DoDonPachi SaiDaiOuJou exA Label
- A: Shot/Laser
- B: Bomb/Hyper
- C: Rapid Shot
- D: Bomb (exA Label only)
These codes can be input on the name entry screen for an additional sound effect.
Press the below additional buttons when selecting a mode in the menu:
- Left: switch to original music (exA Label, X Arrange only)
- Right: switch to arrange music (Original, Inbachi only)
- B: Activate overflow (Original mode) / Switch B and D buttons (exA Label)
- C: Disable gadgets
- D: Shift all gadgets to the bottom (Tate only)
Exa Label adds a bullet-canceling effect to the Hyper system of SaiDaiOuJou, which bears a strong resemblance to that used in DoDonPachi DaiFukkatsu. The ability of the Player to shoot down incoming bullets with the Hyper is influenced by the level of the Hyper being used and the current Rank; lower-level Hypers are less capable of destroying bullets, and vice-versa.
More generally, Exa Label's scoring system is designed around bullet canceling as one of the core mechanics. In addition to the Hyper, which continuously cancels bullets while in use, the following actions now cause an instantaneous screen-clearing bullet cancel:
- Collecting a Hidden Bee
- Collecting a Bomb Item
- Collecting an Extend Item
- Destroying specific enemies or stage elements
- When compared to SaiDaiOuJou's Original mode, Exa Label features more enemies that cause screen clears. Most notably, the large tanks in Stage 4 and the large flying enemies in Stage 2 now cause a screen clear when defeated.
The duration of these instantaneous cancels varies with Rank; at higher Rank, these cancels last longer. All bullets canceled with instantaneous cancels are converted into Stars, which is crucial for scoring purposes.
Exa Label expands on the Rank system of the base game, increasing the Rank cap to 100 (compared to 50) and making the increase and decrease of Rank more dramatic. The Player has more influence over increasing and decreasing the Rank, and there are scoring and survival incentives for doing so. The table below summarizes the actions that have an effect on Rank:
|Hyper Activation||+(Hyper Level + 5)|
Rank has a significant impact on the game, both in terms of difficulty and scoring potential. The Rank system creates a very strong positive feedback loop: As Rank rises, more opportunities are created to cancel bullets for score and generate Hyper more rapidly through grazing and bullet canceling, and if the Player takes advantage of those opportunities to use more Hypers, they will raise the Rank, and the cycle will repeat. It creates an extremely satisfying gameplay dynamic, but it can also be difficult to control - if the Rank gets high enough, it can be difficult (or at least take many resources) to bring it back down safely.
Rank has the following effects on gameplay:
- Increases bullet speed dramatically
- Increases bullet density dramatically
- At higher Rank, bullets are more difficult to cancel with low-level Hyper Shot. At very high Rank, only a Max (Level 10) Hyper is consistently effective at canceling bullets.
- Bullet patterns change and become more difficult at higher Rank. This is particularly notable against Bosses, which often switch to patterns similar to those from Expert mode in regular SaiDaiOuJou when at high Rank.
- At maxed Rank, all Stars generated by the Hyper and cancel mechanics are Large Stars instead of Small Stars. Large Stars are worth many times more points; maxing Rank is thus crucial for scoring.
Exa Label changes the behavior of the Bomb mechanics slightly when compared to regular SaiDaiOuJou:
- The MAXIMUM bonus has been removed. There is no bonus for excess Bombs in Exa Label.
- There are additional Bomb pickups in most stages.
- The bullet-canceling effect of the Bomb has been enhanced. The initial cancel will produce Large Stars from all on-screen bullets; subsequent canceled bullets during the Bomb's duration will produce Small Stars.
- The Player will only gain a single Bomb back after losing a life.
- The Autobomb system has been revamped:
- Autobomb is forced off, and there is no option to enable it when selecting Ship and Dress types.
- Autobomb is forcibly re-enabled when the Player is on their final life. When there are no lives in stock, the Player will automatically use a bomb when hit; this bomb will consume the entire available bomb stock.
- Note that this can be triggered multiple times - if the Player gains another life after triggering the Autobomb, then dies, they will get another Autobomb on their 'new' final life.
In general, Bombs have been converted into a more strategic resource. The penalty for using them has been removed; there is no benefit (aside from an inconsequential one-time score bonus) for collecting surplus Bombs, so the Player is encouraged to use them intentionally. As noted in the Rank explanation above, using a Bomb manually reduces the Rank by 10 points, which makes them extremely valuable tools for Rank control. They also do significant damage to all targets on screen, and provide a long period of invulnerability - these properties can be used to deal massive damage to high-priority targets safely, like boss parts. The continuous generation of Stars (and thus Hyper meter) also makes Bombs strategically valuable to rapidly rebuild Hypers in certain scoring situations.
Bombs are extremely strong and versatile in Exa Label, and it is in the Player's interest to use them often!
Exa Label mode changes the behavior of the Hyper system from the original game. As mentioned above, the Shot from an active Hyper will cancel incoming bullets; the effectiveness of the Hyper at canceling bullets is proportional to the level of the active Hyper. Similar to canceled bullets in DoDonPachi DaiFukkatsu, canceled bullets in Exa Label will occasionally spawn a 'secondary bullet' that will be aimed directly at the player. These secondary bullets move at high speed, and can be extremely dangerous if they spawn at strange angles or unexpected times. Care must be taken when switching between Hyper Shot and Hyper Laser, or when approaching the end of a Hyper, to manipulate the secondary bullets in a way that allows them to be safely dodged. Secondary bullets appear more frequently at higher rank, but whether this is because of an intentional game balance decision or because there are simply many more bullets on screen at higher rank is not currently known.
The duration of the Hyper is also influenced by the Hyper level, and for low-level Hypers is significantly shorter than the Hyper duration in original SaiDaiOuJou. Somewhat unintuitively, this is actually a beneficial feature for scoreplay; shorter duration low-level Hypers can be used to rapidly raise Rank in the early stages, which is crucial for score routing.
The initial activation of the Hyper will cancel all bullets currently on screen into Stars. Bullets canceled by the Hyper Shot are also converted into Stars. If Rank is maxed at 100, all Stars generated this way will be Large Stars.
An important note for players accustomed to the Hyper mechanics of the base game - Hypers in Exa Label have significantly fewer invulnerability frames when activated!
Exa Label also gives the Player more options to build and recharge Hypers. In addition to the chain-based Hyper generation mechanics of the original game, SaiDaiOuJou Exa Label adds new mechanisms to rapidly gain Hyper meter:
- Bullet Grazing
- Seemingly taking some inspiration from DoDonPachi II: Bee Storm, grazing incoming bullets will increment the Hyper gauge. Though only a small increase per-bullet, when grazing large numbers of bullets this can cause Hypers to build extremely quickly. Bullets will display a differently colored 'aura' effect when they are being grazed.
- Collecting Hidden Bees
- Collected Bees now give a minimum of 1 full level of Hyper charge. However, because the Bees also cancel bullets into Stars, it is possible to cancel a large number of bullets when collecting a Bee and gain more than one Hyper as a result of the subsequent Star collection. The final bee in a Bee Perfect stage does not contribute any additional levels.
Overall Game Changes
Exa Label mode makes several balance and gameplay adjustments to the overall game that cannot be neatly categorized.
Many bullet patterns are significantly re-tuned or redesigned. This is most notable with Boss patterns, particularly against Byakko and Seiryuu (the Stage 2 and 4 Bosses, respectively). Seiryuu's first phase patterns have been adjusted to be more consistent, while the final pattern of the fight has been made significantly more aggressive, resulting in a completely different dodging and safespot strategy.
Bosses and Mid-Bosses now feature destructible parts, each with their own separate health pools and lifebars. Destroying all parts of the boss sometimes causes patterns to become much more dangerous, but sometimes weakens them considerably. As each part is destroyed, the enemy may react (for example, they might be blown sideways by a weapon explosion), and the subsequent patterns may change. These parts can offer unique situations for survival play - the parts themselves block damage to the 'main body' of the Boss or Mid-Boss, so destroying them is sometimes a necessity. In some cases (such as the fight against Kouryuu at the end of Stage 5), a well-placed Bomb can be used to quickly damage or destroy multiple parts at once, and trivialize an otherwise-difficult part of the fight. Learning which parts to destroy, and when, can be very useful when planning Boss encounters.
Additionally, the Extend item condition during the Stage 4 Mid-Boss fight has also been adjusted. In addition to a no-bomb requirement, in Exa Label the Player must also defeat the Mid-Boss with an active Hyper to receive the Extend item.
- Grazing charges hyper.
- Rank increases bullets and bee/bomb/1up cancel duration.
- Hypers cancel to small stars on activation and big stars on activation resulting in rank >= 100.
- Cancelling bullets increases hits and gives some points.
- Star values are multiplied by hit counter.
- Bombing cancels to big stars on start and then for duration cancels to small stars.
X Arrange is inspired from the Xbox 360 exclusive arrange, with the below notable differences:
- The HP counter continuously drains during gameplay. It is possible to replenish it by picking up items or destroying bosses.
- Shot is the same difficulty as Laser.
- Slowdown is based on exA Label.
The HP counter continuously drains at an estimated rate of 20 HP / second. It is halved during boss fights to 10 HP / second.
The following actions affect the counter:
- Destroying a boss: +1000
- Destroying a midboss: +800
- Picking up the 8th bee in a stage: +500
- Destroying a boss part: +400
- Picking up a bee item: +200
- Picking up a big star during hyper: +7
- Picking up a small star during hyper: +3
- Picking up a big star outside of hyper: +1
- Manual bomb: -1200
- Autobomb: -2000
A few non-game-breaking bugs are present, mostly related to Freeplay and mode disable.
- When other modes are disabled, pressing the start button in freeplay during the demonstration will start a credit with 3 lives, even if the default was changed in the test menu.
- If only exA Label is enabled, pressing left and start on the title menu will disable the music in stage instead of switching to the original soundtrack.
References & Contributors