ARCADE SCORING GUIDE
Version 1.3 - 01/02/12

INTRODUCTION

This guide is not a complete FAQs of the game. It will just explain general secrets and advanced patterns to score more than 800.000 pts (arcade version). Official world record is 802.080 pts by SYG-SINO (10/2010) in Japan game center. On 08/09/2010 , I've scored 803.840 pts on original Sega system 16 pcb. From my experience on this game (since 1987), my best patterns are limited to +815.000 pts. I think that it's the best possible patterns but it's probably possible to maximize the score on bonus stages (especially on mission 3 & 4) so maybe between 816k and 818k is possible. For this guide, I've recorded 5 replays (1 for each mission) with mame and used save state to score +805.470 pts.

SCORING SYSTEM
General
Scoring

Hostage Guards = 500 pts --- Other enemies = 100 pts --- One second of time = 30 pts
Knowing that bonus time give you 30 pts / second, it's important to know ennemies number for every stages of the game. Except for guards (500 pts), all others enemies give 100 pts, so mathematic is the key: 100 pts = 3,33 seconds. When there are many enemies in a stage, you need to use all the time (3'00) to maximize your score (stage 1-1, 1-2, 2-1, 3-3 and 5-1). If there are very few enemies, you must finish the stage quickly as possible to maximize your bonus time.

Special
Bonus
If you finish stage without throwing shurikens or fire-bullets, you get special bonus 20.000 pts. Use sword, punch or kick for kill enemies. You can get special bonus on all stages and first boss. On second, third and fourth boss you must use throwing shurikens. On the last boss, there is no special bonus even if you don't use shurikens.
Magic
Bonus
If you don't use magic on stage, you get bonus 5.000 pts. In mission 5, you can't get magic bonus and special bonus in the same stage. If you finish any stage in mission 5 without throwing shuriken and without using magic, you will only get the special bonus (20.000 pts). The only way to get magic bonus (5.000 pts) in mission 5 is to use shurikens.
Hostages
Bonus

This depend from third digit of your score when you get hostage.

If your score is : xxxYxx (Y is this third digit at end of score), when Y is:
0,1,2 = 1000 points ----- 3,4,5,6 = 500 points -----
7,8,9 = 200 points
Best strategy to maximize your score is to avoid few enemies to check hundred digit. If you kill extra enemies to get 0, 1 or 2 as hundred digit, you will lose more time (so more points) than points from enemies killed. Never forget that enemy (except guard) give 100 pts and 100 pts = 3.33 seconds.

Special
Hostages 1up

In game are special hostages, you can get 1up instead points from them. How to get 1up from special hostage ? Simple, it's depend from your score. You must have three identical digits at end of your score (don't count last digit which is always 0) when you get hostage. Example: 70000 - 100000 - 109990 - 68880 - 141110... When you have 3 identical digits (ten, hundred and thousand digits) at end of your score (without last digit which is always 0), you get special hostage. Special icon 1UP should appear over hostage instead points. How to manipulate ten digit in your score? Observe your time counter before you enter to next stage (1 second = 30 points).
Example; if your score is xxx3x points
, when you finish the stage with timer:
X : X0 (3 x 0 = 0) you must add 0 to 3 and your score will be on the next stage = xxx3x
X : X1 (3 x 1 = 3) you must add 3 to 3 and your score will be on the next stage = xxx6x
X : X2 (3 x 2 = 6) you must add 6 to 3 and your score will be on the next stage = xxx9x
X : X3
(3 x 3 = 9) you must add 9 to 3 and your score will be on the next stage = xxx2x
X : X4 (3 x 4 = 12) you must add 12 to 3 and your score will be on the next stage = xxx5x
X : X5 (3 x 5 = 15) you must add 15 to 3 and your score will be on the next stage = xxx8x
X : X6 (3 x 6 = 18) you must add 18 to 3 and your score will be on the next stage = xxx1x
X : X7 (3 x 7 = 21) you must add 21 to 3 and your score will be on the next stage = xxx4x
X : X8 (3 x 8 = 24) you must add 24 to 3 and your score will be on the next stage = xxx7x
X : X9
(3 x 9 = 27) you must add 27 to 3 and your score will be on the next stage = xxx0x
Don't forget that it's the only way to change ten digit. Hundred and thousand digit are easier to manipulate during the stage. There are only 4 kids (2nd in st.2-2, 1st in st.2-3, 2nd in st.3-1 and 5th is st.3-2) who can give this special 1up but  it's impossible to get more than 1 x 1up in the whole game.

P.S. the first coin you play (after booting the game) is 100% sure to get 1up special hostage, but when you finish the game (game over) and re-start another coin (or contiune), it's not 100% (lower 50% from my experience). Maybe it's possible to get more than 1 x 1up in bootleg pcb but it's impossible on original sega system 16 pcb or emulation (mame).

Bonus
Stages

Points on bonus stages depend on witch platform you shoot ninjas:

2nd paltform (deeper): 100 pts for green ninjas and 300 pts for purple ninjas.

1st platform (closer): 200 pts for green ninjas and 600 pts for purple ninjas.

Bonus stages seems to be same patterns but it's not ! When you quickly kill certain enemies on the second platform, some addtional ninjas are coming up (so more possible points). For very high score, you must wait until certains ninjas (purple ninjas most of the time) jump from second platform to first platform and next kill them. This is one of the keys to finish the game with more than 800.000 pts. When all ninjas are killed, you get 1UP.
P.S. You also get extend on 100.000, 150.000 and 200.000 pts

Leeching
Stages

Stage 2-1 is the most important for scoring because, there are 6 guards and an infinite number of enemies at the end of the stage (bug ???). That's why, you must sacrifice all remaining lives in stock to maximize your score. To do this, don't get hostages, go quicky as possible to the leeching zone and wait the time over. With correct timing, it's possible to get the extra life (at 200.000 pts) with your last life. Stage 5-1 is the second most important leeching stage, so you must use same technique than stage 2-1 (sacrifice all remaining lives).
Last Boss
Scoring
On the last boss (Masked Ninja), it's impossible to get special / magic / time bonus. The only bonus you can have depend how high you kill him. If you kill him when he is on the ground, you get 51.000 pts only. Try to kill him highest as you can (when he jump in air) to maximize your score.


WALKTHROUGH
Mission 1 - Ken Oh
Mission 1-1
You must leech maximum enemies during 3 minutes. It's possible to finish this stage with +36.900 pts.
Mission 1-2
I use same strategy than stage 1 (3 minutes of leeching). I come back 4 times at the start of hte stage to maximize score. With this pattern, it will help to get special hostage 1up in mission 2 (see mission 2-2)
Mission 1-3
Ken Oh is the only boss in the game where you can get special bonus (20.000 pts). It's possible to clear with 2'48'' timer.
Bonus Stage 1
10.200 pts is the scoring pattern for this first bonus stage. Maybe 10.500 pts is possible ?

Mission 2 - Black Turtle
Mission 2-1
You need to sacrifice all remaining lives in stock for leeching. The leeching zone is just before the exit with infinite enemies. 14.700 pts (with 1 life) is the max scoring pattern. You can stop your score max to 201.500 pts with the last life of leeching. That will help for an easier pattern on the next life. On the last life, try to finish the stage with 1 as digit hundred for special 1up on next stage.
Mission 2-2
The second kids is a special hostage 1up. I make leeching at the start to maximize the score and also to get the special 1up with x1110 as digits. It's possible to get it with 0 as digit hundred but leeching will be lower.
Mission 2-3
Another leeching stage so I get back 4 times at the start to maximize the score.
Mission 2-4
Black Turtle is an easy boss, but you can try leching with yellow ninjas. It's difficult because you must destroy machine gun of the boss. You can maximize the score with max 300pts more with leeching. Try to kill the boss at 5 (timer) because when the boss is destroy, the yellow ninjas are automatically killed. 2'44'' is the best possible bonus time (without leeching).
Bonus Stage 2
6.500 pts is the scoring pattern here. A little more is surely possible.

Mission 3 - Mandara
Mission 3-1
The difficulty here is that you can't control hundred digit when starting this stage (because last level was bonus stage). 6, 7 or 8 are good when starting. If you've different hundred digit, you must avoid enemies or kill extra enemies. The second kids is a special 1up hostage, but it would be very difficult to get it because hundred digit is hard to control before this stage.
Mission 3-2
I avoid first 3 bazooka enemies to control hundred digit for best kids hostage bonus (and bonus time). The fith kids is a special 1up hostage and it's possible to get it with 2 as digit hundred (you must check it in the previous stage).
Mission 3-3
Another level here where you must use all the time (3'00) to leeching enemies. Patterns to maximize your score are very tricky and is probably one of the most difficult stage of the game.
Mission 3-4
Most difficult part for Mandara boss is to go through the statues. You can destroy them with 8 hits. So shoot 7 times in the first 2 statues. Then, in the same time, shoot and jump into them. During this sequence, put the stick down and left to go through the statues. Then, use time to destroy 8 statues (8 x 200 pts). Next pattern is very easy to clear the boss. 2'05'' is probably the best possible bonus time.
Bonus Stage 3
The most difficulty here is to avoid purple ninja on the deeper platform. Try to quickly destroy other enemies to get extra green ninjas. (max possible score here: +13.000 pts)

Mission 4 - Lobster
Mission 4-1
As stage 3-1, the difficulty here is that you can't control hundred digit when starting this stage (because last level was bonus stage). 2, 3 or 4 as digit hundred are perfect when starting. I start with 5 and that's why I avoid the 2 first blue ninjas at the beginning. Third guard have random patterns: sometime he move back (as here) and sometime, he stop just behind the statue (witch is better because you can kill him through the statue).
Mission 4-2
I start here with 8 as hundred digit witch is not great ! In this stage, there are many random and tricky patterns from the guards. One of the most difficult stage to maximize score. I jump over the fourth guard to keep optimal hostage bonus, but sometime with a different score, you must jump over the fifth guard (the next one) to keep optimal bonus. It's also possible to finish this level with a much better timer.
Mission 4-3
Starting here with 0, 1 or 2 as hundred digit are fine for easier hostage bonus pattern. If you start with 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7, it's not bad, but near the end of the stage, you will need to get back in the middle of the level to kill few more enemies to keep optimal hostage bonus. It would not be bad pattern but you will lose time (so few points).
Mission 4-4
This boss (Lobster) seems very easy at first look, but it's not. Good timing is required between jump and shuriken. You can try to use the large horizontal line (in the background) as marker to throw your shurikens. 2'47'' is the best possible bonus time.
Bonus Stage 4
Last bonus stage and the most difficult one especially if you want to maximize your score with purple ninjas. (max possible score here: +11.300 pts)

Mission 5 - Masked Ninja
Mission 5-1
This stage is the second most important scoring potential of the game (with stage 2-1). As level 2-1, you must sacrifice all remaining lives in stock.
For the first 3 lives, you must use some patterns to score +9.500 pts max. On the fourth life, you must deliver 4th kids hostage to get powerup. With powerup, you can increase leeching to 10.600 pts max.
Mission 5-2
I start here with 9 as hundred digit so I need to kill some extra blue flying ninjas to check hundred digit for better pattern with hostage (especially with first kids). Remember that you can use magic because if you have special bonus, you can't get magic bonus.
Mission 5-3
Try to get 7, 8 or 9 as hundred digit when starting. Another tricky stage with some random patterns, especially with enemies with guns. My patterns seems optimal for this stage.
Mission 5-4
Last boss of the game (Masked Ninja) have 4 different patterns. During first pattern (electricity), try to bring the boss to the right of the screen. If you do correctly, next pattern (twister with random swords) will be easier simply because few swords will go into the wall on the right. Be careful to the next pattern (white shadow) because the shadow can be divided into many enemies. White shadow will kill you with simple contact. For the last pattern of this boss, always go in the opposite way when he runs at you (he will not kill you). Shoot him 7 times and then wait that he runs in your direction. When he start to use punch (or kick), jump and go for magic. If your timing is correct, the boss will jump over you higher (than his normal jump) and the magic will hit him. For this last pattern, timing is everything !!! Max possible bonus here is 68.300 pts but is ultra rare. Most of the time, I score 68.100 pts when my timing is correct.

If you have any questions about this guide, contact me.
Thanks to Destructor and Michirun.

© ben.shinobi 2011
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