Progear no Arashi

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Progear logo.png
Progear no Arashi
Progear poster.jpg

Game title screen

Developer: CAVE
Music: Yukinori Kikuchi
Program: Tsuneki Ikeda
Satoshi Kouyama
Takashi Ishimura
Art: Junya Inoue
Release date: January 17, 2001
Previous game: Guwange
Next game: DoDonPachi DaiOuJou

Progear no Arashi(プロギアの嵐, "Storm of Progear", abbreviated: Progear) is a game developed by CAVE and edited by CAPCOM on the CP System II in January 2001. It was the first horizontal shoot 'em up developed by CAVE.

For replay videos, visit the Video Index.

Gameplay Overview

Progear is a three-button game. Button C is disabled by default but can be enabled in the service menu.

There are five stages in the game, with a second loop beginning at the end of stage five if one of the requirements for the 2nd loop is met. Upon reaching the end of the second loop, the player will fight Volvox`s true last phase.

Controls

  • A (Press): Fighter mode Fires the standard shot weapon.
  • A (Hold): Gunner mode Fires the ship's "focus" fire, using the gunner options, locking onto the closest enemies until they are destroyed or the A button is released
  • B: Detonates a Bomb if there is at least one bomb in stock
  • C: Auto-fire for the player's standard spread shot.

Characters / Ships

Fighter/Pilot selection

Ship Pilot Aircraft Speed Shot Power position
of hitbox
Pointblank Far
Fighter Type-A GAMBLER
Ring
Progear Plane A.gif Normal Wide Shot Strong Weak Progear hitbox gambler.png
Fighter Type-B MILITANT
Bolt
Progear Plane B.gif Fast Straight Shot Medium Medium Progear hitbox militant.png

The hitbox does not change size or position when the player is going up or down (or left or right) unlike some other games (like Dodonpachi).

Gunner selection

Gunner Co-pilot Gunner option Fire Speed in
gunner mode
Lock speed Power
Gunner Type-Alpha
Chain
Progear Gunner option type alpha.gif Straight Slow Slow Strong
Gunner Type-Beta
Nail
Progear Gunner option type beta.gif Wide Fast Fast Weak
Gunner Type-Gamma
Rivet
Progear Gunner option type gamma.gif Homing Medium Medium Strong

Gunner formation

It is possible to change the formation of your gunner options by using some specific inputs during the gunner selection screen

  • Normal: If noone of the inputs conditions for the 3 formations described below are met, it will be normal. In this formation, the gunner options are attached under the aircraft.

Progear system form normal alpha.jpg Progear system formation normal beta.jpg Progear system formation normal gamma.jpg

  • Fixed: By pressing both A and B buttons to select the gunner, the gunner options will be fixed instead of moving around during gunner mode. It's possible to press A and B at the same time, or hold the A button after selcting the pilot then pressing B to select the gunner. Depending of which gunner is selected, the options will be fixed in a different position.
  • Center up and down: By pressing 2P start (or 1P start for 2P) while selecting the gunner,the gunner options will be up and down in the center.

Progear Center up and down formation.jpg

  • Forward up and down: By pressing both A and B buttons, while holding the 2P start (or 1P start for 2P) during the gunner selection, the gunner options will be up and down in front of the aircraft. It's possible to press A and B at the same time, or hold the A button after selcting the pilot then pressing B to select the gunner.

Progear Forward up and down formation.jpg

Change of clothes

By pressing 1P during the pilot or the gunner selection screen (or 2P as 2P), the clothes will be changed to 2P clothes (or 1P as 2P).

1P Nail in 2P clothes

Items

Progear power up.jpg
Power Up
Increases your attack power (max power after the 4th item)
Progear power max.jpg
Max Power Up
Instantly grants max power (only appears after losing all lives)
Progear bomb.jpg
Bomb
Increases your bomb stock by 1
Progear diamond ring.jpg
Ring
Produced when canceling bullet by killing enemies in fighter mode (shot)
Progear diamond stone.jpg
Stone/Jewel
Produced when canceling bullet by killing enemies in gunner mode (option lock)
Progear 1UP mini.jpg
1-Up
Rewards the player with one extra life

Bomb

The player uses a bomb when he presses the B button. During the bomb effect, the ship is completely invulnerable and a little bit after (90 frames). After firing the bomb, it flies to the right then when it hits an enemy, it moves slowly to the right. The bomb explodes automatically when one of the following conditions is met (the explosion last for 120 frames) : it reaches the right side of the screen the jewel counter has run out

Bombing will consume the jewel counter during its effect. The player will lose 47 every 2 frames and 7 every time a bullet is erased by the bomb. There is an upper limit to how much of the jewel counter the bomb can consume. See the following table for details.

Stage Jewels
1st 2000
2nd 4000
3rd 6000
4th 8000
5th 10,000
2nd loop 10,000

The bullets erased by a bomb become rings and are automatically collected. Immediately after firing the bomb, the value of the ring will be reset to the lowest (small amethyst) but the player can improve that value by firing during the bomb. If the player use this property properly, he can recover the jewel consumption due to the bomb.

Extends and 1UP item

With the default settings, the player gets his first score extend at 3 million, then one every 4 million after.

There is a hidden 1UP item during stage 4, the player need to destroy the 2 big tanks in order. First the one at the top then the one at the bottom. But he must not destroy the one at the bottom while a bomb is in effect. On the other hand, if he destroys the one at the top with a bomb and finish the one at the bottom during the 90 frames of invulnerability after the bomb effect, the 1UP will appear.

Hidden 1UP in stage 4

Death

If the player hitbox collides with a bullet or an enemy hitbox, the aircraft will explode, but the blast can cause considerable damage to the enemy. It can be useful during stage sections to clear some enemies if there is not any bomb left. The player can for exemple run into an enemy to deal as much damage as possible.

But this does not always work. For example, on its final form, the 5th boss doesn't take any damage from the explosion.

Loops


After clearing the 1st loop, if any of these requirements is met, the player will access the 2nd loop:

  • number of deaths is 1 or less.
  • number of bombs used is 2 or less.

At the beginning of the 2nd loop, the jewel counter is doubled.

Several changes occur during the 2nd loop compared to the 1st:

  • The player cannot earn score extend anymore.
  • The position and number of enemies is not exactly the same as in the 1rst loop
  • When killed, the enemies will release revenge bullets aimed toward the player (but not completely straight at him)
  • Every time the player dies, if the boss battle has not started, the player will start from the beginning of the current stage.
  • Several bosses will have additional phases and attacks

Scoring

Jeweling

Enemy bullets that are caught in enemies explosion disappear and become scoring items (rings or gems)

If the player cancels bullets while being in Fighter mode (shot), the bullets will turn into ring items. If he cancels a large number of bullets, the value of the ring item will be high (the maximum is diamond ring). The collected ring with the highest value is displayed in the bottom left corner of the screen (bottom right if the player is using Player 2).

If the player cancels bullets while being in Gunner mode (lock), the bullets will turn into jewel items. The type of jewel the player gets corresponds to the type of the ring displayed in the bottom left corner of the screen (Ex: If the player has diamond rings, he will get diamonds). When the player quits Gunner mode, the ring in the bottom left corner is reset to its initial state.

The rings on the screen are automatically collected when the player shifts to Gunner mode. With the same idea, the jewels on the screen are automatically collected when the player shifts to Fighter mode.

The value of Rings and Jewels is shown in the following table:

Level Type Value as
Ring
Value as
Jewel
Sprite Value Sprite Value
1 Amethyst (small)
Progear amethyst ring small.jpg
10
Progear amethyst small.jpg
10
2 Amethyst (medium)
Progear amethyst ring medium.jpg
20
Progear amethyst medium.jpg
10
3 Amethyst (big)
Progear amethyst ring big.jpg
30
Progear amethyst big.jpg
10
4 Ruby (small)
Progear ruby ring small.jpg
40
Progear ruby small.jpg
20
5 Ruby (medium)
Progear ruby ring medium.jpg
50
Progear ruby medium.jpg
40
6 Ruby (big)
Progear ruby ring big.jpg
60
Progear ruby big.jpg
80
7 Emerald (small)
Progear emerald ring small.jpg
70
Progear emerald small.jpg
160
8 Emerald (medium)
Progear emerald ring medium.jpg
80
Progear emerald medium.jpg
320
9 Emerald (big)
Progear emerald ring big.jpg
90
Progear emerald big.jpg
640
10 Diamond
Progear diamond ring.jpg
100
Progear diamond stone.jpg
1280

Chain reactions

When the player destroys an enemy in Gunner mode,bullets on the sprite of the explosion will be cancelled and turn into jewels. However, if some other bullets are close enough from these jewels, the cancel reaction might propagate. The propagation is easier the higher the value of the jewel is. There are several spots in the game where enemies keep shooting at the player and if the players leave them alive, it is possible to start a cancel reaction that will go on as long as the bullets are set up in a specific way allowing this to happen.

Chain reaction at the end of stage 1

Jewel counter

The number displayed in the bottom left corner of the screen (bottom right if the player is using Player 2) is the jewel counter. It increases by collecting rings and jewels. It affects the score and the clear/stage bonuses. Each time the player dies, this counter is reduced by 25%.

Bombing will consume the jewel counter during its effect. The player will lose 47 every 2 frames and 7 every time a bullet is erased by the bomb. There is an upper limit on how much of the jewel counter the bomb can consume (1st stage : 2000, 2nd stage : 4000, 3rd stage : 6000, 4th stage : 8000, 5th stage : 10 000, 2nd loop : 10 000).

Bomb stacking

If the player picks up a bomb while he has already a full bomb stock (3 bombs in stock), he activates the « x2 mode ». While the « x2 mode » is active, the points from killing enemies and the stage clear bonus are doubled. There is also an animation of children waving a flag next to the player bomb stock while this bonus is active.

Stacking bombs increases the jewel counter by 10 000 (20 000 if the player is already in « x2 mode »).

Usually, the lower limit of ring/jewel is small amethyst (level 1), but it rises as follows each time the stacking is repeated. Repeated stacking will allow the player to prepare diamond rings with a smaller number of bullets, making it easier to score and safer. This is especially useful during the second loop.

Bomb stacking 1st time Amethyst big (Level 3)
Bomb stacking 2nd time Ruby small (Level 4)
Bomb stacking 3rd time Ruby big (Level 6)
Bomb stacking 4th time Emerald small (Level 7)
Bomb stacking 5th time or more Emerald big (Level 9)

If the player dies or uses a bomb, the lower limit of ring/jewel will return to small amethyst (level 1).

Shooting/Tick points

When the player is in fighter mode, every time a bullet hits an enemy, the player will earn points according to the following formula :

 Shooting point = (Jewel counter / 10000 (rounded down to the nearest whole number)) x 10 

If the player is in « x2 mode », this number is multiplied by 2.

The notations such as "+10" and "+ 150 × 2" that sometimes appear on the jewel counter display indicate the shooting point. That's why, for scoring optimisation, dealing damage to bosses at pointblank range using Shot is recommanded.

Stage clear bonus

When the player clears a stage, he receives a score bonus equal to the jewel counter multiplied by 10. If the « x2 mode » is active (see Bomb stacking), this bonus is multiplied by 2.

ALL clear bonus

If the player clears both loops, he will receive a ALL clear bonus :

  • 5 million points per remaining extend
  • 1 million points per remaining bomb
  • Jewel counter x 20

2-5 also has a Stage clear bonus, so if the player clears, he will get both a STAGE clear bonus and an ALL clear bonus.

Affection system

The affection of the accompanying gunner to the pilot changes depending on the way the player plays . The affection level influences the gunner's facial expression and ending when clearing a stage, and the aircraft performance of specific combinations (Ring/Rivet and Bolt/Chain).

The level of activity (ACTIVE), the level of safety (SAFE), and the level of Affection (LOVELY) are evaluated on a 73-point scale from 0 to 72, respectively.

 Activity level (ACTIVE) = (activity level counter / 4096) x 72
 Safety level (SAFE) = ((safety level counter-near miss counter) / 100000) x 72
 Affection (LOVELY) = (activity level + safety level) / 2
 Affection level =
   When ACTIVE is 72 and SAFETY is 72: LEVEL6
   When ACTIVE is 48 or higher and SAFETY is 48 or higher: LEVEL5
   When ACTIVE is 48 or higher and SAFETY is 24 or higher: LEVEL4 (Part 1)
   When ACTIVE is 24 or higher and SAFETY is 48 or higher: LEVEL4 (Part 2) 
   When ACTIVE is 48 or more and SAFETY is less than 24: LEVEL3 (Part 1)
   When ACTIVE is less than 24 and SAFETY is 48 or more: LEVEL3 (Part 2) 
   When ACTIVE is 24 or higher and SAFETY is 24 or higher: LEVEL3 (Part 3) 
   When ACTIVE is 24 or more and SAFETY is less than 24: LEVEL2 (Part 1) 
   When ACTIVE is less than 24 and SAFETY is 24 or more: LEVEL2 (Part 2) 
   If ACTIVE is less than 24 and SAFETY is less than 24: LEVEL1

Activity counter (0 to 14524)

When the activity jewel counter, which will be described later, exceeds 128, a certain amount will be added each time jeweling is performed. The value to be added varies from stage to stage.

Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Stage 5
256 85 85 64 51

There is an upper limit to the number of additions for each stage.

Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Stage 5
Maximum number of additions 6 times 17 times 17 times 22 times 28 times
Activity counter than can be acquired in this stage 1536 (256x6) 1445 (85x17) 1445 (85x17) 1408 (64x22) 1428 (51x28)
  • After the addition, 128 will be subtracted to the jewel counter for activity .
  • Even if the player makes a mistake or uses a continue, it will not decrease.
  • if the player scores a little, he will reach the upper limit immediately, so it is difficult to see differences during different runs.
  • When the activity counter is 4096 or more, the activity level will be 72 (MAX level) (achieved on stage 3 in the best case).

Jewel counter for activity

When a ring or jewel appears by jeweling, the following values ​​are added (subtracted) for each ring / jewel (regardless of whether it is collected or not).

Jewel Best couple Other than the best couple
Ring -1 -1
Amethyst jewel -1 -1
Ruby jewel +3 +2
Emerald jewel +4 +3
Diamond jewel +6 +5

When the activity jewel counter exceeds 128, the activity counter increases by a certain amount and the activity jewel counter is subtracted by 128.

Safety counter (-10000 to 150000)

The safety counter is calculated from the following five factors.

 Safety counter =
   + Initial value (33000 or 5000)
   + Positioning of the aircraft (-10 to +5 for each frame)
   + Enemy left (-4 per frame when considered to be dangerous enemy left)
   + Bomb (+6000 per bomb use)
   + Miss (-10000 per death)
   - Near-Miss Counter 

Initial value

The initial value of the safety counter is different depending on the compatibility of the Pilot/Gunner couple. Ring/Chain and Bolt/Nail which are the best couples start at 33000, and the other couples start at 5000. After using a continue, the safety counter is reset to its initial value.

Positioning of the aircraft

The safety counter increases or decreases depending on where the aircraft is located in each area where the x-axis is divided into 23. The amount of increase / decrease per frame is set as follows.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5, 2, 2, 1, 1, 0, -1, -1, -2, -2, -4, -4, -6, -6, -8,- 8, -10, -10

The fastest increase in safety is in the area where 5 is set, which is roughly between the green lines in the image below.

Progear Safety area.png

During the bomb, the safety counter will stop increasing or decreasing due to the positioning of the aircraft.

Enemy left

When all of the following conditions are met, the safety counter will decrease by -4 per frame.

  • Enemy approaching the player
  • The player didn't shot in the last 75 frames
  • There are 6 or more enemy sprites (medium / large enemies have multiple sprites, and some of the sprites used in background animation etc. are included in this count).
  • 20 or more enemy bullets

Near miss counter (0-50000)

The number of enemy bullets judged to be close to the aircraft is counted every 2 frames and added. +2 will be added for each bullet, but only +1 during boss battles. Even after a death or continue, it will not decrease.


The safety level becomes 72 (MAX level) when the safety level reaches 100,000.

Gunner's facial expression

The Gunner's facial expression changes depending on the level of affection when clearing STAGE.

Affection Level Chain Nail Rivet
Level 1
Affection Chain level 1.png
Affection Ring level 1.png
Affection Rivet level 1.png
Level 2 (Part 1)
Affection Chain level 2 part 1.png
Affection Nail level 2 part 1.png
Affection Rivet level 2 part 1.png
Level 2 (Part 2)
Affection Chain level 2 part 2.png
Affection Nail level 2 part 2.png
Affection Rivet level 2 part 2.png
Level 3 (Part 1)
Affection Chain level 3 part 1.png
Affection Nail level 3 part 1.png
Affection Rivet level 3 part 1.png
Level 3 (Part 2)
Affection Rivet level 3 part 2.png
Affection Nail level 3 part 2.png
Affection Chain level 3 part 2.png
Level 3 (Part 3)
Affection Chain level 3 part 3.png
Affection Nail level 3 part 3.png
Affection Rivet level 3 part 3.png
Level 4 (Part 1)
Affection Chain level 4 part 1.png
Affection Nail level 4 part 1.png
Affection Rivet level 4 part 1.png
Level 4 (Part 2)
Affection Chain level 4 part 2.png
Affection Nail level 4 part 2.png
Affection Rivet level 4 part 2.png
Level 5
Affection Chain level 5 .png
Affection Nail level 5 .png
Affection Rivet level 5 .png
Level 6
Affection Chain level 6.png
Affection Nail level 6.png
Affection Rivet level 6.png

Ending

After a clear, if the Affection level is LEVEL 4 or less, it will be a normal ending. If it is LEVEL 5 or more, it will be a true ending. If the player clears both loops without using a continue, he will always get a true ending.

Story

In a time when the industrialisation of the world had just begun, various inventions appeared and changed the life of the peaceful kingdom. One of them was a propeller that evolved from pure wind generation by using the created electricity to re-rotate it. It was called "The Professional Gear", or just "Progear". This invention was the key to conquer the great wide open sky. Another discovery made the ancient dream of the immortal body come true. But it was affordable only by some wealthy elderly. They formed a new council called "the Motorouin" and declared the current government as a corruptive and greedy establishment and that they want to correct it by a new educational system, in order to create a new race of man. So they built a military force to realize the first step of their plan, which was the takeover of the kingdom. The government decided to stop the aggression by putting it's own army in motion. It was a dreadful battle with many victims. But it was won by the Motorouin. This battle is mentioned in the books of history as "The Punishment of the Sages". A group of young pilots, actually children whoses families were killed in that war, finally decided to fight back. They secretly developed a new powerful weapon which adults were not able to use. They called it "Gun Flyer" and installed it in all of their planes. The Storm of Progear was about to begin!

Development Team

Cave

  • Producer = Kenichi Takano
  • Director = Junya Inoue
  • Program = Tsuneki Ikeda,Satoshi Kouyama,Takashi Ishimura
  • Designers = Akira Wakabayashi,Hiroyuki Tanaka,Fusayuki Watariguchi,Kengo Arai
  • Sound producer = Junya Inoue
  • Music = Yukinori Kikuchi
  • Sound effecter = Ryuichi Yabuki
  • Special assist = Tosiaki Tomizawa
  • Character voice = Mitsuo Furusawa<,Junya Inoue,Aki Sibata,Midori Katou,Masayo Hirasaka
  • Special thanks = Yasushi Imai
  • Character & mechanic design = Junya Inoue

Capcom

  • Producer = Tatsuya Minami
  • Support research & development : Tomoshi Sadamoto

Version Differences

The game has two official version : the Japanese version which was the original version of the game and the US version. The US version removes all of the voice acting from characters. In the Japanese, enemies have more health and shoot more bullets.

Trivia

  • During it`s development, Progear no Arashi was originally meant to be a vertical scrolling shooter.

Other

References & Contributors

  1. Scoring info and formatting work provided by Juju Kenobi
  2. Scoring info https://w.atwiki.jp/progear/
  3. Item and characters sprites taken from http://http://www.world-of-arcades.net/Cave/Progear/Characters.htm