they made their minds.

Amanai: "Loverboy, and you, girl. The Ikaruga and the Ginkei are now your hands
and feet. You surely know best how well you can master them?" 

Amanai confronted Shinra and Kagari, who had both started their ships, but he 
was talking to them in a tone that was somewhat smoother than usual. Shinra and
Kagari both nodded in answer to his question.

Amanai: "I did everything I could. The rest is up to your skills."

Ending the conversation, Amanai made his way to the teleportation gate leading 
to the "Sword of Acala". 
Elder Kazamori and Mayor Shinkai stood out of the crowd of villagers that had 
gathered in front of the ships, and talked to both pilots. 

Kazamori: "I am not alive, thus I can't die. I won't give up even if my Ideal 
isn't fulfilled. My will, just as my regrets, won't ever end. My comrades... 
it is time."
Shinkai: "Take care."

And then... the Ginkei and the Ikaruga were both warped to distant skies. 
Watching them from afar, Kazamori whispered...

Kazamori: "Until the day water droplets bore the stone... our path will be 
fraught with perils..."

Shinra: "Kagari, you're sure you don't regret this?"
Kagari: "I've told you countless times now, Shinra. I'm no Hourai citizen 
anymore. I want to see the "Freedom", with you."
Shinra: "I see... Kagari... Don't you dare die in there..."
Kagari: "That applies to yourself too, Shinra."

During this brief exchange of words, both Hitekkai started the attack on the 
ennemy ships that were surrounding the "Sword of Acala". This was the first 
step towards getting closer to the concept known as "the Freedom"...



*Sound Test*

Cyrrus: Hourai. Historically, it was a small country at the outskirts of
        Honshuu. But now, claiming to be a vessel who received the powers of
        the Gods, it has conquered military every other country under the name
        of "peaceful unification", for they believe they are the "Chosen Ones".
        It all started when Hourai Tenrou, the leader of this country, started
        to display "miraculous" skills and powers. It happened after she 
        encountered "the Golden-Glowing Rock of the Stone-Like God", which was
        discovered several years before deep below the surface of the earth.
        Amidst this, there was a group called "Tenkaku", who battled against
        Hourai, for they wanted to free the people. They used battleships they
        called "Hitekkai", but they gradually suffered more and more losses, 
        until they were wiped out. However, a young man among them survived the
        crashing of his ship. His name was Shinra.
        Shinra tried once again to oppose Hourai, but he was again shot down. 
        His ship crashed near a village far from all civilization. It was
        called "the Village of the Grosbeak" (Ikaruga no Sato), for it was made
        of elderly people that had been banned from the society of the "Chosen
        Ones". Shinra was saved by their "Elder", Old Man Kazamori. After 
        fully recovering from his near fatal wounds, Shinra announced he wanted
        to fight once more against Hourai. The old folks worried when they saw
        that Shinra was unarmed. They put all their rage and passions and
        knowledge into the creation of a new Hitekkai, the "Ikaruga".  

Ideal: Hourai first heard of the Ikaruga when Asami reported to her. 
       He had encountered the Ikaruga during it's flying tests, and had fought
       it with his own Butsutekkai, the "Eboshidori". But the Ikaruga had hold 
       its own. Hourai decided to surround their teleport station, the "Sword 
       of Acala".
       Kazamori then knew that the time was ripe, and gave the order to attack.
       The Ikaruga was prepared. The tension was clear on all faces. Kazamori 
       whispered an old poem: "I am not alive, thus I can't die. I won't give
       up even if my Ideal isn't fulfilled. My will, just as my regrets, won't
       ever end." "My comrades... it is time."
       Alas, the Ikaruga departs. What could make those people move, who were
       secluded against their will? This is probably none other than the very
       basic will to live.

Butsutekkai: Once again, Asami stood against Shinra, armed with his own 
             Butsutekkai, the "Eboshidori".
             "What good could possibly come out of all this useless murdering?
             I'm sure you realize this as well."
             "She may be flawed, but I'm following Hourai. I do understand your
             point of view, but I can't let you pass."

             (This Track "Boss 1: Butsutekkai" is also used as the Boss Track
             of Chapter 3 and Chapter 4)
 
Trial: "Look at this, at all this devastation! That mistake only brought us 
       a whole mountain of corpses. My duty is to warrant the life of my
       people. Please, stop fighting them. Just get out of here..."
       Agi. The humiliation they had felt there had never been forgotten.
       Shinra and Kagari had fought to their limits in the hope of defending
       this country. But when the Hourai army came here, the Butsutekkai called
       "Buppousou" started to attack the civilians. Seeing the cruelty of its
       pilot Houkaku, the country leader surrendered. The retreat had been
       immediate, and bitter tears had been cried.
       Shinra and the others decided to try a surprise attack on this country.
       They aim at recapturing the land, as well as destroying the military 
       base that Hourai started to build underground.

Recapture: "My, my. I came to see what the fuss was about, and what do I see?
           You morons again? What do you think it will change if you ever get 
           Agi back? It's only made or ruins and desolation..."
           "You wouldn't possibly understand anyway... not you"
           Shinra remembered several things at once. The civilians fleeing in
           terror within the fire. The mountain of bodies. The tears of the 
           country leader as he raised the white flag over the burning rests
           of the buildings... 
           And then he once again faced Houkaku.

Faith: The war wasn't progressing anymore, as both parts started to hold on
       their respective positions. It was now all a question of endurance.
       Shinra and Co had to avoid this at all cost because it would mean their
       certain loss, so they planned their intrusion in the land of Hourai.
       The ravine was said to be close to unviolable. Judging from the lack of
       concrete knowledge about the terrain, Amanai was reluctant to agree to 
       the plans, but as he saw that Shinra had utter faith in himself, he just
       made his way silently to the docks to prepare the Ikaruga.
       On the next morning, as Shinra was walking to the seat of the Ikaruga, 
       he tripped on nothing and fell to the ground. The old folks laughed at 
       him for his eagerness to fight, but Kagari looked intently at Shinra, 
       unmistakably mad at him.

Reality: As Shinra and Co cleared the ravine, they were greeted by the huge
         troops lead by Kira. To oppose the formidable size of the giant
         Butsutekkai Misago, Amanai opted for the systematic attack of each and
         every weak spots at very close range. 
         Eventually, Shinra succeeded into destroying Misago, but the
         continuous fighting had its toll on him and brought his Fate closer. 
         (Every Hitekkai pilot dies faster than other humans because
         the nerval connections between their muscles and their machines 
         accelerate the death process of their nerves cells)
         Kagari knew. She knew all too well what would be the outcome if the
         war were to drag on. But Shinra immediately flew into the underground 
         headquarters of Hourai without saying a single word.

Metempsychosis: (Not yet... I can't... let it end now. I have to hold on... 
                just a little bit more)
                Shinra was slowly loosing consciousness, his only support
                being his mental strength.
                Shinra and Co faced Hourai deep into the basement of the 
                headquarters. One more chance was given, a futile attempt to 
                convince with words. During this, Shinra heard the voices of 
                spirit beings, which he had seen before in his dreams.
                And then, as Shinra went beyond his last limits to defeat 
                Hourai, the golden glowing rock of the Stone-like God revealed
                himself for every eye to see.
                "Chief... engineer. Could you... drop the restrain devices?"

The Stone-like: Amanai, having noticed Shinra's physical state, ordered him 
                to retreat, since anything more would be useless. However, 
                Shinra didn't change his mind. Kagari, who was the only one to 
                understand this attitude, replied to the disapproving elders: 
                (to Shinra) "And so... walk that path until the End, so you 
                don't regret anything. (addressing the elders) 'I am not alive,
                thus I can't die. I won't give up even if my Ideal isn't
                fulfilled. My will, just as my regrets, won't ever die... ' 
                We should all have known this."
                Then, turning again to Shinra: "Do you think we will ever see
                the Freedom?"
                He replied softly : "Yeah... very soon."
                After a long silence, Old Man Kazamori whispered: "I see. 
                Indeed, we should have known." He ordered Amanai to disactivate
                the restrain devices. "But... but then he only has one shot!
                Only one! Do you understand what it means?" 
                "Chief engineer... I believe in you."
                When Amanai heard Shinra's words, he lost his composure and 
                started to weep.

Spirit Being: The Ikaruga, freed from its restraining devices, unleashed all at
              once the entire energy stored into its systems, and disappeared
              from the surface of the world. 
              As Shinra and Kagari achieved their transformation into spiritual
              beings, two ethereal bodies appeared to them. The same that 
              Shinra had met in his dreams. 
              Shinra: "Do you think... we did the right thing?"
              Man body: "It's alright... I'm sure that sometime, the day will
              come where we understand each other."
              Woman body: "And then we'll walk together into the far future...
              Because Life is given from one generation to the next one"


XI) Credits

The text parts are translated from what I could recognize out of the DC 
Version. The texts of the voice are taken (and in one occasion, a spelling 
error was corrected) from the "VOICE.TXT" file on the DC GDROM. 

The maximum scores are taken from the magazine Arcadia, except the one for the 
Extra Inning (the battle Vs Ubusunagami ouki no kai) For this last one I'm just
guessing. It all depends on your ability to absorb shots.

I would like to thank TF for showing me a few things, as well as the fellows 
gamers of his message board. I didn't think that so many people could achieve 
over 34,000,000. FMI, Mkr, SIN, TF, I hope someday I'll be as good as you are.

TF's Ikaruga FAQ is seemingly down. Did he move on? That's hard to believe.

Finally I would like to thank the community of the GameFaqs Boards. The players
there helped me get better at the game, and in some cases inspired or corrected
some of the chaining patterns I could think of. I sometimes shamelessly used a 
pattern they created, but in those instances, I mentioned the player before 
explaining the method.

It should be noted that there is a new Ikaruga site at www.ikaruga.co.uk. The 
site hosts videos in which you can see my and even more advanced strategies.

You can email me at saffran@yahoo.co.jp
You can chat about Ikaruga on irc.gamesurge.net in the #ikaruga channel.

Ikaruga copyright Treasure Inc Japan 2000-2004
This FAQ is copyright Pierre "Saffran" Bancov 2003-2004

                                   GAME OVER
                         We'll meet again someday soon.