Crimzon Clover

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This wiki page focuses on the original doujin release, please see the page for World Ignition / EXplosion for info pertaining to that version.

Crimzon Clover
Crimzoncloverworldignitiontitle.png

Title screen

Developer: Yotsubane
Music: potechi
Release date: Doujin: January 11, 2011 (PC)
For NESiCAxLive: 2013 (Arcade)
World Ignition: June 6, 2014 (PC)
World EXplosion: October 29, 2020 (NS), December 6, 2021 (PC)


Crimzon Clover (クリムゾンクローバー) is a doujin vertical shooting game developed by YOTSUBANE (CLOVER-TAC) and released in 2011 for Windows PCs. An arcade version (For NESiCAxLive) was released in 2013, and an updated retail version of the game, known as Crimzon Clover: World Ignition, was released in 2014 on Steam and GOG, then followed by Crimzon Clover: World EXplosion for Nintendo Switch in 2020, and Steam in 2021.

The plot of the game focuses on the destruction of a mechanical army known as Gorgoneion and their new doomsday weapon known as Crimson Heart (the True Last Boss of the game). The primary focus with the game's overall gameplay is on utilizing homing lock-on shots -- which activate a score multiplier -- and a hyper system mechanic known as Break Mode and Double Break Mode.

For replay videos, visit the Video Index.


Gameplay Overview

Controls

Button Function
A
Shot (CONFIRM)
Auto-fires the player's primary weapon.
If the player is shooting while B (Lock-On) is held, their shot range will narrow closer to the center.
B
Lock-On (CANCEL)
Hold to open lock-on field. Release to fire homing lasers at targets.
Movement speed is reduced while Locking-On.
A multiplier will activate based on number of lock-ons.
C
Bomb / Break
Releases a Bomb that deletes all bullets on screen and deals heavy damage to on-screen enemies.
Using a bomb will increase the amount of Break Gauge required to use another.
In Original and Unlimited, pressing C with a full Break Gauge will activate Break Mode or Double Break Mode.

Ships

TYPE-I

Type-I is a general all-rounder ship featuring a wide shot and quick lock-ons.
It has a slow movement speed and is not particularly powerful but can play a simple but effective game.

Type1Large.jpg
Ship Functions Specs
Ship Speed Slow
Attack Width Wide; narrow when locked-on.
Attack Strength Weak
Lock-on Speed Fast

TYPE-II

Type-II is a technical ship that uses tracing options that follow the path of the player.
They can be locked into place while Locking-On, allowing creativity in option setups.

Type2Large.jpg
Ship Functions Specs
Ship Speed Average
Attack Width Variable; Trace options can be locked in place.
Attack Strength Average
Lock-on Speed Average

TYPE-III

Type-III was added in the NESiCAxLive AC release of Crimzon Clover. High-speed ship that features a powerful straight shot.
However, it has a slow lock-on speed.
Note: Lock-on Shots do not increase break gauge, unless they kill the enemy.

Type3Large.jpg
Ship Functions Specs
Ship Speed Fast
Attack Width Narrow; narrower when locked-on.
Attack Strength High
Lock-on Speed Slow

TYPE-Z

Type-Z is basically a version of Type-I on drugs; it features greater fire power, more options, and moves faster, but scores lower than the other ships.
It is not available by default, and must be purchased in the Limiter Shop with the Stars accumulated through play.

To play it in Crimzon Clover for NESiCAxLive, the player must use a NESiCAxLive card with a user profile registered in it when starting the game.

TypeZLarge.jpg
Ship Functions Specs
Ship Speed Average
Attack Width Wide; narrow when locked-on.
Attack Strength Average
Lock-on Speed Fast

Game modes

Doujin

Original

Basic description of mode here.

System

Scoring

Simple

Basic description of mode here.

System

Scoring

Unlimited

Basic description of mode here.

System

Scoring

Time Attack

Basic description of mode here.

System

Scoring

World Ignition/Explosion

Arcade

The standard difficulty mode from the arcade version.


Original

Basic Mechanics
Shot

The shot is your primary method of attacking enemies. It fires automatically, and the fire rate cannot be changed.

An important idea to understand is that while the lock button is held, the formation of your ship's options will be changed. For Type A and C, the options will be pulled inward and aimed forward, which will focus damage directly in front of your ship. Like the "focus attack" in many CAVE titles, this can help to deal concentrated damage to large targets. For Type B, however, the options will be "fixed" relative to the ship. This can be used to concentrate fire, but can also be used to maintain full screen coverage while locking onto enemies.

Lock-on Attack

While the lock-on button is held, your ship will move slower and the behavior of your options will change. But the primary function is to activate the lock-on attack.

The lock-on radius is indicated by a sphere appearing around the ship, that rapidly increases to a set size. When an enemy enters the lock-on radius, you will lock-on to that enemy, indicated by a reticle appearing around them. After each lock-on, the size of the lock-on radius will decrease before rapidly increasing again. The consequence of this behavior is that you will lock onto the closest enemies first, and that you will lock on faster by being closer to the enemy.

Small "zako" enemies can only be locked on once, but larger enemies can be locked on multiple times, and in multiple places. This has consequences for scoring, but for survival play, it is enough to know that large enemies may "eat" locks, and that it is better to rely on your shot to take out waves of zako when possible.

By default, a maximum of 24 locks can be achieve. This number increases to 28 during Break Mode, and to 32 during Double Break Mode. A distinct sound effect will play when the maximum number of locks is reached.

When the lock-on button is released, one homing projectile will be released for each lock. These projectiles do very high damage, making them good for taking out targets with more health.

Break Gauge

The Break Gauge is located in the top right corner, under the "Break Rate" meter. Despite its similar name, "Break Rate" has no impact on the Break Gauge.

The Break Gauge has two distinct sections, the Main Gauge and the Sub Gauge. The Main Gauge is the main part of the meter, which appears yellow and green, and the Sub Gauge is the thin red area beneath it. When the Main Gauge is full, any meter that would be gained will instead be added to the Sub Gauge.

Meter will be gained under the following conditions:

  • Shooting enemies with the shot (Point-blanking will generate extra meter)
  • Firing the lock-on attack (Even if no enemies are destroyed)
  • Destroying enemies with the lock-on attack

What is notable about destroying enemies with the lock-on attack is that a small amount of meter will also be added to the sub gauge. Under certain conditions, this can cause the sub gauge to fill before the main gauge does.

Type 3 is an exception, in that just firing the lock-on attack will not gain any extra meter, only destroying enemies will. Presumably this is a balancing mechanic, to compensate for the high damage of its lock-on attack.

Bomb

On the Main Break Gauge, there is a line marked with a red triangle. When enough metered is gathered to reach this line, a sound effect will play, and the text "BOMB READY" will appear. At this point, pressing the Break button will activate a bombing attack, consuming meter up to the bomb indicator line.

During a bomb, all on-screen bullets will be cancelled, high damage will be dealt to all enemies, and the ship will be invincible for a short time. This is useful for when you need to get out of a dangerous situation.

Each time a bomb is used, the bomb indicator line will move to the right, meaning more meter will be required to bomb again. This meter cost increase will continue until the line is all the way to the right, making bombing impossible.

There are three ways to decrease the meter cost of bombing.

  1. If a "Bomb Recovery" bonus item is collected, the meter cost will be reduced by a significant amount.
  2. Each star that is collected will result in the meter cost being reduced by a very very small amount. Thus, by staying alive for long enough, and collecting lots of stars, the bomb meter cost will decrease naturally.
  3. When a death occurs, the meter cost is reset to its base amount.

For gameplay and scoring purposes, enemies destroyed by a bomb will be treated as if they were destroyed by the shot. That means they will release stars, and you will gain meter from them.

Break Mode

When the Main Break Gauge is full, a sound effect will play, and the text "BREAK STANDBY" will appear. At this point, pressing the Break button will activate "Break Mode".

Upon activation, the ship will be invincible for a brief time, all enemy bullets will be cancelled, and a very brief animation will play. During this animation, the player cannot fire.

While Break Mode is active, the ship's power will become much stronger (The exact proportion is currently unknown). The shot and lock-on attack will both deal much more damage, and the amount of available locks increases from 24 to 28.

When Break Mode is activated, all meter in the Sub Gauge will be moved to the Main Gauge, and no meter can be gained into the Sub Gauge. However, once Break Mode ends, some meter will be lost. This means that although the player can Double Break, they cannot perform two consecutive "Single Breaks".

If a bomb is used during Break Mode, then Break Mode will end prematurely. This will still incur the loss of meter from exiting Break Mode, so bombing during Break Mode is ill advised, as it is a waste of resources.

Double Break Mode

If the Break Gauge is filled while Break Mode is active, then the text "DOUBLE BREAK STANDBY" will appear. If the Break button is pressed during this time, then the Break activation animation will play again, and the player will enter Double Break mode.

During Double Break mode, the ship's power becomes even stronger. Two additional options are also gained, which disappear after Double Break Mode ends.

During Double Break mode, no meter can be gained, and no bombs can be used. This makes it a high risk, high reward option. As will be evident later, trying to enter Double Break Mode as much as possible is the crux of scoring. However, due to a lack of any kind of safety net, it can easily lead to the loss of a life if not used carefully.

Bonus Items

Each time a boss or mid-boss is destroyed, it will release a set of bonus items. Only one of these items can be collected. Which one is the best to collect depends on the player's current circumstances.

The following items are available to be collected:

  • BOMB RESET - This will greatly decrease the bomb gauge, down to its minimum value.
  • ENERGY BONUS - This will give the player a some extra meter for the Break Gauge.
  • STAR BONUS - This will give the player a set number of stars. The value of the Star Bonus increases depending on which boss released the bonus items.
  • EXTEND - This bonus item will only appear if the player is down to their last life (no stock remaining.) It will only appear once per game.
Extends

Extends are not tied to score, but rather to the total number of stars collected over the course of the game. Each time the star requirement is reached, the amount of stars needed to get the next extend is increased. Four extends can be acquired through collecting stars: At 100,000, at 250,000, at 450,000, and at 700,000. Once 700,000 stars are reached, no further extends can be acquired in this way.

Scoring

WIP


Boost

Basic description of mode here.

System
Scoring

Unlimited

Basic description of mode here.

System
Scoring

Time Attack

Basic description of mode here.

System
Scoring

Novice

A new difficulty mode added in World Ignition. Features some slight mechanical adjustments and an overall easier difficulty level. Unlimited and Time Attack modes are not available in Novice.


Original

Basic description of mode here.

System
Scoring

Boost

Basic description of mode here.

System
Scoring

Arrange (World Explosion only)

Added in World EXplosion, this is a unique game mode that features remixed game mechanics, bullet patterns, and scoring systems. Its most notable feature is the use of a weapon selection bar, similar to the Gradius series.


Original

Basic description of mode here.

System
Scoring

Boost

Basic description of mode here.

System
Scoring

Unlimited

Basic description of mode here.

System
Scoring

Time Attack

Basic description of mode here.

System
Scoring

True Last Boss / TLB

To trigger Crimson Heart (the TLB), the player must 1cc the Gorgoneion (Stage 5 Boss) fight. Accessing Crimson Heart`s second phase requires a 1cc on it`s 1st phase as well.

Differences between doujin and NESiCAxLive/World Ignition

  • Break Gauge charges faster, and Break Mode and Double Break Mode last longer. They are also invulnerable for even longer.
  • Enemy HP balance is different. Enemies in the original doujin release typically have less HP.
  • There are many more extends, and they are gained from score value instead of star value like in World Ignition.
  • Enemy layouts are different.
  • Type-Z is far more overpowered, and its Break Gauge builds considerably higher than the other two ships.
  • In Unlimited mode, you only get bullet cancels with the lock shot if it's a full lock.
  • There is a lot more slowdown.

NESiCAxLive/World Ignition additions

  • Many mechanical differences. See doujin release article.
  • Type-III is added.
  • Boost Mode replaces Simple Mode.
  • Novice difficulty has been added, featuring Novice Original and Novice Boost.
  • An alternate skin is added for Type-Z.
  • In the NESiCAxLive AC version of Crimzon Clover, to access Type-Z, the player must use a NESiCAxLive card with a user profile registered in it.
  • Many graphical improvements and massive UI updates.
  • Score multipliers are doubled (6.4% to 12.8%), leading to higher scoring potential.
  • In Unlimited mode, the player can now perform bullet cancels using partial lock-ons, instead of needing a full set of lock-ons.
  • The multiplier timer from lock-ons is reduced from 9999 to 999.
  • Crimson Heart (TLB) has more bullet patterns in its second phase, instead of a single pattern that increases in difficulty over time.

World Explosion additions

  • Arrange Mode is added, featuring Arrange Original, Arrange Boost, Arrange Unlimited, and Arrange Time Attack.
  • Two new color palettes are added for Type-I, Type-II and Type-III.
  • An arranged soundtrack has been included.
  • Additional graphical polish.
  • Various bug fixes, including fixing an issue causing World Ignition to slow down and lag if the user's computer was left on for too long.

References

  1. Primary info provided by CHA-STG
  2. Thanks to ASE-SOT and moglar5k in the STG Rev. 2020 Discord for providing info on the doujin version of the game!
  3. Thanks to JSAV2006STG(ABC) for investigating the requirements to play as Type-Z on Crimzon Clover for NESiCAxLive!