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    Hard/Expert Mode Walkthrough by F. Pelayo

    Version: 2.2 | Updated: 07/23/04 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    
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               H A R D / E X P E R T   M O D E   W A L K T H R O U G H
    
    
    
    System: Sega Genesis/Megadrive
    Written by: F. Pelayo
    Version 2.2
    
     2002-2003 Ferdinand Pelayo
    Gunstar Heroes  1993 Treasure
    
    
    ========
    Contents
    ========
            0) Revision History
            1) Introduction
            2) Gameplay refresher
            3) Walkthrough:
                    (a) Ancient Ruins
                    (b) Underground Mine
                    (c) Flying Battleship
                    (d) Dice Palace
                    (e) Stage 5
                    (f) Stage 6
                    (g) Stage 7
            4) Credits & Misc.
    
    
    ============================================================================
    (0) Revision History
    ============================================================================
    2.2 - July 22, 2004
         Found the truth about the mechanical bird from GameFAQs board users.
    Moved the info up to the Advanced Tricks section, and added the Unlimited
    Vitality trick to the Stage 5 walkthrough.
    
    2.01 - July 9, 2004
         Some minor tweaking.
    
    2.0 - January 15, 2003
         Rearranged Section 2, mostly adding weapon damage table and notes on
    throwing bombs, plus an overhaul on some Stage 7 strategies.  Then I decided
    things look so different from 1.0 that I gave it a full version promotion.
    
    1.5 - January 2, 2003
         Some strategy tips from Edge AoM (another GameFAQs board user :)), and
    a few more additions to boss strategies.
    
    1.4 - December 29, 2002
         Added tips contributed by Fale (a GameFAQs message board resident), the
    "story" intro from the instructions, and almost totally rewrote some boss
    strategies.
    
    1.3 - December 27, 2002
         Added more notes for fighting Pink Lobster, and stuff I forgot about
    Unit of the Hammer.
    
    1.2 - November 2, 2002
         Added something I should've included the first time in the Curry and
    Rice part.
    
    1.1 - October 13, 2002
         Minor additions to Advanced Tricks and Stage 5 notes, provided by
    SaviourV (a user on GameFAQs message boards).
    
    1.0 - October 2, 2002
         Done!
    
    0.9 - September 22, 2002
         Everything that I wanted to include is in.  Just waiting for 2nd 
    opinions before submitting to GameFAQs as ver 1.0.
    
    0.0000001 - August 28, 2002
         The day I decided to start writing this. :)
    
    
    ============================================================================
    (1) Introduction
    ============================================================================
         You're probably wondering why I thought the world needed another FAQ 
    for a game on a dead system.  I wonder sometimes why I'm spending my time on 
    this too, since I really just started this on a whim.  First of all, I LOVE 
    this game!  Well OK, I'm not that obsessed with it, since I've played it a 
    zillion times over and I spend most of my time these days on RPGs.  Despite 
    it being so dated, I love the kind of challenge it gives me on Hard/Expert 
    mode.  It's just right for my skill level, without being cheap or scammish, 
    which is why it's my favorite 16-bit action game.  Secondly, and even more 
    important, Hard and Expert modes are FAR steeper in difficulty.  You can't 
    approach them the way you did in Easy or Normal.  Some weapons that work 
    wonders in easier difficulties are weakened to the point of uselessness in 
    the harder ones, so your choice of "useable" weapons is much smaller.
    Unfortunately, there are so few Gunstar FAQs out there and they don't cover 
    the finer points of higher difficulties in detail.  The final thing that 
    convinced me was when I read the Gunstar message board on GameFAQs.  I saw 
    that there are a lot of other players who do this game at my level, so I 
    finally knew that it was worth it.  Besides, a game like this deserves a 
    specialized walkthrough like this. :)
    
         One more thins: this FAQ is written under the assumption that you've 
    played the game before, and thus know how the levels are structured and what 
    the characters/weapons/enemies look like and what they're capable of.
    
    
    ============================================================================
    (2) Gameplay refresher
    ============================================================================
    -----
    Story (taken right out of the instruction booklet!)
    -----
                              Is there a Hero in the House?
    
    Sometime in the future, somewhere not too far from where you live, an
    amazing adventure takes place...
    
    The Gunstar family has been the protector of the Gunstar 9 (G-9) for
    generations.  Professor White Gunstar, in his youth, defeated the Robot
    Golden Silver, a machine that travelled millions of miles to suck G-9 dry of
    all its resources.  Professor White was able to extract the four famous
    Mystical Gems (the robot's power source), and imprisoned the robot on one of
    G-9's moons.
    
    But now, years later, a new menace has arisen.  Colonel Red, a vicious
    dictator (and a very bad dresser), found out that the Gunstars knew the
    location of the Mystical Gems.  One day, The Colonel kidnapped the Gunstar
    twins' older brother Green and used a mind control machine to make Green
    obey his orders.
    
    With Green's help, Colonel Red has amassed all four Mystical Gems, has
    turned Gunstar 9's peaceful worker 'droids into deadly menaces, and is now
    preparing to leave for Gunstar 9's moon to reactivate Golden Silver.  As one
    of the Gunstar twins, you must fight your way past Colonel Red's Empire Army
    and retrieve the Mystical gems, or Golden Silver, the Destructor will rise
    again and destroy your world!  Are you heroic enough for the task?
    
    --------
    Controls
    --------
    Default configuration: (A) Select   (B) Shot   (C) Jump
    
    Slide: While on solid ground (i.e. not on a platform, no floors underneath 
    the one you're on), press down + Jump.  Make sure you're facing in the 
    direction you want to slide to.
    
    Running Slide: On any surface, do a half circle motion towards where you're 
    sliding to (e.g. to slide right, quickly swing your thumb along the D-pad in 
    an arc from left to down to right) and press Shot at the end of the motion.
    
    Climbing ledges/platforms: Jump up towards a ledge or platform, then hold up
    to grab.  You can shoot and move left or right while hanging from below.
    Hold up and press Jump to swing yourself up onto the ledge. (this move can
    do damage to enemies)  Press down + Jump to swing down from a ledge/platform
    and hang.  You have invincibility frames while flipping up and down.
    
    High Jump: Hold up while jumping to get extra elevation.  Works on both 
    straight-up jumps and jumping left or right.
    
    Body Attack: While jumping, press Jump again to do a dive attack or jump 
    kick.  Doing this while jumping left or right will propel you further in the 
    direction you're going.  Doing this against a wall will make you dive away 
    from the wall (kinda like Shinobi 3).  With a Fixed Shot character, you can 
    hold down while pressing the Jump button in midair to make his jump kick go 
    diagonally down. (only if he's jumping left or right, not straight up!)  As 
    an attack, these moves do damage on each difficulty as follows: Easy - 
    100/hit; Normal - 50/hit, Hard & Expert - 20/hit.
    
    Grab: Get up close to an enemy (how close you have to be varies from enemy 
    to enemy), hold the D-pad in the direction you want to throw him, and press 
    Shot.  Works on in midair on flying enemies too, even some vehicles!
    
    Grabbing items: Crouch and press shot if it's on the ground.  In Stage 6, 
    just get your ship to be in the same position on the screen as the item orb 
    (the orb will cover a portion of your ship from view) and press Shot.
    
    Atomic Booster: In Stage 6, hold the D-pad in the direction you want to go, 
    then press the Jump button to quickly zoom a short dist
    
    -------
    Weapons
    -------
    
    Combinations: These are the true names taken out of the instruction manual.
                  Forget anything else you've read! :)
    
        Force combinations
        ------------------
            Force + Force = Double Fireball
            Force + Lightning = Rapid-fire Lightning
            Force + Chaser = Chaser Force Beam
            Force + Fire = Exploding Fireball
    
        Lightning combinations
        ----------------------
            Lightning + Lightning = Mega-Bolt
            Lightning + Force = Rapid-fire Lightning
            Lightning + Chaser = Chaser Lightning
            Lightning + Fire = Lightning Saber
    
        Chaser combinations
        -------------------
            Chaser + Chaser = Star Chaser
            Chaser + Force = Chaser Force Beam
            Chaser + Lightning = Chaser Lightning
            Chaser + Fire = Chaser Fireball
    
        Fire combinations
        -----------------
            Fire + Fire = Ultra Flamethrower
            Fire + Force = Exploding Fireball
            Fire + Lightning = Lightning Saber
            Fire + Chaser = Chaser Fireball
    
    
    Weapon power: Here, I've divided weapons into 2 types.  "Bullet" types are
                  ones that shoot lots of single pieces.  These ones I'm able to
                  tap the Shot button lightly enough and get just one "bullet" to
                  come out.  "Stream" types fire continuous solid streams that do
                  damage so long as they touch the enemy, and work in a way that
                  you can't isolate a single "bullet" piece by tapping Shot.
                  The damage on stream types is measured by the approximate 
                  amount of damage they do if fired continuously on a boss for 5
                  seconds.  Exploding Fireball behaves like both types, so it
                  gets its own section.
    
    NOTE: Stream weapons were tested on Timeron in the Dice Palace.  It stands
          1/3 a screen length away when you stand directly under it, and long-
          range Lightning weapons shot straight up must travel just over half a
          screen length.
     __________________________________________________________________________
    |                                               Damage per hit on bosses   |
    | Bullet weapons                               Easy  Normal  Hard  Expert  |
    |--------------------------------------------------------------------------|
    |   Force (*)                                   12     10     10      8    |
    |   Chaser (*)                                  12     10     10      8    |
    |   Force + Force = Double Fireball (*)         12     10     10      8    |
    |   Force + Chaser = Chaser Force Beam           8      6      4      2    |
    |   Chaser + Chaser = Star Chaser                8      8      6      4    |
    |--------------------------------------------------------------------------|
    |                                                Approx. damage in 5 sec   |
    | Stream weapons                               Easy  Normal  Hard  Expert  |
    |--------------------------------------------------------------------------|
    |   Lightning                                  1100    900    550    550   |
    |   Fire                                       1700   1450   1175   1175   |
    |   Lightning + Lightning = Mega-Bolt          1750   1450    900    900   |
    |   Lightning + Force = Rapid-fire Lightning   1775   1450    900    875   |
    |   Lightning + Chaser = Chaser Lightning       850    850    600    300   |
    |   Lightning + Fire = Lightning Saber         2300   1750   1450   1175   |
    |   Chaser + Fire = Chaser Fireball            2250   1750   1250   1175   |
    |   Fire + Fire = Ultra Flamethrower           1750   1175    900    900   |
    |--------------------------------------------------------------------------|
    |                                    Max. damage from one shot + explosion |
    | Other                                        Easy  Normal  Hard  Expert  |
    |--------------------------------------------------------------------------|
    |   Force + Fire = Exploding Fireball           160    109    89     89    |
    |__________________________________________________________________________|
    
    (*) - Though these shoot one "bullet" at a time, they seem to act like stream
          weapons. (e.g. on Normal and Hard modes, watch a boss' Vitality while
          hitting it continuously with one of these; the last digit is always
          changing, which it shouldn't since the damage should be 10 at a time)
          It seems even damage from a bullet depends on how much contact it has
          with an enemy/obstacle.  If a bullet "grazes" its target, the bullet
          does exactly half the damage.
    
    Advanced Tricks
    ===============
    
    - When you do Body Attacks, you're almost invincible during the time your 
    characters arms/legs are sticking out.  You can even jump through some 
    enemies as well as some of their attacks.  The one most prominent weakness 
    of this move is small projectiles like bullets and lasers.
    
    - You're also invincible when you're throwing an enemy or a thing (e.g.
    bombs).  If the going gets tough and you're surrounded or thrown, hold in
    any direction and keep pressing the Shot button. (don't hold it down)
    Tossing bodies/things around can be a life-saver.
    
    - A footnote to throwing things: While throwing in general is a good thing,
    tossing *bombs* at things close to you produces mixed/odd result:
    
     (a)  If there's an enemy standing right next to you and there's an incoming
    bomb from above, you can throw the bomb at the enemy (straight left/right,
    or diagonally up) and walk into the explosion "cloud" without taking damage.
    
     (b) This also works if you throw the bomb, straight or diagonally up/down,
    against an inanimate object (e.g. boxes, wall).  However...
    
     (c) ... if an enemy standing next to or near it gets hurt by the blast, you
    get damaged too.
    
     (d) Throwing a bomb in mid-air at a close enemy that's in the air hurts
    both of you.
    
     (e) Throwing the bomb *straight* down on the ground never hurts you,
    whether you're on the ground or in the air and about to land.  Unlike the
    above cases, it doesn't matter if an enemy gets hit by the explosion, so
    it's a great tactic for getting rid of too many soldiers near you.  But...
    
     (f) ... if your feet are on solid ground/flooring and throw a bomb
    *diagonally* down - and the bomb has to hit the floor, NOT an enemy - the
    explosion cloud WILL hurt you.
    
    (These discoveries all started with SaviourV notifying me of what he thought
    was a bug - throwing bombs straight down at your feet and taking no damage.
    From all my testing, I can't figure out which are bugs and which are
    intentional, so let's not bother trying to rationalize them and move on. :))
    
    - Despite it being considered a short-range weapon, you can use Ultra 
    Flamethrower for long-range attacks.  When you let go of the Shot button, 
    the flames fly straight in the last direction you were shooting in.
    
    - Half the time that the game provides you with Vitality or Weapon orbs, it's
    usually delivered by robotic birds.  When you shoot them or they pass over
    your head, one orb comes out.  If you want any more after that, you must Body
    Attack it from the side or toss enemies into it.  Here's the tricky part -
    you can knock infinite orbs out of it, BUT only 3 orbs can be on the screen
    at once.  What this means is robo-birds with Weapon Orbs will only give you 3
    maximum, since you drop an orb onto the screen whenever you pick one up -
    unless you're continuing or just starting, in which case you'll have one orb
    so you can pick one up, and knock an extra one out.  On the other hand, you
    can *theoretically* knock out unlimited Vitality Orbs - as long as you keep
    picking them up before Body Attacking the bird again.  You can abuse this
    best with 2 players: one keeps Body Attacking and the other collects the
    Vitality. (just remember to save the last few for the guy doing the work :))
    Practiaclly, the only point where this can truly be unlimited is in Stage 5.
    
    (The 3 orbs max on-screen tip was alluded to by CLASSiC 2D on the GameFAQs
    message boards, but the explanation came from VoidDragon.)
    
    - The Chaser Fireball is the most challenging weapon to use in the game.  If 
    you stand still and shoot it shot by shot, it travels on a path to the 
    nearest enemy much like the Chaser Force Beam.  If you don't move and just 
    hold the Shot button down, it'll just travel in circles on the screen and 
    only change its course if something targetable appears.  What it's best 
    known for is when you hold Shot down and move the D-pad around - it'll move 
    in whatever direction you're holding, even if the Fireball's off the screen.  
    What most players probably aren't aware of is that it cancels enemy bullets 
    and most projectiles, much like the Lightning Saber.  It can make some parts 
    of the game much easier, but only if you have mastered controlling it.  This 
    is NOT a recommended for beating Expert mode for the *first* time.
    
    ============================================================================
    (3) Walkthrough
    ============================================================================
    General Hints and Tips:
    
         First thing you should get used to is doing the first 4 stages in a 
    different order than whatever you did them on Easy or Normal.  Even though 
    I've covered them in order (from left to right on the stage select screen), 
    here's the order I recommend you do them in:
    
        D. Dice Palace - If you can get into the maze with at least 30 Vitality,
                    you have a good chance of beating the maze first!  You just
                    need a little luck in throwing the dice, and know how to
                    handle each Fight situation.  Besides, Black as a boss is
                    the easiest of the first 4.
    
        C. Flying Battleship - I know Orange is strong, but if you do things
                    right, you can get to him with at least 100 Vitality and
                    still beat him. (I actually do this part first)
    
        A. Ancient Ruins - You can fight either Pink or Orange next.  Do Pink
                    first if you already have the Lightning Saber.  Otherwise
                    you may need the extra 20 Vitality to make up for not being
                    able to block bullets.
    
        B. Underground Mine - No one in their right mind should face all 7 forms
                    of Seven Force early in the game. ;)
    
         Once you know where you're going and in what order, there's the issue 
    of whether to pick the Free or Fixed Shot character.  I prefer Free, because 
    the ability to run and shoot allows you to dodge attacks while continuing to 
    do damage.  At the last stage, it almost doesn't matter which Gunstar you 
    use because you'll either be standing in safe spots or relying on non-weapon 
    attacks more.
    
         Next is weapons.  In Easy and Normal, you could pretty much use any 
    weapon you were comfortable with and whip the game. Kiss that luxury goodbye 
    in Hard and Expert cuz enemy defence is much higher, so you need to stick to 
    strong stuff.
    
    Weapons to have for Hard/Expert:
    
        Double Fireball (Force + Force) - Good weapon to start the game with.
                Has vulcan-like range, rapid-fire, and power.
    
        Exploding Fireball (Force + Fire) - I know it's annoying to use
                because it explodes once you let go of the Shot button, but the
                damage caused by ring of fire that results from the explosions
                is pleasantly surprising.  Plus, it's THE weapon to have if you
                want any chance of beating Golden Silver.
    
        Lightning Saber (Fire + Lightning) - For hectic parts of the game with
                bullets coming at you everywhere, you may just have to swallow
                your pride or desire to use flashier weapons and stick with this
                solely for the fact that it cancels small bullets.  Oh, and it
                also helps that it's the strongest weapon in the game, but ONLY
                if your enemy is within range.
    
    
    Weapons to AVOID for Hard/Expert:
    
        almost anything combined with Chaser - In most games, the penalty for
                using heat-seeking weapons is lower damage per shot.  That rings
                as true as ever here for Hard/Expert.  In Easy/Normal, you could
                just hold your Shot button down and let a Chaser-combo weapon
                do your dirty work while you stood in a safe spot.  Anything
                above Normal, and you'll find yourself waiting forever as grunt
                soldiers in front of you absorb your shots, while a swarm come
                in from behind and hold/throw you.  The one exception to this
                is the Chaser Fireball, and that's ONLY if you're good with the
                Fixed Shot character.  A semi-exception is a plain Chaser gun
                not combined with anything; though its bullets are slower, it
                deals more damage than a Star Chaser, and doesn't chase around
                the wrong enemies.  Otherwise, only take a Chaser orb early
                in the game or if continuing, and they don't throw anything
                better at you.
    
    Knowing this, I prefer to start my game off with a Force gun - a standard, 
    machine-gun like weapon with moderate power, and combines to form decent 
    weapons with ALL other weapon orbs, including itself.  These are important 
    properties if you die and have to continue.  The game will usually provide 
    one weapon orb right away at the start of a stage or from the point you
    continue.
    
         Now with that said, on with the meat and potatoes of this FAQ! (i.e. 
    the stuff that you're REALLY reading this for :))
    
    _______________________________________________
    
    (3.A) ANCIENT RUINS
    _______________________________________________
    
         Try not to waste too much time with the small fry enemies.  As weak as 
    the red-uniform soldiers are, you can find yourself overcomed if too many 
    are on the screen at once along with the flying drones.  Make use of your 
    Body Attack to propel yourself faster.  Also, ignore the natives' huts - 
    you're not gonna gain or lose points if they're destroyed or not.
    
    -----------------------
    Mini-boss: Papaya Dance
    -----------------------
    Vitality: 1234
    Points: 29400
    
    Attacks:
    
        Balloon Bomber - 2 damage each time balloon-shaped pollen lands on you
    
        Mother Ant - 8 damage if the caterpillar it sends down runs into you
    
    Strategy:
    
         Pathetically easy in Easy/Normal, but can be a nuisance in Hard/Expert. 
    It'll depend on what weapon you have.  Some weapons like Double Fireball and 
    Exploding Fireball cause it wave wildly side to side, making it frustrating 
    to hit.  Chaser weapons will track it down no matter where it slides, and 
    Lightning weapons, Ultra Flamethrower, and even a plain Fire gun will keep 
    it in place and drain its Vitality fast.   General idea is to stay in the 
    middle of the screen and shoot up, taking a little time off to shoot Mother 
    Ant when it appears.  You may be forced to run around to find a safe haven 
    from mass numbers of Balloon Bombers.  If you have Lightning Saber, you can 
    use it to get rid of Balloon Bombers while jumping up and hitting the plant.
    -----------------------
    
         After the 4th hut you come across, you'll have to climb up the side of 
    a pyramid.  Take my advice: forget the flying grunts, forget the items that 
    the robotic birds drop - just hold right or up-right and keep jumping 2 
    steps at a time as fast as you can.  On these harder difficulties, the 
    flying grunts can fill the screen with laser bullets and make it nearly 
    impossible to climb - but not if you keep moving away and keep the screen 
    scrolling up.
    
    ---------------------
    Mini-boss: Bravoo Man
    ---------------------
    Vitality: 3421
    Points: 24092
    
    Attacks:
    
        Spinning Driver, Dragon Punch, etc. - 8 damage each time you touch an
            "attacking" part of its body where the "cubes" change their color
    
    Strategy:
    
         Big difference from the easier difficulties - and I do mean BIG.  Just 
    look at the size of it now!  Best approach is to shoot it from a distance, 
    then Body Attack right through it when it gets close to get behind it, and 
    then keep shooting it from behind.  If you're having trouble timing your 
    Body Attack, just slide at its feet and take whatever damage you're given. 
    Once you get behind Bravoo, it'll randomly decide to keep walking to the 
    edge of the screen, turn around, and walk back, or use its Spinning Driver 
    to heal itself.  If it's the Driver, jump and Body Attack your way through 
    Bravoo.  In Hard mode you can also slide between its spinning arms, but not 
    in Expert where its arms rotate too fast.  Bravoo is noticeably weak against
    Fire weapons.
    
         Interesting note: The computer chooses Bravoo's attack arsenal/pattern 
    at random.  Dunno if it's one pattern per fight, or if it changes every time 
    after it uses Spinning Driver.  There are, however, a few times when it does 
    almost nothing but backflips when you get near it.  In other words, you can 
    just stand in one place and shoot, and it'll almost never attack.  Most of 
    the time tho, you won't be lucky enough to get this. (and in case you're 
    curious to find out, preventing the natives' huts from being destroyed does 
    NOT affect Bravoo's attack pattern!)
    ---------------------
    
         The slide down the pyramid can be handled 2 ways:
    
    EASY WAY (contributed by Fale) - Avoid damage altogether by standing at the
    top of the slope right at the beginning.  I'm not talking just below Player
    1's status either, I mean right behind the status area.  Either walk all
    the way left, or just until your feet are out of view, and you'll be safe.
    In this position, the bouncing soldiers go over your head and the sliding
    ones shooting laser bullets can't hit you.  For those who don't want to
    sacrifice points for the sake of safety, shoot to the right to get the
    bouncing soldiers and hold up and press Shot rapidly to throw the sliding
    one when he comes along.
    
    HARD WAY - If you prefer not to look like a chicken, stay in the middle of
    the screen and fire up-left while jumping over any lasers shot at you.  If
    you're using a short-range weapon (Lightning Saber, Ultra Flamethrower),
    stay near the top of the screen and wave your weapon above and left, and
    get up close and throw the sliding one when he arrives. (if you've got the
    Saber, it's easier to turn Lightning off and just use the Fire gun)
    
         On the ground, try to get a Fire orb out of the bird, if you don't 
    already have one.  Fire weapons make the next boss fight much easier.  As 
    for the bee hives, destroy them from a distance if you can.  Just keep in 
    mind that the bees only do 1 damage each time they touch you, while the 
    Pinky Roader's arm will do 10 damage, so if you have a short-range weapon it 
    may be better just to ignore them and run along instead of wasting time and 
    Vitality trying to get rid of 'em while getting hit by the arm.
    
    ==================
    BOSS: Pinky Roader
    ------------------
    Vitality: 3201
    Points: 68000 + 2 per bomb destroyed + small bonuses for hitting gun arm
    
    Attacks:
    
        Hitman Shot - 3 damage each time you're hit with a laser shot
    
        Iron Knuckle - 12 damage if the arm with a spiked iron ball touches you
    
        (bomb) - 10 damage if you're caught by one of its heat-seeking bombs
    
        other - 20 damage if it steps or lands on you
    
    Strategy:
    
         First order of business is to weave through the Hitman Shots that are 
    headed your way.  Move left and right, slide or Body Attack off the wall
    if you're cornered.  Don't be 
    surprised if you don't get many shots on the Roader's body - unless you're 
    using Lightning Saber, which can protect you from the Shots and do 
    considerable damage.  After Pink's tall goon's had his fun, the Roader will 
    either start stomping its way to the other side of the screen, or jump one 
    or more times to opposite sides of the screen and then stomp.  You'll want
    to get under it somehow before the Hitman Shots start happening again.  If
    it jumps, get to where it's gonna land and position yourself so that you'll
    be between its legs when it lands.  Crouch or (if you're not in position
    yet) slide in the direction it's moving just before it touches ground.
    (otherwise, the body will squash you for 20 damage)  Shoot straight up and
    watch for its next move.  If it jumps again, repeat the process.  If it goes
    stomping, and you're not under it yet, you have to slide under its feet
    (easy to do on Hard, not so on Expert).  As it stomps, follow it while
    shooting up at its body, which should also destroy the bombs it sends out.
    Shooting the spiked ball on the arm that comes after the bombs will prevent
    it from Iron Knuckling you. (you should be able to hit the ball and Roader's
    body at the same time if you're in the right position; if not, wave your
    weapon around)  Once it stops stomping, it's back to the Hitman Shots.
    Hopefully you've done enough damage by hitting it from below that it won't
    be much longer until it's dust.
    
         An alternate strategy, pointed out by SaviourV, is to get under the 
    Roader before the fight starts when it jumps out from the background.  Best 
    way I find to do this is to stay close to the right edge of the screen when 
    the WARNING! for the boss comes up, then do a couple of quick Body Attacks 
    and a slide to the right as the screen moves right.  Don't touch the right 
    edge or else you Body Attack will bounce you off it to the left.  Once 
    you're under it, and if you have a Lightning Saber, it's very easy to block 
    Hitman Shots and damage the Roader at the same time.  The gun arm stays to 
    the left of the Roader's body and can't extend above it, so most of the time 
    you can just wave the Saber around up and up-left.  You can also use Chaser 
    Fireball to get the same results from this position - even if you're using 
    Free Shot, since your movement is limited by the Roader's legs.
    
         A couple of side notes: First, you can hang from the underside of the 
    body.  Dunno what advantage this gives you or if there's any point to it, 
    since you'll fall off whenever the body dips down.  Secondly, hitting the 
    tall goon when he's out showering you with Hitman Shots gives you points.
    It only raises your score 1 point at a time, so it's not worth paying too 
    much attention to.  Dunno if this means you can destroy the gun arm (I've 
    tried - on EASY - but haven't been patient enough to find out). 
    ==================
    
    
    _______________________________________________
    
    (3.B) UNDERGROUND MINE
    _______________________________________________
    
         Not much to say, because there's no mid-bosses here (and for very good 
    reason, when you see Seven Force :)).  Just a few things I should mention:
    
    - The instruction booklet doesn't say, but you can slide in your mining
    cart!  On top of that, soldiers can't seem to block on their carts, so abuse
    at will. (thanks to Fale for spotting this)
    
    - You may find it pretty tough using a Fixed Shot character here because you 
    can't dodge laser bullets and jump kicks while shooting all over at the 
    hordes of soldiers high and low.  If you're stuck crouching and shooting
    while bullets come from above/below, rely on slides to escape.
    
    - During the vertical section in the middle of the level, if you have a 
    narrow weapon (like most Lightning combo weapons) try to keep your back to 
    the wall while shooting the soldiers.  Otherwise, you'll see your shots 
    going just by their heads while they continue to hit you with bullets.
    
    - Be prepared for a long fight witht Seven Force if you're using a Lightning 
    Saber against it.  The Soldier and Urchin forms must be fought with long-
    range weapons, which means you'd have to turn off the Fire portion of the
    Saber and rely on the weak little lightning gun.
    
         For simplicity, I've listed the forms of Seven Force in the order that 
    the game's "Warning!" shows them in...
    
    =================
    BOSS: Seven Force
    -----------------
    (i) Soldier Force
    Vitality: 4101
    Points: 11111
    Attacks:
    
        Arm Vortex - 10 damage if its rotating arm extends and hits you
    
        Arm Boomerang - 6 damage each time you touch any of the 3 projectiles it
                        throws high and goes right, then left
    
        (bomb) - when it tosses 3 green balls onto the floor, it's 8 damage if
                 you touch them anywhere along the arc they're thrown along
    
        other - 4 damage every time you touch his feet (e.g. when he slides)
    
    Strategy:
    
         In a way, despite its average-damage attacks, this is one of the more 
    dangerous forms of the 7.  Even though it doesn't throw enough at you to 
    kill you, it can cost you a fair amount of Vitality if you don't get rid of 
    it quickly.
    
         The 2 biggest differences in Soldier's attack patterns on harder 
    difficulties is its Arm Vortex and predicting what it throws.  First of all, 
    its arm extends out much faster, and can attack in 2 styles - it can aim at 
    where you're at and attack you up to 4 times (you'll see this style most 
    often), or the arm will rotate a certain number of degrees (usually 180) and 
    shoot out every few degrees.  Secondly (and this is what makes it dangerous) 
    it mixes up its projectiles more - even if you hang out on the ceiling more 
    often.  You'll still see more Boomerangs than Bombs, but you may see odd 
    things like 2 or 3 bombs thrown in a row.  Also, I've seen it throwing bombs 
    sometimes while jumping backwards.
    
         Stay on the ceiling unless you're escaping Boomerangs, in which case 
    return to the ceiling as fast as possible to avoid its slide.  When it 
    throws a projectile from the far left of the screen, at least you'll have a 
    split second to see what's coming before deciding whether or not to double-
    jump.  If it's throwing a projectile from the left-middle of the screen, 
    you'll just have to anticipate which projectile is coming as best as 
    possible.  One thing you CAN rely on happening is when it jumps backward 
    from the right half of the screen, it'll only throw boomerangs.  Try to come 
    out of this fight with at least 80 Vitality left.
    
    
    ----------------
    (ii) Tails Force
    Vitality: 4102
    Points: 11111
    Attacks:
    
        Somersault Tail - 10 damage if its tail hits you when it flips backwards
    
        Lightning Zap - 1 damage per hit of the spread of energy pellets it
                        shoots out of its top
    
        other - 8 damage if you touch its body
              - 10 damage if you touch its tail
    
    Strategy:
    
         It'll start the fight in the centre of the screen and leave itself open 
    for free shots, then make its rounds along the edges counterclockwise.  Get 
    to the right side as it comes down along the left, then move to the top.  
    It'll start using its Lightning Zap when it gets to the bottom of the left 
    side.  Double jump to the top left side as soon as there's room so you don't 
    get caught in the pellet spray when it shoots upwards, then follow its tail 
    down the left side so you'll be out of harm's way when it shoots to the 
    left.  When it gets to the top right, it'll either stop shooting or continue 
    making another round along the sides.  Get to the bottom right no matter 
    what happens.  If it decides to stop going along the edges, you'll have just 
    enough time to quickly switch back to the left side before its tail moves 
    down on your head.
    
         Next, Tails can do one or more of 3 different types of actions.  Stay 
    in the middle of the left side of the tunnel and get some shots in while 
    waiting for its next move.  You'll know the Somersault Tail's coming if it's 
    moving right up into your face.  Move up/down at the last moment before it 
    stops, and its tail will hit nothing but air when it backflips twice.  If 
    its head rears back, it's gonna do a Lightning Zap.  Your position should be 
    level with its head and above the end of its tail before it shoots - maybe a 
    little higher if necessary. (don't be afraid of being hit with Lightning Zap 
    - the pellets do much less damage than touching the tail as it sticks out 
    left just before Tails shoots)  Once the tail moves away a bit, quickly move 
    down a little and shoot right while the Lightning Zap's going on.  After 
    either of the above attacks, it may decide to swing its tail while moving 
    randomly about.  In this situation, just stay near the top left and shoot 
    its head.
    
         When you see Tails tip its head forward, it'll start its clockwise 
    travel up, left, and around the sides again.  Pretty easy pattern, huh? :)
    
    
    -----------------
    (iii) Tiger Force
    Vitality: 4203
    Points: 11111
    Attacks:
    
        Sight Laser - 8 damage per touch if the you're in its crosshairs when 
                      its tail shoots an energy beam at you
    
        Trace Zapper - 10 damage per touch of its reflecting laser
    
        (grenade) - 20 damage per touch if you're within the outer range of its 
                    its crosshairs when its tail fires an exploding energy ball
    
        other - 1 damage per touch if its legs run over you on the ground
    
    Strategy:
    
         Everything Tiger throws from you is pretty straightforward.  Stay on 
    the ceiling.  First comes the crosshairs part.  Just keep moving left and 
    right across the screen to stay out of the targets that follow you around.  
    If for some reason you're having trouble staying away from the crosshair 
    targets, then (a) try staying on the ground half the time, since running 
    into Tiger is less damage than being shot by its tail, and (b) maybe you 
    shouldn't be playing on Hard/Expert mode. :)
    
         Second part of Tiger's attack is the 3 Trace Zappers.  Most of the 
    time, it aims its reflecting laser so that it hits you somewhere along its 
    path.  Sometimes, it just shoots in a random direction, possibly to trick 
    you into moving out from a safe spot to a spot along the Zapper's path.  
    It's up to your judgement where to move to.  Just don't forget to lay in a 
    lot of damage to it while it's targetting its laser.
    
    
    ----------------
    (iv) Eagle Force
    Vitality: 4006
    Points: 11111
    Attacks:
    
        Dance Dance - 8 damage if you touch any part of its  body
    
        Spread Laser - (doesn't use it until Stage 6)
    
    Strategy:
    
         What you do here depends on what position Eagle's in when it dances.
    When it's vertical (i.e. its head is facing down or up), sneaking past it is 
    a little bit tricky.  You have to watch its tail and arms as it moves up and 
    look for which side has either both a wing and its tail sticking out, or no 
    wing or tail.  Get on that side of the screen, and move down below Eagle 
    when both its wing and tail move out of the way on that side.  The other 
    side of it will always have either a wing or the tail sticking out.  It's 
    not totally impossible to slip between them, but why go thru the trouble? ;)  
    Another thing I suggest is to always have your face towards Eagle.  Even if 
    you get behind it, the tail might swing above your head and will touch you 
    if your back is to it.  Facing in its direction puts you a bit closer to the 
    wall and out of the tail's way.  Anyway, if you have a Fixed Shot character 
    you can hold down the Shot button and aim diagonally up at Eagle when you 
    get to the bottom corner.  For a Free Shot character, you may have to wait 
    for it to move up a little so there's room for you to shoot.
    
         It's a lot easier when Eagle comes at you horizontally (i.e. its head 
    is facing left or right.  Just be aware of which wing it sticks out in front 
    of its beak and when.  As long as you know how to avoid the wings, park 
    yourself in front of its head and have a blast. ;)
    
         Once it's done dancing, it'll rise up, then come back down with its 
    wings extended out until it's near the bottom of the screen.  Just sit at 
    the bottom corners and shoot into the middle as it passes by, then move up 
    to the middle of the screen or higher right away before it comes back for 
    more Dancing.
    
    
    -----------------
    (v) Blaster Force
    Vitality: 4007
    Points: 11111
    Attacks:
    
        Grenade Shoot - 4 damage if it "shoots" you with a blue bullet
    
        Gold Bullet - ???  Perhaps when it's changing its bullet clip...
                      (Why not?  A golden clip for a Golden Gun. :))
    
    Strategy:
    
         It does Grenade Shot several times before reloading on bullets (12 on 
    Expert mode).  Also, on harder difficulties it only spins for half a second 
    between shots, and when it stops it fires right away.
    
    HARD WAY --- To challenge your reflexes, stay at the bottom left of the 
    screen and time your jumps so that its Grenade Shoots fly under you.  Get 
    under it and pound your weapon into it when it changes clips.
    
    EASY WAY --- There are safe spots to stand under and above the centre point 
    of Blaster.  If you can't see the "centre" right away, it's the ball part 
    that seems to stay still when it spins while the rest of the gun rotates 
    around that part.  You don't have to stand directly under the centre.  On 
    the ceiling, don't be more than half your body width left or right of it, 
    and on the ground you can be 1.5 body widths to the left without being hit. 
    Once you're in position, shoot straight up and lay a licking on it.
    
         It might also be worth mentioning that touching any part of Blaster 
    will not harm you.
    
    
    -----------------
    (vi) Urchin Force
    Vitality: 4302
    Points: 11111
    Attacks:
    
        Hyper Sonic Spin - 4 damage per touch if you come into contact while
                           it's spinning and bouncing all over
    
        Rush and Roulette - 8 damage if any of its energy balls hit you
                          - 4 damage per touch if you jump into its body
    
    Strategy:
    
         You've got to be alert here if you don't want to be runned over.  Spend 
    most of your time on whichever side of the tunnel you're most comfortable 
    with during the Hyper Sonic Spin phase of this fight. (e.g. being a 
    righthander type, I like staying left and shooting to the right)  When 
    Urchin appears, it stays still in the middle of the screen for a couple of 
    seconds, so get some free shots in, then move down.  The idea is to stay on 
    your preferred side of the tunnel, and opposite of wherever Urchin's 
    bouncing back and forth.  Shoot diagonally up a few times, but be aware that 
    it may move up or down after as soon as it bounces twice (once forth and 
    once back).  If it goes up/down the wall you're NOT on, you just have to 
    move straight up/down to the opposite corner; but if it does come down your 
    side, you've gotta quickly double-jump to the other wall, move up/down away 
    from it, then double-jump back to your preferred wall.  Hopefully you have a 
    decent long range weapon for this part.  If you're a Free Shot character 
    using a Lightning Saber, have fun hitting it with your Lightning gun. :P
    
         Once you finally get its Vitality down to 1500 or lower, Urchin uses 
    Rush and Roulette for the rest of the fight.  It'll randomly appear anywhere 
    along the centre of the tunnel, then spin and form energy balls on its 
    spines.  It stops at a random position and sends the balls straight out.
    What you want to do is get right next to it and pound your weapon into it 
    until it stops, then see where the energy balls are and position yourself 
    between the nearest pair.
    
    
    ----------------
    (vii) Crab Force
    Vitality: 4505
    Points: 11111
    Attacks:
    
        Crash Mine - 10 damage if the red balls collide with you and explode
    
        Will o the Wisp - 4 damage if its white energy balls hit you
    
        (wall) - 6 damage if the metal extending walls it sends smash into you
    
    Strategy:
    
    HARD WAY --- You'll need a long-range weapon here since you'll be keeping 
    your distance. (unless it's the Lightning Saber; read the next paragraph)  
    It throws 3 types of projectiles along the ground and ceiling.  Stay at the 
    right side of the screen, keep your thumb on the Shot button, and keep your 
    eyes on whatever is materializing in its "claws."  If it's a red metal ball, 
    it's the Crash Mine and will travel straight.  You can just jump straight up 
    and let it pass under you.  If it's a white energy ball, it's Will o the 
    Wisp and will travel to the opposite corner of the screen. (e.g. if it 
    appears at the upper "claw," it will travel diagonally down to the lower 
    right corner).  You'll need to switch from floor to ceiling or vice versa.  
    If it's a red block, it will travel straight and extend into a wall.  This 
    one you also have to switch between floor and ceiling to avoid.  That's 
    basically all you'll do for the whole fight - shooting while jumping.  The 
    skill involved is concentrating on the barrage of projectiles and reacting 
    right away once you recognize what's coming.
    
    EASY WAY --- Survived up to this point with the Lightning Saber?  Excellent 
    - you can just forget everything I just said above cuz now it's really gonna 
    pay off!  Get in the middle of the screen, point your little sword at Crab 
    Force, and hold that Shot button down while you lounge back and relax!  The 
    Saber destroys all of Crab's projectiles, and in the process turns it into 
    one of the easiest forms of Seven Force.
    =================
    
    _______________________________________________
    
    (3.C) FLYING BATTLESHIP
    _______________________________________________
    
         When the screen starts scrolling up, kill the soldiers on the next 2 
    platforms that appear.  Then get to the left side of the screen, face right, 
    and hold down the shot button.  Keep jumping straight up the platforms along 
    the left of the screen, and you'll be killing the soldiers that appear on 
    every 4th platform at the same time.  Stay near the top of the screen at all 
    times.  The moment you see the top of the battleship, jump on it and shoot 
    left to take out the soldiers until the bombs and copter-pack yellow 
    soldiers come along.  Stay near the right of the screen and shoot up or up-
    left.  If a bomb falls near you, grab and toss it up-left before it hits the 
    ground.  Tossing bombs is fun cuz you can kill flying soldiers, and your 
    throwing animation is invincible against the laser bullets the soldiers 
    shoot at you.
    
    NOTE: Try to clear the screen of as many soldiers as possible before the
    battleship rises up and off the screen.  The game has some bug where you
    sometimes mysteriously take 20 damage on its way up.  From all the tests
    I've performed, my theory is that when the soldiers fly up just as the
    battleship rises, the game somehow has them registered as objects that are
    still hanging around just above the top of the screen.  So if you stand
    almost under the point where a soldier left the visible area, you end up
    getting squished between an unknown object and the rising battleship.
    
         Once the battleship is above the clouds, you'll meet a particularly
    annoying flying soldier.  He'll hover around, then stay still and appear to
    shiver, the try to swoop at you with a flying kick.  Now, notice that the
    battleship has shifted left from how it was before it rose up, and there's
    a slope on the right that's now on the screen.  You can hide at the bottom
    of that slope and the yellow soldier can't reach you there!  The arc of his
    kick never goes below the flat surface of the ship you were just standing
    on.  From there, just shoot up or diagonally to get rid of him.  Should you
    choose to take him head on, jump and use your Body Attack to go over him
    while pummelling him with your weapon when he stays still.  Get the 15
    Vitality he drops and move on to the right.
    
    NOTE: For high-score seekers looking to max out their points via the old
    tape-down-a-button-and-leave-for-a-few-days trick, this part is for you.
    Kill the flying soldier naturally (don't hide down the slope), and make
    sure you're standing on the left half of the screen when he blows up. (so
    the screen doesn't advance)  Soldiers on foot start coming from the right
    (and playing on Expert means there'll be lots of 'em).  Hold your Shot
    button down and shoot to the right.  If your weapon is short range, inch
    your way closer to the slope until it's in a comfortable position that it
    kills all soldiers coming up the slope, while the left edge of the ship is
    still on the screen (to prevent Soldiers from coming from the left).  If
    you're using Fixed Shot, you could even crouch and hold Shot down.  From
    there, apply your tape or book corner or whatever on the Shot button, hang
    your Do Not Disturb sign on your control pad, and leave it.
    
         Now, if you don't do this next part right, this can be one of the most 
    frustrating parts of the first 4 stages.  There is a series of 4 round guns 
    sitting on "pedistals," then a sleeping soldier, then another gun.  This 
    part means nothing in Easy or Normal because the guns don't shoot very 
    often.  In harder modes, each one sends a stream of bullets at you.  On top 
    of that, there are yellow soldiers coming at you from all sides trying to 
    kick, grab, or throw you.  At worst, you'll find yourself being bounced 
    around all over the place and unable to shoot back.  From the bottom of the 
    slope you just went down, jump and shoot while moving slowly right.
    Hopefully you'll destroy the cannons as they come on the screen one by one.
    If necessary, take some time to kill the soldiers so that they don't knock 
    you forward from behind and put more guns on the screen.  Once there's no 
    more guns to worry about, don't waste time with the soldiers - Body Attack 
    your way to the mid-boss.
    
    -----------------------
    Mini-boss: Swapping Reg
    -----------------------
    Vitality: 2041
    Points: 6804
    
    Attacks:
    
        Reg Vulcan - each bullet it shoots out does 1 damage
    
        other - 20 damage if you are caught under its feet
    
    Strategy:
    
         Not a threat.  Its vulcans are too weak to worry about - just make sure 
    its feet don't step/jump on you.  If you wanna save as much of your Vitality 
    as possible, try standing on one of its feet and shooting up at the Reg's 
    side. (be aware that you slip a little in one direction when it lands from a 
    jump)  When its Vitality is below 1000, it uses its foot vulcans instead of 
    the centre one.  It's all but dead - stand between its feet and shoot up.
    
         For some fun, try jumping up to the "tightrope" above so that you're 
    guaranteed to avoid damage, then shoot down if you're a Fixed Shot or swing 
    down hang, and shoot left or right if you're a Free Shot. (if you do the 
    latter, make sure your body isn't placed in the middle of the Reg's main 
    section or its middle Vulcan will hit you)  Two ways to grab onto the wire: 
    do a high jump to the right from the "pedistal" that the last round gun was 
    sitting on and Body Attack at the top of your jump while holding up, or 
    stand on one of the Reg's feet and jump up at the top of the Reg's jump.
    -----------------------
    
    ----------------------
    Mini-boss: Colonel Red
    ----------------------
    Vitality: 520
    Points: 23005, unless he kills himself :)
    
    Attacks:
    
        (bomb) - 17 damage if you touch a bomb's explosion
    
        (After Burner (counter)) - an 18 damage counterattack if he flies
                                   into you with blue jet fumes
    
        other - 20 damage if you fall off the helicopter
    
         The only tough part about this warm-up fight is predicting where his 
    bombs land.  Watch him very carefully and try to judge the arc which he 
    throws them in.  Don't be tempted into throwing him.  After he's thrown, 
    he'll counterattack by ramming into you.  Also of note is that the 
    explosions from his own bombs can hurt him, but you won't get points if the 
    final blow that hits him is his own.
    ----------------------
    
    ============
    BOSS: Orange
    ------------
    Vitality: 2400
    Points: 0
    
    Attacks:
    
        Rotor Press - 3 damage if you jump up while he's spinning on the copter
                      blades; 10 damage if he lands on you with his elbow
    
        Hard Shoulder - 18 damage if he connects on his shoulder-block charge
    
        Break Wind - 14 damage per touch of the blue exploding flame he throws
                     left or right; 9 damage per touch if he throws it down
                     while you're hanging below the helicopter wings
    
        other - 10 damage if he jumps on you with a flying elbow
              - 20 damage if he grabs and throws/suplexes you
              - 20 damage if you fall off the helicopter
    
    
    Strategy:
    
         When you stand far enough from him, he'll either: (a) flex, then try to 
    ram into you with Hard Shoulder; or (b) occasionaly throw Break Wind.  If 
    you're not too far, he'll either keep walking to you, jump and do an elbow 
    drop on you, or go into the Rotor Press.
    
    SIMPLE WAY --- Just accept some damage - shouldn't be a problem if have 
    around 90-100 Vitality left.  Let him hit you with elbow drops from the 
    Rotor Press, then grab him while you're flashing and throw him down or 
    straight up for 420 damage.  If you've practiced enough though, you can 
    avoid the elbow and still throw him after he lands.  Don't throw him off the 
    chopper though - he'll only take 40 damage, plus try to elbow you as he 
    jumps back on.  Avoid Hard Shoulder by doing a Body Attack jump over him, 
    and hang under the helicopter if he throws Break Wind (do NOT try jumping 
    over it nor Body Attacking through it!).  If you can't avoid an attack, take 
    advantage of your brief invincibility to get another throw in.  And of 
    course, shoot him when you're far away from him, hanging below the chopper's 
    wings, or while he's swinging on the chopper blades.
    
    'LEET WAY --- Another way is similar to Jamal Blackwell's strategy, listed 
    in Deeto's FAQ, where you have to utilize hanging under the helicopter to 
    avoid most of Orange's attacks.  Keep holding up on the D-pad while you're 
    down there, then as he's about to walk above you (just before he throws 
    Break Wind down), press Jump to swing yourself up and KEEP holding up on the 
    D-pad.  You're invincible as you flip up and Orange can't be knocked out of 
    his Break Wind animation at the start of it, so you'll sort of miss each 
    other (but Orange takes a little damage from your flip).  Now you'll be 
    standing on the helicopter blades as he's throwing Break Wind down for 
    nothing, AND you're still holding up, so press Shot a few times until you 
    throw him straight up.  Walk away a bit, swing under the chopper's wings, 
    and repeat the process.  Reason why you swing up before he starts to throw 
    Break Wind is because if you do it as he throws it, your up-swing will cause 
    him to flash and you can't grab him - you'll have to get away fast before he 
    grabs you.
    ============
    
    
    _______________________________________________
    
    (3.D) DICE PALACE
    _______________________________________________
    
    
         The first portion of the stage before you enter "Black's Base" is 
    teeming with soldiers and drones.  Don't waste time or Vitality trying to 
    kill everything - use your Body Attacks and throws to plow your way through.
    
    -------------------------
    Mini-boss: hanging gunpod
    -------------------------
    Vitality: 860
    Points: 0
    
    Strategy:
    
         In Easy/Normal, you could take your time shooting the gunpod and the 
    soldiers running around.  In Hard/Expert, the soldiers won't go away so 
    easily because of their higher defense. (see 'em walk right through the 
    gunpod's gunfire)  Best way to clear enemy bodies from the screen is to 
    throw them into the gunpod as they come to you.  Of course, sneak some shots 
    in when you're not chucking grunts to speed things up.
    -------------------------
    
         Keep trying to move right as fast as possible, unless a grunt gets 
    directly in your way.  When you reach the 2nd hanging gunpod, you'll be 
    standing on top of a wall and there'll probably be a circus of soldiers at 
    the base of it.  Best thing to do is jump over them and Body Attack through 
    the gunpod. (you'll either destroy it or take over half its health away)
    
         For "Black's Base," I've listed every square on the dice board in 
    order.  General rule for Fight squares is blue-green means a weak 
    enemy/task, yellow is medium difficulty, and orange ones are harder fights.
    
    -------------------
    Square 1: Valvalion
    -------------------
    Vitality: 2821
    Points: 23080
    Attacks:
    
        (anything) - 4 damage per touch of its body
    
    Strategy:
    
         You can see both of its attacks coming from a mile away.  When it coils 
    itself straight up, it'll try diving onto your exact location.  When it 
    coils sideways, it'll dive down on the right side of the screen, then bounce 
    in arches to the left side of the screen.  For the first attack, just run 
    away once you see it coming down.  For the second, it lands in the exact 
    same spots every time, so just stand between those spots.  Don't be tempted 
    to Body Attack it - its body's so long that you'll be touching it most of 
    the time when your Body Attack's over, and only the first half of its body 
    takes any damage.
    
    ------------------------
    Square 2: Take An Item 1
    ------------------------
    Item orbs: Force, Lightning, Chaser, 15 Vitality
    
    
    -----------------
    Square 3: Timeron
    -----------------
    Vitality: 2423
    Points: 17705
    Attacks:
    
        (exploding seed) - 8 damage per touch of the explosion that comes out
                           of each seed
    
    Strategy:
    
         As the timer counts up to 10, keep shooting up, then move a few steps 
    to either side whenever it drops an exploding seed.  When the timer counts 
    down, stand in an area with no seeds and shoot diagonally at Timeron (easy 
    to do with Fixed Shot; Free Shot may have to jump and shoot straight 
    left/right).
    
    
    --------------------------
    Square 4: Rush and Go!!! 1
    --------------------------
         To get through the maze FAST without running into the energy balls:
    
    - punch twice right away to open the wall above you
    - jump and punch, then jump and punch again to get to the top left cell
    - punch once and move one cell right
    - punch 3 times and move one cell right
    - walk into the green wall to your right and punch it to make it disappear
      so that you find yourself standing on top of one of the octogonal things
    - make sure you're stand on the right half of the octogonal thingie, then
      punch before you start sliding down
    - punch the red wall on the right twice to open up the exit
    
         If you don't feel confident you can get through without taking damage, 
    just sit where you are until time runs out. :)
    
    NOTE: In parts of the Dice Palace where you can't use your weapon (namely
    this one and Curry and Rice), there is an odd bug in the game.  You can hold
    down and press either Shot or Jump to slide, but if you use Shot, keep
    holding the button down and you'll do a running slide right after (which
    makes a wierd noise).  This slide-bug does nothing though (it doesn't seem
    to be considered an attack), so don't try it against Curry and Rice. :)
    
    ------------------------
    Square 5: Minion Soldier
    ------------------------
    Vitality: 2010
    Points: 84004 + 10 per clone destroyed
    Attacks:
    
        (projectile) - 8 damage from the starry crescent projectile he shoots
        (jump kick) - 5 damage
        (throw) - 20 damage
    
    Strategy:
    
         Get to one side of the screen, duck (to avoid Minion Shot), and shoot.
    When he gets too close, do a Body Attack off the wall and get to the other 
    side ASAP.  Don't be surprised if you find yourself running and jumping back 
    and forth between walls with him on your tail the whole way.  Eventually 
    he'll stop and do something else - just be patient.
    
    ---------------------
    Square 6: Melon Bread
    ---------------------
    Vitality: 1310
    Points: 13900
    Attacks:
    
         (exploding ball) - touching the energy ball it spits out is 25 damage
    
    Strategy:
    
         This mini-boss probably only has one purpose - to show off Treasure's 
    graphics back in the days. :)  Don't take too long to admire the eye-candy 
    (there's plenty more of it elsewhere).  If you don't destroy it right away, 
    it will eventually surprise you by spitting on you in 16 seconds.  Its 
    pattern is to float in the middle of the screen doing nothing for 6 sec, 
    then follow you with its nose for 9 sec, and take one second to drop a ball 
    that'll bounce for a bit and explodes.
    
    ------------------------------
    Square 7: gunpod under repairs
    ------------------------------
    Vitality: 847
    
         Just make sure you destroy the box on the left for 15 Vitality before 
    you blow up the gunpod.  Don't bother destroying the other boxes, as you 
    don't get points or goodies out of them.
    
    -------------
    Square 8: Pit
    -------------
    Vitality: 384 each
    Points: 2590 each + 20000 once they're all destroyed
    Attacks:
    
        (getting squashed) - 20 damage if either the bouncing balls land on you
                             or you're caught under the divider wall when it
                             extends itself down
    
    Strategy:
    
         Destroy the balls on your side of the wall as quickly as possible 
    before you get into a situation where they're all coming down and the wall 
    is moving towards you and cramming your room.  If you feel like you're gonna 
    be trapped, you can either slide under the wall to the other side or try 
    jumping over or on top of a ball.  You can hang from below balls too - not 
    that it's useful or anything, just thought you should know. ^_^
    
    --------------------------
    Square 9: Rush and Go!!! 2
    --------------------------
         Every weapon in the game should be able to attack the soldiers from the 
    other side of the wall, even without shooting all the way through.  Either 
    shoot the wall to hit any grunts standing near it, or get so close that your 
    gun is sticking out the other side and shooting full blast at 'em.  Kill the 
    first set of soldiers from where you are, then jump back and forth between 
    walls (like in Shinobi 3) to climb up the column.  Repeat with the soldiers 
    behind the next wall.
    
    -------------------------
    Square 10: Take An Item 2
    -------------------------
    Item orbs: Fire, Force, Lightning, 15 Vitality
    
    
    ------------------
    Square 11: Phantom
    ------------------
    Points: 0
    Attacks:
    
        (bomb) - 17 damage
        (slide) - 4 damage
    
         Nothing complicated.  For fun, try tossing his bombs back at him. :)
    After you whip his butt, don't forget to pick up the 15 Vitality he drops 
    before the screen fades out.
    
    ----------------------
    Square 12: Vortex Base
    ----------------------
    Vitality: 2802
    Points: 0
    Attacks:
    
        (laser) - 4 damage per touch of the broken laser beam that travels among
                  the orbs
    
    Strategy:
    
         The orbs light up in the order that the next Vortex Beam shot will 
    travel in.  The idea is to use the orbs to figure out where to stand out of 
    the beam's path.  On Expert mode though, they light up super fast.  However, 
    the game uses the same path patterns on all difficulties, so you should be 
    able to recognize the pattern just by seeing what orbs light up without 
    minding the order.  If you're not familiar with the patterns, try to see 
    what the first 2 orbs that light up are.  The first is always the middle 
    one, and the 2nd tells you which way the beam will move from there, so all 
    you have to do be on the opposite side of the first orb.  From there, you 
    should be able to wing it just fine.  Don't forget to attack when you're not 
    dodging the beam - shoot straight or diagonally down with a Fixed Shot 
    character, or hang under the top platform to do the same with Free Shot.
    
    -------------------------
    Square 13: Curry and Rice
    -------------------------
    Vitality: 362
    Points: 25
    Attacks:
    
        (punch) - 8 damage if it punches you while you're in the air
        (flip) - 20 damage per touch when it flips in the air and lands in a
                 squatting position
        (squat) - 8 damage if it touches you during a split-legged squat
        (head-bomb) - 20 damage if its head lands on you after it's beaten
    
    Strategy:
    
         If you stand close and in front of it, it'll drop down in a squat with 
    its legs sticking out.  If you're airborne when you're close to it, it'll do 
    rapid left-right jabs.  If you're close and standing under where its body 
    is, it'll jump and flip in the air.
    
         There's two recommended ways to approach this.  Simplest one is to get
    near it to trick it into squatting, then walk a step in the opposite
    direction before its butt lands on the ground, then quickly walk up into it
    and attack it anyway you want. (punch does 40 damage, throw does 100)  If
    you don't think you can time it right, let it do a 2nd squat or a flip right
    after, then move in quickly.  If you're paranoid about taking damage, the
    other way is to time your slides so that you hit it when its legs are
    together while it's walking.  After you beat it, its head will launch itself
    in an arc (usually towards whichever side you are from it).  It'll hurt you
    big if it lands on you, but strangely the explosion it makes when it lands
    on the ground doesn't harm you if you're near it.
    
         For fun, you can try cornering it with punches!  Get it in the corner
    and stand right in its face before it gets up, then hold the Shot button
    down.  It should work for the most part, except when it flips as it gets up.
    
    ------------------------
    Square 14: Aberenbou Gel
    ------------------------
    Vitality: 3510
    Points: 8888
    Attacks:
    
        (exploding energy ball) - 17 damage if you come near the explosions
                                  from the balls it drops behind itself
        other - 20 damage if it jumps and lands on you
              - 20 damage if you're on top of it when it does a high jump
    
    Strategy:
    
         You don't have to worry about the ball it drops behind itself unless 
    you're sliding under it to get to the other side.  If you wanna get to the 
    other side to avoid being squished in the corner, it's better to do a Body 
    Attack off the wall to jump on top of it, then quickly jump to the other
    side of it.
    
    ---------------------------
    Square 15: Super Gondola
    ---------------------------
    Vitality: 381 per part
    Points: 710 per part
    Attacks:
    
        (blue beam) - 4 damage from a beam cannon's shot
        (3-way shot) - 3 damage if you're hit by one of the laser bullets from
                       the round rotating parts
        (blue fire) - 4 damage per touch of the exhaust part's flames
        other - 20 damage if you fall to the bottom of the screen
    
    Strategy:
    
         There are 7 parts in the rotating Gondola that have to be destroyed, 
    plus a switch (which makes the Gondola rotate the other way every time you
    hit it):
    
    Cannon - Bomb - Cannon - Bomb - Fire/Exhaust - 3-way - Switch/Lever - 3-way
    
    Eliminating the bomb-droppers should be your first priority.  Their bombs 
    don't hurt you but they do destroy parts of the floor, and falling down the 
    holes does more damage than any part of the Gondola can do to you directly. 
    (this is especially important if you're shooting diagonally with Free Shot)
    With a strong rapid-fire weapon (e.g. Double Fireball), you can just shoot
    left or right to destroy bombs as they fall instead of being right under 
    them shooting up.  Destroying the other parts is pretty straightforward.
    
    -------------------------
    Square 16: Take An Item 3
    -------------------------
    Item orbs: Chaser, Fire, 15 Vitality, 15 Vitality
    
    
    -----------------------
    Square 17: The Way Back
    -----------------------
         "Bye Bye!!" is right.  It's back to Square 0 for you, literally!
    
    
    ---------------
    Square 18: BOSS
    ---------------
         At the end of the maze you get a Soul Bonus of 65816 points.  You'll 
    get another 65816 for whipping Black next. :)
    
    
    ========================
    BOSS: Black Beat Stepper
    ------------------------
    Vitality: 6482
    Points: 65816
    Attacks:
    
        Red Fireball - 3 damage per touch of the stream of fire that travels
                       along the edges of the screen.
    
        Yellow Laser - 2 damage per touch of any of the straight laser beams
    
        Green Cutter - 2 damage per touch of the diagonally travelling beam
    
        Blue Cracker - being near the bombs in the corner when they explode
                       does 18 damage
    
        other - 20 damage if you're sandwiched between the body of the Stepper
                and any edge of the room, or if it steps on you
              - 17 damage at the end of the fight if you get hit by the fake
                gem bomb Black tosses out
    
    Strategy:
    
         There is NO increase in difficulty for the Stepper on Hard/Expert.  It 
    just takes a little longer destroy because of its higher defense.  Its 
    pattern is the same: it takes as many steps as the result of the dice roll 
    (1-3), and activates whatever color weapon its left foot lands on.
    
         Generally, you wanna stay within half a screen of the most of the time 
    Stepper, but not directly above or below it (unless you're jumping on top 
    and over it as it comes towards your side of the screen).  Its attacks are 
    very easy to dodge.  Yellow Laser and Green Cutter can be avoided by 
    standing in either lower corner. (for the Yellow Lasers, you can even stand 
    between the 2 vertical ones)  When you know Blue Cracker's coming, just move 
    to the middle of the screen.  Red Fireball requires a little more movement.
    It always travels clockwise around the room from red section to red section.
    If Black's on the right side of the screen, stand on the left platform, then 
    jump right so the fire stream passes under you.  If Black's on the left 
    side, either (a) stand in the middle of the screen, then jump up to the 
    right platform once the stream is completely under the platform; or (b) hang 
    from the right edge of the right platform.  And for whatever purpose it 
    serves (if you can find one), you can hang from the top or bottom of the 
    Stepper's "body."
    
         After the fight, just stay away from the middle of the screen to avoid 
    the fake-gem bomb. (Then again, it probably doesn't matter if you get hit 
    cuz you'll have hardly wasted any Vitality on Black, right? :))
    ========================
    
    
    _______________________________________________
    
    (3.E) STAGE 5
    _______________________________________________
    
         Make sure you have a strong weapon for this part, because there are 
    LOTS of soldiers headed after you, and you need to get rid of them fast in 
    order NOT to get swarmed.  Lightning Saber is quite helpful for blocking the 
    laser bullets from those annoying flying drones, but don't let that distract 
    you from the enemies on the ground.  I wouldn't recommend the Saber if you 
    have a Fixed Shot character; it's much more useful with Free Shot - keep 
    running along with your Saber out, and wave it around once in a while to 
    clear away the pests.
    
         As for how the level is structured, you'll see soldiers from the first 
    4 stages here, in order.  You'll start with the red-pant grunts from the 
    Ancient Ruins, then black ones from the Dice Palace, followed by yellows 
    from the Flying Battleship, and greens from the Underground Mines during the 
    last long stretch of this stage.  Each of the first 3 quarters of the stage 
    ends with a bomb-throwing soldier similar to Phantom from the Dice Palace.
    The last quarter is a long run to the enemy battleship and the boss, filled 
    with even MORE grunts, drones, plus 2-legged vehicles.  Scattered throughout 
    the level are boxes, platforms, exploding drums, and an infinite number of 
    soldiers.  It's a fairly straightforward linear stage, so I won't detail 
    every step of the journey.  Just a few notes:
    
    - For the most part, keep running forward and avoid being in one place for
    very long, or else the flying drones could corner you with bullets and 
    various soldiers can toss several bombs your way.  Use your good ol' flying 
    Body Attacks to propel yourself away from uncomfortably large crowds of 
    enemies.  It's your choice whether to stop to break open boxes that have 
    Vitality orbs in them.  You DEFINITELY should stop when the robotic bird 
    with Vitality comes along.  Read on for details...
    
    - If you get thrown by a grunt, hold the D-pad in any direction and keep 
    pressing the Shot button.  With all the enemies thrown at you here, there's 
    a good chance you'll end up throwing one of them in mid-air, which will 
    cause you to land safely and avoid 20 damage.
    
    - Don't totally rely on your weapon for killing soldiers.  Sometimes your 
    weapon takes too long and you need to get out of a jam fast, so feel free to 
    toss a few bodies around.  Whereas your weapon takes an unknown amount of 
    time to kill a grunt, you can rest assured that a throw is instant death, 
    and can cause instant death to other enemies too. ;)  You can also throw 
    bombs back at your enemies, or at boxes to destroy them quickly.
    
    - Speaking of throwing bodies, you can even toss those flying yellow 
    platform ships that come along once in a while.  Throw them down into the 
    ground to cause mass damage to soldiers and boxes.
    
    - If you're using Fixed Shot, the weapon for you is probably Exploding 
    Fireball.  Just keep running as much as possible and take an occasional 
    quick shot in front of you to clear soldiers in the way, and a shot or 2 
    above you if the flying drones are too numerous for comfort.
    
    - At the end of this stage's first quarter, instead of going after the red 
    Phantom directly, get up on the top platform beforehand, then stay put 
    (except for getting rid of any minions close by) and let him come on the 
    screen and throw a bomb.  The bomb will hit the drum on the ground, and the 
    explosion should kill the Phantom as it moves a little forward after 
    throwing the bomb.  When he dies, so does all the other minor enemies on the 
    screen.  This can be quite a time- and Vitality-saver for you.
    
    - There's also a quick way to dispose of the yellow Phantom at the end of 
    the 3rd quarter.  A flying platform-ship shows up just before Phantom 
    appears.  Jump up to the top platform and keep moving right until the screen 
    stops moving and you know the yellow Phantom has appeared.  Wait a little 
    for the platform-ship to get near you, then throw it straight down to kill 
    everything on the ground - and hopefully the Phantom will still be almost 
    directly under the ship when it crashes down.
    
    - In the last quarter of the stage, there is a robo-bird with Vitality
    that's easy to miss if you plough forward too fast.  You'll come across 3
    drums in this section, where the 3rd one's a soldier hiding in a drum who
    walks away to the left.  Shortly after it will come the bird, but from the
    LEFT of the screen.  You have to walk forward a few steps at a time or else
    the bird will appear then disappear because it couldn't keep up with the
    screen's advancing.  Don't let yourself get thrown by soldiers at this point 
    either, or you'll fly to the right fast enough to make the bird appear and
    disappear.
    
         This point in the game is also known as the source of unlimited
    Vitality, and can be accessed with either 1 or 2 players.  Since this is the
    only time the bird's going in the same direction as the action, it's possible
    to get some orbs, destroy enemies in the immediate area to protect the bird
    from being shot down, then knock more orbs out, and repeat to the end of the
    stage.  In practice on Hard/Expert mode, it's a HUGE challenge to keep the
    bird safe from the barrage of laser bullets, bombs, and walking transports.
    
         For 2 players, I recommend having a Fixed Shot character with Lightning
    Saber riding on top of the bird to protect it from laser bullets and bombs,
    while the other character's a Free Shot with a long-range weapon doing the
    killing, hitting the bird, and orb collecting.  Have the Fixed Shot come down
    and collect some orbs when the coast is clear for a few seconds.  When you
    expect one of those tall bipedal walking transports to spawn on screen, the
    Free Shot will have to run ahead of the bird (to prevent it from crashing
    into the transports' legs) and eliminate the transport FAST.
    
         For single players, the best way to knock out orbs is to throw soldiers
    into it.  There's no way you can effectively clear enemies off the screen,
    Body Attack the bird, and collect Vitality at the same time on Expert mode.
    Don't let the soldiers throw YOU into the bird though, as that would count as
    an enemy attack and destroy it.  I would feel more than satisfied to knock
    out 5+ orbs and keep the bird alive up to the first transport.
    
    - Also for the last quarter, if you're using a short-range weapon like 
    Lightning Saber and come across those tall 2-legged transports mentioned
    above, you can take them down in one of 2 ways.  Use a well-timed Body Attack
    (either high jump directly into them, or jump off the left wall), or throw
    any nearby soldiers into its cockpit. (just make sure they don't throw YOU
    instead)  Otherwise, you're looking at 20 damage when you touch its legs.
    
    =====================
    BOSS: "Smash Daisaku" (a.k.a. Colonel Red)
    ---------------------
    Vitality: 2199, 3810
    Points: 1, 99999
    
    Actions: 
    
        Spiral Head - 7 damage if you touch either one of the pair of fire
                      streams he shoots in a spiral
    
        After Burner - 20 damage if he charges at you with blue exhause fumes
        After Burner (counter) - an 18-damage charge that he counterattacks with
                                 if you throw him while he's flying
    
        Bravo Reg - he'll jump kick with his extendable legs to do 9 damage
    
        (Chaser Fireball?) - 7 damage if you're hit by his heat-seeking fireball
    
        (bomb) - explosions from the bombs he throws will do 17 damage to you
        (throw) - he can throw you very high and far for 20 damage
    
    Strategy:
    
         His first fighting form is simple, much like when you fought him on the 
    helicopter.  Stay to one side of the screen and keep shooting up and all 
    over the place and watch how the bombs are thrown.  They're usually tossed 
    in a narrow arc in front of him, so if he's directly over your head when you 
    see him chuck one, you probably don't have to move.  When you see him flying 
    backwards to one side of the screen to gear up for his After Burner, get to 
    the opposite side of the screen.  You then have 2 options: stay on the 
    ground and jump over him when he charges at you, or jump up to lure him into 
    charging above you instead of along the ground.  I prefer doing the former, 
    because then you can shoot him straight in the face while he's gearing up.
    The latter is only if you're having trouble jumping over him.  And of 
    course, don't try jumping up and throwing him!
    
         For the 2nd part of the fight, the idea is to dodge his projectiles (if 
    possible) and not let him throw you.  When he's walking around, get to one 
    side of the screen, shoot him as he approaches, then use your Body Attack to 
    jump over him to safety and get to the other side of the screen, and repeat.  
    If his Bravo Reg kick hits you, take advantage of your brief flashing 
    invincibility and throw him away for 380 damage.  When it comes to his gun, 
    it's all a matter of luck.  Ideally, you want to be between the high/low 
    points of his Spiral Head, and jump over the heat-seeker fireball at the 
    last moment.  Not that simple though when he shoots these in the middle of 
    the screen.  If he's fairly close, you're better off just standing still and 
    shooting him as much as possible, and hope that he uses Spiral Head and it 
    misses you.  If you see a single large fireball coming, try to jump it.
    Much simpler once he backs up to one side of the screen - you can use one of 
    2 strategies:
    
    LONG WAY --- Being on the opposite side of the screen puts you exactly in a 
    spot where Spiral Heads will miss you, so all you have to do is time jumps 
    over Streaming Heads.  A little tricky when he throws 2 single fireballs in 
    a row though.  The angle which the 2nd one comes at you depends on how fast 
    he shoots it out and how high in the air you still are from jumping over the 
    1st one.  You'll either have to duck the 2nd one or jump it.
    
    SHORT WAY --- Stand about one body-width in front of him.  Hopefully, he'll 
    shoot the Spiral Head, which will go over and under you, and leave him open 
    for you to walk right up and throw him into the edge of the screen. (make 
    sure you press the Shot button as you're about to touch him so that you 
    throw *him*, otherwise you'll get too close and he may throw *you*)  If he 
    uses his Chaser Fireball imitation, just take the damage then throw him 
    while you're flashing and invincible.  You can also go totally kamikaze on 
    him by ignoring what I just said, then just stand almost right next to him 
    and try to throw him the moment he sticks his gun out (since he can't throw 
    you while he's shooting).  You may take more damage from using these up-
    close strategies, but all the throwing will drain him quickly and shorten 
    the fight a lot.  This is an ideal strategy if you're using the Lightning 
    Saber at this point, because if you did this the long way you'd have to 
    shoot from a distance with your meek little Lightning gun.
    
         When his Vitality is below 800, he'll back up for good and shoot Spiral 
    Heads and Streaming Heads for the rest of the fight.
    =====================
    
    
    _______________________________________________
    
    (3.F) STAGE 6
    _______________________________________________
    
         The spaceship portion of this stage is harder than Stage 7 if you don't
    have the right weapon.  The weapon of choice for it is Lightning Saber.  Its
    ability to block bullets and small laser shots is indispensible, since
    you'll be seeing plenty of each on harder difficulties.  If that's not
    available, next best choice is Double Fireball for its spread range, but
    you'll have to keep moving a lot more to avoid bullets.  Speaking of moving,
    note also that you can move your ship and shoot at the same time, even if
    you're using a Fixed Shot character.
    
         Memorize where and when enemies appear.  This goes double for using the 
    Lightning Saber because you have to get in position and stick your weapon 
    right into cannons, missile launchers, and ships when they appear so that 
    the screen doesn't get too cluttered.  For groups of ships that fly in a 
    pattern, centre your ship vertically and sit in a spot (left to middle of 
    the screen) where they'll all run into your Saber.
    
    ------------------
    Mini-boss: Timeron
    ------------------
    Attacks: (listed by clock time)
    
        00:00:00 - it shoots small orange bullets at you for 10 damage each
    
        00:10:00 - bullets come out from random locations on screen, except
                   within a certain radius around you, and head right at you
    
        01:00:00 - number of random bullets increases
    
        12:00:00 - the bullets come out in spread shots of 3's
    
        20:00:00 - in addition to bullets, a small glowing orb appears above
                   it, then slowly chases you across the screen; coming into
                   contact with it instantly destroys you
    
        22:02:00 - the glowing orb explodes and the spread shots come out in 5's
    
        30:00:00 - the bullets shoot in random spread shots of 1-3 at a time
    
        37:00:00 - bullets return to being single shots, but more of them come
                   out at the same time - sometimes from the same location
    
        40:00:00 - another glowing orb appears and tracks you down
    
        42:02:00 - the orb self-destructs
    
        45:00:00 - the bullets become 5-way spread shots again
    
        50:00:00 - bullets return to being single shots
                 - blue energy balls come out from random locations on the
                   screen as well; they bounce off the edges of the screen up to
                   4 times, and cause 11 damage each
    
        60:00:00 - bullets disappear, more blue balls appear, and another
                   glowing orb shows up
    
        62:02:00 - orb self-destructs
    
        64:00:00 - blue balls replaced by bullets in singles and 5-way spreads
    
        70:00:00 - single bullets disappear; all shots are 5-way spread shots
    
        75:00:00 - spread shots disappear and are replaced by many single shots
    
        80:00:00 - bullets are replaced by blue balls; glowing orb reappears
    
        82:02:00 - orb self-destructs
    
        90:00:00 - blue balls are replaced by 5-way spread shots
    
        99:59:99 - "Give up!" "You open the - Satori Mind -"
    
         As you've probably read in the Timeron FAQ by B. P. Galway on 
    GameFAQs.com, all there is to win are points and pride. :)  Our goal however 
    is to survive the stage, not Timeron, so get rid of it quickly and move on.
    
         If you're using an emulator or have a Game Genie, and want to "open the 
    Satori mind" real reeeeeeeeal bad, here are some Game Genie codes that can 
    help:
    
    AJBT-AA5R  Master Code for all Gunstar Heroes cheats
    AM2T-AA4N  invincibility
    691T-AGHW  start Stage 6 with 999 Vitality
    
         If you're serious about taking the challenge and don't wanna cheat (WHY 
    NOT??? :P), I have but one tip.  Mentally divide the screen into 4 quadrants
    (top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right) with Timeron at the centre.
    Bullets and blue balls materialize several times anywhere within the same
    quadrant (e.g. for spread shots, 2 materialize in one quadrant, one after 
    the other), then another quadrant is selected - sometimes the exact same 
    one.  The only quadrant they WON'T appear in is the one you're currently in.
    Something to consider as you lure shots or prepare to move to safety.
    ------------------
    
         When asteroids come along, keep shooting your weapon forward at them to 
    deflect them away.  You'll suffer 10 damage if you hit a small chunk of 
    rock, 15 for a slightly larger chunk, and 18 for the bigger asteroids.  The 
    asteroids are as big a piece of evidence as any that Chaser weapons are 
    mostly useless on Hard/Expert.  Here, they'll chase after asteroids which 
    can't be destroyed, while the real enemies fire away at you unharmed.
    
         After the first wave of asteroids comes a sequence of ships shooting 
    all sorts of crap at you.  Not a problem with Lightning Saber if you're 
    memorizing where they pop up, but troublesome with any other weapon because 
    each one takes long to kill.  For the latter case, I suggest only destroying 
    a couple of them (the first one that appears from the top-left, and the 6th 
    one that shows up from the top-right and shoots red shots), and dodging the 
    others' shots.  
    
         For the part where blue horizontal lasers are being shot at you from 
    the left of the screen, each laser is aimed most of the time to go *just* 
    above the position you're at when it's shot.  If you have the Lightning 
    Saber as I recommended, you can sit at the bottom right corner of the screen
    and watch lasers fly harmlessly above you, or at the top right corner where 
    they'll be shot off the screen and never get in your way.  From there, it's 
    just a matter of pointing the Saber left to take care of all the drones and 
    their bullets heading straight for ya. (you can sometimes stand still in the 
    middle and have the lasers fly by above, but for some reason it only works 
    half the time)  Now if you're not fortunate enough to have a Lightning Saber 
    at this point,s just keep moving up and down (and in between the lasers if 
    necessary) while shooting left and don't use your jet boosters unless you're 
    absolutely stuck.
    
         After the 2nd asteroid wave, 3 sets of round ships materialize in a 
    circle around you and try to surround you with bullets shot inward.  The 
    only way to avoid them is to use your booster and get out of the circle 
    before the ships fully materialize.  With a Lightning Saber, you have 
    another option - point it in any one direction to block one bullet, move in 
    that direction, then point it in the opposite direction to take out the 
    opposite bullet heading at you.
    
         When you see the soldier riding an asteroid "snake," you'd best use 
    your Atomic Booster and just run around the screen avoiding it.  Unlike in 
    easier difficulties, you won't be able to destroy it before it flies off the 
    screen anyway so there's no sense in risking 15 damage each time it collides
    into you.
    
    ---------------------
    Mini-boss: 1000MM Gun
    ---------------------
    Vitality: 1999
    Points: 21999
    
    Attacks:
    
        (red shot) - 11 damage if you get hit by the large red shots; 6 damage
                     if the shot explode into bullets and one of them hits you
    
        (yellow shot) - 2 damage if you hit the yellow horizontal lasers
    
        (close-range bullet) - 6 damage per hit if you get too close to the gun
                               and it shoots you with standard bullets
    
        other - 8 damage from a missile shot from one of the missile bays
    
    Strategy:
    
         The Gun aims right at you and shoots a moderate-speed red shot which 
    either goes off the screen or, when it's about 1/8 of a screen width away 
    from the right edge of the screen, separates into 8 bullets that go all 
    around.  At the same time it shoots, the Gun sends out bullets above and 
    below it which form yellow lasers that travel right.  If you try to get 
    close to the Gun - anywhere in the left 1/3 of the screen - it'll shoot a 
    continuous stream of slow, normal bullets at you in addition to the main red 
    shot.  You also have to beware of the missile bays - one above and one below 
    the Gun - which will pop up every few seconds apart from each other and fire 
    3 missiles each in your direction.
    
    HARD WAY --- To find the safe spots, concentrate on the position of the 
    yellow lasers and keep moving up and down between them while shooting to the 
    left.  They're not real safe spots, since you'll still take a bit of damage 
    from the bullets exploding red shots, but they're better than letting the 
    red shots hit you in full.  Don't totally ignore the red shots either - you 
    need to time your moves up/down so that you move out of the way of them, not 
    get stuck between yellow lasers with nowhere to go to avoid the cannon shot.
    
    EASY WAY --- Got a Lightning Saber?  Park yourself to the right of the Gun 
    and stick your sword right into it.  You'll cancel the red shots, some 
    yellow shots, the close-range bullets, AND of course deal heavy damage to 
    the Gun at the same time.  You still have to keep an eye out for the missile 
    bays though, even though you can destroy the missiles.
    ---------------------
    
         Right after this, you'll have streams of ships flying along the top and 
    bottom of the screen.  Ignore them and take out the 2 cannons that'll appear 
    from the right.  After those comes a very tricky part.  The streams of ships 
    criss-cross in front of you, with a cannon just past them.  If you try to 
    shoot through the ships to attack the cannon, each ship will (like most 
    small enemies on this stage) throw a laser at you when it dies, so you'd 
    have to dodge cannon fire and laser bullets.  To avoid all this, use your 
    boosters to propel yourself past the criss-cross wall of ships, then destroy 
    the cannon.  You may still end up taking a bit of damage, but it sure beats 
    being trapped on the left side while the cannon uses you as target practice.
    
         After some more ships, missile bays, and exploding missiles, you'll be 
    at the last thing standing between you and the only checkpoint in this stage 
    you can continue from if you die...
    
    ----------------------
    Mini-boss: Seven Force
    ----------------------
    Vitality: 4673
    Points: 77777
    
    Attacks:
    
        Arm Boomerang - 13 damage if you're hit by a Soldier Force projectile
    
        (charge) - 10 damage if you touch Tiger Force while it's charging
    
        Somersault Tail - 8 damage from Tails Force's tail
    
        Grenade Shot - 11 damage from Blaster Force's bullets
    
        Rush and Roulette - 4 damage each from Urchin Force's laser
    
        Crash Mine - 30 damage from colliding with one of Crab Forces' mines
    
        Spread Laser - 4 damage each from Eagle Force's laser
    
        other - 4 damage from colliding into Blaster Force
              - 6 damage for running into Soldier Force or Eagle Force
              - 14 damage if you crash into Crab Force
              - 21 damage from touching Tails Force's head
    
    Strategy:
    
         General attack pattern can be summed up as follows:
    
    - Soldier moves straight up and down, throwing its 3-way projectile to 
    whichever side of it you're on.
    
    - If you're standing directly to its left, there's a good chance it'll 
    change into Tiger and charge right at you.  It almost automatically 
    transforms if it's in Soldier form beforehand.
    
    - It'll sometimes turn into Tails and do Somersault Tail in order to move 
    straight to the right.
    
    - Blaster stays still and simply shoots Grenade Shot at wherever you are.
    
    - Urchin stays still and shoots a 4-way laser in random directions.
    
    - Crab mostly chases you around while tossing mines out its backside. (boy, 
    does that description sound... wrong o_O)
    
    - Eagle flies after you while shooting straight laser shots in front of 
    itself.
    
         Whatever weapon you're using, it's best to attack from a diagonal angle 
    against most of Seven Force's forms.  With long-range weapons, it's easy to 
    keep your distance; but with the Lightning Saber which requires you to get
    close, be ready to let go of the Shot button and use your boosters the
    moment you see Eagle or Crab.  It's possible to still attack them while they
    chase you around by pointing the Saber opposite of the direction you're
    moving in, but only if they come at you in a straight line.  Think of
    nothing but escaping with your boosters when you're near an edge of the
    screen or need to make a turn.  Crab can sometimes be led into a corner and
    it'll get stuck there for a while.  With Blaster, either stick the Saber
    into it or concentrate more on dodging its shots rather than attacking.
    ----------------------
    
         Before you enter the boss' lair, get a longer-range weapon than the 
    Lightning Saber.  It's not impossible to do the next part with a Saber, but
    you can save yourself time and trouble.  Once you taken what weapons you
    want out of the first bird that passes by, try to run, Body Attack, and
    throw your way past the dark-uniform soldiers in your way.  They take much
    longer to kill than any other colored grunts you've come across, so don't
    waste too much time shooting, especially if they're on both sides of you.
    Remember to knock 3 Vitality orbs out of the next bird that flies by, as
    you're probably drained from the space sequence.
    
    =======================
    BOSS: Core Guard System
    -----------------------
    Vitality: Hammer - 2309, Dragon - 2308, Runner - 2307
    Points: Hammer - 12504 (+ 50 per drone ship), Dragon - 0, Runner - 35008
    
    Unit of the Hammer attacks:
        laser bullets - 3 damage per hit (from both it and the little ships)
        hammer crash - 9 damage if lands on you, or if you even touch it
        spin around the core - 9 damage if you can't avoid it
    
    Unit of the Dragon attacks:
        fireballs - 8 damage per touch
    
    Unit of the Runner attacks:
        energy ball - 7 damage from its projectile
        arm swing - 11 damage if you touch its arm while it's swinging
    
    other - when the core throws out exploding drones between each fight with a
            Unit, it's 12 damage each time you touch an explosion 
    
    Strategy:
    
         The Hammer will do the most damage of the 3 Units.  If you're aiming to 
    beat Hard/Expert with one life, then surviving the Hammer with at least 30-
    40 Vitality left will give ya a good chance of surviving the other 2 units.
    
         When the Hammer spins around, you should be able to tell from its
    elevation in the background exactly whether it's coming high or low when it 
    swings to where you are.  If you have to jump, remember to shoot down as it 
    passes under you!  Beware of the large drone ships above that rain a stream 
    of bullets straight down.  1 in every 2 or 3 will appear right above you, so 
    you can't sit still waiting to jump the Hammer or not.  After the Hammer 
    stops, take advantage to get as much damage in as possible, then get ready 
    to do some dodging as it starts crashing down.  Sometimes it will do several 
    hammering attempts at you in a row, in which case you can just move in the
    opposite direction each time then turn around and get some shots in.  Other
    times, it'll delay its drop so it can position itself to land on you.  There
    are 2 approaches you could take: (a) Try to anticipate when it'll drop, then
    get out of the way.  I suggest using Body Attacks  instead of sliding to
    dodge because they propel you further and the invincibility frames provide
    some protection - but they don't always pay off if the Hammer's too close. 
    (b) If you're in good health, you could stay close to the hammer and try to
    confuse it by walking back and forth fast (1-2 steps left/right)  Since it
    falls in an arc, once it commits itself, chances are you'll be walking the
    other way when it lands.  Even if you're not, you have a fraction of a
    second to react anyway.  Make sure you take at least a full step in each
    direction - anything less, and the Hammer will consider you to be standing
    still and drop straight down.  When it has under 450 Vitality left, it no
    longer tries to swing around the core, and the drones you saw while it was
    swinging around the core appear for the rest of this fight.  After it dies,
    it will "heat-seek" you for one last attack if you're anywhere near it.
    You'll be safe if you're about half a screen's length away, but if you like
    living dangerously, just slide the moment it begins to fall.
    
         Fighting the Dragon is much simpler, if you're a Free Shot user.  Keep 
    shooting up or diagonally up while moving from one side of the screen to the 
    other to avoid the blue fireballs.  For Fixed Shot users, you'll spend most 
    of your time dodging, then sneaking in some shots when the coast is clear of 
    fireballs.  Don't be afraid to jump to avoid fireballs - touching the Dragon 
    doesn't hurt ya.
    
         As ridiculously easy as the Runner is, you can't afford to attack it 
    recklessly.  Stay on the left side of the screen, and jump over every 
    *other* energy ball it throws.  If your weapon only shoots straight, take 
    jump shots whenever the coast is clear.  Beware of when it gets too close to 
    where you're standing - duck in the corner, then jump ONLY if you know a low 
    energy ball is about to be thrown.  This part is the reason I recommend a 
    weapon with better range than the Lightning Saber, cuz otherwise you'll have 
    to disable the Fire portion and use a normal Lightning gun to hit the Runner 
    from the left of the screen, which will take forever.  Also, for thrill 
    seekers looking to make this fight more challenging, lemme tell ya that 
    trying to do Body Attacks through its spinning arm is hard to time and not 
    worth the risk. :P
    =======================
    
    
    _______________________________________________
    
    (3.G) STAGE 7
    _______________________________________________
    
         If you survived the Core with a Lightning Saber, you deserve props for 
    your patience and skill!  You can still make use of it for most of this
    stage, but if you're not comfortable with its lack of range, try to form a
    Double Fireball or Exploding Fireball with the weapon orbs in the boxes at
    the start of the stage.
    
    -------------------------
    Mini-boss: Duck Battalion
    -------------------------
    Vitality: 2910 (Battalion) + 828 (goon)
    Points: 39035 (Battalion) + 3210 (goon)
    
    Attacks:
    
        Heavy Vulcan Shoot - 3 damage per laser that hits you
    
        Walking Press Eddie - 20 damage if it charges into you
    
        other - 20 damage if it lands on you while jumping backward, and if
                you're standing on it when its jump hits the top of the screen
    
    Strategy:
    
         Stay on the left side of the screen and shoot at Pink's goons before 
    they try to run you over. (for Lightning Saber users, turn off Fire and jump
    and shoot with the Lightning gun)  After the Battalion stops, duck the
    moment you see 'em move no matter what their action is.  If they charge you,
    slide away to the right side.  If they walk forward slowly, they'll try to
    stop right in front of you and shoot down at you, so slide under them and
    get to the other side before they have the chance.  If they shoot to the
    left, you'll already be ducking (and hopefully getting more shots in), but
    then you have get ready for their next move once they stop.  When you're
    behind them, they'll jump backward while shooting down.  Get as many shots
    in as you can until both you and the Battalion are close to the right of the
    screen, then time a slide under to the left on its next jump. (if you time
    it right, none of the vulcan lasers will hit you)
    
         When the Battalion is destroyed and the tall goon tries to annoy you as
    best he can before meeting his demise :), you may be tempted to use long
    range weapons and keep your distance.  Problem with that is he's going to
    jump towards you sooner or later.  Best way to get rid of him quick and save
    your vitality for more important fights is to throw him (294 damage) a few
    times.  Stand right where he is before he kicks the little goon off the
    screen, hold up or down and press Shot repeatedly to throw him right away
    when his Boss Vitality appears at the top of the screen.  A couple of more
    throws and he's toast.  Whenever he's not close enough to throw or he's
    flashing, duck and shoot to avoid most of his gun shots.
    --------------------------
    
         Afterwards, you'll be going through an area where a giant white energy 
    ball goes through the middle of the screen once in a while.  After you get 
    rid of the wall of boxes (use slides to take it out; much faster than your 
    weapons), go a little up the slope right after to lure a white ball out, 
    then go back down and let it fly over your head.  Walk to the right, but 
    hold up-right on the D-pad and High Jump up to the next platform above you 
    before the next white ball comes.  Get the Vitality out of the red crate, 
    then walk to the end of the platform to let another white ball go by.  Swing 
    down and move to the right, going *up* the slope of the ceiling.  By the 
    time you reach the top end of the slope, another ball will zoom by.  Fall 
    down, then jump and grab the next slanted ledge above you.  Move down along 
    the slope until you're at the flat part to lure a white ball out, then 
    immediately hold left to go up the slope and avoid the ball.  Continue hang-
    climbing and go all the way to the right slope and up, and another ball 
    should go below you.  The red crate below has a weapon orb - feel free to 
    change weapons if you like what's inside. (you'll only get one more chance 
    to between now and Golden Silver)
    
         Next part is a set of platforms you have to jump up with a wall mounted 
    cannon on each.  A lot of players jump up real fast either to save time or 
    cuz they think they'll be shot at if they stand around.  Truth is each 
    cannon won't shoot until you jump off its platform, so you have the option 
    of destroying each one before ascending if you want a higher score.
    
    ==================
    BOSS: Pink Lobster
    ------------------
    Vitality: 5000
    Points: 47909 + 8 per bubble destroyed
    
    Attacks:
    
        Slash Chopper - when it raises its pincer and tries to club you down,
                        it's 20 damage if it connects
    
        Slash Nipper - 20 damage if it jabs you with its pincer
    
        Bubble Bomb - 20 damage if you drop to the ground after being taken to
                      the ceiling by a bubble
    
        other - 20 damage if it jumps on top of you and you're not ducking
    
    Strategy:
    
         Though this fight isn't hard, you must be very careful here cuz ALL 
    of the Lobster's attacks do heavy damage, and you have much tougher fights 
    ahead that you have to conserve energy for.  Again, I must stress the 
    preference for long-range weapons here, as the Lobster's attacks have 
    limited short-range.
    
         Attack from the opposite side of the screen.  Pink and her dorky driver 
    usually take a few steps then jump.  When you see they're about to jump,
    then either slide under the Lobster, or do an off-the-wall jump onto it and
    then jump away behind it, and run to the other side of the screen.  The
    alternative is getting cornered and clobbered by its pincer.  Be careful
    when jumping on it though - you'll keep finding yourself sliding to its
    front side, so get off of it ASAP.  If they get too close for comfort and
    don't jump, jump onto it and away anyway.  Don't attempt sliding under when
    it's not jumping - you can jump above the pincer's Slash Chopper, but the
    Slash Nipper has priority over your slides.
    
         Its Bubble Bombs can be a nuisance if you don't have a strong weapon.
    However, you can escape damage by pressing the Shot and Jump buttons
    repeatedly to get out of a bubble.  You'll only take damage if you hit the
    ceiling and land on the ground right after.  You can even hit the ceiling,
    land inside another bubble coming from below, then escape that one and not
    get hurt.  It's best though to just have a strong weapon and blast the
    bubbles away so you don't have to bother going through all this.  Don't try
    shooting the bubbles though if Lobster's up close and your back's against
    the "wall" - Body Attack off the side of the screen on and over it when you
    see it lean forward to shoot.
    
         When the Lobster's Vitality is below 2400 (and assuming you're not 
    standing anywhere near it), Pink & dork start walking backwards, then turtle 
    in a defensive stance on the other side of the screen.  They stop blocking 
    and throw Bubble Bombs only when you get within a certain distance from it.
    You can attack in one of two ways.  Basic attack strategy for any weapon is
    to move in, do as much damage as you can, then run away before you're caught
    in a bubble and wait for the bubbles to get out of the way before repeating
    the process.  If you're using Double Fireball or Ultra Flamethrower, you can
    use a much simpler strategy.  Inch your way closer to the Lobster until it
    drops its guard - about 2/3 the length of the empire's "monitor" away - then
    stand still and shoot to hit it while destroying any bubbles in the way.
    
         Should you be using Lightning Saber, Chaser Fireball, or Exploding
    Fireball, I strongly suggest turning off the non-Fire part and just use the
    Fire Gun as described in the simpler strategy (you'll have to creep in
    closer, past the point where Lobster lowers its guard, in order to connect
    with Fire).  Lightning Saber is narrow, and if you're pointing it straight
    left or right, it'll go under the Lobster.  You'd have to get dangerously
    close and wave it around to hit Lobster's body, and getting close to Lobster
    during the 2nd phase of the battle means inviting it to whack you with its
    pincer. (also, waving the Saber around doesn't destroy enough bubbles)
    Exploding Fireball also shoots under Lobster, so either you'd have to jump
    when there's no bubbles around or rely on the explosions from hitting
    bubbles to damage it.  In the case of the Chaser Fireball, and if you have
    Fixed Shot, you could get to the drop-guard point, duck to avoid all the
    bubbles, and just control your weapon from there - but why make your
    thumbs go through the trouble? :)
    ==================
    
         As you proceed after the next wall of blue crates, there are little 
    cannons that look like they have midgets manning them.  First there's one on 
    the ground, then a pair covering the ceiling and ground, then one on the 
    platform above and one a little further to the right on the ground below.
    BE CAREFUL not to overuse your weapon on the one below.  Just beyond the one 
    on the ground is a red crate with a Vitality orb in it.  If you destroy the 
    crate while it's off the screen, it won't drop the orb.  To make sure you 
    don't miss out on precious health, get the above cannon on screen and shoot 
    up-right to get rid of it (don't let the other cannon come on screen yet), 
    then jump up to the platform above.  Walk above the cannon below to put the 
    crate in view, then shoot down to get rid of the cannon.
    
    ============
    BOSS: Orange
    ------------
    Vitality: 5503
    Points: 54109
    
    Attacks:
    
        Final Big Bang - 24 damage if he does his exploding attack up close
    
        Ground Burning Draft - 12 damage per touch of the blue exploding flames
    
        (Hard Shoulder) - 7 damage if he charges into you
    
        (elbow drop) - 8 damage if he lands an elbow on you
    
        (spiral energy) - the spiral attack he shoots upwards when he's below 
                          you does 16 damage per touch
    
        other - when launching himself into the air, he'll do 9 damage if you're
                right above him as he's going up, and 11 damage if he lands on
                you
              - if you get caught in his 4-suplex grab, kiss 20 Vitality goodbye
    
    Strategy:
    
         Here, I don't think it matters what type of weapon you have, as you 
    will be relying on throws just like before.  Long-range weapons can help 
    speed the fight up a bit, as you can hit him from above during the slower 
    points in the fight.  First, let's go over what he can do and how to dodge
    it.  He has 2 attack styles: a slower, plodding one, and a faster, frantic
    one.  He'll start with the slow one for about 50-60 seconds, then use the
    fast one for about 35 seconds, then cycle back to slow.  When his Vitality
    is below 1300, he'll use the fast one for the rest of the fight.
    
         In his slow phase, he mostly stays on ground level and slowly walks in
    your general direction.  When you're on the upper level, he keeps trying to
    get under you so he can throw his spiral energy attack up your butt.  Keep
    moving from one side of the screen to the other, then do a Body Attack away
    to quickly escape from the spiral.  Having a Fixed Shot character helps a
    ton in this part, as you get in shots by shooting diagonally down - even
    with Lightning Saber.  A Free Shot character will have to resort to jumping
    and shooting diagonally down.  Don't get tempted to go down to ground level
    to get shots in.  If you're on the same level and far away, Orange will
    charge into you then try to hit the Big Bang or a spiral.  If you're on the
    ground with him and close, he may keep walking slowly at you for a bit.
    Eventually though, whether you're near or far, he'll jump onto the upper
    level and throw multiple Ground Burning Drafts down to the ground, an attack
    you MUST be on the top level to avoid.  He can even throw a Draft while he's
    on ground level to really cross you up!  Hanging from below the upper level
    does you no good either, as that guarantees he'll either get throw a
    Shoulder or jump up and throw the Draft. (he can even grab and suplex you
    from there)  Once in a while, he jumps up to the platform instead of using
    the spiral and charges at you to use the Bang.  Treat it like you would
    during his fast phase - drop to the ground, get some damage in when he drops
    the elbow, then jump back up.
    
         His fast attack style is potentially even more fatal, but is also the 
    time you can do the most damage to him.  It starts when you see him pumping 
    his fists into the ground, then launching himself in the air to wherever you 
    are on the platform above. (and he'll do this EVERY time he's on the bottom
    level and you're on the top)  Swing down and drop to ground level, or else
    he'll Big Bang you.  Don't try jumping to a different area on the platform -
    he'll just charge right after you and Bang ya again. (boy that sounded...
    wrong :))  When you're on the ground, he may first do a shoulder charge to
    make sure he's directly above you (only if he's not already), then drop down 
    to the ground with the elbow.  This is where he's most vulnerable!  If you 
    keep yourself moving and walk away from his elbow, he should land right 
    behind you. (don't slide, or you'll end up too far away to do what's coming
    next)  Once Orange lands, turn around, walk into him, and throw him left or
    right for 420 damage.  If you feel you're too far from him, or you're not
    confident enough to grab him, use your weapon and hit him until he flashes.
    To try to make things easier, when he's above you, move a little to one side
    of him so he drops his elbow in that direction, then take a couple of steps
    in the other direction to get behind him and voila, you can grab him without
    waiting for the elbow animation to disappear.  Otherwise, you have a window
    of about half a second to do your damage.
    
         Once you get your shots in, you can do one of 2 things.  Safe way is to
    jump back up to the platform immediately, wait for him to jump, then swing
    back down to the bottom level and repeat the process.  A faster way is to
    stand right next to him after he takes his damage.  Don't stand right where
    he is or you'll get spiralled, and not more than one body-width away or
    you'll be staring at a shoulder + spiral combo.  However, standing next to
    him for some reason (bug in the AI?) makes him jump to the top platform then
    try to drop an elbow on you, from which you can repeat the process without
    having to jump back and forth between platforms.  Only do it this way if you
    can stay comfortably close enough so that he jumps up every time you're next
    to him.
    
    ALTERNATE STRATEGY 1: A modified alternative to the above strategy is to
    throw him diagonally up to the upper platform, then slide away opposite of
    the direction you threw him in.  By the time he gets back above you and
    drops his elbow, his flashing invincibility should end so you can grab and
    toss him back up after the elbow.  Can't remember who on the GameFAQs board
    told me this strategy, but I find it's not as effective as the stand-right-
    next-to-him pattern above.
    
    ALTERNATE STRATEGY 2: A non-throwing strategy for Orange's fast phase,
    contributed by Edge AoM, involves hanging under the top platform.  When
    Orange launches himself up, swing down and then shoot up as he lands right
    above you.  Hit him until he flashes, then swing up just as he starts to
    drop his elbow.  Though he's flashing-invincible as he drops the elbow, your
    invincibility while swinging up will allow you to pass through him unharmed.
    Take a step left or right so you're not directly under him when he launches
    himself back up (or TIME your swing down as he's about to go up), and repeat
    the process.  
    ============
    
         Nothing much between Orange and Black.  If you're using an emulator, 
    you may want to state save before destroying the red crates, as there are no 
    chances for weapon changes until you get to Golden Silver.
    
    ===============
    BOSS: Black Fly
    ---------------
    Vitality: 3920
    Points: 61500 + 540 per mine destroyed + 10000 per light destroyed
    
    Attacks: 
    
        Psychic Gambit - 12 damage each time you touch the energy balls attached
                         to a falling mine
    
        Shadow Hurricane - touching any of its energy beam attacks will cost
                           12 damage
    
        other - 20 damage if you fall to the bottom of the screen
    
    Strategy:
    
         Black starts the fight by leaving himself open for a bit of damage, 
    then floats up off the screen and drops Psychic Gambit attacks on you.
    Dunno why they call it "psychic," unless it refers to the fact you can 
    memorize each pattern and predict the safe spots.  If you're caught in one 
    spot with nowhere to go, try sliding at the last moment (mines and their 
    energy "arms" disappear once the mine touches the elevator) or shoot and 
    destroy a mine.
    
         When the Fly's Vitality drops below 2900, and it must be below that as 
    it comes back onto the screen and not while you're attacking it whenever it 
    reappears, Black starts his barrage of Shadow Hurricanes.  You can tell 
    what's coming by the 2 lights flashing under the Fly, assuming you haven't 
    destroyed them.  If you're lucky, you'll see both flashing and he'll shoot 
    only one massive beam straight down below him, which leaves him open for 
    shots.  More likely is that you'll see him use the 3-beam windmill attack 
    that spins clockwise if the left light flashes, counterclockwise if the 
    right flashes.  This is the attack that gives most people problems on 
    Expert.  On other difficulties (even on Hard), you could move in circles
    around the Fly while staying between the arms of the "hurricane," but that's
    not an option on Expert because the arms spin ridiculously fast.  Looks
    pretty hopeless, right?  Even if you beat it, it seems you won't have
    anything left in the tank for Green...
    
         But wait, there IS a way to defend yourself: the trusty ol' Body 
    Attack!  That's right, just do your dive or jump kick by pressing jump in 
    midair, and you'll GO RIGHT THROUGH the Hurricane's arms!  OK, maybe it's 
    not that simple - you have to be attacking the Fly at the same time.  Reason 
    for this is the Body Attack is only "invincible" for a limited number of 
    frames, and getting 3+ hits in on the Fly will help freeze some of those 
    frames a little longer to ensure that the Hurricane doesn't harm you. (you 
    can test this trick anywhere in the game - try timing a jump through the 
    white energy balls earlier on this stage!)  So, here's what you have to do.
    If Black spins the Hurricane clockwise (i.e. the arms swing from top-right 
    down to bottom-left), move yourself to the left edge of the elevator and 
    left of the Fly.  Then as an arm is about to hit you from underneath, jump 
    straight up and press Jump again JUST BEFORE you reach the top of your jump.
    You'll do a dive or jump kick that'll hit Black AND make you pass through 
    the arm.  Likewise, when the Hurricane spins counterclockwise (i.e. from 
    top-left to bottom-right), stand at the right end of the elevator and do the 
    same thing.  I suggest doing your body attack before the top of your jump 
    instead of right at the top because then your body will still rise for a bit 
    when you do the Body Attack, so you get an extra few hits in on the Fly.
    
         Don't get overconfident yet because of this trick.  There are times 
    when you'll find yourself bouncing off the Fly and onto the ledges on the 
    side, thus ruining your pattern.  The fact that you can walk on top of the
    Fly probably means that the game treats the Fly as a platform with a small
    section of its sides as walls.  This would mean that if press Jump in midair
    at the wrong time (usually if you're too close to Fly's sides), you'll 
    bounce off the "wall" parts of the Fly. (even more reason to do the Body 
    Attack before the top of your jump).  If this happens to you, get down on 
    the elevator and back in position ASAP so you limit the damage to one hit.
    
         Those with mad skillz(TM) find using Chaser Fireball easier.  I think 
    they developed that method before anyone discovered mine.  If you're not 
    using a Fixed Shot character, then you must be a master of platform gaming 
    to use it effectively in this fight - and I'm sure most of you reading this 
    aren't one. :)
    ===============
    
         If you've followed my instructions thus far, you'll hopefully have at 
    least 100 Vitality left, which is more than enough for...
    
    ===========
    BOSS: Green
    -----------
    Vitality: 4602
    Points: 77776
    
    Attacks:
    
        (throwing stars)  - 2 damage each
        (standing slide) - 8 damage
        (uppercut) - 14 damage
        (jump kick off the wall) - 18 damage
        (grab & throw) - 20 damage
    
         At the beginning, he will block any weapon attack you do to him.  If 
    you approach him, he'll back up against the wall then go into a defensive 
    stance.  Shooting him while he's in this stance will make him slide at you, 
    and if you get too close he'll uppercut you.  Occasionally, he'll throw 
    stars at you.  There are 2 ways you can attack him in the early going.  (a) 
    Keep jumping up and down between the platform and ground level, which will 
    make Green jump straight up/down to follow you.  He leaves himself open as 
    he lands, so get a couple of shots in.  Or (b) get on ground level and force 
    him against the wall, then slide into him.  Your slide will go through his 
    uppercut, and you can walk behind him and throw him as he lands for 240 
    damage.  Even better: throw him against the right wall - he'll hit the wall
    for 80 damage before hitting the floor for 240. (thanks to Fale for the tip)
    
         When his Vitality is below 3900, he gets aggressive and tries to get 
    close enough to throw you.  If you damage him to the point of making him 
    flash, he'll throw stars and try again.  Sliding into him won't work - he'll 
    just grab you out of it.  Jumping over him will make him uppercut you.
    Occasionally, he'll hop around back and forth while throwing stars.  If you 
    switch between platform and ground level, he may jump DIAGONALLY at you, and 
    can even throw you just before he lands.  So how to approach this?
    
    HARD WAY --- When you're at a distance, duck and shoot.  If he walks up too 
    close, try to jump and Body Attack over to the other side, then get to the 
    other side of the screen ASAP.  If he HOPS up to you too close, he'll leave 
    himself slightly vulnerable while his feet aren't on the ground.  You can 
    try sliding while he's hopping, which will trip him and give you some time 
    to run away and get some distance between the 2 of you; or you could jump to 
    or fall from the platform, then quickly Body Attack your way to the other 
    side of the screen.  You can also try to be brave by Body Attacking right 
    into him.  If you do it from the right distance, he'll try to counter with 
    an uppercut, both of you will miss and you'll touch ground before he does, 
    so you can sneak behind and throw him as he lands.  Another risky method is 
    to keep switching platforms and lure him into jumping.  From a distance, you 
    can shoot him as he lands; but up close, you must be quick and throw him 
    before he throws you.  Whichever method you use, the one important constant 
    in your strategy is to AVOID being grabbed by Green as much as possible.
    His other attacks are absorbable if you got here with a decent amount of 
    Vitality (i.e. your status area isn't flashing red).
    
    EASY WAY 1 --- STILL got a Lightning Saber by this point?  Once again you'll 
    be rewarded!  You can either stand in a corner (like the methods below) and 
    and let him run into the Saber, or (more preferably) you can corner him.
    First, make sure he's knocked down, then hold the Shot button down and stand
    anywhere between one body width away and the tip of your Saber.  The 
    Saber will cancel all of his throwing stars, then stun him once he stops 
    throwing 'em and knock him down.  Just inch forward to keep the Saber 
    sticking right through him as he gets up.  Once he's backed up into the 
    corner, you can hold the Shot button down with one hand and grab a drink or 
    snack with the other, cuz Green ain't goin' nowhere. :)
    
    EASY WAY 2 --- If you're using Double Fireball or Ultra Flamethrower, it'll 
    be you who has to back up into the lower-left or lower-right corner, duck, 
    and shoot.  These weapons are just as fast-hitting and almost as powerful as 
    the Lightning Saber, so they'll pretty much stun him the same way, and their 
    range should keep him from hopping too close to throw you.  You just can't 
    block his throwing stars, but that shouldn't be a problem as long as you 
    keep holding the Shot button down so he doesn't have much time to move 
    closer to you once he's done tossing 'em.
    
    EASY WAY 3 --- If you have any other weapon, you'll need to turtle in a 
    lower corner like the above method, and duck and shoot while Green's at a
    distance.  When he closes the distance to within 1/3 of the screen (or
    rather the Empire's "monitor") length, tap the Shot button repeatedly while
    while holding down.  This way, if he gets to close, the fact that you're
    pressing Shot so many times AND holding the D-pad in a direction (down)
    means you're almost guaranteed to grab him before he grabs you, and you'll
    throw him straight down.  Just get to the opposite side of the screen while
    he's down and repeat the process.
    
    ===========
    
         Now you can breathe a sigh of relief.  There is NO SHAME in dying in 
    the next fight!  Not only can you continue from this point, but your 
    Vitality is restored AND you get a 20 Vitality orb.  The only people who
    should be worried are those playing for high scores.
    
    =========================
    FINAL BOSS: Golden Silver (or Gold & Silver?)
    =========================
    Vitality: 9999
    Points: 3714126
    
    Attacks:
    
        Golden Blast Nuclear - a short spread shot of 5 green balls will do
                               16 damage if you're within range
    
        Earth Resolver - the exploding blue flames he sends along the ground
                         will cause 6 damage per hit
    
        Jewel Strike - ??? (possibly the gem attacks below)
    
        (fire gem) - each touch of the red gem's spinning flame does 18 damage
        (force gem) - the blue star-shaped gem's horizontal machine-gun attack
                      does 5 damage per hit
        (lightning gem) - the blue diamond-shaped gem's vertical laser does 12
                          damage per hit (and hits multiple times)
        (chaser gem) - the green gem's homing shot does 11 damage if it connects
    
        other - he does a slide-punch for 9 damage either from standing position
                or while coming out of a teleport
              - he has an anti-air jump attack that'll do 14 damage if it hits
              - he can use his exhaust jets to propel himself forward to where
                you are, and charge into you for 10 damage in the process
              - when he grabs and punches you away (kinda like a throw), he
                does 20 damage
    
    Strategy:
    
         First thing on your checklist when you enter the final room is having 
    Force + Fire as your combo weapon.  Don't have 'em?  Pick 'em up off the 
    ground!  NOW!  As you know by now, Exploding Fireball has that spiralling 
    ring of fire it creates after it hits something.  At the beginning and end 
    of the fight, while the gems float above and leave themselves open, hitting 
    one of them will cause the fire spiral to hit the rest of them, resulting 
    tons of damage per shot.  When Golden Silver has the gems circling around 
    him, his invincible body protects them from most weapons.  Lightning Saber
    isn't nearly as effective here as it has been against previous bosses -
    you'd have to get right in Silver's face to do damage.  Other Lightning
    weapons can go through Silver's body to hit the gems but are too weak.
    Chaser Fireball can also pass through him, but is useless because it moves
    in whatever direction you hold, and you'll be too busy dodging to control
    it.  Ultra Flamethrower can go through him and works well until the last
    part of the fight, where its limited range prevents you from dealing damage
    while you're dodging both Silver and the gems' attacks.  But with Exploding
    Fireball, you just have to hold that Shot button down and shoot in the gems'
    general direction.  You'll hit either Silver or one gem, and the spiral of
    fire from the "explosion" damages most (if not all) of the gems!
    
         Now that we've got the weapon settled, let's talk actual strategy.
    Unlike other bosses in the game, Golden Silver has the same agressiveness
    and speed in all difficulty levels.  Only difference is that since weapons
    do less damage on Expert, each phase of the fight is much longer.  First
    phase starts when Golden Silver drops down and you have limited time to do
    free damage to the gems.  From where the gems are circling around above,
    stand right below the left edge of the circle and shoot up. (don't stand
    anywhere close to area right below the middle of the gems' circle, or Silver
    will attack sooner)  Silver will stand to the right of you and do nothing
    for a few seconds, then do a random attack (usually a slide punch).  After
    that, it's a matter of being the right distance away from him.  If you're
    too far away from Silver, he'll throw Earth Resolvers or teleport or charge
    at you.  If the two of you are on opposite sides of the screen, he may even
    use his rocket boosters to propel himself at you.  Stay close (about 2 body
    widths between) and he does nothing, except for a random attack once in a
    while.  Keep some distance though, so you'll have a little extra time to
    react to that random attack.  If you're practically touching him, he'll do a
    Blast Nuclear spread shot or throw you.  Also, if you try jumping over him
    or at him (with a Body Attack, I hope!), he'll jump at you.  When the gems'
    Vitality is below 7700, the gems will surround him, but he will not break
    out of his initial pattern until 6500.  Until that point, stay at your safe
    distance and get as much damage in as possible.
    
         At 6500, Silver gets aggressive and walks towards you if you're within
    that former safe distance.  He'll also use his slide punch A LOT.  His
    other actions when you're too close, too far, or airborne are still the
    same.  This is the time you'll potentially suffer the most damage.
    
    HARD WAY --- If you're planning to tackle him without taking advantage of
    patterns, one strategy is to play a distance game.  Try to get on opposite
    sides of the screen as much as possible.  This'll cause Silver to throw
    Earth Resolvers, which you can just jump over while continuing to shoot.
    But then you have to deal with when he charges/slides/teleports into you.
    Whatever he does, jump straight up and Body Attack.  Hopefully you'll knock
    him down so that you can jump/Body Attack over him and run to the other
    side.  If he hits you before you can do your Body Attack, you'll most
    likely be so close to him that he'll try to use Nuclear Blast on you.  Do a
    Body Attack again up close while you're flashing and it should knock him
    down after he shoots it.  Another strategy is to stay within the old safe
    distance from Silver the whole time so he just walks towards you - then you
    won't have to worry about him teleporting or using Earth Resolver.  Just
    walk away while turning around and getting a shot in once in a while, then
    *high jump* and Body Attack of the wall to get over and to the other side
    of him.
    
    EASY WAY 1 --- Huh?  There're easy ways to do this?  Amazingly, yes!  BUT 
    the first way's a bit risky...  The trick is to get close enough to Silver
    during the first phase of the fight (i.e. after you get your free shots on
    the gems, and Silver makes his first move).  I suggest doing it at this
    point because it's much easier to get close than when he's aggressive.  Now,
    as I said before, he'll do Golden Blast Nuclear when you're right in his
    face.  However, there's a safe spot where you can stand between his hand
    (that's shooting the spread shot) and his body where the Blast won't touch
    you!  The risk is that it may take several tries for you to get in the right
    position, and you'll take a fair chunk of damage each time you fail, either
    from the Blast or from being thrown by Silver.  When you do find the little
    oasis of no-damage, make sure you're holding down the Shot button.  Because
    you're so close, some of your shots will go behind Silver and miss the gems,
    so with Exploding Fireball it's tempting to tap Shot repeatedly so your
    shots "explode" right away up close.  But doing so may cause you to throw a
    gem (out of range of your shots) or Silver himself, and in the latter case
    you'll have to reposition yourself all over again.  Anyway, the idea is that
    while Silver keeps doing Blast Nuclear because he sees you in front of him,
    you'll be in his face the whole time without suffering a scratch, shooting
    at him or straight up at any gems above.  There you'll remain safe, until
    the next phase of the fight...
    
    EASY WAY 2 --- The second method involves mostly, if not totally of Body
    Attacks, and requires patience and timing.  Before I start explaining,
    mentally divide the screen into thirds and place markers at each wall, and
    just within the sides of the monitor/window above:
    
    
    |       |         |       |
    |       |         |       |
    |        ---------        |
    |                         |
    |                         |
    |                         |
    |1       2       3       4|
    ---------------------------
    
    First, you need to stay within the "safe distance" right from the start of
    when Silver gets aggressive, and lure him to one end of the screen.  Let's
    say you're to his left when he's under 6500 Vitality.  You would slowly lure
    him to point 2 by moving step by step to point 1 (you don't have to actually
    reach 1, just get Silver to follow you).  Now for the pattern:
    
      (i) Just as he's a step or two away from 2, jump at him and do a Body
          Attack *just after* the top of your jump to knock him down.  You
          should land a little bit left to the middle of the screen.
    
     (ii) Take a step or so behind and away from him while he's down, depending
          on how much hang time you got from hitting Silver and the gems.  If
          it takes you awhile for your feet to reach the ground, you may have
          to do the next step right away and not stay on the ground long.
    
    (iii) As he's about to get up on both feet, jump away and Body Attack (and
          this time, do it well before the top of your jump).  He should sense
          that you're airborne and do his anti-air jump the moment he recovers,
          but your Body Attack will propel you well out of the way.  You should
          land right between 3 and 4.
    
     (iv) Walk to 4 (should only be 1 or 2 steps) while he's in the air, and
          you'll hit the right wall during the top of his jump.
    
      (v) Turn around and Body Attack just after the top of your jump.  You
          should end up hitting him just after he lands and knock him back down
          just after he comes out of his hunched-over jump pose.  You should
          land past point 3 and just to the right of the screen's centre
    
     (vi) Repeat the process from (ii) in the other direction.
    
    The objective is to trap Silver between points 2 and 3 for this portion of
    the fight.  Continually knocking him down as he comes out of his jumps will
    keep him from doing any attacks.  If he starts to drift outside towards 1 or
    4, throw him back in the middle next time you're at the wall he's closer to
    and start the pattern again from (i).
    
    NOTE: You may be tempted to conclude from this that you could skip a whole
    bunch of steps and just corner him with Body Attacks in one spot instead of
    moving left and right across the screen.  Trust me, it won't work like that.
    On top of timing them extra carefully, you'll need to have gems circling at
    low altitude around him every time to help extend the invincibility of your
    Body Attacks to avoid being hit by his jump attack or thrown out of midair.  
    
    
         Whichever method you choose, try to come out of that middle portion of
    the fight with at least 3-digit health.  At the 4200 Vitality mark, the gems
    get personally involved in the attack.  Good news is that Silver stays still
    almost half the time, and he doesn't do Earth Resolvers, Golden Nuclear
    Blasts, or even anti-air attacks anymore.  Bad news is that at any point you
    could find yourself between a moving Silver and an attacking gem.  It gets
    even worse if you're cornered.  Here's what to expect from the gems and how
    to handle them:
    
    Fire Gem - The most dangerous of the 4 is the round one.  If it corners you, 
    you may find yourself bouncing several times off its spinning flamethrower 
    and taking mucho damage.  Evade the flames by running under it when the
    flame swings up.  Once you're behind it, you could retreat to the other side
    of the screen (or stay relatively close to the Fire Gem if Silver's on the
    other side), but there's an even better alternative - throw it! (thanks to
    Fale again for the tip)  For any gem you can reach without having to Body
    Attack off the wall, throwing them will cancel its "turn" and a different
    one will come to attack.  Easier said than done though against the Fire Gem,
    as the conditions have to be just right or else you'll be committing
    suicide. (a) You have to get behind the Fire Gem to throw it, "behind"
    meaning opposite of the direction it's moving in; (b) the flame must be
    opposite of the side of the gem you're on, of course; and (c) noticing how
    the gem dips slightly up and down all the time, you'll obviously have an
    easier time reaching it if it's down.  Don't try to jump and quickly throw
    as your feet leave the ground; it rarely works and when it doesn't you'll be
    landing on top of the gem and get bounced around.  You also have to look out
    for Silver if he's close to the gem.  Should you walk into him and he throws
    you, he may toss you straight into the gem's flame!
    
    Lightning Gem - Next most dangerous is the diamond gem.  From a distance, it 
    looks stupid shooting its laser down at nothing.  But as you'll find out, 
    it's moving in your general direction and trying to get itself right above 
    you.  It just can't move more than a certain distance without shooting.  
    This is good, in that you can predict when it's gonna shoot and move to a 
    safe spot ahead of time.  However, if you get caught for whatever reason 
    (most likely cornered by Silver) and think it's about to shoot right down on 
    you, jump and Body Attack away (or off a wall).  At least if you're airborn, 
    its laser can only hit you once; whereas if it hits you on the ground, it'll 
    do several hits which you can't break free from (kind of like getting hit 
    with a barrage of small laser shots earlier in the game) and you'll be 
    tagged for anywhere up to 100 damage!
    
    Chaser Gem - The triangle gem's fairly easy to avoid.  Try to place yourself 
    so that it's behind Silver and its shots hit him.  Otherwise, you should be 
    in a wide open space when it fires at you, and all you have to do is jump
    away as its green shot comes close.  You can also block its shots with a
    Lightning Saber, so you can try jumping up to attack it if you've got one.
    
    Force Gem - For the 5-pointed star gem, you can avoid its fire by putting
    Silver between you and it, and Silver's body will block its attack for you.
    If you're feeling brave, shoot your weapon at it to nullify its machine-gun
    fire.  Lightning Saber and Ultra Flamethrower are great for blocking its
    shots while dealing damage to it at the same time, but make sure Silver's
    standing still since you're leaving yourself wide open to him.
    
         And of course, when you have the time and space, shoot either the 3 gems
    that are not currently attacking or the one that is. (usually easier to shoot
    the ones that aren't, especially with Exploding Fireball)
    =========================
    
    
    ============================================================================
    (4) Credits & Misc.
    ============================================================================
         Thanks go to:
    
    - Deeto's FAQ for some alternate boss strategies
    - the folks on GameFAQs' message boards for filling in extra tips and tricks 
    that I wasn't previously aware of (Fale, dragoon77, etc.)
    - SaviourV (a.k.a. Ahmad Rizudin b. Izzudin) for proofreading this FAQ and 
    adding even more tips
    - Treasure for making a game with lots of replayability, a steep difficulty 
    curve, but leaving nothing impossible in higher difficulties.
    

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