Gunstar Heroes' 
                     TIMERON'S CHALLENGE

    A brief, ASCII art free document containing information
      relating to the second encounter with Timeron in the
         Sega Genesis shooter classic, Gunstar Heroes.


    TABLE OF CONTENTS
    --------------------
    INTRODUCTION                     by Benjamin Paul Galway
    TIMERON DETAIL                e-mail = bpgalway@netscape.net
    -- About Timeron              PayPal = bpgalway@netscape.net
    -- Timeron's Attack
    -- Tips For Survival                  March 15, 2006
    -- The Satori Mind                       ver. 1.2
    CREDITS


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                           INTRODUCTION
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  This guide is born from a "code" a GameFAQs user, SaviourV,
  submitted to the GameFAQs site. The code stated that there is a
  "hidden" message at the end of the Timeron challenge as well as
  telling of other attack waves. I was fascinated enough by this to
  check it out and was surprised and bored by the results.
  
  The document is a rewriting of an e-mail I had sent to the
  authors of the Gunstar Heroes' FAQs asking that they add this new
  information to their guides. Both neglected to respond or do so,
  so I took it upon myself to convert that e-mail into a mini-FAQ.

  This is neither a code or an Easter egg; the game specifically
  challenges the player to survive the encounter. It's just that no
  one has bothered to do it since Gunstar Heroes is not really a
  good scoring game nor is the challenge worthwhile or particularly
  fun. The fact that it takes a full 20 minutes before the attack
  changes doesn't really encourage anyone to play further. I know I
  never bothered, and, after playing through it, it's really not
  worth the effort. :/

  I survived Timeron's second encounter as played on my Japanese
  MegaDrive copy of Gunstar Heroes on normal difficulty. There
  doesn't appear to be any significant changes among all regions of
  the game, so the tips and information within this document should
  be applicable using any version of the game.

  Guide history: -- Timeron's Challenge 1.0 guide released
                    April 11, 2002.
                 -- Updated to version 1.1 April 6, 2004 to
                    include Hugo Resende's contribution regarding
                    the meaning of the "Satori Mind."
                 -- Updated to version 1.2 due to minor editing.

  As always, this document may be used if and only if it is not
  altered in any way or profitted from either directly or indirectly.
  The latest updates can be found at GameFAQs [ gamefaqs.com ].


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                          TIMERON DETAIL
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   ===============================
        About Timeron    
     ==========


  Timeron, a space pod of sorts, first appears in Black's Dice Maze
  as a mini-boss. Late in the sixth level (which has Red and Blue
  piloting a spaceship), Timeron reappears and challenges the
  player to dodge shots for bonus points. The longer the player can
  evade the bullets, the more bonus points will be awarded. The
  bullet challenge ends when either the player dies from absorbing
  too many bullets, fires on Timeron, or survives through the timed
  challenge in its entirety.


   ===============================
                   Timeron's attack  
                 ==========


  Timeron's second attack spans several waves of various shots. The
  following details exactly what attacks the player can expect from
  Timeron once the specific time mark has been reached.


  00'00"00 -- Timeron attacks with small orange homing shots.

  20'00"00 -- Timeron attacks with small orange homing shots; large
              glowing orb appears over Timeron and slowly tracks
              player for two minutes then explodes.

  40'00"00 -- Timeron attacks with small orange homing shots; large
              glowing orb appears over Timeron and slowly tracks
              player for two minutes then explodes.

  45'00"00 -- The small orange homing shots disappear; Timeron begins
              attacking with a five way spread of small orange shots.

  50'00"00 -- The spread attack is replaced with a handful of small
              orange homing shots; a multitude of large blue bouncing
              shots appear and initially home in on ship then bounce
              four times around screen before disappearing.

  60'00"00 -- The small orange homing shots disappear; Timeron
              continues attacking with the bouncing blue shots;
              glowing orb appears and tracks ship for two minutes
              before detonating.

  64'00"00 -- Timeron attacks with small orange homing and spread
              shots.

  70'00"00 -- Timeron attacks with small orange spread shots; homing
              attack disappears.

  75'00"00 -- Timeron attacks with small orange homing shots; spread
              attack disappears.

  80'00"00 -- The small orange homing shots disappear; Timeron begins
              attacking with the bouncing blue shots; glowing orb
              appears and tracks ship

  90'00"00 -- The large blue shots vanish; Timeron finishes attack
              wave with spread shots.


  At 100 minutes, the challenge ends. If the player can survive 
  the entire Timeron encounter, a message is displayed about opening
  "The Satori Mind" (see same named section below). The player is
  awarded 930,410 points as a "soul bonus."


   ===============================
                                   Tips For Survival   
                                 ===========


  The challenge tests the player's endurance more than anything.
  It is possible and recommended to pause the game if one's hand
  becomes tired or the challenge becomes too boring.

  The bullets track the spaceship's position, so it helps to remain
  in one location until all bullets are heading toward the ship,
  then shifting position to another spot on the screen. A clockwise
  motion around the screen works best. The ship is too large too
  really weave through most of the shots, so this should be the
  primary method used to avoid the bullets.

  The spaceship is equipped with a speed booster, and it helps to
  use this to maximize the number of bullets tracking the ship's last
  position. Since the ship can quickly dart out the way, the player
  can avoid having to initiate a position change until the bullets
  are just about to strike. Also use the boost for those times when
  the ship must move between a number of incoming bullets if the
  gap large enough for the ship to pass through will close at its
  normal speed.

  The only time the player will not be able to lead the bullets is
  during the bouncing bullet waves. Thankfully, there are not quite
  as many shots to track, and the paths are easy enough to predict.
  Just keep looking for spots on the screen where the bullets are
  expanding and clearing space.

  The slow tracking orb is easy to avoid, and the player should be
  able to avoid it just by focusing on avoiding the other bullets
  flooding the screen. Be sure to never strike the glowing orb that
  tracks the player, however.

  Finally, remember that the spaceship can absorb some hits if
  needed. If it is impossible to avoid getting hit, it is
  better to strike the smallest bullets as they do the least damage.
  Try to move into a better position if contact is unavoidable,
  though, to prevent more damage.


   ===============================
                                           The Satori Mind     
                                         ===========


  Upon completion the following messages are displayed one after the
  other:


                                GIVE UP !!

                              YOU OPENED THE
                              - SATORI MIND -

                              REPROGRAMMED BY
                                 1993-NAMI

                            SOUL BONUS 00930410


  It can be assumed that Nami is claiming credit here for programming
  this second Timeron encounter. I can't say for certain, though, nor
  do I know what the "Satori Mind" is supposed to mean. 

  It is not known why it takes so long for Timeron to switch attack
  patterns or why this challenge is set to 100 minutes (which is
  longer than the actual game can be played through).

  Hidden messages or references in point totals have appeared in
  a few other shooters including Treasure's own Radiant Silvergun.
  Unfortunately, I don't know what the soul bonus may or may not
  indicate.

  [begin April 6, 2004 update]

     Hugo Resende sent in this bit of information I decided to
     include regarding the meaning of "satori" in the above:
 
        I don't know if you already know this or if you REALLY want
        to know this, but... "Satori" is a state (or a moment) of
        enlightenment, comprehension of all the things (it's like
        when a guy says "Eureka").It's a Buddhist term related to
        that "Nirvana" stuffs. I still had no patience to try the
        "Satori mind" challenge...but i'll try it someday.

     Kind of odd that it says "GIVE UP !!" once "enlightenment" is
     reached. I still don't know the meaning of the soul bonus
     score.

  [end April 6, 2004 update] 



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                             CREDITS
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   SaviourV [ saviourv AT hotmail DOT com ]
        "No one" would know this whole thing exists without
        SaviourV's posting of this Gunstar Heroes' "code." It amazes
        me that someone can find something new about a game a decade
        old.

   Benjamin Paul Galway [ bpgalway AT netscape DOT net ]
        I get credit for expanding upon SaviourV's initial
        description of Timeron's attack patterns, providing some
        advice to help players survive the encounter, and writing
        this document.

   Hugo Resende [ subaro AT bhamc DOT zzn DOT com ]
        Information on the meaning of the "satori mind."

   If anyone else has something to contribute, by all means let us
   know.


                         End of Document