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Taisei Project – Game Manual

Introduction

Taisei is a shoot-em-up game. Lots of bullets cover the screen and if you are hit by one, you die. To make things easier, your hitbox is very small–much smaller than your character.

If you get hit you lose a life; if you are out of lives, it’s Game Over, but you get a few Continues to keep playing (without scores).

Difficulty

Taisei is a very hard game, especially for newcomers to the genre. In many modern games, Easy is a placeholder and Normal is the easy mode so people playing it don’t have to feel bad, so you might feel inclined to start at Normal like in your other games.

This approach doesn’t work for Taisei though. Easy is balanced around maybe being not impossible for newcomers, so it’ll require some training. On the positive side it still contains enough bullets to show you the beauty of all the patterns. ;)

There is no shame in playing Easy. Some say that even the dev who initially founded the project and wrote this section can’t beat Easy…

Characters and Shotmodes

The three different playable characters have different shots. You start out weak and have to raise your power meter to get stronger.

Try a few modes to find the one that fits you best.

HUD

Once you reach the game itself, a bunch of numbers will appear on the right of your screen (HUD). These are:

  • Score Your current score. See Scoring System. grazing, and collecting items.
  • Lives How many lives you have. The Next value shows the next score at which you receive a bonus new life.
  • Spell Cards How many Bombs you have. If your Fragment count goes to 500, you get a new bomb.
  • Power How strong your current shot is. Maxes out at 4, but can be overcollected until 6.
  • Value Point Item Value at the top of the screen.
  • Volts See Scoring System.
  • Graze Raise it by getting close to bullets.

Controls

Name Default Key
Shoot Z
Bomb X
Power Surge C
Focus Left Shift
Move Up,Down,Left,Right

If you don’t like the defaults, you can easily remap them in the settings.

Using the Gamepad is also supported. See options to set up controls.

Users of non-qwerty keyboard layouts: Don’t worry, Taisei’s controls are not based on layout but key location.

Focus

While pressing Shift, your movement is slower and the pattern of your shot changes. It is useful for accurate dodging, but you shouldn’t stay in this mode all the time.

The white circle appearing in this mode is a representation of your hitbox. As you can see it is really small.

Bombs (Player Spell Cards)

In a stressful life where all the bullets kill you in a single hit, you sometimes want something powerful to shoot back with. Thankfully, your character has magical power to trigger so called Spell Cards. These are essentially bombs that do a lot of damage.

You can use them to clear out bullets and enemies from the screen. However you only get a limited amount of them, so they are best used when you are in a pinch. When used against a boss' Spell Card, it voids your capturing bonus.

Rumor has it that if you get hit by a bullet and hit the bomb key fast enough, you can avoid death. This is called Death Bombing and people who master it-- so the lore goes-- will find their bomb meter becoming a second life meter.

Power Surge

You can activate a special aura that gives you increased damage and a way to clear a limited area of bullets. Read more about it in Scoring System.

Items

Now that you can kill enemies you will notice that they drop various amounts of items. They may look like bullets at first, but they are safe to touch.

These are:

  • Blue Point items that increase your score.
  • Red Gives you more power. Comes in different sizes, always with a capital P.
  • Green Star Bomb. Appears either filled (full bomb) or as an empty outline (worth 500 bomb fragments).
  • Pink Heart One extra life.
  • PIV Items Small yellow ghosts that increase the value of your point items.
  • Surge Lightning Will spawn during your Power Surge to provide charge.
  • Voltage Spawn after a Power Surge completes and increase PIV (a lot), Bombs and Volts.

If you fly near to the top of the screen, all the visible items will be picked up (shown as flying towards you).

Bosses

Taisei has 6 levels (called stages). Each stage has a boss and a midboss in some form. They are much stronger than normal enemies and have different attacks with time limits. There are different types of Attacks:

  • Normal: A signature move every boss has. They are a break between the other, more fierce attacks, but don’t let your guard down.

  • Spell Card: This is where the Bosses concentrate their powers (resulting in a background change) and hit you with really hard and unusual patterns. They give a lot of extra points and 100 bomb fragments when you capture them. That means shooting down the HP within the time limit without getting hit or using bombs.

    You can revisit spellcards you have encountered in the Spell Practice mode to get better at the ones you frequently die on.

  • Voltage Overdrive: Collect enough Voltage to unlock these at the end of the boss battles.

    These are tricky unique spells that will take some creativity to dodge. Due to the extremely ionized Danmaku conditions, your Bomb and Life meters are malfunctioning. You can’t be hurt, but you can’t use your bombs either.

    One boss seems to be especially attuned to these surroundings and awaits you with about the strangest spell in the game. If you capture it, it may unlock something nice.

  • Survival Spell: Rarely, a very strong boss can invoke a Spell Card that makes them completely invincible. You are on your own here. Try to survive somehow until the timer runs out.

    You might want to use Spell Practice to perfect one of them.

Scoring System

Scoring might seem like something important for the adept pro player only. The lowly easy mode player just cares about surviving, right? Not necessarily! In Taisei, you are rewarded with extra lives as you score. So while the statement from the beginning is true to an extent, knowing the basics of getting a good score (and the non score-related benefits you get along the way) is helpful for everyone.

The amount of score you collect is not a flat value. It depends on different factors you can influence to maximize the amount of points you earn. Point items for example give more score if they are collected higher up on the screen. If you go up beyond a certain point, the game will also auto collect all items on the screen.

Auto collection is also triggered by other events such as bombs, and the items collected in this way will always count as collected at the top, so it is beneficial for your score.

The point items themselves also get more valuable as you cancel or graze bullets at full power among other things.

The most visible part of the scoring system is the Power Surge mechanic. While Power 4.00 is the maximum your shots will put out, you can overcharge your Power meter up to 6.00. The surplus Power (and also the rest, if you are in a bind) can be used to start a Power Surge (see Controls).

The Power Surge will charge up the air around you with Danmaku electricity. This boosts your damage by 20%, but you have to maintain the two kinds of charges in the charge meter around your character. When the positive (yellow) charge goes down and hits the negative, the surge ends. The special lightning items that appear during the surge replenish both kinds of charges. By timing these items you can control the relative amounts of charge and the higher your negative charge, the more difficult the surge becomes to keep up.

The longer you continue this game and the more damage and negative charge you stack up, the more powerful your surge will become. This will visibly increase the radius of your sparkly aura. Once the surge ends, all of it is released in a blast that damages enemies and bullets. Be in the right spot when that happens, because all that havoc will be transformed into collectible Voltage items.

These will increase your Point Item Value, give you 1 Bomb Fragment and also add to your Volts meter.

If your Voltage reaches the Breakdown level shown in the HUD, you unlock a special spell at the end of the stage.

More info

Knowing this much should help to get you started!

If you want more tricks and hints on how to “git gud”, check out resources on how to play Tōhō, the game Taisei is based on.

Enjoy playing, and if you want to contact us, visit us on Freenode IRC #taisei-project or on Discord.

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