Difference between revisions of "Ibara"

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=== Special Mode ===
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=== Test Mode ===

Revision as of 15:42, 16 November 2020

Ibara
Ibara TitleScreen.png

Ibara title screen

Developer: CAVE
Official site: IBARA: Cave Co. Ltd.
Music: Shinji Hosoe
Program: Shinobu Yagawa
Art: Tomoyuki Kotani
Release date: Arcade
JP: July 15, 2005[1]
PlayStation 2
JP: February 23, 2006[2]
Next game: Pink Sweets: Ibara Sorekara

Ibara 鋳薔薇

For world record scores, please refer to the Hall of Records entry.
For information about the Black Label version, please refer to Ibara Kuro: Black Label.

Ibara Title.png

Gameplay Overview

(ED: Someone just copied from Wikipedia for this, lol. This is really bad and will be improved in due time. In the meantime, even though I hate it, it's probably still better than no introduction)

Ibara (鋳薔薇) is very similar to 8ing/Raizing's Battle Garegga and Battle Bakraid games. So much so that Ibara could be considered a pseudo-sequel or, at least, a spiritual successor. The similarities are numerous - some are subtle, some are easily spotted. These include combining archaic technology such as biplanes with more advanced machinery; firing and a power-up system; and a medal collecting system which drastically increases scoring. The game features a similar method of earning bombs and a delay when launching them as well. Some of the enemies and their attack patterns are very familiar such as the large cranes in stage 1 and the minigun-wielding first boss. The enemy's explosions spiral around when destroying some of the heavier weapons/scenery and thin, while seemingly camouflaged enemy bullets are scattered around the play area in comparable patterns. More subtle references include the HUD layout which lists the name of the current stage at the top of the screen and, when starting a stage, tells users the title of the background music that is playing.

A notable feature of Ibara is the inclusion of a variable, real-time difficulty system by way of the Rank system. The player's rank increases as they acquire more items and cause more damage, increasing the difficulty of the game along with it. The number of enemies does not increase but the number of bullets fired towards the user does, often reaching a ridiculous level of bullet density. There are ways of lowering this rank system if the odds appear too much. The only known way of decreasing the player's Rank in Ibara is to die. The more lives you have, the less the rank decreases when you die. In the later version, Ibara Kuro: Black Label, Rank can be decreased by cancelling bullets with a bomb, however Rank also increases much faster in this version, potentially increasing from minimum to maximum in a matter of seconds.

Game Modes


Ibara has three different playable game modes. In addition to the standard game mode, there are also a Harder and an Extended play mode available. These modes are meant for experienced players, and significantly increase the game difficulty.

Note that there are separate leaderboards for each game mode, so it does not convey any scoring advantage to play on Harder or Extended unless the goal is specifically to compete in one of those modes.

When pressing the Start button to begin a credit, a directional input from the joystick can change the mode for that credit:

Direction Input Held Game Mode Description
None Normal The standard gameplay mode.
Up Harder A gameplay mode that dramatically increases the game difficulty. Begins with greatly elevated Rank.
Down Extended A two-loop gameplay mode. The first loop is equivalent to the normal gameplay mode, while the second loop is equivalent to Harder difficulty.*

When playing in Harder or Extended modes, extra text will appear in the top-center of the in-game HUD to indicate the currently selected mode.

*More accurately, upon reaching the end of the first loop, the game will adjust the minimum Rank value to match the minimum Rank found in Harder mode. This may or may not have an immediate impact on game difficulty depending on the current Rank value when the first loop was completed; if it is higher than this adjusted minimum, it is not believed to be reduced upon looping.

Screen Elements


HUD Overview with labeled elements.

HUD

Ibara's HUD layout is relatively simple compared to other CAVE titles, and should be very familiar to players of other Yagawa games, such as Battle Garegga.

The HUD shows the current score, Life Stock, Full Bomb Stock, and Bomb Fragment Stock for both Players, along with the name of the current Stage and the top score from the score table.* The two Player HUD layouts are mirror images of each other. If only one Player is currently in-game, the other half of the HUD will be hidden. The HUD image shown here displays the Player 1 configuration, and highlights the screen regions where the Player 2 elements would be displayed if they were present.

A Player 1 Life Stock
B Player 1 Score
C Player 1 Full Bomb Stock
D Player 1 Bomb Fragment Stock
E Current Stage name
F Highest score on the score table*
G Player 2 Score
H Player 2 Life Stock
I Player 2 Bomb Fragment Stock
J Player 2 Full Bomb Stock

*On the PCB, Ibara's score table can be configured to save scores indefinitely or reset them every time the game is powered off. Without knowing the machine configuration, it is impossible to know whether the TOP score represents an all-time high score for this machine, or simply the highest score that has been achieved this power cycle.

An example of horizontal scrolling. Only about 75% of the full Stage width is visible at any one time.

Scrolling

Ibara is a vertically scrolling shooter, so the background and 'ground level' stage elements are constantly scrolling from top to bottom. The rate of this scroll is mostly constant, though in some specific areas (notably, the boss arenas of Stage 5 and 6) the scroll speed slows down or stops completely.

However, Ibara, like many other CAVE games, also features a horizontal scroll. As the Player moves left and right across the screen, the background layer (and thus, 'grounded' enemies, items, and stage elements) will also move slightly. The background scrolls much slower horizontally than the Player's movement speed, which creates a parallax effect.

At any given time, the horizontal scrolling creates a 'viewport' that is approximately 75% (3/4) of the actual stage width. This is an important concept to understand, because enemy and item spawns are based on stage position, not screen position.

Approximate dead zones.
Red = no damage.
Blue = no items.
Purple = no damage and no items.
On the left, the Player correctly accounts for dead zones, and gets many item drops from defeated drones. On the right, the Player does not account for dead zones and gets no items.

Dead Zones

Ibara has several screen regions that have a mechanical impact on gameplay by reducing enemy damage or item drops. These are known as dead zones.

There are two different kinds of dead zones in Ibara:

No Damage Zone Enemies or stage elements within these areas will not take damage while they are inside the dead zone.*
No Item Zone Airborne enemies defeated within these areas will not drop items.**

As a general rule, the very top and bottom edges of the screen (below the HUD elements) are No Damage Zones.

The No Item Zones are on the left and right edges of the screen, and are less easily identifiable. There is, however, a visual cue that can be used when trying to find the No Item Zones. Aligning the center of a left slot Option with the left edge of the screen, or vice-versa, should position the Player on the border of the No Item dead zone.

*It is not currently known whether all damage is negated within these zones, or simply greatly reduced. There is some evidence to suggest damage is still taken by enemies within these regions, albeit at a drastically reduced rate.
**This applies specifically to small airborne enemies that would drop according to the Item Drop Table; larger airborne enemies like the Stage 4 airships appear to be unaffected.

Controls


Control Explanation

Ibara uses only two primary buttons and an 8-direction joystick in gameplay. Each button can fulfill multiple functions based on how it is pressed or released, which can be a bit confusing for new players.

Note: It is quite important that Ibara be played on a 2-Player capable cabinet, since playing on Player 1 or Player 2 side will change the ship the Player will use in-game. This can have a dramatic impact on the game, as the two playable ships are mechanically distinct from each other and have different scoring and survival potential. For more information, please refer to Ships.

Ibara Controls.png
Joystick Movement.
A (Tap) Fire a short burst from the Main Shot and any Options.
While tapping, Options will not lock in position, and will change their angle based on movement.
By rapidly tapping and then holding A, the autofire rate can be increased. Autofire rate will remain elevated until the next death.
A (Hold) Continuously fire the Main Shot and any Options.
While the button is held, Options may lock and hold a fixed angle. Which Options will lock, if any, is based on what Ship Type is selected.
B (Tap) Use a Bomb if at least one Bomb Fragment is in stock.
B (Hold) If you have at least one Full Bomb in stock, holding the B button will 'Arm' a Hadou. A Hadou will remain Armed until the button is released.
B (Release) If you have an Armed Hadou, releasing the B button will cause the Hadou to fire.
Start Begin the game or Continue after a Game Over.
While in game, removes any Special Option formations the Player may have collected.

Movestrips

Ships


Though Ibara features two playable ships, there is no ship or character select screen. Instead, the ship choice is dependent on whether the game is being played on Player 1 side or Player 2 side.

The two ships are mechanically very distinct from each other. As mentioned in Controls, it is quite important that an Ibara cabinet be equipped with a 2-player control panel so that the Player can choose which ship to use.

Each of the two playable Ships has a further four possible 'subtypes'; similar to Battle Garegga, the choice of subtype is dependent on what buttons the Player is pressing when the game starts. Unlike Garegga, however, in Ibara the subtype selection occurs immediately when the Start button is pressed. By holding different combinations of the A and B buttons when the Start button is pressed to begin the game, the Player can select a subtype per the following table:

Button Held Ship Subtype
None Type A
A Type B
B Type C
A & B Type D

As a practical example, if one coin is in the machine, pressing and holding the P1 side A button while pressing the P1 side Start button will result in starting a game as Bond, Type B.

Player 1: Bond

Portrait of the Player 1 character, Bond.
Bond's ship in Ibara, named the Silister Similis. Faster movement and more forward focused Shot compared to the Player 2 ship.
Bond's bomb variants by ship subtype.
From left to right:
Type A - Forward wide spread
Type B - Straight forward
Type C - Homing
Type D - Forward thrown

Character: Negotiator Agent 01, Bond
Ship: Silister Similis

Of the two playable ships, Bond is overall faster and more 'linear'. Across all ship subtypes, Bond has moderate to high movement speed and a Main Shot that is primarily focused forwards.

Though both ships are very viable for survival and intermediate scoring, Bond is considered slightly more difficult for survival play due to the narrow Shot width. In several areas (notably stages 4, 5, and 6), Bond players may struggle to deal with enemies approaching from multiple angles at once. Good Option control is essential for Bond players to compensate for his linear Shot; however, this reliance on Options can also make recoveries difficult if the Player is not able to recapture dropped Options after dying.

Because of his higher movement speed, Bond is capable of catching falling Medals and other Items more easily than Dyne. He is currently thought to have overall higher scoring potential compared to Dyne, though not by a large margin. The current World Record score was achieved with Bond.

Ship Subtype Movement Speed Lockable Options Bomb Style Shot Style
Type A Moderate All Fired forward in a 'V' spread.
Screen coverage varies based on Bomb Fragment count; a Full Bomb will cover almost the entire screen.
Mostly forward focused shot with slight spread.
Type B Moderately Slow All Fired directly forward in an inverted 'V' wave.
Screen coverage varies based on Bomb Fragment count; a Full Bomb will cross the entire screen.
Straight forward shot.
Type C Fast Left and Right Homing missile with continuous trail
Screen coverage varies based on Bomb Fragment count. Can be difficult to control when many enemies are present.
Forward focused shot with some piercing effects; bullets can travel through enemies.
Type D Very Fast Rear Forward thrown bomb
Screen coverage and position are constant regardless of Bomb Fragment count. Fragments modify duration and damage.
Straight forward shot.

Player 2: Dyne

Portrait of the Player 2 character, Dyne.
Dyne's ship in Ibara, named the Dio Spirossi. Slower movement speed and wider spread Shot compared to the Player 1 ship.

Character: Negotiator Agent 02, Dyne
Ship: Dio Spirossi

Of the two playable ships, Dyne is overall slower and more 'spread'. Across all ship subtypes, Dyne has a slow to moderate movement speed and a Main Shot that has some spread coverage to either side.

Though both ships are very viable for survival and intermediate scoring, Dyne is considered slightly easier to play for survival because of the wider field of fire. Dyne does not need to rely on Options as much as Bond to compensate for Main Shot width, and has bombs that are more universally useful for clearing large areas of the screen.

To counteract this, Dyne struggles a bit with catching Point Medals and other Items, and requires more proactive play in certain areas to avoid drops. Dyne's lower movement speed can also be an issue when attempting to dodge certain boss patterns that are usually macroable with Bond. Though excellent scores are still achievable, Dyne is thought to have slightly lower overall score potential when compared to Bond.


(ED: Verify Dyne subtype details and create Bomb Chart.)

Ship Subtype Movement Speed Lockable Options Bomb Style Shot Style
Type A Slow All Fired forward in a 'V' spread.
Screen coverage varies based on Bomb Fragment count; a Full Bomb will cover almost the entire screen.
Spread shot.
Type B Very Slow All Aimable spread wave.
Screen coverage varies based on Bomb Fragment count; a Full Bomb will cross the entire screen. Travels opposite the Player's movement direction for a brief period.
Shot begins with some width, but converges as it travels.
Type C Moderately Slow Left and Right Radial bomb surrounding the ship.
Screen coverage varies based on Bomb Fragment count.
Shot begins with some width, but converges as it travels.
Type D Moderate Rear Left and right thrown bombs.
Screen coverage and position are constant regardless of Bomb Fragment count. Fragments modify duration and damage.
Wide 3-way Shot.

Weapons


Main Shot

The Main Shot is fired by pressing or holding the A button. The Main Shot has a built-in autofire system that will fire continuously when the button is held down. Similar to Battle Garegga, rapidly pressing and then holding the Main Shot button will increase this autofire rate; however, unlike in Garegga, raising the autofire in this way does not have a known multiplicative effect on per-frame rank. Any elevated autofire rate will be reset upon death, but can be raised again in the same way.

Though the Main Shot itself behaves the same when tapping or holding the A button, holding the button down may trigger Options to lock depending on what Ship Type was chosen at the start of the game.

The strength and spread of the Main Shot is influenced by the Ship Type chosen, and by the Power Up system.

Main Shot Power Up

The Main Shot can be strengthened through 6 different levels. In order to raise the Shot to the next power level, a Power Up item must be collected. Again similar to Battle Garegga, there are both Small and Large Power Up items. A Large Power Up will always raise the Main Shot to the next power level, but depending on the current power level, it may take multiple Small Power Ups. The exact requirements are listed in the table below:[3]

Power Level Transition Small Power Ups Required
Lvl.1 → Lvl.2 1
Lvl.2 → Lvl.3 2
Lvl.3 → Lvl.4 3
Lvl.4 → Lvl.5 4
Lvl.5 → Lvl.6 5

The exact impact of the power levels varies depending on the Ship Type chosen, but in general, increasing the shot power level will result in the Player firing more bullets, dealing more damage per shot, and/or covering a wider region of the screen.

Special Power Up

There is a secret 'Special' power level that can be reached by intentionally letting 5 Small Shot Power Up items fall off the screen, then collecting the next one. This will immediately bring the Main Shot to the highest possible power level. Though somewhat tricky to set up, it can be used to immediately gain full power.[3]

(ED: Verify the requirements for the Special Power Up)
(ED: Add images showing the Main Shot at different power levels and/or with different ship types)

Options

The Player can have up to three Options in Ibara; one Option can be placed on either side of the Player ship, with the third in the rear. Options fire automatically every time the Main Shot fires, and cannot be used independently of the Main Shot. Increases in the Main Shot fire rate will also increase the fire rate of Options, though the relationship is not 1:1. Depending on the Ship Type chosen by the Player, one or more Options may be 'lockable', and will hold their current angle when the Main Shot button is held down. Options are collected in the form of items, and are not directly linked to the main Power Up system used for the Main Shot. There are seven different Option weapons that can be collected, and each of the three mounted Options may use a different weapon type.

Option Slots
Diagram indicating the approximate collection zones for each Option Slot.
Red - Left Option Slot
Green - Right Option Slot
Blue - Rear Option Slot
Flowchart describing the Option collection process and possible results.

ED: Update the Option Collection Diagram; it's currently slightly inaccurate.

Options can occupy three different logical slots:

  • Left of the Player Ship
  • Right of the Player Ship
  • Behind the Player Ship

Depending on where on the Player's item collection hitbox a new Option is collected, and how many Options the Player currently has equipped, a newly collected Option may occupy a different Slot. Each Option Slot has a 'slice' of the collection hitbox that can be thought of as a 'third' of the circle outlined by the Player ship; Options collected in the bottom third of this circle will occupy the Rear Slot, those collected in the left third of this circle will occupy the Left slot, etc.

The Options themselves also have a collection hitbox, but this collection hitbox only works for collecting other Options. Using a mounted Option to collect a new Option is a very reliable way to control which slot will be occupied, as the newly collected Option will always occupy the same slot as the previous one (provided the Player already has three Options).

Prior to having all three Option slots populated, any Option picked up will be used to 'fill up' open slots, regardless of where on the Player ship the Option item is collected. However, once the Player has all three Options, the position on the Player ship where an Option is collected will influence where the new Option will try to mount. A newly collected Option that tries to replace a mounted Option of the same type, in the same position, will contribute 10,000 points to the score.

For example, if the Player already has a single Option in the right position and collects a Machine Gun on the right side, it will be automatically assigned to the left or rear Option slots. However, if the Player already has three Options, the Machine Gun will try to mount on the right side. If the existing Option mounted to the right position is already a Machine Gun, and the Player already has three Options, the Player will gain 10,000 points instead.

Special Option Formations

Ibara also has several special Option Formations that can be obtained by fulfilling certain conditions. These special formations change the aiming and movement behavior of the Options. They may or may not be useful depending on the current situation. If a Special formation is no longer of use to the Player, it can be canceled by pressing the Start button (see Controls for more details).

When a Special Option Formation is collected, it will change the behavior of all currently equipped Options. However, when a new Option is equipped, it will not 'inherit' the special behavior. For example, if the Player collects Wide with three Machine Guns, and then changes one of their options to a Rocket, the Rocket will not have the Wide behavior.

(ED: Add images to show the different Special Option Formations)

Formation How to Obtain Description
Wide Pick up 5 consecutive Option items, then pick up the next Option item. Left and Right Options angle dramatically outwards and will no longer rotate, regardless of Ship Type. Rear Option points forward.
Generally not very useful; normal Option behavior is usually better in all situations. With 3x 5-Way Options it produces amazing screen coverage, however.
Search Pick up 5 consecutive Bomb Fragments, then pick up the next Option item. Options will aim at enemies automatically, and remain 'locked on' without Player intervention.
Extremely useful at the final section of Stage 4, and easy to set up by collecting bomb fragments from the large enemy airships before picking up the Rocket they drop. However, it is sometimes detrimental, since it removes the ability to target specific enemies or boss parts.
Rolling Pick up 5 consecutive Medals, then pick up the next Option item. Options rotate continuously while firing.
Currently has no known practical applications.
Back Pick up 5 consecutive small Shot Power Ups, then pick up the next Option item. Options point backwards instead of forwards.
Currently has no known practical applications.
Option Types

Below is a table describing the different Option weapon types that are available in Ibara. Note that weapon 'availability' is used to describe consistent drops; there are some enemy types (notably, fixed turrets) that can spawn with random weapons, so their drops may vary between runs. For the purposes of clarity and utility as a reference, this table indicates only drops that are consistent between runs regardless of enemy RNG.

Ibara MachineGun.png Machine Gun
Common; available in all stages
Low damage, high continuous rate of fire. Great for precision damage against large enemies, handling zako rushes, or drone milking.
Ibara Gatling.png Gatling
Common; available in all stages
Low damage, short burst fire. Similar applications to the Machine Gun, but slightly less consistent due to gaps between bursts.
Ibara 5Way.png 5-Way
Uncommon; available in most stages
Very wide spread shot, great for crowd control or point blank damage. 3x 5-Way can be excellent for survival in parts of Stage 4, 5, and 6.
Ibara Burner.png Burner
Rare; available in stages 2 and 6
High damage in bursts. Persists on screen for a while, good for space control. Produces the most tick points per second of any Option type.
Ibara Napalm.png Napalm
Uncommon; available in stages 2, 3, and 6
High damage with a small AoE explosion. Has some gaps between shots, so it can sometimes struggle against dense zako rushes.
Ibara Rocket.png Rocket
Common; available in stages 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6
Medium damage, but pierces multiple enemies or boss parts. Excellent against large targets. Raises Rank at the highest rate of all Option types.
Ibara Homing.png Homing
Rare; available in stage 3 and 5
Medium damage homing weapon. Extremely rare, the only consistent drop is Kasumi (Stage 3 Boss). Generally outclassed by other Options.

Bombs

Example of a Full Bomb in Ibara, showing range and destructive power.
Ship: Bond, Type A

Bombs are a secondary weapon in Ibara, alongside the Main Shot and Options. Bombs are capable of dealing very high amounts of damage, can cancel incoming bullets, and can cover huge areas of the screen. As explained in Controls, Bombs are used by tapping the B button, and can be fired as long as the Player has at least one Bomb Fragment in stock.

When activated, a Bomb has the following effects:

  • Creates an Aura Flash around the Player ship, capable of dealing damage and canceling bullets for a very brief period.
  • Grants a short burst of invulnerability to the Player.
  • Creates an explosion on screen that deals heavy damage to enemies within the explosion radius. The actual explosion and damage effects of the Bomb may or may not have a delay or spread over time, depending on the Ship type chosen. The current Fragment count may also influence the strength and radius of the Bomb explosion (again, depending on the chosen Ship Type).
  • Consumes Full Bombs or Bomb Fragments from the Player stock.

Because they grant invulnerability (albeit very briefly) and are capable of canceling bullets, Bombs are a very powerful survival tool - though for this purpose they are generally outclassed by the Hadou Gun, if the Player has at least one Full Bomb available. Note that as a 'panic' survival tool, Bombs in Ibara are not as useful as the screen-clearing bombs found in other Cave games; the invulnerability period is much shorter, and the bullet cancel effect is much more limited.

Bombs are extremely important for scoring purposes, as enemies are worth different amounts of points when destroyed with a Bomb, and may drop additional Items. In many cases, enemies are worth significantly more points when defeated with a Bomb compared to when defeated with the Main Shot or Options. There are also several environmental elements that interact with Bombs to reveal Point Medals.

Bomb Stock
Chart showing Player 1's Bomb Stock in different example configurations.
A - 0 bombs, 0 fragments
B - 0 bombs, 1 fragment
C - 0 bombs, 24 fragments
D - 2 bombs, 24 fragments
E - 4 bombs, 40 fragments

Bombs are a finite resource; Bomb ammunition is limited, and must be collected from the environment in the form of Bomb Fragments or rare Full Bomb items. Up to 40 Fragments and 4 Full Bombs may be carried at any one time. The current Bomb Fragment and Full Bomb stock is shown on the lower edge of the screen (see HUD overview for details). A Full Bomb is composed of 40 Fragments; when the player collects the 40th Fragment, the Fragments are converted into a Full Bomb and the Fragment count is emptied. If the Player is already at maximum capacity, surplus Fragments and Full Bombs will contribute a small point bonus when collected instead.

The following table explains the different ways in which Bombs and Bomb Fragments can be collected:

Action Bombs Gained
Collect a Bomb Fragment 1 Fragment
Collect a Full Bomb 1 Full Bomb*
Begin a credit 20 Fragments
Respawn after losing a life 20 Fragments

*If the Player already has 4 Full Bombs in stock when collecting a Full Bomb item, they will instead receive up to 40 Fragments until they reach maximum Fragment capacity.

When a Bomb is used, it will consume one Full Bomb from the Player stock. If the Player does not have any Full Bombs available, it will instead consume all the currently held Bomb Fragments. If the Player does not have at least one Bomb Fragment, they cannot use a Bomb.

Depending on the number of Fragments that were consumed to use the Bomb, the strength, duration, and radius of the Bomb explosion may vary. Which parameters are affected by Fragment count is determined by the Ship type chosen when starting the credit.

Hadou Gun

The Hadou Gun's phases of operation.
A - Hadou is Armed.
B - Hadou has been released but the projectile is still traveling.
C - Hadou projectile has 'stuck' the boss and caused a persistent explosion. It has also left behind a trail.

The Hadou Gun is Ibara's most distinctive weapon, and one of the core gameplay innovations when compared to Battle Garegga and other Yagawa titles. It is an immensely powerful tool for both survival and scoring play. Learning how to use it effectively is an essential skill.

The Hadou Gun, as a weapon, consists of a missile projectile fired from the Player ship. It can only be fired directly upwards, and will be fired from the current Player position. The missile will deal significant damage to anything it touches in flight, usually enough to instantly destroy most small or midsize enemies; however, if it collides with a large target (such as a Boss or Midboss), it will explode on impact.* The explosion from the Hadou missile will 'stick' to whatever it hits. In addition to the explosion, the Hadou missile also creates a trail behind it as it travels.

The Hadou explosion and the Hadou trail both have the following properties:

  • Persist on screen for a few seconds before fading away.
  • Continuously deal damage over time to enemies or destructible objects that collide with them.
  • Cancel all bullets that collide with them into Rose Items, which can be collected for a small point bonus.

Due to the way damage is calculated, significantly more damage is dealt by the Hadou explosion if the Player is not firing their Main Shot or Options. To maximize damage, do not shoot while a Hadou is exploding.

In order to use the Hadou Gun, the Player must have at least one Full Bomb in stock. Unlike Bombs, which can be 'partially' fired using one or more Bomb Fragments at the consequence of reduced damage or area of effect, a Full Bomb is required to use a Hadou.

*There is a phenomenon, believed to be the result of a programming bug, which can cause the Hadou missile to travel 'between' the hitboxes of certain Bosses and Midbosses instead of exploding if aimed precisely. This deals extremely high damage, and can be used as a quick kill technique. For more details, see Ibara/Strategy.

Hadou Usage

The firing process for the Hadou Gun is somewhat unconventional, and has several steps. Unlike the process of using a Bomb, the Hadou firing process is also interruptable; it is possible for the Player to be hit while attempting to use a Hadou, which results in lost resources but no Hadou being fired.

To summarize the full firing process of the Hadou Gun:

  1. The Player must have at least one Full Bomb.
  2. By pressing and holding the B button, a Full Bomb will be consumed.
  3. An Aura Flash will occur around the player, granting them brief invulnerability and dealing damage in a small radius.
  4. A 'laser sight' will extend forward from the Player ship. This consists of two blinking lines. These lines indicate the direction in which the Hadou Gun will fire, and the approximate width of the Hadou trail that will be created.
  5. The Hadou is now 'Armed'. An Armed Hadou can be held indefinitely, even between stages, as long as the Player continues to hold the B button.
  6. Releasing the B button at any time will 'fire' the Hadou.
  7. Once fired, the Hadou missile will begin traveling up the screen. It will leave a trail behind as it travels, and will deal damage to any enemy it collides with during flight.
  8. If the Hadou missile collides with a strong enemy, it will 'stick' and explode.
  9. Both the Hadou trail and explosion will deal continuous damage over time to targets within their areas of effect.

Important notes about this process:

  • The Player only has invulnerability for a very brief period after first Arming the Hadou. If they are killed at any point after step 3, they will lose the Full Bomb, but the Hadou will not be fired.
  • After releasing the Hadou, the Player is immediately able to perform actions with the B button again. This means they can immediately Bomb or even begin Arming another Hadou.

Aura Flash

The 'Aura Flash', at maximum radius.

Also known as Invulnerability Effect  [3]

Aura Flash is a tiny 'flash' around the Player ship that will appear when you Bomb, Power Up to the next full power level for the Main Shot, gain a new or different Option, build a full bomb, or arm a Hadou.* The Aura effect is represented by a ring around the Player that persists for a few frames and grows slightly before fading. The Aura Flash makes the Player briefly invulnerable, cancels a very small ring of bullets around the player, and does a huge amount of damage, but it lasts an incredibly short time and has miniscule range.

Aura Flash counts as 'Bomb' type damage for the purposes of destroying enemies or scenery, so can be used in some situations for scoring purposes or to trigger certain drops. It can also be utilized in conjunction with invulnerability after respawning to 'aggressively suicide' and use the Aura Flash damage from collecting Options to deal heavy damage to Bosses and large enemies; this technique will be explained in more detail in the Strategy section.

*(Note: an Aura Flash does not occur when a Hadou is released, only when it is first armed.)

Items


Item Drop Table

Most airborne enemies (and in very rare situations, some grounded enemies - see list of exceptions below) in Ibara have the ability to drop Items when defeated. However, not every single enemy will drop an item; instead, a 'counter' tracks defeated enemies, and when it reaches certain values,* an Item will be dropped. The number of enemies required to drop an Item varies based on the type of damage used to destroy them, per the following table.

Note: only enemies that will drop from the table will influence the counter - a grounded enemy, boss, or other target will not increment the counter.

Damage Source Required Enemies
Main Shot 5
Option Shot 5
Bomb 1
Aura Flash 1
Hadou Trail 1

To give a practical example, defeating 5 airborne enemies with the Main Shot or Options will drop only 1 Item, but defeating the same 5 enemies with a Bomb will instead drop 5 Items.

If an airborne enemy is going to drop an Item as determined by the counter, it will pull from this table to determine what type of Item to drop: [4][3]

Drop Number Item Type
1 Small Shot Power Up
2 Point Medal
3 Small Shot Power Up
4 Point Medal
5 Machine Gun Option
6-10 Repeat of entries 1-5
11-15 Repeat of entries 1-5
16-20 Repeat of entries 1-5
21 Small Shot Power Up
22 Point Medal
23 Small Shot Power Up
24 Point Medal
25 Large Shot Power Up
26... Repeat starting from 1
Drop Table Strategy

Knowing that Item drops are consistently pulled from a static table allows the Player to infer important information by paying attention to the Items that are currently being dropped. For example:

  • If a Small Shot Power Up has just dropped, the Player can be certain that the next Item to drop will be a Point Medal, and can position themselves to pick it up.
    • This is by far the most important implication of Drop Table mechanics, and can be crucial to maintaining the Medal Chain in challenging areas.
  • If a Large Shot Power Up or Machine Gun has just dropped, the Player can be certain that the next Item to drop will be a Small Shot Power Up, which can allow them to take more risks with movement (performing a large macro dodge or cutback, for example) since they know they will not need to catch a Medal.
  • If the Player has just died, paying attention to the drop order can inform them when to expect to reach certain Shot power levels or obtain Options.
Drop Table Exceptions

There are several noteworthy exceptions to the Drop Table behavior:

  • Almost all Bosses and Boss Parts do not drop from the Table.
    • Several Boss Parts have guaranteed drops, such as Options or Medals. Care should be taken not to confuse these with drops from the Table!
    • Some of the small turrets in the 1st phase of the fight against Teresa Rose (the Stage 6 Boss) are capable of dropping from the Table.
    • 'Drone' enemies spawned by Bosses will drop from the Table. This is crucial to high-level scoring.
  • Midbosses do not drop from the Table.
    • 'Drone' enemies spawned by Midbosses will drop from the Table.
  • Each of the train crates that may spawn in Stage 3 will always drop from the Table, regardless of the type of damage used to defeat them.
  • The small airships in Stage 4 will always drop from the Table, regardless of the type of damage used to defeat them.
  • The medium and large airships in Stage 4 do not drop from the Table.
  • The small planes in Stage 2 will drop from the Table if defeated at most times, but if defeated while they are circling around certain background elements, they will ignore the Table and instead every defeated plane will drop a Point Medal.
  • The small homing missiles fired by the missile tanks and turrets in Stage 5 will drop from the table, despite being projectiles.
  • The small planes that fly through the canal in Stage 5 will drop from the table, despite appearing to be background enemies. However, if defeated with a Hadou Trail, every one of them will drop a Point Medal.

*The exact mechanics of how this works on a programming level are not currently known, but the result in-game is as noted in the tables.

Item Types


Extend Item

Though the primary method of obtaining Extends (extra lives) in Ibara is through scoring, there is a single 'fixed' extend item that can be obtained during a normal playthrough (two are available during an Extended playthrough).

Icon Point Value* Description
Ibara 1UP.png 0? Extend Item
Dropped once by the Stage 4 Midboss if defeated after blowing off both wing tips completely. In Extended mode, a second can be obtained in 2-4 the same way.
Increases the Player's life stock by one when collected, unless they are already at 5 stocked lives.

* The 'surplus bonus' point value of the Extend Item has not yet been experimentally confirmed.

Bomb Items
Icon Point Value* Description
Ibara BombSmall.png 500 Bomb Fragment
Found very commonly on all stages
Adds one Bomb Fragment to the Player stock. If the total number of collected Fragments reaches 40, the Fragment count is reset and the Player is awarded a Full Bomb instead.
Ibara BombLarge.png 5,000 Full Bomb
Obtained as a pickup by destroying all parts of large tanks in Stage 2 and Stage 5, or dropped by the Player when losing their last life
Adds a Full Bomb to the Player stock.

* These are 'surplus bonuses'; the point value is only applied if the item is collected while the Player is already at maximum Bomb Stock (4 full Bombs + 40 Fragments).[3]

Shot Power Ups
Icon Point Value* Description
Ibara Shot Small.png 100 Small Shot Power Up
Dropped by enemies based on the Item Drop Table
Increments the Player's Main Shot power by one 'tick'. Depending on the current Shot level, it may take multiple Small Shot Power Ups to raise the shot strength to the next level.
Ibara Shot Large.png 1,000 Full Shot Power Up
Dropped by enemies based on the Item Drop Table, or by the Player when losing a life
Increments the Player's Main Shot power by one full power level.

* These are 'surplus bonuses'; the point value is only applied if the item is collected while the Player is already at maximum Main Shot power level.

Option Items

All Option items give a 'surplus bonus' of 10,000 Points if the Player has three equipped Options and an identical Option is equipped in the 'slot' that the newly collected Option would occupy.

For example, if a Player already has a Rocket, a 5-Way, and a Machine Gun, collecting a new Machine Gun would contribute 10,000 Points to the score if and only if the new Machine Gun would be 'equipped' to the same location as the existing Machine Gun.

For a more detailed explanation of Option slots, and how they interact with the surplus score bonus for Option collection, refer to Option Slots.

For a list of Option Types and information about their usage and availability, refer to Option Types.

Rose Items

Rose Items are created when canceling enemy bullets with a Hadou explosion or trail, or with the explosion from a Player death animation. They can be collected for a small amount of extra score.

Icon Ibara Opal Rose.png Ibara Garnet Rose.png Ibara Sapphire Rose.png Ibara Ruby Rose.png
Value (Points)    100 200 400 800
Point Medals

Point Medals are dropped by enemies based on the Item Drop Table, or through fulfilling certain special conditions. They are the primary source of score in the game, and can be collected for points.

Initially, the value of Medals is set at only 100 points. By collecting every Medal currently on the screen, the value of the next Medal to drop will rise to the next value above the most recently collected Medal. This 'chain' of Medals can eventually increase up to 10,000 points per Medal. Medal value will reset to 100 points if a Medal falls off the edge of the screen (or, rarely, when it otherwise despawns).

It is possible to 'rescue' a dropped Medal chain by collecting a medal of a higher value. For example, if a 10,000 point medal is on the ground, but the Player misses a Medal dropped from an airborne enemy, collecting the 10,000 point Medal on the ground before it scrolls off the screen will maintain the Medal chain at 10,000 points. This will work even if the Player collects a lower value Medal; in the same hypothetical scenario, if the Player collects a 100 point Medal, then a 10,000 point Medal, the chain value will still rise to 10,000 points - provided there were no other Medals lower than 10,000 points in value on the screen.


From 100 to 900 points, medals increase in value by 100 points each:

Icon Ibara 100 Medal.png Ibara 200 Medal.png Ibara 300 Medal.png Ibara 400 Medal.png Ibara 500 Medal.png Ibara 600 Medal.png Ibara 700 Medal.png Ibara 800 Medal.png Ibara 900 Medal.png
Value (Points)    100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900

From 1,000 to 10,000 points, medals increase in value by 1,000 points each:

Icon Ibara 1000 Medal.png Ibara 2000 Medal.png Ibara 3000 Medal.png Ibara 4000 Medal.png Ibara 5000 Medal.png Ibara 6000 Medal.png Ibara 7000 Medal.png Ibara 8000 Medal.png Ibara 9000 Medal.png Ibara 10000 Medal.png
Value (Points)    1,000 2,000 3,000 4,000 5,000 6,000 7,000 8,000 9,000 10,000

Rank


Rank System Overview

Ibara features a dynamic difficulty, or "Rank" system similar to that found in Battle Garegga. Most actions taken by the Player will increase the Rank, which also continuously rises with every frame of play time. The only known way to decrease the Rank is to die, either by accident or with planned suicides.

Almost every action taken in the game will increase the Rank:

  • Firing a bullet from the main weapon or Options
  • Collecting an item (all items, including Power-Ups, Options, Medals, and even the 1-UP item, will increase Rank)
  • Using a Bomb or Hadou
  • Sealing enemy bullets

Ibara's Rank system is quite complex, but there are a few basic principles that can help new players:

  • The Rank will decrease more if you die with fewer lives in stock. In other words, if you have only 1 spare life and die (thus leaving you with 0 stock), it will decrease the difficulty twice as much as if you died with 2 lives in stock.
  • Partial Bombs will increase rank more rapidly than Full Bombs.
  • The Hadou Gun will increase rank even more rapidly than either kind of Bomb.
  • Collecting Power-Up and Option items will always increase Rank, even if the items do not impart a change to the Player (IE: collecting Power-Up items while at full shot strength will still raise rank).
  • Raising your autofire rate does not affect the per-frame Rank; however, since you are firing bullets more rapidly, it does still affect the rate at which Rank will build over time.

Rank System In-Depth


Rank value is stored internally as a hexadecimal value, which is actually 'inverted' compared to the Player's experience of it - as this value decreases, the game gets harder. Because it is more consistent with the user experience, it is customary to refer to the increase in game difficulty as 'increasing the Rank', even though that is not technically accurate to the internal implementation.

Information in this section is adapted from a document written by Archer (the current World Record holder).[5]

Settings

There are two separate settings determining the rank in Ibara. Difficulty 1 determines only the starting rank and has no further effect on the gameplay. After the player has started a run, the rank is then gradually increasing determined by difficulty 2, which is the per frame rank increase.

Depending on the number of runs played during one continuous session, the starting rank will gradually increase. Starting rank can be reset either by entering the test menu or by powering down the PCB. The values in the table below are taken from the first run after powering up the PCB.

Difficulty 1 (starting rank) Decimal Hexadecimal
Easy 15,204,352 E80,000
Normal [default] 14,680,064 E00,000
Hard 14,155,776 D80,000
Very Hard 13,631,488 D00,000
Super Hard 13,107,200 C80,000
Unbelievable 12,582,912 C00,000
Difficulty 2 (per frame rank)
Slow 12 C
Medium [default] 16 10
Fast 20 14
Very Fast 24 18
Maximum Fast 28 1C
Unforgettable 32 20

Notes:

  • Rank maxes out at 00,000,000 (000,000 in hex) regardless of the difficulty settings.
  • Starting rank for Harder mode is 8,808,032 (866,660 in hex) on default settings.
  • Starting rank for Extended mode is the same as on Normal mode on default settings.
Miscellaneous Actions

Rank is influenced by certain actions of the player, e.g. firing your Shot or picking up an item. All of the actions that have an effect on rank are listed in the tables below. Even though, an increase in difficulty is actually measured by a decreasing rank counter, the numbers below are listed as if the rank counter would count up. This is simply to make things easier to follow.

Action Rank increase in decimal Rank increase in hexadecimal
Death from 1 life > 0 lives -2,097,152 -200,000
Death from 2 lives > 1 life -1,048,576 -100,000
Death from 3 lives > 2 lives -524,288 -80,000
Death from 4 lives > 3 lives -262,144 -40,000
Death from 5 lives > 4 lives -131,072 -20,000
Seal a bullet 4,096 1,000

Notes:

  • Cancelling bullets turning them into rose items has no effect on rank.
  • Grazing enemy bullets has no effect on rank.
Item Collection
Item Rank increase in decimal Rank increase in hexadecimal
100~900 Medals 256 100
1,000~9,000 Medals 1,024 400
10,000 Medal 4,096 1,000
100pt. Rose Item 256 100
200pt. Rose Item 512 200
400pt. Rose Item 768 300
800pt. Rose Item 1,024 400
Shot Power Up (small) 4,096 1,000
Shot Power Up (large) 65,536 10,000
Bomb Item (small) 8,192 2,000
Bomb Item (large) 131,072 20,000
Option Item 65,536 10,000
1-Up Item 524,288 80,000

Notes:

  • Dropping a medal has no effect on rank.
  • Collecting excess items for score has no additional effect on rank.
  • Powering up with with a Shot Power Up (small or large) has no effect on rank.
  • Reaching the next full bomb with a Bomb Item (small or large) has no effect on rank.
  • Triggering any of the Special Options has no effect on rank.
Attacks
Attack (per full burst) Rank increase in decimal Rank increase in hexadecimal
Regular Shot (Shot Level 0~2) 30 1E
Regular Shot (Shot Level 3) 40 28
Regular Shot (Shot Level 4~5 and Special) 50 32
Machine Gun 15 F
5-Way 75 4B
Gatling 15 F
Homing 40 28
Rocket 100 64
Burner 32 20
Napalm 50 32
Bomb (fragment) 20,480 5,000
Bomb (full) 8,192 2,000
Activating a Hadou Gun 69,632 11,000

Notes:

  • The values for Regular Shot have been tested for Dyne (A). They may or may not differ for Bond and the different sub types.
  • While activating a Hadou Gun has an effect on rank as indicated, actually releasing it has no effect on rank.

Scoring


For world record scores, please refer to the Hall of Records entry.
For a thorough explanation of Ibara scoring mechanics, please refer to Ibara/Scoring.

Scoring in Ibara can be broadly divided into five main categories. Here is a quick summary of each category and the main scoring mechanisms within; for more details, please refer to Ibara/Scoring:

  • Item Collection - The primary scoring mechanism in the game. At most levels of play, scoring from Item Collection will form the majority of Player scores.
    • Medaling - Building and maintaining a Medal chain and collecting Point Medals will usually constitute the majority of Player score.
    • Option Surplus Bonuses - Collecting a duplicate Option will provide 10,000 points, which over the course of the game can contribute greatly to the score and supplement Medaling.
  • Boss Milking - Several Bosses and Midbosses can be milked for points through different means. At the highest levels of play, these milks actually contribute the majority of the final score. All boss milks in Ibara involve significant risk, and can easily end a run.
    • Major Milks - These bosses can each contribute millions of points if done properly.
      • Stage 2 Boss: Midi Rose - The final phase can be milked for tick points. Dramatically raises Rank.
      • Stage 3 Boss: Kasumi Rose - The final phase can be milked for drones and item drops. Reliant on RNG, and dramatically raises Rank.
      • Stage 6 Boss: Teresa Rose - The final phase can be milked for drones and item drops.
    • Minor Milks - These milks are still valuable, but much less so compared to those listed above. If done well, perhaps ~200,000 points could be gained from them.
      • Stage 4 Midboss - The tail section can be milked for drones.
      • Stage 4 Boss: Shasta Rose - The 'seed' missiles can be milked for 5,000 points each, but will explode and produce revenge bullets when destroyed. Very dangerous and reliant on RNG.
  • Enemy Destruction - Many enemies, Bosses and Midbosses in Ibara have multiple 'parts' that can be separately destroyed. As each component is worth points, it is optimal to completely destroy every part individually.
  • Damage Optimization - Depending on what kind of damage is used to defeat enemies, they are worth different amounts of points. This can play a significant role in some areas, such as Stage 1.
  • Minor Optimizations - Additional mechanics that play a comparatively minor (though not entirely insignificant) role in scoring. These contribute so little points that they are not worth optimizing for except at the very highest levels of play, and even then, should be low-priority.
    • Tick Points - Firing at invincible boss components generates small amounts of points. This is essential to one of the Boss Milks mentioned above, but is otherwise a very minor optimization.
    • Shot and Bomb Surplus Bonuses - The Surplus Bonuses for collecting Shot and Bomb items while at max capacity can provide some score, but as a general rule, this is not worth the rank increase that will also occur.
    • Bullet Grazing - Bullets that come extremely close to the Player (but do not actually contact the hitbox) will give a small score bonus.
    • Bullet Canceling - Bullets that are canceled by a Boss explosion, Player death animation, Bomb, or Hadou trail will drop roses that can be collected for a small score bonus.

Strategy

Please refer to Ibara/Strategy for a detailed discussion of gameplay and boss strategies.

Hardware and Special Features

The Ibara PCB has multiple revisions and includes several interesting Test Mode features for calibrating and debugging the game. Of particular note is Special Mode.

Revisions

  • 2005/03/22 Master Ver..

Special Mode

ED: I don't remember Special Mode things; need to go look it up again!

Test Mode

  • Game Mode
    • Exits Test Mode
  • Object Test
    • Displays the main sprite sheet used for rendering text and HUD elements
  • Character Test
    • Displays sprite data, score information, durability, and other properties for player ships, weapons, enemies, items, and other 'dynamic' elements
  • Map Test
    • Displays stage backgrounds
  • DIP Switch Setting
    • Allows the operator to change the following settings:
      • Coin slot count
      • Price per game / Free Play
      • Enable or disable BGM during play
      • Enable or disable Sound Effects
      • Enable or disable Continues
      • Enable or disable sound during the 'Attract Mode' demonstration between credits
      • Difficulty1 'Starting Rank' (See Rank: Settings for more information)
      • Difficulty2 'Per Frame Rank' (See Rank: Settings for more information)
      • Extend rate and style
      • Player starting stock
      • Enable or disable saving of scores persistently (between power cycles)
  • Screen Test
    • Displays a grid and color bars for calibration of the CRT monitor
      • NOTE: Despite Brite having a default value of 0F, it should actually be set to 00 for calibration![6]
  • I/O Test
    • Displays an input test screen, allowing the operator to validate that all game controls are functional
  • Sound Test
    • Plays BGM and Sound Effects
  • Adjust Time
    • Allows the operator to adjust the Real Time Clock. Year, Month, and Day are not used, but the background clock in Stage 6 does correctly show the current time
  • Initialize Ranking
    • Clears the saved score tables for all modes

Development

Programmer Shinobu Yagawa previously worked on the games Recca, Battle Garegga, Armed Police Batrider, and Battle Bakraid. Ibara has much more in common with these games than with much of Cave's other releases, many of which were primarily developed by Tsuneki Ikeda.

During the development of Ibara, Yagawa was allegedly instructed to remake 'that game' - a veiled reference to Battle Garegga.(ED: needs sourcing!)

Release

The game was released in arcades in July 15, 2005, and it was released on the PlayStation 2 on February 23, 2006.

To remedy some of the concerns fans had with the original version of the game, Cave released an updated version in limited distribution called Ibara Kuro: Black Label. It was released on February 10, 2006. The update contains many additions, some of which appeared earlier in the released PlayStation 2 port in the form of Arrange Mode.

A sequel, Pink Sweets: Ibara Sorekara, was released in the arcades on April 21, 2006.

Playstation 2 Port

The Playstation 2 port of Ibara, released on February 23, 2006, is generally considered to be a mediocre port. It has significant loading times between stages, and a number of visual issues (most notably an issue with blurry graphics and interlacing effects). In a game already (in)famous for poor bullet visibility and overwhelming visual effects, this can pose a significant problem. There have been some complaints of gameplay changes as well (such as a shorter Stage 1 opening over the water, and fewer enemy spawns). Additionally, almost all slowdown present in the arcade version has been completely removed. Though Ibara is not a game normally known for having significant slowdown, it makes a large difference in the overall game feel, as the arcade version is actually almost always running slightly slow*. There are a few specific areas where slowdown is severe on the arcade PCB; notably, the end sections of stage 3 and 6, and several boss patterns in the fights against the stage 5 and 6 bosses.

The port features a 'savestate' style system for training, but does not feature a regular stage select training mode.

Despite the lack of slowdown and other changes, excellent scores have still been obtained on the PS2 port, and it is still viable as a slightly more affordable way to play and learn the game.[7]

The PS2 port also features an Arrange mode, with significantly altered mechanics compared to the main game. In many ways it is similar to Ibara Kuro: Black Label, with changes including a more dynamic rank system that is somewhat player-controllable and an emphasis on bullet canceling using the bomb and Hadou mechanics.

*Though details are not fully known, fan reverse engineering efforts suggest that Ibara's engine (and by extension, also the engine of Muchi Muchi Pork and Pink Sweets) might constantly be loading and unloading data in the 'background' during play, which causes extra load on the processor.

Reception

Ibara was not as well received as other Cave games upon release. It is often claimed that Ibara was not very popular with arcade players or operators.(ED: needs sourcing!) Weekly Famitsu magazine awarded the PlayStation 2 version of Ibara a score of only 26/40 based on four reviews (7/7/6/6). [8] [9] [10] [11]

References

  1. https://www.cave.co.jp/gameonline/ibara/index.html
  2. https://web.archive.org/web/20060427111442/http://www.taito.co.jp/d3/cp/ibara/
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Strategy booklet that came with 'The Lunatic' INH Superplay DVD. Documented by Plasmo c. August 2020
  4. Icarus, Shmups Forum: GD:Ibara, Feb 25th 2006
  5. In-depth rank info from an unpublished document written by Archer (dated September 17th 2011)
  6. Reverse engineering efforts by trap15 have tested various combinations of Brite and Contrast, and through examination of the game code determined that the implementation of the feature in-game uses Brite: 00 and Contrast: 1F as the 'true' default color reference.
  7. PS2 Superplay by Archer, V,669,710, Bond Type D. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0Ol7KkwHI4
  8. https://www.famitsu.com/cominy/?m=pc&a=page_h_title&title_id=11135
  9. https://www.famitsu.com/cominy/?m=pc&a=page_h_title&title_id=24103
  10. https://www.famitsu.com/cominy/?m=pc&a=page_h_title&title_id=24093H
  11. http://www.cubed3.com/news/4566/1/nintendo-reviews-baten-kaitos-gets-top-honours-from-famitsu.html