Boss Download: http://acmlm.kafuka.org/uploader/index.php?act=viewcat&id=25
Video Music: Crescendo to Chaos by Chernabogue of OverClocked Remix http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03320
What’s this, another article on the same boss? Not quite. Fighting XVII – Star on Rank 17 unlocks its secret form, which isn’t just a new phase tacked on to the end, but an entirely different version of the fight with new attacks and new takes on old attacks. As a secret boss, it’s no surprise that this fight is ridiculously tough and will result in a way higher death count without plenty of memorization and practice (which I personally think is generally completely fine for secret or otherwise optional shmup fights). One of the biggest changes to the fight is just how mobile the boss is. Instead of sticking to the top of the screen, it’ll rush off of the screen and shoot horizontal lasers alongside vertical ones, it’ll sway left and right as it rushes to the bottom while shooting bullets, and it’ll fly up and down to fill the screen with mines. Of the attacks which resemble attacks from the normal version, all of the new forms have far more bullets and move in new patterns, a few of which are actually easier to dodge than in the original despite the higher bullet count. My favorite of this form’s new attacks occurs when two parts of the boss fly off and create energy spirals at three target areas which gradually unfold into spiraling fans of bullets which you must circle around, making it an attack which both looks impressive and is fun to dodge.
Oh, and on top of all the modifications to existing attacks, this version of the fight also has an entirely new second half. Just when you think you’ve finally defeated this monstrous boss, two seemingly inconsequential parts of its body fly away and reappear to initiate the absurdly difficult second phase. This phase tosses out curtains of lasers, rapid-fire energy blasts, spirals of bullets, and just about everything else. The initial goal is to knock away the energy barrier around each of the two parts, but after that they’ll fuse together at the top of the screen and put up several more barrier rings, which leads to a new attack every time you destroy a ring. If you plan to defeat this version of the boss with a single life, I can almost guarantee that you’ll need to put in hours of practice. Though it may not be as fair as its original form, this secret version of the boss still has plenty of variety and creativity to its attacks, making for an exceptional, rather than frustrating, fight even if your death count is through the roof.