Jaguar Rai-Den Hints and Strategies By Ethan Larson [email protected] (e-mail comments about this article are welcomed, and encouraged!) Rai-Den is a standard shoot-everything-that-moves vertical scrolling game. I will assume the reader is already familiar with the basics of such a game, i.e. how to use diagonals to dodge, etc. This article includes several bullet pattern diagrams. The periods represent bullets, and ~j lines near them represent their paths : | \ --. . . C A B A is moving down, B is moving down-right-diagonally, and C is moving right. An asterisk indicates the player's ship, and a line will indicate what path the player should take : ____ / / | | \ . | . | * Here, the player would go straight up, then bank to the right. Unless otherwise specified, the player should always use green missiles. Enough explaining, let's get to the tips! General hints : (1) Be a point monger. Push your ability to the limit to get the most points. This is because extra fighters come at 150,000, 400,000, and every 500,000 points after that. At the end of a level, you get 1000*bombs*medals as a bonus. This means you should use as few bombs as necessary. Of course, this should be balanced by how many bombs you need to use to survive; just avoid wasting them. (2) Memorize the enemy positions. A specific enemy will always come onto the screen at the same place. Since the playfield is wider than the screen, you must scroll the screen left and right to find all the medals and kill all the enemies for maximum points. If you have the enemy positions memorized, it will prevent you from running into them while at the edge of the screen pushing it left or right. (3) Most enemies shoot straight at you. This means that if you are moving, and not moving toward a gun, you will probably not get shot. (4) Red's real power is that when you're up close with full power, most of the spray will hit your target. In some places, it is faster to use red at close range than to use blue at long range. The main difference is that you have to know when the enemy is going to shoot so you can get out of the way before he does. (5) There is a bug in the gun tracking routine. If you are directly in front of a gun, it will face east and miss. This is only worth bothering with when confronted with the larger guns, such as the level 1 BBG's (Big Bad Guys). Level Summaries Level 1 : This level is fairly trivial, with the exception of the BBG's and the two square tanks in the middle of the level. You should use blue bullets for this level. When you get to the river, a PUCE (Power Up Carrying Enemy) will papear. Slightly to the right of where he appears, there is a small stone on the shore of the river. There is a fairy hidden here. You have to shoot an invisible target to get the fairy to appear, the pick it up. It isn't worth 10,000 points, due to a bug in the program; however, it does count as a medal. When you get to the two square tanks, they will start firing at the same time. Below is the best place to "hide". OOOO OOOO tanks -> O O O O O O O O OOOO OOOO / / . . \ \ | | . . . * . When you get to the BBG's, remember that a few tanks come on from the sides. Make sure you nail these early. Then sit back and hose on the BBG's until they die. Below is the place to hide. OOOOOO BBG -> O O O O O O O O OOOOOO | . | | | .* . . / \ . | . / . \ / . . \ . | . . The others shots from the BBG are not a problem if you stay near the bottom of the screen. Also, if you are directly in front of the gun, the tracking bug will show itself, and the gun will completely miss to the right. Level 2 : Level 2 presents a few more problems. Some of the medals are hidden in buildings. The only two that are hard to find are at the beginning of the level, all the way to the left. When you get to the bridge, there is a small car that speed across to the left; nail it for 10,000 points. Keep to the left until the railroad tracks appear, then move over to nail the trains. You should wait a little bit to prevent nailing the engine while the cars are still off the screen. There is a very large tank on the left side near some water. Kill this before it shoots. If you lack the fire power, use a bomb. When the second bridge comes, it means a barrage of fighters is about to come. If you don't have green here, it will be a problem. Try to plan ahead so you either have green or red here. Be very careful when scrolling the screen left or right. As the bridge appears, work your way to the left; after nailing the tanks go back to the right to nail another train. Again, going to the left first is to prevent nailing the engine before the cars come on. Next is the BBG, which has three bullet patterns. The first is trivial; the wings shoot occasionally, and the middle part shoots a lot, with all the bullets just going straight forward. While still in this mode, the BBG spits out bunches of fighters. Green or red is imperative. If you don't mind getting very close to the BBG, I suggest red, since it will kill him faster than blue. This of course requires getting in close enough to get most of the spray to hit him. Blow off the wings first, since the main part takes very little damage while the wings are still on. Once he starts flaming, the second and third bullet patters will start after he has moved back to the middle of the screen. The two hiding places are as follows. OOOOOOOO O O .- O O OOOOOOOOOO .- \ . / \ . . / \ . . | *(L) . * (R) Use the (L) place if the BBG is moving left, and the (R) place if he is moving right. OOOOOOOO O O O O OOOOOOOOOO .- .- .- .- -. -. -. -. .- .-/ / \ \-. -. .- .- . . . . -. -. / / / / \ \ \ \ . . . . . . . . | | / / . . \ \ . . . . | | . * . You should be all the way at the back of the screen for this one. The BBG alternates between these two firing patterns until you kill it. Sometimes, if you hose him fast enough, you kill him right when the third pattern is being shot. This is dangerous, since the screen starts scrolling forward as soon as the BBG dies, propelling you directly into the maze of bullets. You might want to stop shooting while dodging through them to prevent him from dying at an inopportune moment. Level 3 : This level isn't terribly difficult either, except for the BBG. On the way, there is one firing pattern worth noting. After the first large boat comes on, two planes will come down, flying away from you. Here is the hiding place : planes / \ O O OOO OOO / \ / \ . / \ .. / \ . . | | . . | | . . * . . . There is a formation of boats with medals in them; it is rather tough to figure out how to get all of the medals. Here's how to get all but one : OOO OOO OOO 5 OOO 7 O O OOO OOO 6 O OOO OOO OOO 4 OOO 3 O O OOO OOO 1 O OOO OOO OOO <- miss this one OOO 2 O O After nailing the second large boat, go to the very top of the screen. After grabbing the first medal, go backward and right to get #2. Then go forward to get #3, then move left and backward. As you pass by, you will expose #6. Go get #4, go forward, get #5, then go right and backward. Snag #6 on the way over, then near the bottom of the screen you should be able to get #7. Just before the P, there are two PUCE's. You can leave these until you've gotten the P if you want 5,000 apiece for them. You should use blue for the BBG. Kill the first two pop-up guns with the lazer; drop a bomb right when they appear. Aim the bomb so the explosion covers all the other pop-up guns. The next three sets of guns will appear into the explosion and explode. When they're gone, the next five guns appear, and they explode too. Then there's just the main gun in back. Here's the hiding place : OOOOOOO O O O O O O O O OOOOO -. / . \ . / . \ . | . | . * Several of these volleys will be shot at a time, but they are all the same. Once in a while, one of the small guns in back will fire a bullet right through the hole. Be ready to dodge; fortunately this doesn't happen very often. After he blows up, go left to get some medals, then to the right for one more. Level 4 : Swith to red as soon as possible for this level. Watch out for the square tanks with four guns in a line; they don't always shoot directly at you. Sometimes, I notice they shoot, I dodge, and the bullet went straight to where I dodged and I die. Just don't get too close to them. The big tanks on the trails in the forest are rather dangerous. If you have full red, use the lull before they shoot to go hit them with full barrages. With full red, the first can be destroyed before the second comes on. If they do get to shoot, just sweep from side to side to avoid their shots. Just after them, there are these small fighters which spin. Be very careful when scrooling the screen to avoid these. If you're low on firepower, just don't scroll the screen much. in the forest just above the end of the left set of tracks, there is another hidden fairy. The BBG isn't too bad. Approach on the left side of the screen. This will probably be natural, since there is a missile powerup on the left. Kill the square tank on the left first. Wait for the first volley of oval bullets from the BBG to end, then sweep across in from of him. He'll shoot a bunch. If you are already to the right side of him, it's okay. If you're caught in the barrage, here's what to do : OOOOOO O O O O O O _ OOOOOO \ |\ \ . \ . ---- \ \ \_ . . |\ | / * After that, nail the other square tank. Then, if you have full enough red, Go sit in the following spot, and hose him. If you are low on firepower, hide in this spot, then dart in from of him, shoot some, then run back to the hiding place until then next opportunity to shoot him. OOOOOO O O O O O O OOOOOO \ . \ \ . \ . \ . | | . . | | | . . . . * Level 5 : The only real problem on theis level is the initial 6 large tanks if you have low firepower. Nail them in this order : 6 5 OO OO OO OO 3 OO OO 2 4 OO OO OO OO 1 OO OO First nail #1, sweep left, nail #2, sweep right to #4, but you'll get #3 on the way. Then get #5, and sweep left to #6. There is a P on this level. if you don't have any missiles when it appears, don't get it immediately. Wait for the missile powerup to appear, get it, then get the P. For the BBG, use red. When he first appears, drop a bomb centered on him. Hose the right wing first, then sweep to the left, and nail the left wing from afar with green. Then wait, hosing him with the periphery of red and green. When the two circular tanks come out, get real close to them, and hose them with red. If you don't have full firepower, or would rather do it the safe way, drop another bomb. After the two circular tanks are gone, just keep to one side and hose him. Level 6 : At the beginning of the level, scroll the screen almost all the way to the right. There will be two PUCE's, and they both come on the right side. With all the asteroids around, you don't want to have to scroll the screen later. Once you get to the land part of the level, there will be some really fast fighters flying around., the best way to avoid them is to stay on the extreme back of the screen. Always stay there, with two exceptions. There will be a vertical line of four medals; when they appear, move forward. This is when a large pod deploying aircraft flys by, and it approaches from behind. Run forward, grab the medals, then come down beside the aircraft and blow it away. Then there will be a horizontal row of five boxes: three medals, and two missile power-ups. Run forward to grab these, then another of these rear-approaching aircraft will come on. In the middle on the second desert, there is another hidden fairy. For the BBG's, use red. There will be asteroids coming from behind, so be very careful. The BBG's are invincable until the stop flashing and rise out of the ground. After the first rises, wait 2 seconds, and drop a bomb so it will get both BBG's. After the bomb lands, get close to make full use of red. If you want a safer way to kill them, drop a bomb just on the first one, so it rises into the explosion. Then, drop another bomb on the second BBG. You should still get close with red, but this method will save you about 4 to 5 seconds of dodging bullets and asteroids from behind. Level 7 : You GOTTA have green for this level. Without it, this is the toughest level in the game. There are these things that crawl along the pipes, and they shoot a lot. They will also crawl out from behind, so they are generally all around you. At the start of the level, are four large ships. If you have enough green, sit off to the side and let the missiles get them. If you have a lot of red, just sweep left and right in front of them, between their volleys. Or the safe method is to use a bomb. Use red for the BBG. He flys around in circles, so it's easy to lose your bearing. When dodging through his volleys, remember to look at the stars in the background to get a handle on where the bullets are flying. Also, when dropping bombs on him, make sure you place them so the "face" part will be in the explosion, accounting for the fact that he is moving in circles. With large enough red, the small guns on his "shoulders" will die almost as soon as they open up. Also, those crawly things come out on the two pipes on the bottom side of him. Be careful of these, since they will usually be behind or beside you. Here is wher to dodge the main volley from the face : face \ OOOO O O OO / \ . . / \ . . 2 | | *---> . . | . | | . . <---* / 1 \ . . The bullets will close in on you from the outside, move left at point 1. then they will come twoard you again, move right at point 2. What makes this difficult is the aforementioned problem with keeping your bearings. With the BBG moving in circles, the bullets seem to be moving in weird directions. Again, watch the stars to keep things straight. If you dont't feel comfortable dodging this volley, use bombs. Level 8 : This is a straight forward level, except for the BBG. Scroll left and right to kill maximum stuff. Make sure you get red and green for the BBG. He is put together from pieces. While they are assembling him, he is relatively harmless. Just hose on the pieces until they are finished putting him together. If you have green, just move to the left, so his main gun is off the screen. The part you need to hit can still be visible. This way he can't shoot, but the green missles will damage him. There is a triple gun near the top that will shoot at you, but it is of little consequence. Kill it while hosing on the main part with green. After the left part is gone, and the main part is as far to the top as it goes, sweep right, and take out the right triple gun, and the right part of the main body like you took out the left part. Then the last part will still be visible, when that is gone, it's over! However, since you might not have full green, I will show how to dodge the volleys anyway. There are several, depending on how much damage he has taken. Before blowing away the two small parts under the main gun turrent, there are two bullet patterns. On shoots pairs of bullets in the eight directions; hide where you did on the level 4 BBG. The other is a widening V shape, with the point on his turret. Sit still, and let them go on either side of you. Since he aims directly at you, both streams will miss. You can also just keep moving in one direction so they all miss completely, whichever you feel more comfortable with. After the two small parts are gone, he will shoot a long stream of bullets directly at you. Move all the way to the left or right, then move up until there is a hole in the bullets for you to go back down through. In between the volleys is when you should sit in front of him and hose on him. After level 8, you get 1,000,000 points, and go back to level 1 again, this time with the enemy bullets being faster. Use similar techniques, but be more liberal with bombs. I was able to get 3,400,000 on one credit with these techniques. I was on Level 2-7 (level 7 the second time) when the crawly things nailed me. The only BBG's where bombs seem absolutely necessary are on Level 6, and possibly 8. I just discovered that you could sit in a place where you could shoot him and he couldn't shoot you. With this idea, it may be possible to hose even the level 8 BBG without bombs. Remember : the key to big points, and extra dudes is saving bombs. Have fun saving Earth!