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    Systems FAQ by DLo

    Version: 0.1 | Updated: 06/23/01 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

                          | Giga Wing 2 Systems FAQ (DC) |
                          |          Darren Lo           |
                          |       lo@math.wisc.edu       |
                          |   Revision 0.1, 6/23/2001    |
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    ===========================| Table of Contents |=============================
    Section 0: Foreword
          0.1: What is the Giga Wing 2 Systems FAQ?
          0.2: What is Giga Wing 2?
          0.3: Why play Giga Wing 2?
          0.4: Terminology
          0.5: Revision History
    Section 1: The Planes
          1.1: Collision Boxes
          1.2: Timing Information
          1.3: Color Select
    Section 2: Secrets
          2.1: Gallery
          2.2: Secret Planes
          2.3: "Character Event OFF" Secret Option
          2.4: Total Score Display
          2.5: Score Attack Stages
          2.6: "Multi Character Mode" Secret Option
          2.7: Unlock Everything
          2.8: Handy Table
    Section 3: Scoring System
          3.1: Score Multiplier/Combo System
          3.2: Score Attack Mode
          3.3: Item Volcanons
          3.4: Base Point Values
    Section 4: Gameplay Tips
          4.1: Reflect Force versus Reflect Laser
          4.2: General Scoring Tips
          4.3: Plane Evaluations
          4.4: Stage Strategies?
    Section 5: Bibliography
    ===========================| Section 0: Foreword |===========================
    0.1 What is the Giga Wing 2 Systems FAQ?
    0.2 What is Giga Wing 2?
    0.3 Why play Giga Wing 2?
    0.4 Terminology
    0.5 Revision History
    ----------------| 0.1 What is the Giga Wing 2 Systems FAQ? |-----------------
    In essence, it's a collection of any "non-obvious" information about Giga
    Wing 2 gameplay that I can find. "Non-obvious" is a term that's not easily
    defined, but let it suffice to say that I won't be reproducing information
    that's in the manual or that could be found within half an hour by a casual
    I have the Japanese version of the game, but everything I write ought to be
    applicable to other versions as well. If not, please let me know.
    ------------------------| 0.2 What is Giga Wing 2? |-------------------------
    It's a cruelly underrated wide-screen vertical shooter for the Dreamcast.
    By "wide-screen", I mean that the game's native aspect ratio is 4:3, instead
    of 3:4 like most vertical shooters. This means a home conversion is possible 
    without using windowboxing, redesigning levels, or requiring that you turn
    your TV on its side.
    ------------------------| 0.3 Why play Giga Wing 2? |------------------------
    If you just play Giga Wing 2 to beat the game, you won't be very entertained.
    Your stock of bombs is replenished every time you die, and you have infinite
    continues. So you can just bomb, reflect, bomb, reflect, die, and repeat as
    necessary. The scoring in this game is ridiculous, so you can easily rack up
    tens of billions of points just by blasting through the game in this cheap 
    fashion. If you're not interested in improving your play of your own volition, 
    or if you object to the absurdly inflated scores, there's not much in Giga 
    Wing 2 for you. Most of the unfavorable reviews of the game seem to carry 
    this attitude.
    However, if you learn a little about the game engine and start playing for
    score, the game becomes very fun (and very hard). Playing for score makes 
    the bomb-reflect-die tactic unviable and will put a far greater test
    on your skills of pattern memorization, dodging, and bullet-herding. Even
    if you don't study the levels and practice intensely, the kleptomaniacal 
    thrill of scooping up thousands of shiny medals and watching your score soar 
    into the stratosphere is quite satisfying.
    As of this writing, the top Giga Wing 2 solo players can score upwards of 80
    quadrillion points in Arcade Mode, and over 10 quintillion points on Score
    Attack stages. I'm nowhere near that level, nor do I plan to even try to
    get there. But clearly, this is a game that rewards skillful play, and 
    most mortal players will have plenty of room for improvement. And the
    pathological fascination of astronomically large numbers will keep them
    coming back for more.
    ----------------------------| 0.4 Terminology |------------------------------
    Large numbers will be expressed using the American system. That is, a 
    "billion" is 10^9, a "trillion" is 10^12, etc. I apologize to the 
    adherents, if any remain, of the British system (in which a "billion" is
    10^12). I'll also use scientific notation to help ease any confusion.
    I'll refer to Reflect Force and Reflect Laser as "RF" and "RL", 
    --------------------------| 0.5 Revision History |---------------------------
    6/23/2001 Version 0.1, initial release. I hope to release an update soon to
    clear up some of the "I don't know" points in the FAQ.
    =========================| Section 1. The Planes |===========================
    1.1 Collision Boxes
    1.2 Timing Information
    1.3 Color Select
    There are 10 selectable planes in all. Each of them works basically the 
    same from a "system" standpoint. They differ only in firepower, firing 
    pattern, and speed.
    ---------------------------| 1.1 Collision Boxes |---------------------------
    The collision box (the area that can get hit by bullets) of the planes is 
    tiny. It's about 10 pixels high and is centered on the cockpit area of the 
    plane, which is visible as a small colored strip somewhere on the plane's 
    fuselage. According to the official webpage, the collision box is circular. 
    It makes no sense that this is the only part of your plane that can get hit,
    but maybe all the bullets are aimed exactly at the top portion of your 
    cockpit, which sticks up above the plane's fuselage, and the rest of 
    your plane passes harmlessly under the enemy fire. :P
    The small size of the collision box is a lifesaver when trying to dodge
    bullets. However, the cockpit location varies from plane to plane, meaning
    that dodging patterns and safe spots may be different for different planes.
    Another problem is that the cockpit area is hard to see in the heat of battle,
    which makes dodging rather harder than it ought to be. When you first select 
    your plane, take good note of where the cockpit is, and learn to dodge
    -------------------------| 1.2 Timing Information |--------------------------
    When you hold down the shot button, there is a lag of 29 frames (0.48 seconds)
    before your reflect barrier develops. After your barrier has expired, it 
    takes 235 frames (3.92 seconds) for the reflect gauge to recharge, and you
    have a 90-frame (1.5 second) invincibility window. These timings are the same
    for all planes with both RF and RL.
    ----------------------------| 1.3 Color Select |-----------------------------
    It would seem pretty obvious, but somehow this escaped my notice for quite a
    while... Depending on which button you select your plane with, its color will
    change. To choose one of the four colors, select the plane with one of the
    four face buttons (A, B, X, or Y). 
    The mapping of colors corresponds roughly to the color of each button. If 
    the plane is normally red (e.g., Stork), then pressing A will give you red,
    pressing B will give you blue, pressing X will give you yellow, and pressing
    Y will give you green. Not coincidentally, these are exactly the colors of
    the buttons on the standard Dreamcast controller.
    However, if the plane is not normally red, then the colors get shuffled 
    around a bit, because the A button will always give you the standard color.
    There's some logic to the color assignment, but also a number of exceptions,
    so it's probably quicker just to list the colors for each plane below. The
    colors are given in the order A, B, X, Y.
    Kingfisher: Blue, Red, Yellow, Green
    Sparrow: Yellow, Red, Blue, Green
    Raven: Blue, Red, Green, Purple
    Stork: Red, Blue, Yellow, Green
    Albatross: Green, Red, Blue, Yellow
    Raijin-Kai: Purple, Blue, Green, Red
    Carmine Plus: Red, Blue, Yellow, Green
    Porchka Dash: Blue, Red, Yellow, Green
    Widerstand Zwei: Green, Blue, Red, Purple
    Neo Stranger: Red, Cyan, Yellow, Green (colors only change for cockpit and 
                  wing stripes)
    ===========================| Section 2: Secrets |============================
    2.1 Gallery
    2.2 Secret Planes
    2.3 "Character Event OFF" Secret Option
    2.4 Total Score Display
    2.5 Score Attack Stages
    2.6 "Multi Character Mode" Secret Option
    2.7 Unlock Everything
    2.8 Handy Table
    -------------------------------| 2.1 Gallery |-------------------------------
    There are 110 pictures in the gallery. Each character has 10 portraits 
    (galleries 1-5). When you play Arcade Mode and reach stage 2 or higher, 
    you unlock one portrait of your character. You get another when you clear 
    Arcade Mode (continues/restarts OK). 
    Galleries 6-9 are broken into 5 sections of 8 pictures each. When you clear 
    Arcade Mode with a given character, you unlock the next picture in that
    character's section. If the character's section is filled and you clear Arcade
    Mode again, you unlock the next picture from Galleries 10-11. I'm writing
    this paragraph from memory, so it may be slightly inaccurate, but I think
    this is how it worked. I'll check the exact behavior when I get a chance.
    If your total score (score from all plays in Arcade Mode and Score Attack
    Mode) exceeds 60 quintillion (6 * 10^19), one picture will be added to the
    gallery. I believe it will be the next picture from Galleries 10-11, although
    it might also go into the character's section from Galleries 5-9 if there's
    an empty spot available.
    ----------------------------| 2.2 Secret Planes |----------------------------
    To unlock the secret plane for a character, use him/her to clear Arcade Mode 
    without continuing or restarting. You can use any difficulty setting you want,
    so you can set the level to 1 and bump up the player lives and bomb stock to 
    their maximum if you so desire.
    The secret planes are as follows:
    Kart: Raijin-Kai
    Chery: Carmine Plus
    Romi: Porchka Dash
    Largo: Widerstand Zwei
    Limi: Neo Stranger
    -----------------| 2.3 "Character Event OFF" Secret Option |-----------------
    When unlocked, this is located under the "Secret Options" menu. It allows you
    to disable the character cutscenes in Arcade Mode.
    This option can be unlocked in two ways:
    1. View the good and bad endings for all 5 characters in Arcade Mode.
    2. Get a total score exceeding 300 quintillion points (3 * 10^20).
    -------------------------| 2.4 Total Score Display |-------------------------
    The Total Score display shows the total number of points you have scored in
    Arcade and Score Attack modes. It can be seen in the "Ranking" screen and
    before the character select screen in Arcade mode. Note that aborting a game 
    will cause any points you have scored during that game to be lost.
    The total score display can be unlocked in two ways:
    1. Get a total score exceeding 20 quintillion points (2 * 10^19).
    2. Complete Arcade Mode without fulfilling the conditions for unlocking a 
       character portrait, a secret plane, or the Character Event secret option. 
       In other words, all of the following need to be true:
          a) Your character's portrait gallery (one of Gallery 1-5) was full 
             when you started Arcade Mode;
          b) Your character's secret plane was already unlocked, OR you 
             continued or restarted while beating Arcade Mode;
          c) You already unlocked the Character Event option, OR the ending you 
             got was not the final ending necessary to unlock the Character 
    	 Event option.
    -------------------------| 2.5 Score Attack Stages |-------------------------
    Only Stages 1-3 are initially selectable in Score Attack Mode. If you reach
    stage 4 or higher in Arcade Mode, the corresponding stages (from 4 up to the
    highest stage you reached) will be unlocked in Score Attack Mode. 
    ----------------| 2.6 "Multi Character Mode" Secret Option |-----------------
    When unlocked, this allows you to play multiple planes (in formation) with 
    a single player. The "Change" button also becomes available to allow you to 
    adjust your formation, so be sure to update your controller settings 
    appropriately.  You can unlock this secret option by getting a total score 
    of over 100 quintillion (1 * 10^20).
    --------------------------| 2.7 Unlock Everything |--------------------------
    If you're the type who likes to cheat, there is a cheat code that will unlock
    all unlockable items instantaneously. I recommend unlocking things the usual
    way, but...
    On the first page of the Gallery (Gallery 1), enter the following code
    quickly: Up, X, Y, X, Down, Y, X, Y, Y. Use controller 1 or 2. If you have 
    any empty spots on your Gallery 1, you will see them filled immediately.
    -----------------------------| 2.8 Handy Table |-----------------------------
    A single event (such as clearing Arcade Mode) will unlock all items whose
    conditions are satisfied, in order from top to bottom. For instance,
    clearing Arcade Mode without continuing will unlock items 1, 2, 5, and 6.
    6 is considered to happen after 1, which is important when evaluating
    the conditions for item 4.
    1.  Clear Arcade Mode (continues OK)
        Get character portrait x 1, if possible
    2.  Clear Arcade Mode (no continue/restart)
        Unlock new ship if not already unlocked
    3.  Get good/bad endings with all characters
        Unlock secret option "Character Event OFF"
    4.  If nothing gets unlocked for items 1-3 when you clear Arcade Mode
        Unlock total score display
    5.  Clear Arcade Mode (continues OK)
        Get Gallery picture x 1, if possible
    6.  Reach Stage 2 or higher on Arcade Mode
        Get character portrait x 1, if possible
    7.  Reach Stage 4 or higher on Arcade Mode
        Corresponding stage unlocked in Score Attack
    8.  Total Score over 20 quintillion
        Unlock total score display
    9.  Total Score over 60 quintillion
        Get Gallery picture x 1, if possible
    10. Total Score over 100 quintillion
        Unlock secret option "Multi Character Mode"
    11. Total Score over 300 quintillion
        Unlock secret option "Character Event OFF"
    12. Enter Up,X,Y,X,Down,Y,X,Y,Y on first Gallery screen (1P or 2P controller)
        Unlock everything
    ========================| Section 3: Scoring System |========================
    3.1 Score Multiplier/Combo System
    3.2 Score Attack Mode
    3.3 Item Volcanons
    3.4 Base Point Values
    --------------------| 3.1 Score Multiplier/Combo System |--------------------
    Actions such as shooting and killing enemies have a base point value. This
    value is multiplied by the score multiplier before being added to your score.
    The multiplier is the medal count displayed under your score at the top of
    the screen.
    Normal medals have a "combo value" of +1, +5, +10, or +50 depending on 
    their size and color. If you are maxed out on powerups or bombs, the 
    corresponding items are worth +50. Volcano medals are worth +3 (see 
    section 3.3).
    Your score multiplier starts at 0 at the beginning of the game. When you
    collect an item, its combo value (+1, +3, +5, +10, or +50) is added
    to your combo counter, and the result is added to your score multiplier.
    For instance, if you collect three +1 medals and then a +5 medal, your score 
    multiplier increases as follows: +1, +1+1, +1+1+1, +1+1+1+5 (+14 in all).
    When you pick up a medal, the current value of the combo counter is briefly
    displayed on that spot.
    The combo counter resets to 0 at the beginning of each stage and after every
    death. The score multiplier resets to 0 when you continue.
    Note that if you never pick up a medal or a powerup, your score multiplier
    will remain 0, and thus you won't score any points. It might be interesting 
    to see how low you can keep your score (as opposed to the normal method of 
    play, which is to jack up your score as high as possible).
    --------------------------| 3.2 Score Attack Mode |--------------------------
    Note: In this section only, I will refer to what I usually call the "score
    multiplier" as the "medal count" to avoid confusion.
    Scoring in Score Attack Mode works the same as the normal game, except that
    there is a steadily-increasing "Multiplier x ____" in the upper right corner
    of the screen. Despite its name, this number does not actually multiply your
    score multiplier (medal count). What it does is multiply your current combo 
    counter before incrementing your medal count.
    For example, consider the following scenario:
    1. Stage Start
    2. Collect +5 medal (Multiplier x 600.0)
    3. Hit enemy with one normal shot (Multiplier x 700.0)
    4. Collect +1 medal (Multiplier x 800.0)
    5. Hit enemy with one normal shot (Multiplier x 900.0)
    At time 1, your combo counter and medal count are 0.
    At time 2, your combo counter is 5 and your medal count is 3000 (600.0 * 5).
    At time 3, you receive 210 * 3000 points for landing a shot. Notice that
      the "Multiplier" does not factor into this calculation.
    At time 4, your combo counter is 5+1 = 6, and your medal count is 7800
      (3000 + 6 * 800.0).
    At time 5, you receive 210 * 7800 points for landing a shot. Again, it is
      the medal count that actually multiplies your score, not the "Multiplier".
    The "Multiplier" is reset every time you die or use a bomb, so the key
    to getting big scores is to do neither of those two. You can also let the
    boss live as long as possible and try to get tons of medals off him for huge
    score multipliers.
    ---------------------------| 3.3 Item Volcanons |----------------------------
    If you've played Giga Wing 2 much at all, you've probably seen a few Item
    Volcanons -- the screen suddenly fills with an cascade of beautiful
    kite-shaped emerald medals. Learning to trigger and exploit Item Volcanons
    is the key to playing for score.
    In an Item Volcanon, each on-screen medal splits into 10-13 volcanon medals,
    depending on its original base value. A +1 item splits into 10 volcanon
    medals, a +5 item into 11, a +10 item into 12, and a +50 item into 13. I
    don't believe volcanon medals split if you trigger another Volcanon, although 
    I don't have confirmation either way. Powerup and Bomb items do not split.
    Each volcanon medal is worth +3. Combined with the combo counter system, you 
    can see how a Volcanon can dramatically increase the value of each medal.
    If your combo counter is 0 and you pick up all the volcanon medals coming out 
    of a given medal, a +1 medal is now worth +165, a +5 is worth +198, a +10
    is worth +234, and a +50 is worth +273. The gains are much greater when you
    already have a large combo counter to start with. In practice, you'll get huge
    multipliers even by collecting a small fraction of all the volcanon medals on
    An Item Volcanon can be triggered in two ways:
    1. By causing more than 110 normal medals to be displayed on the screen. 
    2. By exceeding the game engine's on-screen object limit. Objects include
    player shots, reflected bullets, enemy bullets, enemies, medals, powerup 
    items, reflected lasers, etc. If you want to trigger a Volcanon this way,
    make sure to hold down the rapid fire button. The exact value of the object
    limit is unknown.
    You'll know you've successfully triggered a Volcanon when the background
    starts to fade to black. Once the Volcanon is triggered, collecting medals
    will not cause the Volcanon to abort, even if you collect enough medals to
    drop under the 110-medal or object limit threshold. However, it's in your 
    best interest to avoid collecting the medals until they've split.
    --------------------------| 3.4 Base Point Values |--------------------------
    Certain actions and conditions in the game have a base point value. This 
    value is multiplied by the score multiplier before being added to your score.
    The score multiplier is included in every score calculation, even the stage 
    clear bonuses. Here are the base point values that are currently known.
    Stage Clear Bonuses
      1. Boss Time Bonus
         The time remaining when you defeat each boss is added to a running 
         total. The base value is this total is multiplied by 2000 times the 
         stage number.
      2. Bomb Stock Bonus
         The base value is the number of bombs you have when you clear the stage 
          multiplied by 15000 times the stage number.
    In-Game Scoring
      1. Shot score 
         Hitting an enemy with a shot (normal shot, reflect shot, or reflect 
         laser shot) has a base value of 210 points.
      2. Powerups/Bombs
         Powerup items and Bomb items are worth 830 points.
      3. Medals
         Normal medals (+1, +5, +10, +50) are worth 830 points each. A volcanon 
         medal (+3) is worth 210 points.
    Boss Scores:
    (note: the first five stage bosses are named after letters of the Hebrew
    alphabet. I've used Merriam-Webster's transliterations for them.)
       *) City Stage boss: Gimel
          First Form
          Main body: 1,625,000 points (only when the dome is closed)
          Flare cannon: 25,000 points
          Laser cannon: 50,000 points
          Feet: 50,000 points each
          Cannon: 25,000 points
          Side gun platforms: 25,000 points each
          Missiles: 12,500 points each
          Second Form
          UFO: 375,000 points
          UFO disk: 25,000 points
       *) Cloud Sea boss: Daleth
          Main body: 2,000,000 points
          Main wings: 250,000 points each
          Secondary wings: 200,000 points each
          Proximity bombs: 2500 points each
       *) Factory boss: Yod
          First Form
          Main body: 1,000,000 points
          Main engine: 320,000 points
          Small engine: 80,000 points
          Large rotating gun turrets: 160,000 points each
          Second Form
          Main body: 1,000,000 points
          Torpedoes: 5000 points each
       *) Holy Realm boss: Waw
          First Form
          Main body: 250,000 points
          Second Form
          Main body: 2,500,000 points
          Exploding bullets: 2500 points each
          Wings: 50,000 points each
          Exploding bullet launchers: 50,000 points each
          Large gun cover: 25,000 points
          Central gun platform: 25,000 points
          Left/right guns: 50,000 points each
       *) Altar Stage Boss: Samekh
          Main body (Ark): 3,000,000 points
          Towers and chests: 125,000 points each
          Bits: 5,000,000 points each
       *) Seal Stage Boss: Ark
          First Form
          Main body (eyeball): 1,250,000 points
          Sides (next to main body): 750,000 points each
          Disks (spinning gear-like parts): 500,000 points each
          Lenses (outermost parts): 250,000 points each
          Second Form
          Main body (eyeball): 1,000,000 points
          Ring 2 (final ring): 750,000 points
          Ring 3 (spinning ring):  625,000 points
          Ring 4 (double ring): 500,000 points
          Ring 5 (box ring): 375,000 points
          Ring 6 (three-needle ring): 250,000 points
          Shield (outer wall): 125,000 points
       *) Sanctum boss: LIMI
          First Form
          Main body: 4,500,000 points
          Second form
          Main body: 6,000,000 points
    ========================| Section 4: Gameplay Tips |=========================
    4.1 Reflect Force versus Reflect Laser
    4.2 General Scoring Tips
    4.3 Plane Evaluations
    4.4 Stage Strategies?
    -----------------| 4.1 Reflect Force versus Reflect Laser |------------------
    Depending on which of RF or RL you choose, gameplay can be quite different.
    It's natural to wonder which of them is better. Here are my thoughts.
    *) If you need to clean the screen of bullets, RF is a better choice because
    it kills enemies as soon as you reflect the bullets. With RL, you need to 
    wait for the barrier to expire before it shoots. During that charging time, 
    the enemies are still alive and are happily filling the screen with more
    bullets -- bullets that you will have to dodge after your invincibility window
    runs out.
    *) RF requires aiming and some degree of bullet herding (luring shots to the
    location and direction that you need), whereas RL does not require this. RF
    can easily miss a moving target, whereas RL does not. On the flip side, RF
    allows you to control which direction you want to reflect bullets in or to
    concentrate your fire on a single enemy, whereas RL automatically spreads its 
    fire over all targets.
    *) It is believed that RL can only hold 256 shots. If you collect bullets
    beyond this limit, RL's attack power will not increase. There is no comparable
    limit for RF. The net effect is that RF is a more damaging attack in most
    *) If you want to trigger an Item Volcanon by exceeding the object limit, RF
    is preferable because you can fire while reflecting. You cannot fire at the
    same time as your RL lasers. RL also absorbs bullets while the barrier is up,
    thus decreasing the number of objects.
    *) It's impossible, or at least very hard, to perform double Item Volcanons 
    with RL. Since RL attacks all enemies at the same time, you don't have the
    control over timing that's necessary for a double Volcanon.
    *) For its part, RL can trigger some Item Volcanons which are very difficult 
    or impossible to trigger with RF. For example, the second form of the Stage 6 
    boss teleports after you've done a certain amount of damage to it. Since RF 
    spreads its hits over time, the boss tends to disappear before you can get 
    the Volcanon. With RL, you just suck up shots and then hit the boss all at 
    once before it can move, generating the required number of medals.
    *) The game cutscenes say that the ray of hope that can stop Ark is "Reflect
    Force", not "Reflect Laser". :) I think it would have been a nice touch to
    change the dialogue depending on which reflect method you had selected.
    Conclusion: Because of the auto-lockon, RL is best for beginners. They can 
    swoop around collecting enemy bullets without the added hassles of bullet
    herding, aiming, and the like. A good RL charge will easily clear the screen 
    of weak enemies, which is quite useful. I recommend RF for intermediate and 
    advanced players due to its greater firepower and control. RF is also the 
    choice of most scorers, although some choose to play RL and do quite well 
    with it. RL may be useful as an added challenge for experts, and in those
    limited situations where it's better than RF (such as the Stage 6 boss
    second form).
    ------------------------| 4.2 General Scoring Tips |-------------------------
    First and foremost, don't die unless you're at the very beginning or very
    end of a stage. If you die, your combo counter resets. Since the majority
    of your score multiplier will be obtained when your combo counter is highest,
    dying effectively incurs a huge penalty. At the very end of a stage, since
    your combo counter will reset anyway, it may be advantageous to die 
    (depending on the situation) if your bomb stock will increase as a result.
    However, the number of points you get this way is relatively small.
    Second, learn to get Item Volcanons. This takes some experimentation. You 
    will either need to leave vast swarms of weak enemies around, or else collect
    a few big guys who can take a pounding and give you lots of medals. Either 
    way, learn not to keep the rapid fire button down, since this will do 
    unnecessary damage to your enemies and you won't get medals out of it.
    Sometimes it helps to first try to draw enemy fire into the center of the 
    screen or to the middle of one side, so that you can get more coverage off 
    your reflect.
    Third, learn to get double Item Volcanons. In certain situations, you can
    trigger two separate Item Volcanons off a single reflect. The key to this
    technique is to trigger the first Volcanon as fast as possible, and the second
    Volcanon as late as possible off your barrier's flare-out. One of the easiest
    places to see how this works is on Score Attack stage 2 (the sky stage) with
    RF. Right after the beginning swarm of cannon fodder, two large white 
    shield-shaped enemies will come in from either side. As soon as they start
    their volleys of pink bullets, get up close to the left one (but not 
    so close that you run into any medals) and reflect. If all goes well, the 
    background should start fading to black right when your barrier has finished 
    its initial expansion. Make sure NOT to reflect any shots from the right 
    enemy during this phase. While your barrier contracts in size, pick up medals
    while avoiding the enemy bullets. By the time your barrier reaches its 
    minimum radius and starts to expand again, the first Volcanon should be
    almost over. Just as your barrier flashes outward to its maximum size and
    disappears, fly straight into the volley of bullets as fast as you can. If 
    you've done it correctly, a second Volcanon will be triggered. If you did 
    the second reflection too early, the medals from both enemies will split 
    during the same Volcanon and you will collect fewer of them. It's critical
    to wait for the final flare-out before going for the double Volcanon. 
    Fourth, collect as many medals as possible. This sounds obvious, but it's
    important. When you've triggered Volcanons, especially, you will want to 
    get up right below where most of the medals are. Then when they split, you
    can get a good portion of them. When using RF, try to concentrate medals in a 
    spot where you can collect them all.
    Finally, destroy as many parts of the bosses as you can. Boss parts are 
    worth a lot of points even before the score multiplier is considered. With 
    most bosses you can trigger a Volcanon every time you reflect, so you will
    want to do most of your damage via reflection and not via your normal gun
    (don't use it at all if possible). You don't want to kill the boss's main
    body before you get the other parts, so if you're using RF, make sure to 
    distribute the damage appropriately. Subject to these constraints, you should
    try to kill the boss as quickly as possible, since you get a bonus for the 
    time remaining. Don't let the timer run out.
    --------------------------| 4.3 Plane Evaluations |--------------------------
    In order from top to bottom, based on the score rankings I've seen (secret
    planes excluded because I've barely played them):
    Chery/Stork: This seems to be the highest-scoring plane in Arcade Mode. It's 
    the second-fastest plane there is, and the seeking fire is pretty useful for
    taking out scattered enemies. On the other hand, the seeking fire can also
    end up damaging enemies you don't want to hit. Although the Stork's gun is 
    quite weak, you will still want to avoid constantly mashing down the 
    auto-fire button all the time. Chery's Stage 1 is the Cloud Sea stage, where
    you can build up a massive score multiplier, and her Stage 3 is the Factory
    stage, where you can score lots of points.
    Kart/Kingfisher: This is the slowest plane, but the spread on the main gun is
    good without being excessive, and the Spark Bomb is very strong. Kart also
    has the high-scoring Cloud Sea/City/Factory stage ordering. Among the standard
    planes, most top score attackers seem to prefer the Kingfisher. I'm not sure 
    why, though.
    Romi/Sparrow: Fastest plane of the lot. The main gun is strong but not
    exceptionally so, and doesn't have any spread.
    Limi/Raven: This plane has average speed -- it's faster than the Kingfisher
    and Albatross, but slower than the Stork and Sparrow. The exploding pods 
    that it fires are extremely strong, perhaps the strongest normal gun in
    the game behind the Neo Stranger.
    Largo/Albatross: This is the second-slowest and most unpopular plane. Its 
    firing pattern is quite different from the rest of the planes, which means 
    you'll have to play quite a different strategy to do well with the Albatross. 
    The plane shines in up-close fights, but is somewhat difficult to get used 
    to. High Albatross scorers can score very high (though not as high as the
    other planes).
    --------------------------| 4.4 Stage Strategies? |--------------------------
    This is where I will put stage strategies, if I ever discover any decent 
    ones for scoring. My current high scores are anywhere from 6-20 times below 
    "state of the art". If you have a strategy you would like to submit, feel 
    free to do so. :)
    =========================| Section 5: Bibliography |=========================
    Official Giga Wing 2 home page (Japanese)
    Your one-stop source for Giga Wing 2 info. It includes a lot of the system
    information given in this document, and a Rankings page where you can check 
    out the scores of other players. You can also learn a lot by lurking on 
    the BBS and reading the old messages.
    Arcadia home page (Japanese)
    Though I've never seen an issue of Arcadia Magazine, I gather that a lot of
    information on Giga Wing 2 has been published in past issues. Unfortunately
    they don't put their content online, but you can take a look around and try
    to order some back issues if you want/dare.
    Ushinawareta Game o Motomete (Japanese) (notice a trend? :)
    Contains lots of great info, strategies, and essays on Giga Wing 2 and 
    several other shooting games, as well as general musings on the shooter 
    genre and video games. Highly recommended.

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