Guwange is a hard game. We should know!
That’s why, at Siliconera’s invitation, we’ve arranged for a well-known shooting game player, Kaisetsu-kun RAM, to give you a little guide to the game. Hardcore shooter players may know his name from high score boards or the Ibara superplay DVD. He’s also a huge Guwange nut, and speaks a little English so we thought he’d be perfect to give our overseas users a leg up on the competition.
■ LEARNING THE ROPES
For those that already have the game, you can find the following two images in the “TUTORIAL” section of the game menu.
Guwange is much like other shooters, but what makes it special is the ability of your character to build up very long coin combos throughout the game, and slow down bullets using your Shikigami. Destroying enemies rapidly will build up the Skulls at the top of the screen. These skulls indicate the strength of your combo, and when they drop to 0, so will your combo!
To build an effective combo, you’re going to want to use your character’s avatar: the Shikigami, which you can control by holding down the A button. Your Shikigami will slow down enemy bullets and, once that enemy is defeated, turn those bullets into coins that build your combo.
■ COMBO BASICS
Your Skull Gauge will increase with every enemy you defeat, so when there are a lot of “popcorn” (or weak) enemies on-screen, proceed ahead using Shot.
When you’ve got your Shikigami trained on an enemy, your Skull Gauge will slowly increase so use your Shikigami on tougher mid-sized enemies.
The gauge will decrease at a slower pace while you’re stalling bullets with your Shikigami, so you’ll want to slow down bullets in places where there are no enemies. This will allow you to connect your combo into the next section.
Try to keep at least some enemies or bullets on the screen while chaining.
This technique is very useful in Guwange’s stages right before you transition to a Boss.
During Boss Fights, your Skull Gauge will drop slower when you have less than 5 Skulls on the meter.
Additionally, when you hit a Boss with your Shikigami, your Skull Gauge will recover to 5 skulls very quickly, so switching back and forth between Shikigami and Autofire will allow you to “milk” the boss for coins while keeping your combo.
But, if you want to bomb on a boss, try to make sure you have over 6 Skulls on the Gauge before doing so. That way you can keep your combo.
The higher your combo builds, the higher your score will climb. These are the basics of Guwange. They may sound simple, but it will take much forethought and fortitude to maintain your combo all the way through a stage. Start slow! See if you can knit together Stage 1!
Check out some of the replays on Xbox Live to get an idea of how you can build your combo!
■ LIFE RECOVERY ITEMS
Before we get into anything more advanced, I’d like to explain where to find some of the life recovery items hidden around the game. These items will help you survive in this nightmarish world, and are in fact located in some of the tougher parts of the game.
Scoring well in “Guwange” means connecting your coin combos as long as possible. If you lose a life, this combo will be cut in half.
Of course this means that you want to avoid getting hit, but if you can’t avoid it, make sure you’re using your Shikigami. While your Shikigami is out, you’ll have a yellow barrier that reduces any hit to half damage.
When you use a bomb, keep a close watch on your Skull Gauge.
If your Skull Gauge is weak, it will deplete to 0 while the bomb is firing, and your coin combo will drop to 0. While you’re moving through the stages, it’s best to keep 8 Skulls flashing, or 6 during boss fights: this is a level at which you can comfortably bomb if you get in trouble.
But there are some parts of Guwange that are just hard as hell, so if you can’t avoid getting hit at the end of Stage 4 or in the big oxcart rush of Stage 6, fire off a bomb to avoid dying.
There are plenty of Life Recovery Items located throughout “Guwange”, and these will make your journey a lot easier, especially on the tougher Stages 4 through 6.
They’re a bit tricky to grab sometimes, so try to remember where they are and how to trigger them. In general, these Life Items will not be accessible if you use a bomb, so try not to!
Stage 3 Grab a Small Life Item by attacking the large statue mid-way through the stage. If you attack any other statue before you destroy the big one, this item will not appear.
Stage 4 A mid-sized Life Recovery Item can be grabbed by defeating the mid-boss here without bombing.
Stage 5 Destroy the tank near the castle tower for a Small Life Item.
Stage 6 A Small, Medium and Full Life recovery item will appear for every 4 spiders you kill.
Stage 6 You can get a Small Life Item for each racing ox-cart that you destroy without bombing.
Stage 6 Destroy the burning tree on the right side of (boss) Amagisu to get a Medium Life Item.
Use these recovery items to maximum advantage and do your best not to get hit.