LUNardei's cave

The homepage of AST-LUN, italian STG and Street Fighter player.


Ladies and gentleman...

...The Mushihime Sama promo of the PS2 version!
Thanks goes to AIVA (italian arcade players association).

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A Mushihimesama promo?

Yes, at the end of this video (EspGaluda arrange ~420 mil). I've not watched it yet, but I'm pretty sure. Maybe one day i'll host the ad here!

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Dodonpachi developer interview

Here, by the great GaijinPunch!

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Ketsui appreciate DVD, ah, what a dream...

Here you can download an advertising of the Ketsui appreciate DVD, never published because of some incomprehensions between Arika and Cave... Ah, Doom is a so lovely infernal beast...

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Mushihimesama's OST review!

Here's my track by track review of Mushihime Sama's ost:

Pretty Useless.

2] STAGE 1
Great track, a perfect summary of the game's atmosphere.

Exciting, thrilling and frantic, like every boss theme must be!

Nothing particular.

5] STAGE 2
Another stage and another fantastic song. Great melody and atmosphere.

6] STAGE 3
This is a masterpiece! Strange song based on...Funny but catchy melodies which soon turns into an exciting drumstorm. Wonderful.

7] STAGE 4
Not so good in my opinion. Sweet sound and melodies, not the kind of things I want to hear when I play.

8] STAGE 5
Uh, the best song of the OST. Fast rhythm, catchy melodies, perfect sounds: great stuff to hear playing the game and really enjoyable when there is no game to play. It's simply a very good song.

Another perfect song for the situation. Fast and exciting, last boss will die in peace hearing this song!

Very evocative with its choirs and that ethereal, heavenly atmosphere. Great in contrast with the hellish True Last Boss, but not so good to hear alone.

Mmm, ok.

Good, nothing else.

Hard to judge. Not evocative and powerful like Galuda's ending, for example, but fucking fascinating, enchanting, not silly like it seems after the first time you hear it.

Mmm, ugly.

Not so good. But it's for the mobile game, so who cares?

Good arrangement of a good track, nothing else.

Wow! This arrangement create an epic atmosphere, it's simply amazing! A clever arrangement for a grat track, good work!

Why there isn't an arrange version for Stage 5 track?

Mmm, sexy.

So great OST, in my opinion maybe a little better than Galuda's one...

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Ketsui to PS3?


Mushihime OST is in my hands!

The original sound track of Mushihimesama is finally arrived. It's fuckin' great, at least at the level of the Galuda's one. Here you can find some pics of the cd, of the very cute Reko figure and the package, enjoy it!

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Some Progear's translations by Gaijinpunch

Great Gaijinpunch... This guy is translating all the Cave's stuff he is able to found! This time here's a great Progear work, so enjoy it here.

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Ikaruga: interview with the Appreciate DVD players

I know, it's really old, but always good to read! Enjoy:


NOTE: All the italicized comments written in parentheses throughout the flow of dialogue are notes added by myself in order to either elaborate on the words the players chose in that particular section or to explain background info about the topic the players are discussing which I felt to be relevant, and particularly helpful, especially for those not fluently versed with every aspect of Ikaruga. But please be aware these italicized comments in parentheses are NOT in the original Japanese text and should not be taken as being the player's actual words.

A Conversation with the Ikaruga DVD players

English Translation by: John Kupchik

Let’s start with the introductions

ISO: Thank you very much for purchasing this Ikaruga DVD. I’m ISO, the Easy mode player. This is a rather difficult game to “chain”, but luckily I did a “no miss, no broken chains” run which was captured on video. I’ll be very happy if you watch this.

WIZ: I’m WIZ, the Normal mode player. I tried my best down to the very end of the recording deadline. Looking back, I wish I tried a little harder, but I just didn’t have it in me. I sincerely apologise.

Yusemi: I’m the guy who did the Hard mode replay. My name is Yusemi. Nice to be here. (note: Yusemi’s name on the high score list is SWY)

GFA: I’m GFA, I helped master (the actual word he uses translates literally to “conquest, capture, invade”) Easy mode together with ISO. With this DVD, my role was in the form of an advisor. Still, I did do a part of the Omake section videos.

What kind of impression did you get the first chance you had to play Ikaruga?

ISO: In the beginning I didn’t think I could really do it, and just sort of started out with a “I’ll play for the time being and see how I do” mentality. Then in March (2002) I passed 30 million in Normal, and that was very satisfying on a personal level. At that time I thought to myself “I’d might as well retire now”, but later on I got the DC version for some reason. I’m a rather capricious person however, and so I played it several times and then I just left it as that. Then toward the end of October I heard it was possible to get 6 big white ships to appear in Easy mode (at the end of Chapter 5), and so I decided to try it out and see if I could do it. After accomplishing that, I thought “hmm, I wonder about the other chapters…”, which led me to playing Chapter 3 for 80 hours. Coming that far, I resolved to focus on Easy, which brings us to now.

GFA: I started in Normal mode in the beginning as well. However, hearing there were separate high score sections in the magazine rankings, I turned toward Easy mode. When ISO had started playing Easy he had really pretty much played Chapter 3 exclusively, so I focused on various things in the other chapters. The emails we exchanged were really amazing. In one day we’d toss over 10 emails concerning patterns in the game back and forth between the two of us.

Yusemi: When I first started playing, I also started off in Normal mode. Like GFA, I also heard about the separate magazine ranking sections for the high scores, and with only 10 days left until the deadline to submit scores was up I started playing Hard mode. After that, I retired from the game in April (2002), but after 6 months passed I suddenly felt the itch to play again, so that’s what I decided to do.

WIZ: And with that, it’s unanimous that we all started out in normal! (laughs) When I started out in the beginning, Yusemi and I began daydreaming about “absorbing enemy bullets”.

Yusemi: Yeah, yeah, that’s right, we used to shout out things like “ I pushed the wrong button!!!!” (laughs)

WIZ: Because if you think you’ll release a homing blast while absorbing an enemy’s lazer, and you press the B button when your homing meter maxes out, you change polarity (in the Arcade version A is shot, B is polarity change) and you die. (laughs)

With the courses you were each in charge of respectively, what are some highlights that you really want people to watch?

ISO: That’s a good question… I’d say please watch the omake video section over the regular play video. There’s a flow with those, so it’s definitely the highlight of this DVD. (laughs)

WIZ: The section of Chapter 3 with the planes coming from the top and bottom (in the middle of 3-2), and the upper half of chapter 4 (he’s referring to the first half of 4-2). Those are places I think I did very well, at least for myself. In contrast to that, the lower half of Chapter 4 (he’s referring to the second half of 4-2)...(forced smile)

Yusemi: Yeah, well I’d have to say the third form of the Chapter 5 boss. I think that’s the most difficult part of hard mode. In the omake section I also recorded a video of myself persevering and dot-eating that boss until it explodes, only changing polarity. By all means I’d like you to watch that as well, of course.

GFA: The 129 chain Easy mode Chapter 1 video in the omake section is a rather clumsy highlight. (laughs) Together with ISO, the two of us played mercilessly and barely chained it.

On the flipside, are there any parts that you feel “Ah, I screwed up here...”?

ISO: I did a completely crap job with all of the bosses. When I have good chains going, I get nervous, and I can’t play the way I think I should. In particular Chapter 5, where even though I did a conservative pattern to get 5 big ships at the end (instead of the max of 6) I missed one chain, and on the third form of that Chapter’s boss, where I made a wrong turn at the 3 second mark. That was awful. Absorbing the next white wave there and finishing it with 2 seconds remaining is probably the best you can do. Finishing it with 1 second remaining requires you to completely absorb all of the black bullets emitted in the subsequent wave before you release your homing, and that’s rather difficult because it’s easy for the boss to self-destruct (before you release your homing).

WIZ: I suddenly faltered in Chapter 1. Missing the chain right before the boss was alright, but only getting 8 sets of enemies (16 chains) to appear after those 4 big white and black ships in the middle of the chapter was very regrettable. After that was the aforementioned lower half of Chapter 4. Since I changed the pattern, I didn’t (properly) chain that part in the regular play after all. That has been recorded being done properly in the omake section though, so forgive me...

Yusemi: I rather screwed up Chapter 4. I broke the chain in the upper part of the level (he’s referring to the first half of 4-2). Also, I failed to kill the enemies right after that and it became a rather dangerous situation. Besides that, I beat the third form of the Final Chapter’s boss with 3 seconds remaining. It was beaten with 3 seconds remaining in Easy mode as well, so people might think “the pattern is to beat it with 3 second remaining??”. (laughs)

Have there been any interesting stories with respect to the game that you could share with us?

WIZ: One month after I started playing Ikaruga I was in a traffic accident and I fractured a bone, and was hospitalized. (laughs)

Yusemi: That’s really nothing to laugh about, you know (forced smile)…Well, we can laugh about it now but at the time it happened I was really shocked!

WIZ: I have caused you to worry and distress on my behalf...

ISO: But you were discharged from the hospital very quickly, right?

WIZ: Yeah, that’s right. And you’re not going to be able to learn new patterns one after another after only playing a month anyway, you know. I wasn't in a position to feel at ease while I was hospitalized. (laughs) But then after I was discharged I went to the arcade, and Yusemi’s Chapter 4 pattern had evolved and it was just unbelievable.

Yusemi: It’s because I had started thinking it seemed like you could attack from the outer ring, and I was trying out various ways to do that.

WIZ: After seeing that, of course I wanted to play very much, but with my entire left arm in a plaster cast, I couldn’t use a joystick. It couldn’t be helped, so bringing in a modified super famicom controller, I was able to have it installed into the chassis (of the arcade machine).

GFA: You’ll go to such lengths to play? (laughs)

WIZ: I only used that for awhile, then eventually I talked to the doctor in charge and he shortened my plaster cast a bit for me, which enabled me to use a joystick again. That (the super famicom controller) almost makes you a target for ridicule, you know. (laughs)

Yusemi: Several days after WIZ was discharged from the hospital, I got a phone call from him and he said “I’m going to bring a secret weapon”, I thought to myself “what the heck is he going to bring?”, and then I was like “no way!” because he brought that controller. (laughs)

I see (laughs). Have there been any hardships or setbacks during the time you’ve played Ikaruga?

ISO: On my pace to get 32 million, I was done in by the stone-like (in the last 60 seconds of the game) five consecutive times. I got a bunch of 31.5 million scores from that.

WIZ: Yeah, that’s a road everyone goes down. When you’ve chained the game well and you get to the stone-like, you become totally messed up and tense. The pressure that alters you when you’re riding toward a new high score...

Yusemi: In my case, because I retired from the game temporarily and then suddenly made a comeback, I wasn’t sure whether I’d be ready in time for the recording of this DVD. In the past, I had only beaten the game with a “no miss clear” (beating the game without dying) once…

GFA: Certainly, when you're playing in Hard mode, you have to ad-lib with your patterns to protect yourself from the barrage of bullets that are scattered everywhere. They say there’s no stage that becomes stale though, right?

ISO: Watching something like the third form of Chapter 5’s boss in Hard mode makes me sick to my stomach.

Yusemi: I had a lot of trouble there!! If your timing with changing polarity is just a little too fast or a little too slow, you’ll die before you know it. You also have to move your ship with only the slightest, most precise movements…but if you do it a number of times you get accustomed to it, and you get to the point where you can do it naturally.

GFA: It really makes you happy when after a number of tries you’re able to improve consistently, doesn’t it. The first time you try a new pattern you’ve been contemplating, you think to yourself “can I really do something like this consistently??”, but if you're careful you’ll be able to do it just like anything else.

ISO: The first time I successfully pull off an evolved pattern, I’m terribly happy. But on the contrary, making that pattern the new standard from that point on becomes very troublesome you know. I think balancing the scales of “risk and return” is important.

WIZ: Even if you practice a pattern several times and raise your level of consistency, it’s not going to be 100%. As for whether or not to stick with a pattern, you have to consider 1)the success rate, 2)how high of a point boost you’ll get from it, 3)the risk of failure, and…. in addition to those, what kind of mood you’re in at that time. (laughs)

Yusemi: One’s mood is very important! As for days when I didn’t play the game well (because of my mood), no matter how many times I played on those days it was just crap...

In conclusion, do you have any final words to leave us with?

GFA: Well I’m only the advisor so...(laughs)

ISO: I’m playing other games now, but if I drop down a level in Ikaruga, I think I may return to the game and boil down a little more on each chapter.

WIZ: I want to work hard towards breaking 36 million.(UPDATE: In June 2003, WIZ finally accomplished this goal, with a score of 36,014,310)

Yusemi: My thanks and gratitude to GFA.

Thank you very much, I know you were all very busy today.

Everyone: Thank you!

~Recorded February 2003.

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Neo Geo shooting special

Here is a discussion about this video by Kiken. I haven't seen it yet, but seems a good thing.

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Uh, there's some new things...

Finally I have a decent template and the comments allowed. Good.

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Mushihime and autofire...

Here is a very interesting discussion on the hidden power of mushihimesama... With a great japanese player as a guest!
On the same thread you can find a link to a streaming video of a japanese tv program which shows I think 10 seconds of the mushiport (minute ~15). No comment: I-only-want-to-play-it.

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An Ikaruga shirt? Sexy!

Here you can find a discussion about the re-press of an ikaruga-related shirt. Fantastic...

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