DoDonPachi SaiDaiOuJou

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For world record scores, please refer to the Hall of Records entry.
For replays, please refer to the Video Index.
For information about the exA Label arcade release, or the exA Label game mode, please refer to DoDonPachi SaiDaiOuJou exA Label.

Game logo, as used for the Xbox 360 release.
DoDonPachi SaiDaiOuJou
SDOJ X360 Title.png

Title screen (Xbox 360 port)

Developer: CAVE
Music: Manabu Namiki
Akari Sengoku
Azusa Chiba
Yoshimi Kudo
Program: Tsuneki Ikeda
Shinobu Yagawa
Art: Nagi Ryou
Release date: Arcade
JP: April 20, 2012
Xbox 360
JP: May 30, 2013
Previous game: DoDonPachi DaiFukkatsu Black Label

DoDonPachi SaiDaiOuJou

DoDonPachi SaiDaiOuJou (怒首領蜂最大往生 "Angry Leader Bee True Death", abbreviated: DDP SDOJ or just SDOJ) is the seventh game developed in the Donpachi series, and the sixth developed by CAVE. This game was intended to be the final arcade game that CAVE would release. Unlike its predecessor DoDonPachi DaiFukkatsu, which had a heavy emphasis on bullet canceling using the "Hyper Counter" mechanic, SaiDaiOuJou was designed to be mechanically simpler, with more focus on raw bullet dodging. As the name suggests, SaiDaiOuJou has many mechanical similarities to DoDonPachi DaiOuJou.

SDOJ saw a "Version 1.5" release on the XBOX 360 in order to fix perceived issues with the scoring mechanics in the original game, as well as a brand new Xbox 360 Mode with new mechanics and an increased focus on story and characters. The XBOX 360 port also features an option to disable the infamous GP "overflow" bug in the original game, which allows for extremely large point gain in a short amount of time when triggered.

A second arcade release of the game, DoDonPachi SaiDaiOuJou exA Label, was announced in 2020 for the EXA-Arcadia arcade platform. It was released on November 29th, 2020 after a delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Exa Label includes a port of the original arcade release of SaiDaiOuJou, an updated rework of the Xbox 360 port's Xbox 360 Mode (in the form of X-Arrange), a new Exa Label arrangement featuring gameplay somewhat similar to DoDonPachi DaiFukkatsu Black Label, and a mode allowing players to immediately challenge the second true last boss, Inbachi.

A limited-release mobile game based on SaiDaiOuJou, known as DoDonPachi Ichimen-Bancho, was also produced. Originally available for iOS, it has since become unavailable to download. Though reusing many assets and mechanics, it is a dramatically different game.

Gameplay Overview

Screen Elements




Control Explanation

DoDonPachi SaiDaiOuJou uses three buttons and an 8-direction joystick per Player during gameplay. Each Player also has a Start button that is used to begin the game after coin entry or Continue after a Game Over. No differences are known between playing on 1P side and 2P side (other than the HUD position), so a cabinet can be configured on either side when using a 1-Player control panel without affecting gameplay.

Diagram showing the lever and button configuration used in DoDonPachi SaiDaiOuJou. A Start button is not shown, but also required.
Lever Movement
A (Tap) Fire a brief burst of Shot - a wide, unfocused shot that allows the ship to move at high speed.
Tap repeatedly for continuous fire.
A (Hold) Fire a focused Laser.
Using the Laser slows movement speed, allowing the Player to dodge with more precision.
B If the Player currently has one or more Hypers available,
they will be consumed, and the Player will enter Hyper mode.
If the Player does not have a Hyper available or they are currently in Hyper mode,
a Bomb will be used. If no Bombs are available, nothing will happen.
C (Tap) Fire a single volley of the Shot.
This fires fewer bullets than a single tap of the A button.
C (Hold) Full Auto. Continuously fires the Shot.
This is effectively the same as repeatedly tapping the A button, but is performed automatically by the game.
Start Begin the game or Continue after a Game Over.

Note: If the Player is holding the C button and then presses and holds the A button, the ship will transition from firing Main Shot to Laser (in other words, the Laser input 'overrides' the Full Auto input). The Player can continue to hold C while firing the Laser, and will return to Full Auto fire as soon as the A button is released. This technique works similarly in other Donpachi series games, and is important at all levels of play.



Similar to DoDonPachi DaiFukkatsu, SaiDaiOuJou does not feature a power-up system. The Player is always at max shot strength, and never needs to collect power-up items. However, their firepower can still be increased using the Hyper system.


A wide, unfocused rapid fire weapon. For all ship types, the Shot covers more screen area than the Laser, and allows the ship to move at higher speed. The exact spread coverage of the Shot varies based on the Ship and Dress System type selected.

Of the two main weapons, the Shot does less damage per hit, but has better screen coverage. It is useful for macro dodging situations, clearing out groups of zako, dealing damage to targets that are too far to the side to be hit by the Laser, and similar tasks. Bullets fired by the Shot will stop when they contact an enemy; they do not have any sort of 'piercing' capability. In limited situations (such as when dealing with large groups of zako) it can also be useful for point-blanking, but the Laser is generally a superior choice due to the Aura damage. Destroying zako with the Shot is believed to contribute slightly more to the GP Meter than damaging them with Laser.

Hitting enemies with the Shot does not contribute to or maintain value of the GP Meter if the enemy is not destroyed.

The Shot will not uncover Hidden Bees and allow them to be collected, but firing the Shot over a hidden Bee will cause it to flicker and become partially visible, which can be useful when learning Bee locations.

In some situations where dense bullet patterns are on screen (such as during the Stage 3 and 5 mid-boss and boss fights), using Shot can cause additional slowdown compared to the Laser due to the higher number of projectiles.

Unlike the other ships, Type-A Shot or Expert variants do extremely good damage with the Shot, and in some specific situations (such as against midbosses or the Stage 3 boss) it seems to actually do more damage than the Laser - though more testing is required to validate this claim with certainty.


A narrow, focused Laser. For all ship types, the Laser covers less screen area than the Shot, and reduces the movement speed of the ship while in use. The exact width of the Laser and impact on movement speed varies based on the Ship and Dress System type selected.

Of the two main weapons, the Laser deals higher damage per hit, but has worse screen coverage. While firing the Laser, the Player's movement speed is temporarily reduced; this can be extremely useful to allow greater precision while dodging. The Laser has a limited ability to 'pierce' through weaker enemies; against zako, the Laser will not be 'pushed back' by contacting their hitboxes. However, against larger and more durable targets, the Laser will be 'pushed back' by the enemy hitbox until it has been destroyed. The Laser is the preferred weapon when point-blanking in most situations due to the extra damage that can be obtained using the Aura.

Dealing damage to large enemies with the Laser maintains the value of the GP Meter, meaning that the Laser is extremely useful in many situations for maintaining the Chain combo when fighting larger enemies, mid-bosses, and bosses.

The Laser must be used to uncover Hidden Bees, but only the tip of the laser will actually uncover the Bee. This means that the Player must 'restart' the Laser (by switching from Shot to Laser, pausing continuous Laser fire, or activating a Hyper) or develop a route such that the Laser is 'pushed back' and then re-extends over the Bee's location. When firing the Laser continuously over a Bee that is currently hidden, the Laser will not cause the Bee to flicker or become partially visible. In other words, the Shot can be used to find Bees, but the Laser must be used to collect them.


While firing the Laser, a small range around the Player ship will start dealing damage. This effect is visualized by particle effects that wrap around the sides of the Player's ship. The purpose of this Aura is to prevent the Player from being killed by collision damage against small enemies while using the Laser, but it can be utilized as an offensive tool.

Damage from the Aura contact and the Laser beam itself is additive. Therefore, to maximize damage, point-blanking an enemy with Laser such that the enemy is also inside the Aura radius is a very powerful technique.

There are slight additional particle effects used around the Player Ship when the Aura is contacting an enemy, but unlike in DoDonPachi DaiFukkatsu this effect is very difficult to see.



Characters / Ships / Styles


The ship's hitbox is 6x6 when using shot or laser, 4x4 on expert. It shrinks to 4x4 in shot/laser and 2x2 on expert when moving horizontally; the shrunk hitbox is centered on the ship when moving right, but is shifted to the right when moving left due to a bug.


Stars (Score Items)

Similar to other games in the Donpachi series, SaiDaiOuJou features collectible star items (officially just called "スコアアイテム" - lit. "score item" ) that are generated from enemy kills and bullet cancels. All Stars on screen can be "vacuumed" and collected automatically by the Player when using the Laser; if you want to avoid collecting Stars automatically, you must use Shot.

There are four ways to generate Stars:

  • Destroying enemies or destructible scenery objects1
  • Destroying an object which causes a bullet cancel (such as the turret buildings in Stage 3)
    • Most Boss and Mid-Boss phases will cause a bullet cancel when destroyed
    • In this case, canceled bullets are converted into Large Stars if the Player is in an active Hyper, and Small Stars if not
  • Activating a Hyper, which cancels all bullets on screen and converts them into Stars
    • In this case, canceled bullets are converted into Large Stars if the Hyper used is level 6 or higher, or Small Stars if not
  • Filling a Hyper meter while currently in an active Hyper, which cancels all bullets on screen and converts them into Stars
Icon Point Value Description
SDOJ LargeStarA.png 1000 pts Large Air Star
Dropped by large airborne enemies, and some large ground enemies (such as the very large tanks in stage 1).
On-screen bullets canceled by a Level 6 or higher Hyper, or by killing a canceling enemy while in an active Hyper, will be converted into Large Air Stars.
The number spawned can vary; see Bonus Stars for more details.
Contribute significantly to the Hyper gauge
SDOJ SmallStarA.png 100 pts Small Air Star
Dropped by most other airborne enemies.
On-screen bullets canceled by a Level 5 or lower Hyper, or by killing a canceling enemy while not in an active Hyper, will be converted into Small Air Stars.
Contribute a little bit to the Hyper gauge
SDOJ LargeStarB.png 5000 pts Large Ground Star
Dropped by large ground enemies.
Contribute significantly to the Hyper gauge
SDOJ SmallStarB.png 500 pts Small Ground Star
Dropped by most other ground enemies.
Contribute a little bit to the Hyper gauge

1 Note that not all destructible elements that might be considered "enemies" will drop stars; for example, the small "drones" deployed by the Stage 4 Boss will not drop Stars when destroyed.

Bonus Stars
Official diagram showing the bonus stars based on GP Meter. From Cave's official site for SaiDaiOuJou.

The number of Large Stars dropped by some larger enemies can vary depending on the current status of the GP Meter. At the very top of the GP Meter, there is a small horizontal bar; the bar will be lit gold when the Meter is filled all the way. While the golden bar is lit, enemies will drop additional Large Stars (or, in some cases, will drop only Large instead of Small stars). This means that players are rewarded for chaining routes which kill larger enemies after many small enemies (and thus, with a full GP Meter), instead of holding laser on large enemies (which will likely not fill the Meter). Large Stars contribute significantly more Hyper and point value than small stars, so this can be an important optimization.

Other Items

Icon Description
SDOJ BombItem.png Bomb Item
Dropped by bomb carrier enemies, usually found before Bosses or after Midbosses.
Increases Player Bomb count by one unless they are already at maximum stock.
If they are at maximum stock, triggers Maximum bonus or increases it by one level.
SDOJ 1Up.png Extend Item
Dropped by the Stage 4 Midboss if defeated without using a Bomb or Auto-Bomb.
Increases Player life stock by one.



For world record scores, please refer to the Hall of Records entry. Note that Japanese World Record authorities, such as JHA and Arcadia, only track runs that reach or defeat one of the True Last Bosses (Hibachi or Inbachi). Even if a run that does not reach a TLB scores higher, it is not considered valid for scoring purposes.

True Last Bosses

Similar to previous games in the Donpachi series, SaiDaiOuJou features secret end-game boss fights that can be triggered by meeting certain conditions.

The unlock conditions are shown in the table below. Miss and Bomb requirements are evaluated when the Player defeats Kouryuu (the Stage 5 Boss). HIT count requirements are evaluated based on the maximum HIT count the Player has reached in the entire credit.[2]

Shot / Laser Expert
Hibachi One or fewer Misses
At least 3 Bee Perfect Stages
Inbachi No Miss
No Bomb
All Bee Perfect Stages
Rank at least 30 Rank at least 15[3][4]
Max HIT Count ≥ 15,000 Max HIT Count ≥ 10,000




Development History

Version Differences


  • The Player has a crystalline "shield" effect when they are invincible. Similar to other CAVE titles, this invincibility shield actually deals an extremely small amount of damage (or rather - all contact between the Player and an enemy will do damage to the enemy, but since it normally also results in the instant death of the Player, it isn't a viable source of damage unless the Player is invincible). The purpose of this damage field seems to be to destroy zako which try to ram into the Player when the Player dies or is respawning. Experimental testing has demonstrated that this "contact damage" does deal continuous damage to bosses, but is not capable of destroying them. At this time, there is no known practical application for it.


References & Contributors


  1. ikotsu, Random Arcade Shit: DoDonPachi SaiDaiOuJou Marquee: CAVE 2012, Nov 7th 2012
  2. slateman, DoDonPachi SaiDaiOuJou Guide: Section 5,, June 28, 2014
  3. The common answer is that Inbachi requires the player to reach rank 40, a statement included on slateman's guide. However, as shown by a replay on NicoVideo this assumption is incorrect.
  4. The correct conditions were found by decompiling the code of the Xbox 360 port.


  1. Page creation and overview CHA-STG
  2. Additions, formatting SMayfield
  3. Reformatting to meet wiki standard template. Controls section. Softdrink