DoDonPachi (怒首領蜂 "Angry Leader Bee", abbreviated: DDP) is the second entry in the DonPachi series of shoot-em-ups, developed and released by CAVE. It expanded upon the chaining system innovated in the first game in the series, and introduced a "variation system" that allowed you to pick two different styles of three ships (Shot and Laser types), giving the player a slightly higher degree of playstyle customization.
This game in particular is considered by most STG enthusiasts to be the grandfather of the bullet hell sub-genre of shooting games, pushing bullet counts into the hundreds, especially if the player is able to reach the second loop. DoDonPachi is also the first game in the series to introduce Hibachi, the True Last Boss, who would return in all future DonPachi games as a challenge for particularly skilled players.
DoDonPachi was originally released in the arcades in 1997. It was later ported to the PlayStation and Sega Saturn home consoles. There is also a hidden, albeit very lean, port of DoDonPachi that can be unlocked in the Xbox 360 visual novel, Instant Brain. All three console ports of DoDonPachi are considered inferior to the PCB / arcade version of the game for various reasons, and are typically not played for score or competitively.
DoDonPachi is a three-button shooter (although the C button is turned off by default, and can be enabled in the dipswitches in service mode).
There are six stages in the game, with a hidden second loop accessible by achieving certain tasks in-game.
- A (Press): Fires the standard "spread" Shot weapon
- A (Hold): Fires the ship's "focus" Laser weapon (also surrounds the player with an Aura that deals extra damage)
- B: Releases a Bomb, clearing the screen of bullets and dealing massive damage to enemies on screen
- When pressing B by itself, the player will release a Spread Bomb, which damages everything on screen
- When pressing B while holding A, the player will release a Laser Bomb, which fires a massive laser blast from the ship that deals extremely high damage to anything in its path
- C: Auto-fire for the player's standard Shot
Type-A: A red jetplane with fast movement that fires a concentrated straight volley of bullets. The most frequently-used ship for scoring.
- -- Fastest movement speed | Narrow Shot width
- -- (Shot Type) Fastest Laser activation speed and damage
- -- (Laser Type) Slowest Laser activation speed
Type-B: A green helicopter equipped with options that rotate their firing direction with the player's movement direction. Recommended for advanced / technical players.
- -- Average movement speed | Adjustable options create unique chain opportunities only possible with this ship
- -- (Laser Type) Fastest Laser activation speed
Type-C: A blue plane that moves slowly, but has the most powerful shot, which fires in a wide spread. Commonly recommended for beginner players due to the weapon strength.
- -- Slowest movement speed | Most powerful Shot, with the biggest horizontal range
- -- (Shot Type) Weakest Laser and slowest Laser activation speed
- Shot Type: Increases the strength of the player's Shot, dealing more damage and firing greater shot spreads, but with a weaker Laser and slower movement speed when Lasering
- Laser Type: Increases the strength of the player's Laser, movement speed when Lasering, producing a bigger aura, and instantly destroying zako
- All Laser Type ships deal the same amount of damage with the Laser
The hitboxes for the three ships and sub-types are all of the same size. When the player is moving horizontally, the hitbox is gradually shrinking slightly in width. The height stays the same.
- Default position: 6x7 pixel
- Leaning towards one side: 5x7 pixel
- Fully moving horizontally: 4x7 pixel
There are three types of stars for the player to collect in the game; Ground Stars (300pts), Small Stars (100pts), and Large Stars (10000pts). Stars are also re-calculated into score bonuses at the end of the stage. Ultimately, star collection does not make a significant difference to the player's score, and it's recommended for players aiming for high scores to focus more on chaining (below).
Hit Chaining / Get Point System
The central scoring mechanic of DoDonPachi is the Get Point System (GPS), returning from DonPachi, which emphasizes scoring by performing hit/kill chains upon enemies and the environment, in quick succession. Whereas DonPachi focused primarily on connecting a bunch of very brief chains for big score gains, DoDonPachi makes the chaining a little bit more lenient, giving the player more ways to prevent chains from breaking -- pushing the chaining even further by allowing you to full-chain an entire stage for massive score bonuses -- it is not unrealistic to achieve chains well over 100 HITs with practice and routing. Chain breaks are prevented by destroying enemies and objects, training your Laser on strong enemies (which now stalls the chain meter and slowly increases your HIT gain), and revealing hidden bees (see below). This chaining system has been a minor point of contention for some fans of the shmup genre, as it demands high levels of skill and perfection from the player in order to achieve respectable scores at a high level of play.
The scoring formula of the chain system looks as follows:
|hit count * A + (hit count - 1) * B + (hit count - 2) * C + ... + 1 * Z
(whereas A, B, C, ... , Z are the base values of the enemies chained in successive order)
For example, a 3 Hit chain with the successive enemy base values of (A = 100), (B = 600), and (Z = 300), results in 1,800pts (3*100 + 2*600 + 1*300 = 1,800).
If the player were to destroy the same enemies but in a different order, this will also have an effect on the total score gain. With that in mind, destroying the previous enemies in the order of (A = 600), (B = 300), and (Z = 100) yields 2,500pts total (3*600 + 2*300 + 1*100 = 2,500). For this reason, it is more lucrative to destroy enemies with a higher base value as early on in the chain as possible.
Boss HIT Calculation
The Get Point System functions differently in boss fights in DoDonPachi, removing the GP Meter. Instead, you gain HITs slowly by hitting bosses with the Laser, with the HIT count dropping rapidly when you are not Lasering the boss. Uniquely to DoDonPachi, when the boss reaches red health (you'll hear the VO say "Just a couple more shots!"), firing off a Laser Bomb will rapidly increase the HIT count. In most cases, the Laser Bomb will also destroy the boss.
After destroying the boss, the player is awarded points based off of the following calculations:
|200,000 + (100,000 * stage number) + hit count * (2,000 + 1,000 * stage number)
(Note: stage numbers do not count the loop, so 1-1 and 2-1 will have the same stage number.)
MAXIMUM Bomb Bonus
Another challenging point of contention for players, the MAXIMUM Bomb Bonus is pretty straightforward -- when you collect a Bomb icon while your Bombs are already at maximum capacity, the player activates MAXIMUM Mode, awarding them 220pts x (MAXIMUM Multiplier) every frame (1/60fps); there is one very rare exception in the Trivia section. The MAXIMUM Bomb multiplier starts at 2, and is increased by 1 for every Bomb collected while in MAXIMUM Mode, and the score will continue to pour in until the player uses a Bomb, or dies. MAXIMUM multiplier value does not drop on death, so if a player ever exits the mode, they can re-activate it through normal play and their previous score gain will resume. The bomb bonus stops giving players score during boss fights, but will resume score gain upon entering the next stage.
The MAXIMUM Bomb Bonus is critical for high level scoring, particularly if the player is able to carry it to the second loop, where the score gain is very lucrative. A player who is able to get a perfect MAX Bomb Bonus (no miss / no bomb for the entire game, collecting every Bomb capsule) can earn as much as ~260,000,000pts added to their run.
Hidden Bee Items
The hidden bee items that premiered in DonPachi return here, uncovered by lasering the spot that the bees are hidden. There are 13 bees to collect in each stage, and collecting a bee icon awards the player points, with each collected bee in a stage awarding increased point gain:
| 100 | 200 | 400 | 800 | 1000 | 2000 | 4000 | 8000 | 10000 | 20000 | 40000 | 80000 | 100000 |
When the final bee (100000pts) in a stage is collected, the next stage's bee icons will gain increased point value (1-1 1st bee = 100pts -> 1-2 1st bee = 200pts -> 1-3 1st bee = 400pts, etc.), increasing with each bee perfect until every bee collected is worth 1,000,000pts. If the player dies even once, the collected value of bees is dropped, and returns back to the start of the scoring pattern (100pts). Revealing a bee will add GP meter to your chain, helping prevent chain breaks when playing through stages.
If the player is able to collect every single bee throughout both loops, the total point gain is 37,803,900pts.
Like its predecessor DonPachi, DoDonPachi features a second loop with more aggressive enemies firing much larger amounts of bullets at a higher frequency. Accessing the second loop is the only way to fight the Last Boss Taisabachi and the True Last Boss of the game, Hibachi.
However, unlike DonPachi, the player must meet certain requirements during play in order to access the second loop. To get to the second loop, the player must accomplish any one of the following four tasks:
- Lose a ship two times or less
- Achieve one of the following maximum HIT counts:
- 270 hits (Type-A)
- 300 hits (Type-B)
- 330 hits (Type-C)
- Score at least 50,000,000pts by the end of Stage 1-6
- Collect all 13 hidden bee icons in four stages
In addition the player must be playing solo to be able to access the second loop.
- Destroying the large green carrier ships will make them drop more Stars the closer they are to the bottom of the screen. If they are destroyed while on the very bottom of the screen, they will drop a single Large Star instead of many Small Stars.
- In Stage 1: Destroying one of the boss's side turrets while they're rotating around the boss and shooting blue needle shots will make the boss drop ten Large Stars instead of two.
- In Stage 2: Destroying the large bunker turret before the appearance of the mid-boss will reveal a patch of flowers in place of the turret. By hovering over these flowers, the player will gain 10pts every frame they are touching the flowers.
- In Stage 3: A significant amount of score can be earned during the second half of the stage, with the teleporting enemies that shoot volleys of pink needles, and the large yellow transport ships. The yellow transport ships, when destroyed, will cancel every enemy bullet on screen, rewarding the player points for each bullet canceled. The more bullets that are being created by the needle shooters, the greater the point gain. This technique is a great way to get points in Stage 3, especially if the player hasn't developed a chain route for the stage.
- In Stage 4: A "destroyed" Toaplan logo on the left side of the screen also contains a hidden patch of flowers. Hovering near the flowers causes them to bloom, gaining the same 10pts/frame score bonus for hovering over them. These flowers can be hit with the Shot for 510pts each hit, or 1,100pts every 1/30th /second with the player's Laser.
Differences on 2P-Side
For some reason, many shooting games feature differences in game behavior when the player is playing on the player 2 side rather than the player 1 side (likely the result of programming errors), and DoDonPachi is not an exception to this. When a credit is being played on the 2P side of the screen, the following changes occur:
- (1P) When your MAXIMUM Bomb Bonus is active, your chain will not drop when using a Laser Bomb.
- (2P) Small Stars accumulate over the course of the whole game, rather than on a per-stage basis. This results in higher than average end-stage bonuses that increase steadily as the game goes on. This makes it possible for the 2P side to score higher than the 1P side (in theory) and puts a slightly greater scoring value on Small Stars.
- (2P) When using a Laser Type ship, the Stage 2-3 mid-boss is less aggressive than it is on 1P.
- (2P) Hibachi's final attack will only shoot fast bullets, regardless of in-game rank.
Story / Plot
( in progress )
( in progress )
- Despite the variety in bullet visuals, all bullets in DoDonPachi share the same hitbox size. This property is also shared with DoDonPachi DaiOuJou and Ketsui: Kizuna Jigoku Tachi.
- This is the first entry in the DonPachi series that introduces Hibachi as the True Last Boss awaiting at the end of the game.
- In what could very well be the rarest known glitch in the DonPachi series, the MAXIMUM Bomb Bonus can have its bonus value corrupted. This glitch was likely originally discovered by Japanese superplayers shortly after the game's release, with its details kept secret for decades (to an even greater degree compared to another glitch, "Double GP" aka "Glitcho").
- The first known public mention of the Corrupted MAXIMUM Bonus was in December 2016 by the user "khinra" on the System11 forums. It was originally suspected to be fake by many skilled players in the community, however reverse engineering of the DoDonPachi MAME ROM set revealed that the report was indeed legitimate.
- The technical details of the glitch can be viewed here, however in brief: should enough slowdown be generated prior to a player picking up a bomb item to trigger the MAXIMUM Bomb Bonus, there is roughly a 1 in 8000 chance for a vertical blank interrupt to corrupt the MAXIMUM Bonus value held within the game's memory stack (output by a function which converts the value for said Bonus from an unsigned 16-bit integer to binary-coded decimal).
- "Differences between 1P and 2P player sides (various games)", by Plasmo | https://shmups.system11.org/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=64256
- Confirmation of Bee perfect requirements for the second loop provided by Juju Kenobi | via STG Rev. 2020 Discord
- Boss HIT calculations provided by moozooh | via STG Rev. 2020 Discord
- Laser strength and activation speed tested and confirmed by Plasmo | via STG Rev. 2020 Discord
- Other various information confirmations and suggestions provided by Plasmo and Juju Kenobi | via STG Rev. 2020 Discord
- Technical explanation of Corrupted MAXIMUM Bomb Bonus by Olifante | via STG Rev. 2020 Discord
- Primary info provided by CHA-STG