Difference between revisions of "Illmatic Envelope (Illvelo)"

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Illvelo ( イルベロ ), also named Illmatic Envelope ( イルマティックエンベロープ ), is a vertical shmup initially released for the NAOMI arcade system by Milestone in 2008. It's mostly noticeable for its trippy level backgrounds, bizarre sound effects and wacky enemy visual designs, but the game system underneath is also very solid and worth diving into.
Illvelo ( イルベロ ), also named Illmatic Envelope ( イルマティックエンベロープ ), is a vertical shmup initially released for the NAOMI arcade system by Milestone in 2008. It's mostly noticeable for its trippy level backgrounds, bizarre sound effects and wacky enemy visual designs, but the game system underneath is also very solid and worth diving into.
''Note : Most of the screenshots and videos in this guide are taken from an emulation of Milestone Shooting Collection 2 on the Wii in TATE mode. The TATE in this version does not perfectly respect the original aspect ratio so the play-field is slightly wider than it should.''
''Note : Most of the screenshots and videos in this guide are taken from an emulation of Milestone Shooting Collection 2 on the Wii in tate mode. The tate in this version does not perfectly respect the original aspect ratio so the play-field is slightly wider than it should.''
== Basic Game Info ==
== Basic Game Info ==

Latest revision as of 01:07, 15 January 2022

Illvelo イルベロ
Illvelo title.png

Developer: Milestone
Music: Kou Hayashi, Daisuke Nagata
Release date: Arcade
JP: 11, June 2008[1]
Illvelo Wii
JP: 13, Nov 2008[2]
US: Cancelled[3]
Radirgy Noa Wii
JP: 25, Feb 2010 [4]
Milestone Shooting Collection 2 (Wii)
JP: 30, Dec 2012[5]
Sakura Flamingo Archives (X360)
JP: 27, Nov 2014[6]
Previous game: Karous
Next game: Radirgy Noa


Illvelo ( イルベロ ), also named Illmatic Envelope ( イルマティックエンベロープ ), is a vertical shmup initially released for the NAOMI arcade system by Milestone in 2008. It's mostly noticeable for its trippy level backgrounds, bizarre sound effects and wacky enemy visual designs, but the game system underneath is also very solid and worth diving into.

Note : Most of the screenshots and videos in this guide are taken from an emulation of Milestone Shooting Collection 2 on the Wii in tate mode. The tate in this version does not perfectly respect the original aspect ratio so the play-field is slightly wider than it should.

Basic Game Info

Illvelo features 5 stages, as well as a TLB.

The game is played with an 8-way stick and three buttons.

The default extends are at 80 million and 300 million points.

A full run is 1 loop only and lasts around 25 minutes.


  • A (Hold) : Fire the standard shot
  • B (Tap, when the modules are docked to the ship) : Detach the modules and launch them in the direction the ship is moving
  • B (Hold, when the modules are deployed) : Move the detached modules in the same direction the ship is moving
  • B (Tap, when the modules are deployed) : Quickly summon the modules back to the ship
  • C : Fire a bomb
  • Not holding A : Deploy a shield


Illvelo's weapon system features many of the usual Milestone characteristics, and as such is controlled with three buttons (on top of the usual 8-way movement).

A fires the standard shot. There are three different shot types in the game, labeled 1, 2 and 3. You always start with the shot type 1, and a specific item that spawns during the game can make you change the shot type. Another thing to remember is that on top of having different properties, the shot types also change the ship's speed.

B is used to control the modules. The modules, officially named DOLL, are pods that are attached to the side of your ship. While Radirgy and Karous featured swords as their melee weapon of choice, Illvelo's modules are a lot more flexible and not as risky to use, but still very useful and at the core of the game's weapon mechanics.

When the modules are attached to the ship, they will provide additional firepower to your regular shot. In this state, tapping B and a direction will launch your modules in this direction. If no direction is pressed, the modules will be sent forward by default.

=> Advanced

Depending on the direction the modules are launched in, the two modules will not be positioned the same in regards to one another. As a result, some situations can favor launching your modules sideways or diagonally to make them closer or oriented in a certain way that's advantageous for you.

Video showcase : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSgZ1Kwj-Gc

When the modules are detached from the ship, the ship's fire will be split into two. The ship will still fire its own forward frontal shot, and the modules will fire from their own location as well. This allows you to shoot from two different places at once for instance and some enemy waves in the game are designed with this property in mind.

On top of that, if an enemy is touching the modules while the shot button is held, the modules will inflict contact damage to it. This specific attack is one of the most powerful in the game and is very useful against the bigger enemies. Note that this contact damage does not occur if the modules are not detached from your ship

One another thing to note is that when dealing continuous contact damage on an enemy, the modules can also generate a spiraling wave of star or shuriken shaped shots. The shurikens can also inflict damage to enemies.

In the detached state, holding the B button and moving will move the modules in the same direction as your ship. If B isn't pressed, the modules will simply stay in place. You can thus control the modules' position very easily and adjust their placement on the fly.

If you want to get the modules back on the ship, quickly tap B. The modules will quickly return to your position and dock themselves to the ship's sides. There is a ~1 second delay before being able to launch the modules again, though this isn't noticeable unless you explicitly try to launch them immediately again.

C is used to fire a bomb, called MEGALOPHAZ. If you check out replays of the game and see a giant flaming ball with a weird, angry, and confused face on it, this is it! Illvelo's bomb deals very minor damage to enemies and its best use is the invincibility it provides. Unlike Karous and Radirgy, this isn't a force field that surrounds and follows the ship. Instead, it's a static bomb that will stay on the position the ship was when it fired for as long as it's active.

Bomb activation is tied to a bar, visible on the lower left side of the screen. Destroying enemies and inflicting damage fills the bar. When the bar is full, the bomb can be fired. The bar can be recharged an infinite amount of times and it can start recharging even though the previous bomb is still active. If the bar is fully charged before the previous bomb is no longer in effect, you can still fire the new one and have two flaming heads on the screen.

Finally, not firing brings up a shield. The shield can cancel most bullets (notable exceptions are flames and lasers) and will also damage the enemies it touches. There is around half a second between the moment the player stops firing and when the shield is activated.

As usual with Milestone shields, it is deployed in front of the ship; however in Illvelo's case, detached modules also act as shields. In this case, the modules will turn from green to orange, and they gain the same bullet canceling properties. Moving the modules around by holding B will not interfere with the shield activation so it's possible to use the detached modules to protect oneself from bullets or aggressively follow a larger enemy or boss and cancel its bullets at the source.

==> Advanced

The contact attack is also triggered instead of the shield if the modules touch the enemy during the short animation when the player launches them in a direction, even if the player wasn't shooting.


Illvelo general interface.png
  • Bottom left blue bar: Bomb bar
  • Bottom rectangles : Lives
  • Bottom right : Key count. A red key is one, a blue key is 5, a silver key is 10, and a gold key is 50.
  • Top blue-green bars : Weapon levels and weapon experience gauges
  • Top right : Player score
  • Right side scroll bar : Stage/boss timer
  • Top right red bar (only visible against bosses) : Boss HP

You can also occasionally notice a menu bar at the top of the screen, alongside a hand icon that clicks on said menu. This part of the HUD is purely for aesthetic purposes, and the hand cursor simply reacts to actions such as picking up point items and shot change capsules, or getting an extend.


When destroying enemies, you can make some items spawn. Whenever an item is spawned, it will slowly move downwards before leaving the screen. You have to touch the items to collect them but most of them can be also attracted towards the player if they come in contact with the bomb. The only items that can't be auto-collected with the bomb are the keys, the Milestone logos and the Shot Change items.

Unlike Radirgy and Karous, there is no way to use the modules on the items to juggle them. As a result, the items can't be changed to another item type and their fall can't be halted. With the removal of the bullet converter item that was in Radirgy and Karous, this means that the scoring strategies focused around this trick are not usable in Illvelo.

Here is the list of items :

Illvelo - Point Envelope (small).png Illvelo - Point Envelope (Big).png
Point item : White icon in the shape of a computer folder, with a blue point kanji on it. Gives you points. There are regular and big point items.
Illvelo - Shot level-up icon.png Illvelo - Module level-up icon.png Illvelo - Shield power-up icon.png
Weapon level-up : Blue, green or orange icon in the shape of a computer file, with a symbol on it that's similar to one of your weapons. Increases the level of the displayed weapon by 1. The blue icon is for shot, the green one for the modules, and the orange one for the shield. Even though weapon experience levels are represented with bars that get filled, this item will not just lazily fill the bar to get to the next level. It will actually give you enough experience to get to the next level and fill the bar to the same %. As a result, you don't have to worry about picking up the item with the correct timing to maximize the exp points you get from it. Just grab it.
Illvelo - Mail icon.png Mail : Green file folder icon with "Mail" written on it. This item generates a random email at the bottom of the screen. No points are given so the item is mostly for story purposes. The email is displayed on the playing field but becomes transparent when you move over it.
Illvelo - Weapon Change Icon 1.png Illvelo - Weapon Change Icon 2.png Illvelo - Weapon Change Icon 3.png
Shot Type change : Circular item with a number on it. This item changes the player's shot type whenever it is picked. The number on it continuously cycles from 1 to 3, each number giving you a different shot type. If you have played Zanac Neo, this item's behavior should be reminiscent of the green weapon change item from that game. However, changing shot types does not recharge the bomb gauge here.
Illvelo - Bomb icon.png Bomb refill : Circular icon with a dark blue outer ring, a black core and a white symbol on it. It looks like the logo at the bottom of the player's bomb gauge and entirely refills said gauge.
Illvelo Life up.png Life up : Red envelope with a heart and "Life" on it. Increases your life count by 1 (up to 5 lives). Those icons spawn when the point extend thresholds are reached and are automatically rushing towards your ship, but some can randomly appear when destroying enemies. In this second scenario, the life up will behave like regular items and slowly fall off the screen instead.
Illvelo - Milestone logo (outlined).png Milestone logo : Yellow M-shaped logo. Logos appear when some specific locations are destroyed. Unlike Karous, you can fail to pick up the logos and it will not penalize you for the TLB unlock. They do not even grant points when picked up.
Illvelo items - Red Key.png Illvelo items - Blue Key.png
Key : Spinning key that spawns from the top of the screen. Awarded when completing a bonus stage. Comes in two variants : the standard red and a blue one worth 5 keys. This item is key to unlocking the TLB.


Enemy wave composition

Touching an enemy with your ship does not result in life loss so some enemies can spawn from the bottom of the screen or jump from the sides without killing you in unfair ways. The enemy waves in the stages spawn in waves. Whenever you destroy an enemy wave, the next one is spawned. As a result, you are encouraged to destroy waves as fast as possible to get higher scores.

In addition, there is one enemy wave mechanic that was also seen in Radirgy and Karous. Most of the time, there are actually two simultaneous and independent sets of enemy waves active at once. One set is made of popcorn enemies, and the other is made of larger enemies. If you destroy all the popcorn on screen but haven't destroyed the medium/big enemy, the next popcorn wave will still be spawned. And vice-versa, as destroying the larger enemies with some popcorn still alive will nonetheless spawn the next big enemy wave.

Weakness to specific weapons

Most of the enemy types in the game are vulnerable to all the weapons. However, some of them can only be damaged by a specific one. In those cases, the enemy in question will flash in a specific color whenever you try to damage with with the incorrect weapon.

  • Shot enemies : blue
  • Module enemies : green
  • Shield enemies : orange

For as long as the enemy is being damaged by the correct weapon, it will be vulnerable to damage from other weapons as well, so it is possible to kill an enemy with a weapon it should be immune to, and thus give you experience points for a weapon that shouldn't affect it under normal circumstances.

Video showcase: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HMueX7idfU

For the info, the majority of immunity-wielding enemies that are encountered in the game are vulnerable to the module. The only noticeable shot-only enemy is a specific form of the modules spawned by the TLB, and the main shield-only enemy is exclusive to the blue key bonus stage in stage 4. There is also a rare enemy type that becomes vulnerable to any weapon but only when they are hit by a bomb. That specific enemy type is a red and gray box in one of the bonus stages that can appear in Stage 5 but isn't seen anymore when having enough keys. Being prepared for this bonus stage is still important if you play Special Mode.

Bullets and hazards

Illvelo, like its Milestone predecessors, features no contact damage. This means the only ways to lose lives are to touch bullets or other projectiles. Here are the different varieties of bullets :

  • Standard bullet : Round-shaped, this type of bullets comes in several colors through the game, but the behavior remains the same. When fired, it keeps moving in the same direction and doesn't do anything fancy. This bullet can be canceled by the shield and the bomb.
  • Long Bullet : While exactly similar in behavior to the standard bullet, this one has an elongated form, making it slightly bigger.
  • Destroyable pink bullet : Oval-shaped and spinning, those pink bullets can be easily destroyed by any weapon.
  • Destroyable missiles : Some enemies and bosses fire missiles that can be destroyed/canceled. Some missiles fly straight down, while others curve and slowly try to home in on you. If you try to cancel the missiles with a low-level front shield, keep in mind that the missile HP makes the cancel with the ship's shield not necessarily instantaneous. This specific behavior fortunately comes up rarely and past stage 1, the shield should be leveled up enough so that it isn't an issue anymore.
  • Lasers : A few specific enemies can use lasers. Lasers in this game are pink, have a little warning before they are fired, and can't be erased by the bomb. The most prominent laser user is the spider enemy. It spawns at the top of the screen in groups and cover most of the screen's width in lasers. Two spider variants exist, with a brown one that fires one laser, and a blue one that fires two angled lasers. Some bosses can also use lasers as part of their attacks.
  • Hearts : This kind of bullet is generated by a specific enemy type which looks like a pink disc with side wings. Heart bullets are actually completely harmless but can also be destroyed and canceled for points and experience.
  • Flames : Thrown by some bigger enemies and a few bosses, flames can't be canceled by the shield so be careful! However, bombs can erase them.
  • Molotov cocktails : Thrown by some late-game enemies and the last boss, those destroyable bullets quickly explode. The resulting pink explosions can hurt you too so watch out for them.


Multiplier formula

In order to achieve high scores in Illvelo, there two main things to focus on : getting keys and leveling up your weapons. Leveled-up weapons will make it easier to destroy enemy waves and trigger new ones faster. Besides, the levels also act as score multipliers. Keys are essential as they boost your multiplier and also unlock the TLB.

The formula for score when killing enemies should be as follows :

Point value = enemy base point value * key count * sum of levels

Level-up mechanic

Illvelo - Top interface.png

On the top of the interface, underneath the score, you can see three numbered gauges. Those display the experience level of your weapons. From left to right : Shot, Modules, and Shield. Using weapons against enemies and destroying the enemies with the weapons generates experience points that are added to the gauges and level-up the weapons. When reaching specific level thresholds, the weapons get powered up and/or gain new properties. For the info, the bomb doesn't level up.

All weapons start at level 0 and can be leveled-up to a maximum of 300.

The shot is levelled up by all of your shots when the modules are attached to your ship, or by the shot that comes out of your ship when the modules are detached.

The modules are levelled up by the detached modules' contact damage, as well as the shot fired by said detached modules. The damage inflicted by the shurikens that spawn when levelled-up modules do contact damage on enemies also boosts the module experience level-up

The shield is levelled up by damage and bullet cancels performed by the ship's shield and the modules in shield mode. When the shield is levelled up enough to fire bullet cancellers, any bullet that is cancelled and any damage that is done to an enemy by those cancellers also levels up the shield.

Weapon Type Level-up threshold Special Effect
Shot 30 Each module fires one additional shot
Shot 90 Each module fires two additional shots
Shot 180 Each module fires three additional shots
Shot 300 The shot's fire rate is increased.

Increases ship speed

Module 55 The purely cosmetic spiraling stars that appear when hitting an enemy are changed into damaging shurikens
Module 165 The shurikens become bigger and more powerful. The sound effect when hitting an enemy with the modules changes
Module 300 Increases ship speed
Shield 35 Starts reflecting bullets into arcs
Shield 100 Reflected bullets are small heads
Shield 135 Reflected bullets are big heads
Shield 300 Increases ship speed

Note : Due to the inconsistency between the module's number of level-up thresholds and the other weapons, it is likely that one of them was overlooked

==> Advanced

Experience points in the game can have different values depending on specific conditions. If you pay attention while playing or watching a recording/replay of a run, you can see that the size of the experience item that is sent to the gauges changes to match its value. There are three experience point values that can appear when damaging and/or defeating an enemy : small, medium and big.

Illvelo experience - Small.png Illvelo experience - Medium.png Illvelo experience - Big.png

In order to maximize the level-up potential of each enemy/wave, there are several tricks that can be used :

  • When damaging an enemy, you get small experience points. If an enemy is immune to anything but a specific weapon, firing the other weapons on it can still level-up those weapons by generating small experience points. There are cases where doing this can be beneficial, for example in bonus stages. In this scenario, the few seconds taken to milk some experience points out of the enemy isn't penalizing as long as you still clear said bonus stage before the time limit.

Video showcase : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YS8z8HmhJXc

  • Most popcorn enemy waves have one enemy with a little red ribbon hanging on it. If you kill this specific enemy first, it will yield a big experience value.

Illvelo - No ribbon enemy.png Illvelo - ribbon enemy.png

  • When all enemies in a wave are destroyed, the last enemy in the wave will give a big experience bonus. The last enemy in a bonus stage will also follow this behavior and give more experience.
  • Ground enemies give big experience points when destroyed, while killing airborne ones will yield medium experience points (aside from the aforementioned conditions)
  • Cancelling a bullet gives small experience points. This is valid for both bullets you have to cancel with the shield and destructible bullets you can also shoot down with your shot or module. Cancelling a bullet with a bomb will not give any experience points though.

Bonus Stages

Bonus stages are spread out through the 5 stages of the game and can be accessed by touching their entrances with the ship. Clearing bonus stages rewards you with keys.

There are two types of bonus stages :

  • The first type will spawn air enemies and you have to kill every single one of them before they leave the screen and before the time runs out. The background scrolling is static most of the time.
  • The second type will first spawn air enemies but you can let them escape without compromising the key unlock. The background in those bonus stages first scrolls and then reaches a target location with plenty of floor turrets that are similar to Compile's multi-turret bosses. You have to destroy all those turrets before the timer runs out to get the key.

There are two types of keys :

  • A red key is the regular key that is given when an individual bonus stage is cleared.
  • A blue key is worth 5 red keys and can be obtained at specific entrances that will pit you against 8 of the first type of bonus stages. These special stages always features a specific set of small air enemies to destroy, and each time they come from a specific direction. These stages are the only ones where the objective is to destroy air enemies and where the background also scrolls. You can use the scrolling to determine from which of the 8 directions enemies will be coming from.

If you don't fail any of the 8 bonus stages, you'll be given the blue key. If you fail any of them, you'll be booted out of the set of bonus stages without having to do the remaining ones.

There is one such bonus entrance in each of the 4 first stages. If your number of keys is low enough, you can also be sent to such bonus stages in stage 5. This allows you to recover some keys and multiplier to catch up with what a player with more keys would have had at this point of the game. However, if getting more blue keys in Stage 5 can increase your key count to 50+, you will not be sent to a Blue Key bonus stage but a regular Red key stage (or no stage at all). This ensures that getting 50+ keys has to be done "the hard way" by clearing almost all bonus stages from the previous levels.

There are two types of bonus stage entrances. All of them have the similar appearance of a flashing gray square with a pink arrow on top of it. However, there are some differences in how to make the entrances appear :

Illvelo - Bonus stage entrance.png

Uncovered entrances : Those entrances already are in plain sight and can be directly accessed by touching them with the ship. Their locations are fixed and they move alongside the level's background scrolling. This implies two things :

  • Some bonus stage entrances only appear on screen for a shorter amount of time because the screen is scrolling faster than usual at the point in the stage where they are, or in a direction that quickly puts them out of the playable area. As a result, you should quickly get in those entrances before they are gone.
  • Some bonus stage entrances are smaller because the background is supposed to be further away from the foreground layer. This means you'll need to be more accurate when entering the bonus stage.

Covered entrances : The second type of entrance is not immediately available to the player, and needs to be uncovered beforehand. Scattered through the stages are some shiny star spots that come in various colors. When the player manages to destroy one of them, a Milestone icon will be spawned, and every third star spot destroyed will instead spawn a bonus entrance. Collecting the Milestone logos is not mandatory at all and doesn't affect whether the bonus entrances will spawn or not.

The shiny star spots' color determines what weapon is necessary to destroy it. Here are the various colors that appear in the game :

Illvelo - shiny star spot White.png
White : The shot, modules, and shield all work on this spot. (be careful : the bomb doesn't)
Illvelo - shiny star spot Blue.png
Blue : The shot is necessary
Illvelo - shiny star spot Green.png
Green : The module is necessary
Illvelo - shiny star spot Yellow.png
Yellow : The shield is necessary
Illvelo - shiny star spot Red.png
Red : A bomb is required. Hopefully, this type of entrance is rare; there are only three in the entire game

Another way to unlock covered entrances is by defeating the mid-bosses in Stage 5. Up to four entrances can be unlocked this way.

Unlike the uncovered entrances, those entrances are not bound to the background scrolling. Once they are unlocked, they move like regular items and slowly fall off the screen in a strictly vertical fashion and you can't use the bomb to attract them. Be careful as this means you can miss them if you don't enter before they disappear from the play-field.

==> Advanced

If at any point in the stage, you unlock a bonus stage while a non-hidden, uncovered bonus stage entrance is also on screen, get in the bonus stage that was locked. When you leave the bonus stage, the non-hidden bonus stage will still be there if the scrolling didn't leave it behind. However, the other way round is not true, as the hidden bonus stage entrance will no longer be there if you enter the non-hidden bonus stage first.

Video showcase : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCxzg3ABNL0

In a run where all the bonus stages are cleared and all the star spots are destroyed, this scenario should not occur anyway. However, at an intermediate level or when recovering from mistakes, it can be handy to keep this tip in mind.

Here are all the bonus entrances and shiny star locations in the game :

Stage 1 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpuyWlPvrqY

Stage 2 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcggLUkv7xA

Stage 3 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eY-HhvYLsqA

Stage 4 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcSD9ho9AIA

Misc. tips and info

Parachute Enemy
  • In order to destroy the green popcorn enemy that uses a parachute, you have to focus on the parachute rather than the enemy itself.
  • Killing a spider before it fires its laser can prevent the laser from being fired. Killing a spider while it fires its laser removes the laser from the field. However, there are cases where the timing is such that the laser will remain on screen even after the spider is killed, so be careful. In such situations, the laser will end up being canceled on its own as it would if the spider was still alive, but it can still kill you before it does that. Video showcase : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWesDXMc4e8
  • The loading times between stages in Illvelo Wii and Milestone Shooting Collection 2 are indeed long. Illvelo Still features much faster loadings
  • The final bonus stage in Stage 4 can give you a blue key, which means it's mandatory for a high score. However, it requires you to get a shield level of at least 200, otherwise you'll be sent to an alternate version of the stage which only gives you a red key. Video showcase : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QB0gHBUfEIQ
  • The last boss' last form (the small man moving all over the place dropping circular modules everywhere) follows a specific set of movements. Said set may seem completely random since it changes from a playthrough to another, and this can make it hard to properly kill it on time (especially if you milked the previous form a bit), but it's possible to ensure one specific fixed pattern in some of the ports. If you encountered the boss in your previous run, simply go back to the main menu (by selecting the "Return Title" option) and then launch the game again to reset the set of movements that will be used. I personally have the first set used by the boss in my muscle memory so this allows me to face the same movement pattern every time.
  • In Illvelo Wii and Milestone Shooting Collection 2, pausing the game in a bonus stage will interrupt the music. However, upon resuming playing, the game will play both the bonus stage music (as intended) and the stage music on top of it. This glitch has been fixed in Illvelo Still : pausing the game here does not interrupt the bonus stage music and unpausing will not play the stage music. Video showcase : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfDcn6El_9Y
  • The NAOMI/arcade version of Illvelo features a glitch where the very last bonus stage in the game (#21) will not give you a red key. Upon destroying the last remaining ground turret and clearing the stage, the game will display the "STAGE FAIL!" message even if the timer hasn't run out and will boot you out without a key. This means the arcade version has less leeway for TLB unlocking, as out of the 2 keys you are allowed to miss, one is already impossible to get. Video showcase : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZMHFuHnIdo


Here is the list of ports where the game (or an alternate mode of the game) is playable :

  • Illvelo Wii (Wii, 2008)
  • Radirgy Noa Wii (Wii, 2010)
  • Milestone Shooting Collection 2 (Wii, 2010)
  • Sakura Flamingo Archives (X360, 2014)

Game modes

Illvelo's arcade version only has one single mode, which is referred to as the Arcade Mode in the ports and is available in Illvelo Wii, Milestone Shooting Collection 2 and Sakura Flamingo Archives. However there are several alternate ways to play the game in the console versions :


Available in : Illvelo Wii, Milestone Shooting Collection 2

Easy mode tweaks Illvelo a bit to make the game a lot more accessible to newcomers. Here are the changes :

  • All of your weapons level-up faster
  • None of the enemies fire lasers, flames, or molotov cocktails anymore
  • The shiny star spots are all white
  • The bonus stage timers are longer

The TLB is still available in this mode and can be fought under the same conditions as the Arcade Mode.


Available in : Illvelo Wii, Milestone Shooting Collection 2

The Hard Mode keeps the Arcade mode layout and stages, but the enemy bullets are much bigger.

Another change is the TLB unlock condition. While 50 keys are needed in Normal, Hard Mode requires getting all 52 available keys from the game to be able to unlock the TLB.

And speaking of keys, the Hard Mode makes some of the shiny star spots harder to notice and destroy. Some are invisible at first and need to be damaged to become visible. Other spots have additional conditions before appearing, such as destroying other specific ground enemies or bombing the star spot's location.


Available in : Illvelo Wii, Milestone Shooting Collection 2

Special Mode pits the player against all the 105 bonus stages in the game, played in ascending order of their numbers. The numbers associated with each bonus stage in this mode are different from the numbers they are assigned in the full-length modes, and the order here more or less matches the order in which you can encounter those bonus stages in said other modes.

In this mode, there are no blue keys. The bonus stages that were played in rapid succession in the full-game modes and that give a blue key when all of them are cleared are considered the same as other bonus stages, and despite still being played one after the other (due to their stage numbers), each one of them will instead give you one red key upon successful completion.

The music tracks played in each of this mode's stages do not necessarily match the track used when playing them in the full-length modes. Besides, the track changes every bonus stage. Even bonus stages that are part of a blue key set of stages (and thus follow each other with the same track in the full length modes) now have a different track for each stage.


Available in : Radirgy Noa Wii

Illvelo Still is a modified version of the Easy difficulty, and the ship now uses the weapon types from Radirgy Noa. Weapon 1 is the green forward shot, Weapon 2 is the yellow sideways shot, and Weapon 3 is the red X-shaped shot.

Cosmetic changes include the player ship being orange instead of white, the second type of heads that reflected bullets turn into being colored blue instead of orange, and new eye-catches on the loading screens. Speaking of loading screens, one big noticeable improvement over the other Wii versions of Illvelo is that the loading times are much shorter.


Available in : Sakura Flamingo Archives

This crossover mode gives you the ability to select ships from the other Milestone games to clear Illvelo's five stages. The available ships are as follows :

  • Mixed Blue (HAL's hip from Chaos Field)
  • Flawed Red (Ifumi's hip from Chaos Field)
  • Fake Yellow (Jin's ship from Chaos Field)
  • Kojiro (Shizuru's ship from Radirgy)
  • Defect (Karous' ship)
  • Trax (the regular Illvelo ship)
  • Kanemaki (Radirgy Noa's 2P ship)

The stages themselves are similar to the Arcade version; however all the bonus entrances and shiny star spots have been removed. Despite the removal of keys, you can still fight the TLB at the end.



  • atWiki page. Provides information about the story, world, characters, and also has a list of all the loading screens eyecatches you can come across in the game : https://w.atwiki.jp/milestonematome



Refer to https://shmups.wiki/library/Illmatic_Envelope_(Illvelo)/Video_Index

List of official superplay materials

Refer to https://shmups.wiki/library/List_of_superplay_materials#Milestone

Remaining mysteries / Questions yet to be answered

  • What is the exact point calculation formula for point items?

Their value doesn't seem to shoot into the stratosphere in the late-game the same way enemy kills do so the formula might be different. An hypothesis is that it is base value * (sum of levels+1), rounded up to the next 500k but nothing really confirms it.

  • What are the specific rules that determine what enemy waves each stages starts with?

In this game (and possibly in Karous too), the dynamic enemy wave spawns are not strictly the same from a run to another. What happens is that at the start of a stage, you will sometimes immediately face waves that you would have actually faced later in another run. What determines this? The sum of levels maybe? How many enemy waves you destroyed in the previous stage?

  • How would the fixed last boss movement pattern trick be applicable for arcade players?

In MSC2 and Illvelo Still, it's easy to go back to the main menu but it might be another story with actual PCBs. Testing this through NAOMI emulation might provide an answer

  • What does the JP Wiki page mean by bombs boosting the other weapons?

According to that page (or at least a machine translation of it), using bombs could temporarily boost the power of other weapons, but some testing on bosses (whose HP can be seen in real-time on the HUD) are inconclusive. Video showcase : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnxzdwn3DiE

Whether you bomb or not, the boss dies at the same time so the power is not increased. The experience you get is nearly identical (the no-bomb one gets slightly more) and the score is slightly higher for the bomb (since its radius gave some ticks points on the square turrets).

So what is it? What if it was just a bad translation, or wrong info, or something that works on regular enemies but not bosses.

  • What if you have to change shot types during the run for WR-tier scores?

The replays in the links from this guide are able to get 9bil scores while keeping the default #1 shot type. While this seems to be the best shot type with good range and power, the properties of some other shot types (such as #2's higher movement speed) may come in handy for score at even higher levels of optimization...or maybe not?

The same question can also be asked for Illvelo Still, since the shot types are different. Shot #3 is the red X-shot from Radirgy Noa and that was the most powerful shot type in that game, however the lower speed might be an issue at times, and so could be the unconventional firing pattern.

  • Is it important to get keys even after you already have 50 of them? (For every full-length mode except Hard Mode where you need all 52 anyway)

When looking at the interface, grabbing the 50th key will make your key count appear as one gold key. And grabbing the two leeway keys after that point will not change the visual for the key count. The score tally will also consider your key count to be 50 even if you collected those two additional keys. Are they really ineffective or can they still boost the score multiplier?

There isn't any reason not to go after those keys anyways since you will inherently get additional points and enemies if you go for them, but in the very specific case where you fail one of those two bonus stages at the very last second but still kill all the enemies in said bonus stage during the little downtime before being sent back to the main stage, would that mean there is no difference at all and no need to be worried about missing out on potential points?

  • Why are Milestone logos pointless to collect? (In case they actually are pointless)

Not grabbing M icons will still open up bonus stage entrances and doesn't seem to hurt your overall score. Besides, collecting one of those icons doesn't give any points. So what are their usefulness aside from just telling you that you successfully destroyed a star spot that didn't yield a bonus stage entrance? M icons in previous games were more secretive but very useful, and here they are just...there. Even the superplays don't go out of their way to collect these items.

  • What determines some specific item spawns?

Items seem to be generated by destroying ground enemies, killing entire waves, destroying the ribbon enemy first in a wave, destroying boss/enemy parts, and possibly following some other actions too. What other actions could have been overlooked? And what determines the item spawns? Most of the time you get points but what determines when you get a shot change, mail, or level-up item instead? Is there a hidden item spawn counter with special items spawned when specific thresholds have been reached? The first weapon change item seems to spawn at more or less the same place in runs, so maybe this one has an "every X things destroyed" condition.

  • When a level-up item spawns, what determines which weapon it will be?

In Special Mode, it seems like weapon level-up items are always for your weapon with the lowest experience level. However, this behavior doesn't apply to the full run modes. Is it completely random? Does it depend on the kind of weapon that was used to kill the enemy that spawned said item? Or something else?

  • Are the speed boosts from level 300 weapons cumulative?

When one of the weapons reaches level 300, the ship should gain a little speed boost. Is there another speed boost if another weapon gets to that level too?