Ikaruga (2001) is a vertical shoot 'em up published and developed by Treasure as a spiritual successor to its earlier title, Radiant Silvergun (1998). It was first released on arcade machines, then eventually ported to Dreamcast, GameCube, XBLA, Android, and even Steam, thanks to the loyal following among the Western shoot 'em up fans. GameCube version was chosen for creation of this TAS as it provided both the most arcade-accurate port, and the most accurately emulated platform of those available at the time.
Ikaruga features a polarity mechanic wherein enemies can be black or white, shooting black or white bullets, respectively. Additionally, player ships themselves can switch between black and white: when white, ship absorbs white bullets and deals extra damage to black enemies, and vice versa. When enough bullets are absorbed, a powerful enemy-seeking attack can be unleashed. As such, typical gameplay consists of frequent polarity switching, chain-killing enemies, and absorbing bullets instead of dodging them; to capitalize on this, the author chooses to control both player ships in order to absorb as many bullets as possible, do more damage, and pick off escaping enemies without breaking a kill chain.
The goal of this TAS is to maximize the score. Ikaruga's scoring system mainly consists of color-based enemy chaining: killing three enemies of the same color in a row increases chain value, messing up the color sequence resets it. Absorbing bullets and lasers, speedkilling bosses, and having spare lives at the end are also significant score boosts—all of these are used in the TAS to the fullest extent. The final score is a massive 50,230,200, only attainable with two players.
has been extensively competed in both Western and Asian gaming communities, leading to publication of an official superplay DVD
, as well as blessing us with many amazing feats of unassisted gameplay. If you've enjoyed this TAS and would like to see what some of the best human players have to offer, make sure to watch VTF-INO's unassisted doubleplay
, in which the player attempts to achieve maximum score by controlling both ships in realtime
; also check out RNA's flawless stage 5 boss fight
done solo, and Sa Suisai's full-game unassisted playthrough
on Normal difficulty, executing some inhumanly precise chains on the XBLA version of the game.