Difference between revisions of "Dangun Feveron"

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Dangun Feveron is a Caravan principle game: All five stages are of fixed length, but destroying targets quickly causes more to appear. Each stage is divided into one or more "tables" of enemy waves that switch at fixed points. Completely clearing an enemy table before it switches out loops it, providing a constant supply of targets. The game does not check for cleared waves continuously however; it uses discrete intervals which vary by the waves in question. In some cases missing an enemy causes a delay, while in others only specific enemies need to be destroyed to advance.
 
Dangun Feveron is a Caravan principle game: All five stages are of fixed length, but destroying targets quickly causes more to appear. Each stage is divided into one or more "tables" of enemy waves that switch at fixed points. Completely clearing an enemy table before it switches out loops it, providing a constant supply of targets. The game does not check for cleared waves continuously however; it uses discrete intervals which vary by the waves in question. In some cases missing an enemy causes a delay, while in others only specific enemies need to be destroyed to advance.
  
The TLB appears after a No Miss of the whole game. In the Japanese version of the game, the player is still invincible even after beating the final boss, and as such cannot die to the TLB unless a bomb is used.
+
The TLB appears after a No Miss of the whole game. In the Japanese version, the player is still invincible even after beating the final boss, and as such cannot die to the TLB unless a bomb is used.
  
 
=== Score Mechanics ===
 
=== Score Mechanics ===
Line 310: Line 310:
  
 
=== Stage 1: Shortcut ===
 
=== Stage 1: Shortcut ===
If the fifth wave in Table 1 is depleted twice before transitioning to Table 2, the time-consuming double zako column in the sixth wave is skipped.
+
If the fifth wave of the first table is depleted twice before transitioning to the second table, the time-consuming double zako column in the sixth wave of the first table is skipped. [https://youtu.be/PuTJp-1M0U4&t=47s Replay example]
  
 
=== Stage 2: Laser Turret Grid ===
 
=== Stage 2: Laser Turret Grid ===
Line 330: Line 330:
 
=== Stage 3: Despawn ===
 
=== Stage 3: Despawn ===
 
----
 
----
If the last enemy of the fourth zako wave (appears every six waves) is kept alive, zako cannot spawn for 30 seconds. For a mere cost of ~50,000 points, the brown ships become completely free to pointblank for lots of Cyborgs.
+
If the last enemy of the fourth zako wave (appears every six waves) is kept alive, zako cannot spawn for 30 seconds. For a mere cost of ~50,000 points, the brown ships become completely free to pointblank for lots of Cyborgs. [https://youtu.be/a9RvM3uzzXM Japanese guide]
  
 
==== Type 2 Despawn ====
 
==== Type 2 Despawn ====
If the final platform is immediately destroyed, zako cannot spawn until the brown ships are extinguished, once again becoming safe to pointblank for many more Cyborgs.
+
If the last platform is immediately destroyed, zako cannot spawn until the brown ships are extinguished, once again becoming safe to pointblank for many more Cyborgs. [https://youtu.be/ECcUJXCEcmE Video featuring both despawns]
  
 
=== Rail Turrets ===
 
=== Rail Turrets ===
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=== Caravan music glitch ===
 
=== Caravan music glitch ===
  
For seemingly no reason, the caravan music may randomly play in any of the five main stages. [https://youtu.be/udc71VQi12U&t=531s Video of this glitch]
+
For seemingly no reason, the caravan music may randomly play in any of the five main stages. [https://youtu.be/udc71VQi12U&t=531s Replay with this glitch]
  
 
=== Boss 3 glitch ===
 
=== Boss 3 glitch ===

Revision as of 04:07, 11 February 2024

Dangun Feveron Logo.png
Dangun Feveron
Dangun Feveron Title.png

Title Screen

Developer: Cave
Publisher: Nihon System
Producer: Kenichi Takano
Music: Nanpei Misawa
Tatsuhiko Kasuga (FM Arrange)
chibi-tech (VIP Arrange)
Program: Crusty
Takashi Ichimura
Hiroyuki Uchida
Art: Naoki Ogiwara
Hiroyuki Tanaka
Release date: September 1998
Previous game: ESP Ra.De.
Next game: Guwange

Dangun Feveron (弾銃フィーバロン, Dangan fībaron; Fever SOS outside of Japan) is a vertically scrolling shoot 'em up, released in 1998 on CAVE 68000 hardware for arcades.

The game was being developed around the same time as ESP Ra.De., however Tsuneki Ikeda wasn't involved in its development as much, instead leaving the programming to "Crusty", Takashi Ichimura and Hiroyuki Uchida. The game went through several revisions, starting out as a mecha STG, but due to poor reception from location tests, the team decided on a disco theme.

The game is drastically different from other CAVE titles and plays more like a Toaplan game, with an emphasis on faster but fewer bullets, instead of slow and dense patterns.

The game received a home port for PlayStation 4 and XBox One in 2018, as part of M2's ShotTriggers series for its 20th Anniversary. It includes the original arcade version of the game, a "FEVER" arrange, various practice modes, and two new arrange soundtracks: FM Arrange in vein of old Toaplan games by Tatsuhiko Kasuga and VIP Arrange by chibi-tech.

For replay videos, visit the Video Index.

Story

Earth Invasion Ultimate Commander, Admiral Gratze, embarked on a mission to conquer the third planet from the sun, setting his sights on Planet FEVER. Planet FEVER was surrounded by mysterious electromagnetic waves, which are known to cause all equipment to go haywire, but Gratze thought it was a mere superstition. When it reached his private room and cut his call with his wife, Aileen, he swore destruction upon the residents of Planet Fever.

Planet FEVER Defense Force Esper Pilots Afro & McCoy, alongside Space Travelling FEVER Girl Stephanie team up to put a stop to the delusional madman.

Controls

  • A (Tap): Shot
  • A (Hold): Powerful Shot. Takes roughly a fourth of a second to activate.
  • B: Bomber
  • C (Dipswitch): Rapid Shot

Characters / Ships

TODO: Make this whole section look like less of a mess

Each ship has a different Side Shot configuration and a different Bomber. Each main and side shot of each ship deals the same damage per bullet, despite any visual differences.

Type-A Bomber
Type-B Bomber
Type-C Bomber

Afro & McCoy.png
Afro (on the left) and McCoy (on the right) are the ace pilots of Planet FEVER's Defense Force. Afro's Type-A ship is a central shot. McCoy's Type-B ship is a 3-way shot with the side shots at a 15 degree angle.
Dangun Type A.png
Type-A's narrow overlapping shots deal more damage from the bottom of the screen than the other types, which comes into play for boss phases that are unsafe to pointblank. Unfortunately, at nearer distances or versus giant targets, its shot power is no stronger than that of Type-B, and it is totally reliant on its sub-weapon for horizontal range. Its nuke-style Bomber also has a tendency to not hit anything if used as a panic button. There's really no practical reason to play this type beyond seeking a challenge.

Dangun Type B.png
Type-B has a good mix of damage and range thanks to its spread, as well as the strongest Bomber, making it the easiest type to use. Its Bomber is directed, allowing it to be aimed away from enemies if desired.

Stephanie.png
Stephanie is the leader of the "Fever Girls" Dance Troupe. Her Type-C ship is a wide shot, with the side shots at a 45 degree angle.
Dangun Type C.png
Type-C's side shots can hit both sides of the screen at once, or the whole of the screen near the top, which is very helpful in some areas. Its performance against hard targets at a distance is pathetic however, and it usually needs to get very close to hit with all of its streams due to blind spots between the main and side shots. Its Bomber deals the least damage but hits everything indiscriminately.

Powerful Shots


Unlike most CAVE games, where the ships have the same two weapons (usually Shot + Laser), in Dangun Feveron, you get to choose your secondary shot.

Lock ranges

Dangun PShot Lock.png

Lock-On: Fires a stream of fast saws which bends with the player's movement. On contact with an enemy, the stream "sticks" and automatically aim at it.

Comparable to the iconic purple weapon of the Raiden series, though lacking any penetrative ability. Lock-On deals more damage than a single shot-stream at long range, but less than combined shots or pointblanking. It is also hard to aim and easily disrupted by zako, making it the weakest sub-weapon in the majority of situations.

Bomb explosion chaining

Dangun PShot Bomb.png

Bomb: Deploys missiles that slowly drift forwards. Up to three can be active simultaneously. Each missile grows in power the longer it is active. On impact, creates a large explosion; enemies killed by the explosion create more explosions, potentially causing a chain reaction.

Bomb is entirely routing-oriented, capable of achieving the highest scores via both the highest damage and the best screen coverage of any sub-weapon, but is worthless when used haphazardly. Bomb should not be paired with Type-C as the combination is blanked by bosses, and is often paired with Type-A for the opposite reason.

Different Roll charges

Dangun PShot Roll.png

Roll: Charge shot. Deploys up to 8 blue orbs that "unwind" into a clockwise orbit. Upon release, the orbs fly straight forward and penetrate all enemies, damaging for each frame in contact. Charging can only be resumed if no orbs are on screen.

Roll is a flexible sub-weapon, dealing consistently high damage from the bottom of the screen with little preparation required. The combination of safety and power makes it by far the best anti-boss sub-weapon. Due to how the orbs deploy, both short and long Roll charges are weak against single targets. Half-charging gives the most density and thus damage output, releasing multiple overlapping orbs in a small area.

Speed


Dangun Speed.png
Unlike other CAVE games, the ships do not have their own speed, nor do they slow down when using the secondary shot. Instead, you choose what speed your ship will be at for the entire game.
Player speeds below 3 are unviable for scoring as they're unable to chase enemies or Cyborgs fast enough.

Speed Frames to cross screen Appx. pixels/frame
Speed 1 ~72 3.36
Speed 2 61 3.96
Speed 3 ~45 5.39
Speed 4 ~41 5.93

Hitbox


Red: Speed 1 (about 7x9 pixels); Purple: Speed 2 (about 9x9 pixels); Yellow: Speed 3 & 4 (about 11x9 pixels)

Feveron hitboxes.jpg

As with all CAVE games of the era, all enemy bullets have single-pixel collision, regardless of their visuals. Bullet collision is checked once every 2 frames.

Uotaro


Uotaro's hitbox

Uotaro is a hidden guest character from CAVE's puzzle game Puzzle Uo Poko. He can be played as by entering the code ↓ ↑ → ← ↑ ↓ ← → after inserting a credit.

  • No Powerful Shot or Speed selection or Bomber
  • Can switch between the three shot configurations by pressing B
  • Double shot power
  • Twice as fast as Speed 4
  • No power levels which, combined with no Bomber, results in far lower rank and thus drastically slower enemy bullets

Uotaro's combination of flexibility, extreme speed and low rank allows him to be basically wherever he wants at any time, obliterating everything in his path while minimizing the logistics of collecting Cyborgs. However, survival is made significantly harder due to difficulty in handling his speed and no Bomber. While typically the highest scoring ship within stages, the lack of Bomber lowers the clear bonus and prevents scorebombs.

Items

Icon Description
Dangun item main.png Power-Up
Main Shot
Boosts the strength of the player's main shot, up to 3 times.
Equivalent to 5 Cyborgs when fully powered up.
Dangun item way.png Power-Up
Way Shot
Boosts the strength of the player's side shots, up to 3 times.
Equivalent to 5 Cyborgs when fully powered up.
Dangun item cyborg.png Score
Cyborg Discomen
Increases the chain counter by 1 point, up to 999, then awards points equal to the chain.
More of them drop from enemies if speedkilled.
Multiplier value is reset to 1 if even one escapes through the top of the screen.
Dangun item bomb.png Bomb Item
Bomb
Gives the player an extra Bomber to use. Maximum number of Bombers in stock is 4.
Equivalent to 5 Cyborgs at 4 Bombers.
Dangun item 1up.png Extend Item
1-Up, Life, Heart
Increases the player's life stock by one.
Only appears when the player collects 2000 total Cyborgs, ignoring excess power-ups and Bombers.

Gameplay

Concept


Dangun Feveron is a Caravan principle game: All five stages are of fixed length, but destroying targets quickly causes more to appear. Each stage is divided into one or more "tables" of enemy waves that switch at fixed points. Completely clearing an enemy table before it switches out loops it, providing a constant supply of targets. The game does not check for cleared waves continuously however; it uses discrete intervals which vary by the waves in question. In some cases missing an enemy causes a delay, while in others only specific enemies need to be destroyed to advance.

The TLB appears after a No Miss of the whole game. In the Japanese version, the player is still invincible even after beating the final boss, and as such cannot die to the TLB unless a bomb is used.

Score Mechanics


A large enemy releasing Cyborgs.

Flying enemies and some ground enemies drop Cyborgs if killed quickly, which drift downwards, then bounce back up once they reach the bottom of the screen, and disappear through the top. Each Cyborg collected increments the chain by 1, then gives points equal to the chain counter. Letting any single Cyborg escape sets the chain counter to 1. The point value of all destroyed targets is also equal to the chain count. The chain maxes out at 999 per stage.

The number of Cyborgs dropped by each enemy decays over time at a rate determined by the enemy type, down to 0. Boss parts also decay in Cyborg count, and a timed-out boss drops nothing.

Cyborgs dropped by killed enemies appear in random positions inside the enemy's collision hitbox. Cyborgs drift in a fixed pattern, changing direction every second, but their initial timing and direction is random. Cyborgs near the edges of the screen are forced away from the edge.

Up to 50 Cyborgs can be on screen at once. Additional Cyborgs past this limit simply don't appear. Cyborgs are emptied from memory when the floating text attached to them goes away, not immediately after picking them up, which can lead to some deceptive timings.

After defeating a boss, the player is given a boss bonus of

current chain * stage Cyborg total

up to 9992 or 998,001. Timed-out bosses do not award a bonus.

Upon clearing the game, the player is awarded 500,000 points per spare life and 100,000 points per spare bomb. Defeating the TLB awards another boss bonus and doubles the clear bonus.

Bomber


Difference in Bomber damage when used on the Stage 2 Boss. From top: Type-A, Type-B, Type-C

All Bombers have the same duration, approximately 2 seconds. While the Bomber is active:

  • Damaging effect varying by ship type; Type-B's has a slight delay before its first lightning strike
  • Immediate invincibility
  • Speed boosted to beyond Speed 4
  • Onscreen cyborgs freeze in place
  • Cyborgs cannot spawn

After the Bomber ends, the player is invincible for an extra second. Movement and Cyborgs behave normally during this invincibility.

Since the cyborg bonus from collecting excess Bombers is meager, and No Miss is heavily rewarded, players are encouraged to use them liberally. Bombers can also be used to freeze escaping Cyborgs, skip waves (generally carriers), or in advance to abuse the ending invincibility which does not interfere with scoring.

Stage Number of Bomb items
Stage 1 0
Stage 2 1
Stage 3 2
Stage 4 2
Stage 5 4

Rank


Rank affects enemy bullet speed, and in fewer cases firing rate. It is primarily determined by stage and power level. Uotaro experiences significantly lower rank thanks to no power levels nor Bomber. Rank management is nonexistent due to limited lives.

An incomplete explanation is below for the curious.?

Basic rank

Basic rank varies through decimal values 0-63.

Each stage has a minimum rank value. These are affected by the difficulty dipswitch in the service menu.

Stage 1 13
Stage 2 23
Stage 3 23
Stage 4 43
Stage 5 53
Time Attack 25

At the start of each stage, the rank increases by the difference between the current and new minimum. For example, going from Stage 1 to Stage 2 increases rank by 10.

Basic rank increases gradually over time, and quickly by powering up. It is not influenced by score or collecting excess power-ups.

1st, 2nd power-ups 0
3rd, 4th, 5th power-ups +4 each
6th power-up +2
Bomber in stock +1 each
Extra life in stock +1 each after all other factors (i.e. affects minimum rank)

On death, basic rank is set to the stage minimum. After respawn, it increases by 3 for the player's refilled Bombers, then 1 is subtracted for the lost life.

Basic rank is truncated to 63 at the end of the calculation. This has a marginal effect on Stage 4 & 5, where bombing at maximum rank may not reduce it, because the true rank is above 63.

The final basic rank can be watched at RAM address 0x1052C9.

Cyborg rank

Although collecting Cyborgs does not affect the game's difficulty, missing them does.

The total number of lost Cyborgs is stored at the word address 0x105110. The counter persists for the whole game through continues and is only reset upon a game over.

Cyborg rank doesn't affect everything that basic rank does, increasing the speed of many aimed/semi-aimed bullets incrementally as more Cyborgs are lost. The two rank types are cumulative, but in what exact way is currently unknown.

Other

In some runs, an additional, seemingly permanent, increase in bullet speed can be observed at the start of Stage 5 (roughly a 12% increase). The trigger for this is unknown. It may be related to both the no-miss flag and high scoring, but apparently not either of them in isolation.?

Strategy & Techniques

The game's announcer explains its scoring principles rather well.

  • Don't Lose It (Aim for 999 Disco People)

Maintaining a 999 chain until the end of the stage results in a massive boss bonus of 998,001 points. For viable scoring shots, this is possible in every stage past Stage 1, contributing just under 5 million by itself.

  • Watch Out!!!

Defeating the TLB awards a second boss bonus and doubles the clear bonus from spare lives and bombs. Due to the No Miss requirement and the invincibility bug in the JP version, reaching the TLB guarantees at least 3 million from spare lives.

  • Hurry Up!

Once the maximum chain of 999 has been reached, scoring goes from quadratic to linear. Advance waves as quickly as possible to loop dense "cash-out" waves that offer sheer volume of Cyborgs and/or enemies to kill for huge jumps in score.

Pointblanking


Type-B pointblanking with all three shot-streams. The red box approximates the part of the boss being hit.

The most efficient way to damage a single target is by using full-auto shot at close range. Successful pointblanking causes a large pink hitspark to appear. Due to the size of the player's projectiles, it is not necessary to be extremely close to deal full damage. Type-C has to get closer than the others due to the width of its side shots.

Bomb pointblanking

The Bomb sub-weapon can be rapid-fired at pointblank, dealing even more damage than shot pointblanking. A great way to get damage in between boss phases, since it otherwise struggles to speedkill bosses.

Shooting offscreen enemies


Enemies off the left or right screen edges can be shot before they appear. Cyborgs dropped by such enemies still appear as usual. Type-A lacks the horizontal range to take advantage of this, which can be mitigated by pairing it with the Bomb sub-weapon. An incredibly important mechanic to play around throughout the game, facilitated further by the following technique.

Whipping


Example of whipping. By the time the shots on the left have connected, the player has already moved close to the right edge.

Abusing high movement speed and the travel time of projectiles to commit minimally to an anticipated enemy spawn before moving away to do something else. This is most useful for Type-B as its shot angle gives it more margin for error, while Type-C usually has better approaches to the applicable situations.

Edge-braking


Moving diagonally while pressed against a side of the screen reduces ship speed to ~70%, allowing for more precise control. This gives more room to stream and helps in navigating dense areas such as Boss 2's final, the turret battery near the end of Stage 4, Boss 4's penultimate and final, and Boss 5's opener, penultimate and final. This technique is essential to Uotaro players in managing his blistering speed.

Short Roll


While minimal Roll charges aren't effective at damaging tough enemies, they pierce just as well. This makes them ideal for sniping zako or item carriers that are blocked by ground targets, or for quickly taking out turret columns. Notable applications for short Rolls are the train section at the end of Stage 2, the large square turrets in Stage 3, and the turret battery sections in Stage 4 & 5.

Specific Strategy

Stage 1: Shortcut

If the fifth wave of the first table is depleted twice before transitioning to the second table, the time-consuming double zako column in the sixth wave of the first table is skipped. Replay example

Stage 2: Laser Turret Grid


Whether a turret shoots or not when it flips open is random; however, the turrets open in a fixed sequence, allowing this section to be routed to some extent. At the very least, the first two turrets on the far right should be taken out immediately before the zako start arriving. The stretching "lasers" are actually three needles stacked on top of each other with slightly differing speeds.

Midboss Area


Post-midboss wave strategy. Collecting all Cyborgs on the left while moving to the top simplifies the following wave.
Appearance order and positions of the first six-4-way wave. The next wave is the same, but mirrored horizontally.

Pre-firing a Bomber with the correct timing and then pointblanking the midboss kills it instantly after the Bomber ends without losing Cyborgs. Type B should avoid riding on top of the midboss while invincible as this may make its Bomber projectiles deal less damage.

Immediately after the midboss, speedkill the pair of medium enemies entering from the top left, then move down and right to misdirect the bubbles fired from the pair on the right. This leaves a natural path to clear up the Cyborgs on the left side before advancing through the two item carriers that follow, ending with the player at the top right ready for the start of the next wave.

The next wave is made up of two rows of three 4-way medium enemies which arrive in a R-M-R-L-M-L sequence, followed by the same formation horizontally flipped. Position assertively, staying as high up as possible (without ramming them) and they won't get a chance to restrict your movement. Using a regular ship, kill the first wave R-M-R-M-L-L (spawn order 1-2-3-5-4-6), detour to the right to clean up Cyborgs to avoid hitting the item limit, then kill the second wave L-L-M-M-R-R (spawn order 1-3-2-5-4-6). Uotaro can simply kill all the enemies in the order they appear.

Stage 3: Despawn


If the last enemy of the fourth zako wave (appears every six waves) is kept alive, zako cannot spawn for 30 seconds. For a mere cost of ~50,000 points, the brown ships become completely free to pointblank for lots of Cyborgs. Japanese guide

Type 2 Despawn

If the last platform is immediately destroyed, zako cannot spawn until the brown ships are extinguished, once again becoming safe to pointblank for many more Cyborgs. Video featuring both despawns

Rail Turrets


Note the shot hitsparks. Turrets are continuing to spawn near the top left even though the rails have scrolled away.

The third section of Stage 3 is introduced by a bridge zone with a column of respawning rail turrets on each side. Wedging the ship against the left or right edge while pointblanking the turrets leads to them being continually killed and replaced every few frames, doling out a massive amount of points. Additionally, positioning the ship in a specific way can cause the game to continue replacing the turrets after the point it would normally stop. Video of turret glitch positioning

Performing this trick overloads the sprite limit, making survival unrealistic without the use of two or three Bombers. Uotaro, who lacks a Bomber, is unable to fully take advantage of it.

Ship type Typical kills with shot + 3 Bombers
Type-A ~510
Type-B ~420
Type-C ~515

Stage 4: Table 3


This is the only part of Stage 4 where a great number of points can be gained or lost. Players are encouraged to rush to the end of the table for a series of cash-out waves that can total 150,000-200,000 points. It is also the only part of the game that involves enemies appearing at the bottom of the screen. Routes vary with shot type, but typically at least 1 Bomber is used either to wipe out the turret battery for safety, or to save time on the reverse waves. Video example of the table with B-Roll

TODO:

  • Stage 3: 3-Boss strategy
  • Stage 4: Delayed table 2 spawn
  • Stage 4: Table 2 -> 3 strategies
  • Stage 5: Station 1?
  • Stage 5: TLB patterns?

Stage 5: Stalling


The final stage attempts to punish stalling on waves by spawning a column of three green orbs in the middle that shoot a continuous stream of aimed bullets and cannot be destroyed without a Bomber. However it's still possible to stall on carrier waves by destroying only the fourth carrier right before it exits the screen. This prevents the orbs from ever showing up, so long as enemy waves are regularly depleted.

Missiles


The final boss' core is surrounded by eight rings. Destroying four of them initiates the second phase, during which the core is open only while it is shooting blue spears. Damaging the core enough without destroying all rings triggers a secret third phase, in which the boss shoots destructible missiles straight down that shoot aimed revenge bullets. This avoids the other third phase of extremely dangerous and random turrets. It also has a lower HP gate for transitioning to the penultimate phase and makes the boss shoot more sidewinders, receiving even more damage in the process, which is just enough to skip the nearly impossible double mini-orb pattern.

Roll players can easily timeout missiles by simply holding B and going left and right back and forth. Uotaro players shouldn't bother as he can quickly destroy turrets.

Misc / Curio

Caravan music glitch

For seemingly no reason, the caravan music may randomly play in any of the five main stages. Replay with this glitch

Boss 3 glitch

During the first phase of Boss 3, destroying either of its two side nodes pushes it in the opposite direction. Destroying the left node first, positioning the boss to the extreme left, manipulating it to move left and then destroying the right node can push it off the edge of the screen. This causes a coordinate overflow error, resulting in the boss believing it's actually on the far right. It then tries to correct its position back to the middle by continuing to travel left, further and further off the screen until it wraps around and reappears on the right side. Video of this glitch

Inspiration

Dangun Feveron's odd development circumstances and idiosyncratic nature lead to speculation on what could have influenced its design. The game's art style, color palette and space setting (unusual among CAVE games) bear much similarity to Toaplan's Tatsujin. The main game's structure resembles NMK's Thunder Dragon 2, while Time Attack mode is based on Caravan Festival console games.