This page contains stage and boss strategies for both survival and scoring for each character. The survival section will outline the safest, most reliable method to defeat each stage and boss, which might include using bombs. The score section will assume you aim to no-miss, no-bomb and will contain information on scoring tricks, breakable parts and milking strategies. All guides assume default settings on the arcade version.
One of the more relaxed stages in the game, full of easy popcorn and a long section with only destructible buildings, and a boss that you can easily speedkill. The parts to watch out for are the tank that spawns behind the first bridge, which you can speedkill if you point-blank it as soon as it emerges, and the midboss, who fires a fast shuriken pattern and punishes you for not killing him quickly enough. There is a safespot at the right edge of the tracks infront of him.
Start shooting and move towards the right of the screen, then double back to the left to pick up the helicopters and tank that spawn. Stop on the train tracks and move to the top of the screen; point-blank the train until it explodes.
Some popcorn will spawn to the right; for now, point-blank the house until it explodes to reveal a power-up. The popcorn will start flying towards the top left of the screen; move to the right to pick them up, and wait over the house on the right before the bridge. A turret will come out of it; if you point-blank it, you'll speedkill it before it can shoot. It drops another power-up.
If you encounter this as the second or third level, some popcorn will enter from both sides of the bridge, so move left and right to pick them off. Then wait 1/3rd from the right of the screen at the bridge until the tank comes out; point-blank it to speedkill it before it can shoot and it'll also drop a power-up.
Move left to the tracks at the top of the screen and point-blank the train as it comes down the track. Then move to the right and wait just below the little brown house. Take care of the popcorn that spawns while the midboss pops out of the ground. Then move to the train track; keep to the very right edge of the track. The midboss will shoot pattern of aimed shurikens; the pattern is static, but aims at the general area of the screen you occupy. If you stick to the edge of the track it'll miss you. Then move up and point-blank the midboss. You'll destroy it before it can shoot again, and it'll drop a power-up.
Stay where you are and let your bombs take care of the two houses that shoot static patterns. Next there are three rows of destructible buildings; these leave coins when destroyed and can drop a power-up or bomb, but this is random. If you keep shooting the whole way to the boss, your maximum power-up will run out before the fight starts. You have enough to destroy the houses but you have to stop immediately after until you get to the boss.
If you have full power you can point-blank the first phase and make it transform before it gets to shoot (pictured). For phase two, it fires two overlapping patterns; one is static and aims at the center of the screen, and other is aimed at you. Just stay out of the middle of the screen and tap-dodge to get out of the way. The followup streaming shot it fires in a circle pattern is static, but the bullets are destructible, so as long as you’re shooting they wont hit you.
This level is a lot more hectic when played for score due to its major scoring trick: if you delay the destruction of the second cart of the first two trains, a third train will spawn, worth 20,000 points. You also have the opportunity to pick up power-up items at random from the buildings before the boss. You have enough time to destroy both rows of houses on the right side and one house from the left side (either the first or last). Prioritize destroying houses and don't worry too much about the coins - one extra bomb is worth more than all coins in both loops of the game. However, as it's random, you have to get lucky. The boss of this stage has several destructible parts in the first stage, but destroying two legs on the same side causes it to transition into phase two.
(ED: requires information on the suicide strat if this is the first level encountered)
Start shooting and moving to the left, then double back to clear the first popcorn wave. Destroy the tank that enters from the left; only shoot once. If you're already powered-up from a previous stage, your subshot will probably destroy the first cart of the train as it enters. Move back to the far right of the screen and wait for the popcorn to come down. Start to shoot and edge left to destroy all the popcorn; be careful not to hit the train by mistake with your subshot. Once the train is close enough to the bottom of the screen, destroy the second cart. Try to destroy the second cart as late as possible; it'll make dealing with the second train much easier.
Destroy the turret after it pops up (it'll release a powerup), then point-blank the house on the left to blow it up to release a powerup. Grab the coins and pick up both powerups. Take care of the popcorn that appear above the bridge (if seeing this stage second or third); the train will start to come down the track a few moments before the tank appears. If you destroyed the first train late enough the next train will appear a few seconds before the tank emerges; avoid its shots and blow it up at the bottom of the screen, then destroy the tank.
Destroy the first building on the right after the bridge and collect the coins (optional). The third train will appear; destroy it and head to the right to take care of the popcorn. Then head back to the tracks and stay on the right edge; the midboss's shurikens will miss you. Point-blank him down and then let your subshot take care of the two houses that shoot at you.
For the destructible building section, position yourself between the two houses on the right side and point-blank them until they blow up. Try collecting as many coins as you can, but make sure you have time to get to the left side and destroy the last house. Collect any bombs or power-ups before the boss.
The two cannons on the front of the boss are worth 2,000 each. Each leg is worth 5,000.