Super XYX

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SXYX demon.pngSXYX XYX.pngSXYX demon.png

Super XYX
SXYX TitleScreen.png

Title screen

Developer: Team Grybanser Fox
Release date: PC: August 10, 2020

Super XYX (スーパーザイクス) is an indie shmup developed and published by Team Grybanser Fox and released on Windows PC on August 10, 2020.

Story

SXYX SmallXYX.png Story SXYX SmallXYX.png

The evil XYXian WORLD EATERS have attacked!

Fly and fight them even as they overtake United Earth's rapidly diminishing defense forces.

Our own weapons will surely be turned against us in this desperate battle for the survival of humanity.

Don't let us down!
We must win!


UEF Intelligence Report

The XYXians are a complete mystery to us even now. All we know is they hail from far away in deep space. Another galaxy? Perhaps, or perhaps from even further.

One rumor suggests they were birthed from a powerful AI, maybe even one made by humans long ago but that is not certain. What is certain is their amazing ability to overtake, INFECT, technology and use it freely towards their own mysterious aims.

This threat must be wiped out utterly.

Gameplay Overview

SXYX rightskull.pngSXYX rightskull.pngSXYX rightskull.png Gameplay Overview SXYX leftskull.pngSXYX leftskull.pngSXYX leftskull.png

Controls

Note: All buttons may be freely mapped on a keyboard or controller.

  • Shot: Fires the ship's main shot
  • Bomb: Uses a bomb if the player has one in stock
  • Focus: Hold the focus button to slow the ship's movement speed
  • Option: Changes the formation of the ship's options
  • Start: Start button, also pauses the game
  • Menu Confirm: Confirm button for menus
  • Menu Cancel: Cancel button for menus

Game Modes

Arcade The standard game mode. Play through the six main stages of the game in succession.

Boss Rush Fight the bosses of the six main stages in succession.

Gauntlet Play through the secret unlockable "Gauntlet" stage from Arcade mode.

Super Arcade A caravan-style mode that consists of three longer and harder stages.

GZR Start Not a separate game mode, but will allow the player to respawn from mid-stage checkpoints instead of immediately upon death when selected.

Options

The following settings in the options menu will influence the main game. To access the "More Options" page from the "Main Options" page, scroll down to the "Set Pad← →More Options" entry and press right on the control stick. Default values are bold.

Ship Speed

  • (slowest) 1, 2, 3, 4 (fastest)

Show Hitbox

  • No, Full, Light

Lives Set starting lives at the beginning of a credit.

  • 2, 3, 4, 5

Difficulty

  • Standard, Challenging

Credits Set number of credits. Credits beyond the initial three are unlocked by playing the game.

  • 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Mercy Powerups Spawns a ship that drops a shot power up on your last life.

  • On, Off

Stage Clear Type Determines whether the full end screen bonus animations are played.

  • Long, Fast


Characters

SXYX rearnude.png Characters SXYX frontnude.png

Every character has access to a main shot, a screen-clearing smart bomb, and options.

Each ship has a unique main shot that serves as their primary weapon. The main shot has four power levels and may be leveled up by collecting a power up item. Dying reduces the shot power by one level.

Smart bombs may be used to instantly clear the screen of bullets, gain brief invincibility, and deal damage to on-screen enemies. The player begins the game with 6 bombs and gains at least one bomb after each stage. There is no way to gain bombs mid-stage and bombs will not refill upon dying.

Options fire bullets with the same properties as the ships main shot and may fire in many different formations unique to each character. There are two sets of options. The first option power up item activates the inner options close to the ship and the second option power up activates the outer options further from the ship. These option sets may not necessarily change their firing direction upon cycling option formations. Although the options will maintain a general formation around the player ship, they will not always keep the ship in the center of the formation. This allows the player to very subtly focus fore to one side of their ship. Dying will remove a set of options in the opposite order they are acquired.

Green Knight

Green Knight
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Age: 23

From: New Eurasia, Earth

Green Knight is a strong warrior and dutiful protector of his land.

He has been sent on this mission not only to battle the XYXians, but also save his kingdom's abducted prince, with whom he has shared a strong bond with since childhood.


Main Shot Rapid-fire wide shot

Option Formations

  1. Inner: Forward Diagonal (swaying), Outer: Forward Diagonal (swaying)
  2. Inner: Forward Diagonal (swaying), Outer: Forward Diagonal (swaying out of sync)
  3. Inner: Forward Diagonal, Outer: Forward Diagonal
  4. Inner: Forward, Outer: Forward

Note: The difference between the first and second option formations is that the first formation sweeps from vertical to 45° while the second sweeps from 45° to horizontal. The third formation freezes the current option angle.

Helltiger

Helltiger
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Age: 30

From: Mars Colony ZETA

Helltiger is a mercenary fighter full of fury.

A skilled but dangerous pilot dismissed from their military post for fighting too recklessly, Tiger now rushes into the fight hoping for a real challenge.


Main Shot Rapid-fire forward shot

Option Formations

  1. Inner: Forward, Outer: Forward
  2. Inner: Forward, Outer: Forward
  3. Inner: Horizontal, Outer: Forward
  4. Inner: Horizontal, Outer: Backwards

Note: Helltiger's options always sweep back and forth in a narrow cone around the direction they are aiming. Because his formations repeat, it may take multiple button presses to cycle to a new formation.

Yellow Jacket

Yellow Jacket
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Age: 35

From: Earth Megalopolis 2

Yolanda Johnson is the CEO of an advanced weapons development firm on Earth.

Bringing her company's new untested weaponry onboard, she hopes to bring back live alien samples to aid in further research.


Main Shot Forward piercing laser. The lasers consists of segments that can randomly bend and linger briefly, dealing damage while they are active.

Option Formations

  1. Inner: Forward, Outer: Forward
  2. Inner: Forward, Outer: Forward
  3. Inner: Forward, Outer: Forward
  4. Inner: Forward, Outer: Forward

Note: As far as we can tell, Yellow Jacket's option formations are identical.

Blue Fox

Blue Fox
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Age: ??

From: ??

Fox is a superpowered crime fighter from another world.

Brought to Earth through mysterious circumstances, Fox's sense of justice and duty led him to immediately join the battle against the XYXian menace. He pilots the ship of his own creation, the BLUE FOX. It's powerful alien tech will surely be helpful.


Main Shot Piercing wave shot

Option Formations

  1. Inner: Forward, Outer: Forward
  2. Inner: Horizontal, Outer, Forward
  3. Inner: Backwards, Outer: Horizontal
  4. Inner: Forwards/Backwards, Outer: Forwards/Backwards

Note: Options will alternate directions every shot in the fourth option formation.

Carrotyzer

Carrotyzer
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Age: 20

From: Apollo Station

Bunny is a very popular professional dancer, model and entertainer.

Figuring saving the galaxy will boost his career and popularity even further, he has the state of the art fighter CARROTYZER built just for him. It's construction is funded solely from client tips and fan donations.


Main Shot Rapid-fire homing shot. The shots travel at odd forward angles briefly before changing directions to home in on nearby targets.

Option Formations

  1. Inner: Forward Diagonal, Outer: Forward Diagonal
  2. Inner: Backwards Diagonal, Outer: Backwards Diagonal
  3. Inner: Horizontal (swaying), Outer: Horizontal (swaying)
  4. Inner: Forward, Outer: Backwards

Note: The third option formation sweeps from horizontal to a small angle behind horizontal.

Cobra

Cobra
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Age: ??

From: ??

Cobra is a mysterious pilot with unknown intentions.

She flies a 20th century helicopter heavily modified for space flight and upgraded with advanced, hard hitting firepower.


Main Shot Rapid-fire wide shot with homing missiles

Option Formations

  1. Inner: Forward, Outer: Forward
  2. Inner: 45° Forward Diagonal, Outer: 45° Forward Diagonal
  3. Inner: Horizontal, Outer: 45° Forward Diagonal
  4. Inner: 45° Backwards Diagonal, Outer: Horizontal

Scoring

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General Overview

Scoring in Super XYX comes from three main sources: medals, enemy chaining, and a no-miss bonus. Uniquely, the score from these sources is compiled during a stage end bonus screen after each stage. This has the important consequence that score penalties from dying are incredibly punishing.

A high-scoring run will involve obtaining a 1000-hit enemy chain as soon as possible and collecting as many medals as possible while not dying.

Medals

All enemies drop medals that may be collected for score. The score awarded for collecting medals is geometric and increases with higher medal totals. However, the score awarded is calculated based upon the medal count the player has at stage end. Dying will reduce the player's medal count to 1/3 of their total before death.

The medals dropped by a particular enemy is dependent upon an enemy-specific base value and a combo multiplier based upon the highest enemy chain value the player has obtained. This multiplier persists between stages but will reset to zero when the player dies, a further punishment to the reduced medal count.

Chain Value Multiplier
<50 x0
50-249 x1
250-749 x2
750-999 x3
1000+ x4

Chaining

Super XYX features an enemy chaining mechanic. The chain increases upon hitting an enemy, functioning in a similar vein to a combo meter. Since enemies will generally take more than one hit to kill, the chain meter will increase faster than you destroy enemies. After hitting an enemy an 80 frame timer will start counting down, signified by the chain value fading into the background. The chain value will reset if this timer reaches zero.

Collecting a medal will refresh the timer but not add any hits to the chain value. This is useful for linking chain combos through sections with few or no enemies.

At stage end, the player is awarded a chain bonus of 250 points multiplied by their highest chain value for the stage.

No-Miss Bonus

At stage end, the player is awarded bonus points for clearing a stage without dying. This bonus is equal to 500,000 points multiplied by the consecutive number of stages completed without dying. Thus, in a deathless run the no-miss bonus would award 500,000 points after Stage 1, 1,000,000 points after Stage 2, 1,5000,000 points after Stage 3, etc. However, dying resets the multiplier so that the next no-miss bonus obtained will be 500,000 points.

Including the secret Gauntlet stage and the ???? stage there are 8 stages total, for which the cumulative no-miss bonus would be 18,000,000 points.

Strategy

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Gauntlet and TLB

If you complete the first two stages without dying, a "?" item will drop at the start of Stage 3. Collecting this item will enable you to enter a bonus stage called the Gauntlet after completing Stage 3. Be aware that dying during Stage 3 will cause you to drop the "?" item, but you may pick it up again upon respawning. If for some reason you do not wish to go to the Gauntlet, you may choose not to pick the "?" item.

Completing the Gauntlet allows you to access the "????" stage after completing Stage 6, in which you confront Black Serpent (the True Last Boss)

Survival Tips

When playing this game, it is important to understand your resources and how to use them. In particular, bombs are very powerful since they clear the screen of bullets and grant brief invincibility. The game awards one bomb after each stage, more if you score well, so bombs are generally plentiful. In addition, there is no scoring penalty for using a bomb.

In contrast, dying is very bad. Dying powers you down, which makes it harder to survive. In addition, power ups are rare (especially option power ups) so regaining your lost firepower can take a while, if it is even possible. Finally, dying severely compromises your end stage bonus, meaning you will gain far fewer bombs and lives. Basically, it is always worth saving yourself with a bomb. It is likely you will get the bombs you used back at stage end, and you avoid putting yourself in a far worse position.

It is worth practicing the first three stages to the point where you can clear them without dying and using only a few bombs, since this should leave you with enough lives and bombs to make it through the rest of the game. In addition, this unlocks the bonus Gauntlet stage and true last boss.

Option formations tend to be useful throughout the game, particularly formations which fire at oblique angles or even behind the player. Many bosses can be trivialized by using option formations to attack them from the side or even from the top of the screen.

Many mid-sized enemies, particularly grounded enemies, do not have hurtboxes, so you can easily seal their bullets for safe, point-blank kills.

References

  1. In-game text demos.
  2. weakboson, UBO, Super XYX general guide, https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2207863053


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