Harmful Park is a high brow gag and pure shooting game and a very vibrantly absurd horizontal shmup, released for the Playstation in 1997 by Sky Think System. The player is in control of a woman riding a flying motorbike who fighter her enemies with a full course meal’s worth of food. Unlike some horizontal shooters, terrain is not dangerous.
Harmful Park has 6 stages and four difficulties: Easy (the default), Normal, Hard, and Very Hard. It also offers a Score Attack mode with a unique and difficult score attack stage, and a set of non-STG minigames.
X: Shot Change Forward
O: Shot Change Back
[The order for shot change is: Potato, Ice, Pie, Jerry]
Select Potato R1
Select Ice R2
Select Pie L1
Select Jerry L2
Harmful Park equips the player with four different weapons, each with its own unique special "bomb" attack. Each handles differently, and the easiest weapon to use in any given situation will likely not be the right weapon to use to rack up points. Each weapon has four power levels are, and your current weapon will reset to level 1 upon death. If you need to take a death, switching to another weapon can help you maintain your power level on your weapon(s) of choice.
The most traditional weapon in your arsenal, it's a basic vulcan-type gun. Reliable and easy to use, it's great if you're feeling overwhelmed and want to deal damage without having to worry about the peculiarities of the other weapons. However, the shot has very poor scoring potential; you'll struggle to get a x2 with it.
Potato's special attack is smartbomb attack with a small twist. A giant sweet potato will appear around your character and and linger for a second before exploding. Enemies that touch the potato will take damage; when it explodes it will damage everything on the screen.
The Ice shot shoots a long dairylicious laser at the enemies. There are breaks in the beam which takes getting used to but it deals great damage, penetrates enemies, and is the easiest weapon to chain with.
It does get harder to chain when you level up the weapon: each individual beam establishes its own combo, so you need to do some careful positioning to maximize your chain. It's difficult to combo into big enemies, but Ice is a great way to weaken them so they can be finished off with a bomb.
Ice's special attack is a large laser that shoots out of a giant ice cream sundae. It's powerful but has poor combo potential. Best for bosses if you're not feeling brave.
The Pie weapon lobs a creamy grenade at your targets. Pies are best thrown at short range, they travel in an arc and are difficult to aim from a distance and the longer your pies are in the air the longer you have to wait to throw more.
Pies are the second most important scoring tool in your arsenal. They're not great for general use, but a solid hit does consistent damage every time and it's the most consistent way I've found to deal specific amounts of damage before throwing a bomb out. Staying at Lvl. 1 is an easy way to make sure you're able to accurately accurately gauge your damage output.
A less useful feature of the Pie weapon is that your multiplier builds faster - from 2x to 4x, etc. Even more interesting, it might possible to keep your chain from pie to pie. Unfortunately, there are very few cases where enemies are grouped in a way that allows you to take advantage of this - the birds in stage 2 are a rare exception.
The special Pie attack is really a special cake attack that fires a rotating barrage of cakes around your character. It's the strongest attack in the game, but you have sit on top of an enemy actually hit them with all the cakes - and if you're still there when the attack ends and your invincibility runs out, you will die.
The Jerry attack throws homing blobs of jelly at enemies. They're weak and difficult to aim at specific targets and are basically never the best weapon for any situation. Even worse, the projectiles often remain on screen for quite a while searching out a target, and you can't fire Ice or Pie while there's still one on screen.
The Jerry special surrounds your characters in a big ol' bowl of jello that absorbs a lot of damage (and deals a small amount to any enemy that touches you), but there's no way to dispel the shield and you're stuck with the Jerry weapon until it's gone. It's probably very helpful if you want to survive certain hairy situations without burning through your entire Special stock, but if you're going for something other than a clear than the opportunity cost of using it is probably too high.
Gems are dropped by enemies; some drops are fixed while most enemies will drop them only occasionally (likely after so many kills). Gem values increase by 500 with each gem collected and reset to 500 when a single gem is dropped; the change in value happens regardless of whether or not there are other gems on screen.
When gems are generated, they move right for a second, before moving left and eventually falling off screen. This move gems off the righthand side of the screen for a few seconds, outside of your ability to collect them. This can complicate collection quite a bit depending on the situation. Dropping a full-value gem by letting it scroll off the left side of the screen costs you 22,500 points while you rebuild the value.
Attaining higher multipliers increases the drop rate - at a certain level you will are more or less guaranteed a gem from every enemy killed (and some large enemies can drop higher numbers of gems). This is an important element to scoring because while it helps make killing large groups of otherwise enemies worth expending a bomb. The drop rate is effected by the difficulty level - gems will be everywhere on Easy, but quite uncommon on Very Hard.
You also spawn gems when you die, I believe based on the weapon level you lose. Losing a lvl. 4 will spawn 3, lvl. 3 will spawn 2, lvl. 2 will spawn 1, and lvl. 1 gets you nothing. Since you get 5,000 points for collecting a powerup while at Lvl. 4, it's better to just grab the powerup for points than to level up unused weapons to spawn gems when you die.
Gem collection also seems to influence when non-fixed powerups will spawn. I'm not sure of specifics, but more gems collected results in more powerups appearing.
Snowmen are worth 50,000 points each, and are hidden in every level. When you shoot their hiding place they will appear for a brief second; once you've done enough damage to them they will turn white and can be collected.
|Stage 1 Location|
|Stage 2 Locations|
|Stage 3 Location|
|Stage 4 Location|
|Stage 5 Location|
|Stage 6 Locations|
Powerup items drop regularly throughout the game, and upgrade your current weapon by one level.
Special items appear at fixed locations and grant you one additional special/bomb for your stock.
The multiplier will be your main source of points in Harmful Park. Each enemy after the first that is killed with the same projectile will increase your multiplier by 1, up to x16. This multiplier is applied to the defeated enemy's base value, which is displayed in the upper left hand corner when they are killed. That base is an important factor - an enemy worth 500 killed with a x16 chain is worthless compared to an enemy worth 5,000 killed with a x3 chain. As a general rule, we want to identify enemies with large base values, and find a way to kill them with a very high multiplier. The multiplier also influences gem drops, as discussed below.
The multiplier starts really helping when you're able to apply it to large enemies. As an example, there is an enemy midway through stage 1 that will fire popcorn all over the screen. He's worth 5,000 - but before he leaves the screen, over a dozen flying hats will join him. If you weaken him enough so that a Potato bomb will kill him when it explodes, the hats will bump your multiplier up to x16 which is applied to the stronger enemy upon its demise for a value of 80,000 points. Note that this works on bosses, who have a base value of 50,000!
The value of items such as gems and snowmen are independent from the multiplier.
End of Stage Bonus There are three factors that contribute to your stage bonus: Specials in stock x 5,000 Gems collected x 100 50,000 x Destroy % if <100% 200,000 if 100% enemies destroyed
Perhaps surprisingly given how prominent gems appear in the game, Harmful Park's scoring actually revolves around its multiplier system.
Multiplier is only built by a single shot - a single pie that kills two enemies will be rewarded with a the second kill; killing two enemies with two pies will not result in a multiplier even if they die at the exact same time. This is quite strict - if your Lv 3 Ice weapon fires three lasers at once, each laser is treated as a different shot. The only weapon that can effectively build multiplier is the Potato weapon's bomb, which will sit on screen for a few moments before exploding for full-screen damage - and the tick damage and explosion are counted as one "shot." The bulk of a run's score will probably come from using the Potato bomb on large groups of weak enemies, ideally with a high-value stronger enemy destroyed at the end with a x16 multiplier.
The bomb is not strong enough to kill most valuable enemies on its own, so scoring in Harmful Park generally requires you to weaken a high-value enemy to the point where a bomb can kill it, then allowing the screen to fill up with weak enemies before deploying the bomb. As no enemies have visible health bars, learning to score requires learning how to measure and deal the right amount of damage before attempting to cash in. Stronger enemies will flash yellow when hit initially, and red when they are near death. A red damage indicator does not necessarily mean a bomb will be enough to finish the enemy off.
When you run out of bombs, you can intentionally lose a life to recover your bomb stock. To compliment this, you are awarded with an extend every 500k. Scoring well rewards you with more lives to be traded in for more bombs, enabling more score. In certain cases it is possible to earn an extend with a single well timed bomb - the stage 4 boss can be killed with a 16x multiplier (applied to her 50,000 base) for 800,000 points.
Gems are a significant source of score, but the way one collects more gems is to build bigger multipliers. Large swarms of small enemies can still be worth bombing without a valuable target to cash in on, as enemies kills with a large multiplier drop more gems. This isn't worth doing in harder difficulties where gems drop less frequently, but if you are scoring well enough that you have excess resources it's better to spend them for 70k than hold them for a paltry end of stage bonus.
The end stage bonus adds up but is generally not worth chasing - the most substantial aspect is for enemy destruction, which is only substantial if you get a 100% kill rate. You'll likely let some enemies go while setting up your multiplier, so you'll almost never receive the full benefit here. Snowmen are easy enough to work into your route, but there aren't enough of them to really add up. Overall, the part of your score that isn't directly tied to the multiplier system will probably be less than 1,000,000 points.
A mad scientist has converted Heartful Park into a dangerous base. You are sent to correct this.
It's super expensive, being one of the most expensive PS1 games.
A test menu can be accessed by entering the following code while Exit is highlighted in the Options menu: R1, R2, L1, L2, R1, L2, Circle
The test menu has a level select and allows the player to view intermissions and the bonus illustrations you can earn by shooting down 100% of enemies in each stage.
References & Contributors
References & Contributors