Panzer Dragoon Zwei Scoring Guide

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Hi-score playing guide for Panzer Dragoon II Zwei for the Sega Saturn.

Contents

What

This is a FAQ that will explain how to maximise your score when playing Panzer Dragoon II Zwei.

(From) Who

This has been written by an old-arse Sega fan (since 1992) and Panzer Dragoon fan (since 1996).

(To) Who

This is for anyone who has a good understanding of the game already and has completed it a few times with different dragons and endings.

Why

Because a rail shooter such as Panzer Dragoon II Zwei can and in fact should be played with a hi-score mentality like hard-core shmups.

I believe that the charm of Panzer Dragoon II Zwei lies firstly in its cinematic narration and secondly in the game’s various interpolations that become available as the Pandora’s Box opens up and as the various routes/dragons/endings are played.

However, at some point these two aspects lost part of their appeal. But it was then that I found myself very engaged by the scoring system of the game, which is rather interesting and can be enjoyed fully when playing with the Instrument Mode option on the FULL setting.

As I stumbled upon the very notable Panzer Dragoon Academy website (in Japanese), I saw some impressive scores and boss times, which spurred me on to try and improve my scores. The Player Data screen (which has a second screen as you press R or L) is also a decent means of keeping track of how your scores are going.

All in all, this FAQ is my way to pay homage to the great work done by Team Andromeda on Panzer Dragoon II Zwei and to give you yet another reason to go and pick up your Sega Saturn again! ; )

General Scoring Tips

Lock-on to Multiple Enemies at Once

Try to lock as many enemies as possible at once, to get the highest multipliers. The score of each enemy is multiplied by the number of lasers you had locked as that enemy is hit by a fatal laser.

This makes for pretty dramatic score increases. Let’s see an example with a group of six enemies, each worth 100 points

1) locking 6 lasers and releasing them: each of the 6 enemies will give you 100×6, so we are talking about (100×6)×6) = 3600 2) killing 3 enemies with one release and then the other 3 with another release: (100×3)×3 + (100×3)×3) = 1800 3) killing all 6 enemies with your gun (which has a fixed ×2 multiplier): (100×2)×6 = 1200

Another example is the Noos, the boss of the 5th level. Many people resort to playing it safe and they gun it down to get 12000×2 = 24000 (2 being the multiplier if you use the gun) and never realise that, if you destroy the shield and then use lock-on lasers, you can easily get 12000×8 = 96000, four times as much!

Destroy Lone Enemies With the Gun

Destroy lone enemies with the gun rather than with a single laser to get at least ×2.

Aim Away From Enemies as You Release Lock-on Lasers

Try to aim away from the enemies as you turn the crosshair to orange (lock on lasers) and as you release them. This is because every time you touch a fire button, you might accidentally shoot your gun. If the gunshots were to kill the enemy before your laser does, you would lose a multiplier. I really wish the gun and the lasers were two separate buttons.

Ensure ADEC is Set to at Least Four

Ensure the ADEC (Automatic Dragon and Enemy Control) is at least at 4 when playing in New Game mode (i.e. saving enabled, Pandora’s Box is off).

This will ensure that the multipliers of pink bonuses (i.e. boss time bonuses and secret bonuses will be ×3 rather than ×2). You can check the ADEC by pressing the B button on the 2P controller of your Sega Saturn. The default ADEC value when playing New Game (and therefore Normal difficulty) is 3, which will give you a ×2 multiplier on some pink bonuses (the black ship in Episode 1 being a prime example). However, as you perform well through the game (i.e. complete it without dying and with evolved dragons and high shot down ratios), the ADEC will go up to 4 and will stay at 4 even as you start a New Game too. This might take a few quality playthroughs to get. However, dying often (for instance by restarting a level pressing A+B+C+R+L to try and get a section/bonus nailed) will reset the ADEC back to 3 or maybe even lower. This penalty is good as it incentivises you to perform proper, clean, 1CC runs of the game without restarting a level if you make a mistake. Dying in a level and continuing will also make you start that level with a full berserk and full life, making the game easier and breaking the continuum of the narration.

At the time of writing, I think that level 5 of the ADEC is exclusive of the Super Hard difficulty level, which can be used only through the Pandora’s Box.

Defeat Bosses Quickly

Be quick with the bosses, if you defeat them before the timer goes below 60”00 (again, you need Instrument Mode set to FULL to see this), you get a 10000×2 or 10000×3 pink bonus. Note that the multiplier of boss time bonus is related to the ADEC since it’s a pink bonus.

Minimise the Use of the Berserk Attack

Minimise the use of the berserk attack. When you are using the berserk attack, the dragon is effectively targeting the lasers one by one, which negates multipliers. Try to use it only for really hard sections in which it is easy to miss an enemy (if you are trying to get 100% shot down ratio), a bonus or to miss damage a boss so that you won’t miss the time bonus.

Big Enemies Scoring Tips

Ensure you deliver the fatal blow to big enemies with your max number of lock on lasers. All large enemies in the game will give you points as they die, and these points are almost always subject to the multiplier. Very often it is more convenient to deplete the energy of these enemies with the gun, but remember to deliver the fatal blow with lasers (or rather, leave the gun and take the cannoli I mean, use the lasers when you know the enemy could die any moment).

Here are some examples:

Episode 2

All the big ships and certain parts of the boss (e.g. cannons).

Episode 3-1

The worms are 3000 each and can easily take a ×6 multiplier.

Episode 3-2

The two black ships are worth 3000 each multiplied by up to the 6 max lock-ons of the Glidewing dragon you should have then (the ship alone can take 6 lock-ons). Note that if you managed to destroy a black ship without ever hitting it with your gun, you get a 20000 pink bonus plus multiplier (more below), which exceeds the normal 6000 bonus.

Episode 4

No “big” enemies in this level except the Guardian Drones of Route 1, which are worth 4500 but do not allow for multipliers. Also, hitting the boss with lasers will give you points that can be multiplied, although the gun should nearly always be your weapon of choice in order to get the time bonus.

Episode 5

The first coming of the Noos (the eagle-like boss that flies out of the Shelcoof) is worth 6000 and can take 6 lock-ons by itself, thus giving you up to 36000 points. Shame that it has a diversion which will send your lock-ons astray about half of the time.

Episode 6

The paddles of Shelcoof are worth 2400 each. Ideally, you’d want each of the 3 paddles to go down with a 2400×12 (I assume you’ll have the Skydart dragon by the end of level 4), but very often you’ll be left with one, which will take at the most 8 lock-ons.

Episode 7

Every single laser that hits the Guardian Dragon will score points, so damaging it using fully locked-on lasers is the way to go, although some gun might be needed to ensure you finish it before you have less than 60 seconds left on the counter. Same goes for the “true form” of the Guardian Dragon. Note, however, that although each full release should give you 30×12×12 = 4320 points, the score seems to be capped at 3600 which is 30×10×10.

Boss Scoring Tips

What we just said about “big enemies” applies also to some end-of-level bosses (not all of them unluckily). Here’s a rundown:

Episode 2

Not much left to lock on to by the time the boss is about to die, I usually go for the gun to get the XXXXX×2. Pay attention to the crates that fall off and release those green and orange prisms, though, they can be locked-on with lasers.

Episode 3

The Goliath gives 9000 points which can be multiplied by 6 (max number of lock-ons of the Glidewing dragon). Six lasers can be locked on the Goliath itself, although it’s hard to exceed five. A sixth one can be achieved more easily on the rotating blade it’ll throw at you at some point. Don’t forget to shoot the plasma spheres it’ll release when it’s agonising.

Episode 4

The chicken-fish will give you 12500 but without a multiplier. On the other hand, every laser that hits it will give you points and multipliers, especially if you lock on to his body. It also works once you’ve given it the fatal blow and the timer stops.

Episode 5

The second coming of the Noos makes for some serious point-making: 12000 for up to 10 lock-ons (could be more, the talon the Noos throws at you could also count). This is a very good bonus which means you should destroy the shield rather than use the cheap tactic of gunning the Noos down while leaving the shield intact (which is very boring, too).

Episode 6

The various attachments of the cocoon are worth 1200 each. However, if you want to make the time bonus, using the gun a lot is inevitable. Try to divide gunfire on the various points to weaken them and every now and then release some lasers (best done when it throws drones at you). But it’s a bit of a lottery, really. No specific bonus for destroying the boss as a whole.

Episode 7

Please ensure you send the giant Guardian Dragon to meet its maker with a full lock on, as its 18000 bonus does accept multipliers. Assuming there isn’t a cap, you are looking at 18000×12 = 216000 points, which is easily the single most important addition to your overall score (i.e. you make more points in a second than in most levels).

Unluckily the final form of the Guardian Dragon does not allow for such bonanza as it doesn’t accept multipliers on the points it’ll grant you upon dying. However, each laser you lock on it is worth 100 (more than three times the first form, which is 30) and is multipliable (might be capped at 10 too, though).

Secret Bonus Guide

In the Omake folder that can be found by searching the Panzer Dragoon II Zwei NTSC-J disc using a normal PC, there is a hint to hidden bonuses in each level. Some of them are obvious if not unavoidable, but some others are really difficult to obtain. Keep these in mind if you are playing for hi-scores. Please note that I would have never discovered all these had it not been for the Panzer Dragoon Academy website, so full credit to them. I used automated translators from Japanese which at gave me at least a rough idea of what to look for. All multiplication factors (i.e. ×2 and ×3) are ADEC related.

Episode 1

Keep shooting with the gun at the black ship to get a bonus that increases by one hundred every few seconds of continuous or near-continuous fire. If you get to 2000×3 (or ×2) while playing a New Game, it is a very good result. Above 2000, it is excellent.

Episode 2-1

When you get to the fortress with rotating cannons, destroy them all but don’t touch at all the single cannon which is low on your right hand side. Once it’s the only thing left, wait for it activate and destroy it using exclusively your gun get a 10000(×3) bonus. This means you can’t use the berserk against the fortress as you are not able to keep it from targeting the single cannon.

Episode 2-2

Once you take the fork for this route, a rider with a coolia will appear, going in your same direction. Damage it, but wait to kill it until the two aircrafts will have appeared and the rider (or the coolia alone) will get scared and will revert its direction to run away from them. It’s a 10000(×3) bonus. You can probably obtain this bonus even if you use the berserk in the process, but you’d have to be pretty foolish to, at this point of the level.

Episode 3-1

Destroy 4 brown worms quickly enough to get a blue one which will give you a 10000(×3) upon its arrival. More bonuses of the same type will come as you keep destroying these blue worms for a total of up to 3 bonuses altogether, making this route particularly lucrative (350k for the whole level easily) when playing with Pandora’s Box and in Hard or Super Hard. Note that being able to deliver the fatal blow to each worm while having maxed out on the lock-ons is almost as important for the score. You can use the berserk for this and will actually make things more achievable, although you might miss on some worm multipliers.

Episode 3-2

Damage and ultimately destroy the two black ships EXCLUSIVELY with lock on lasers to obtain a 20000(×3) for each ship. Note that this is hard to do on a New Game as using the lock-ons will bring you to fire your gun accidentally, both as you lock and as you release. Plus not using your gun will bring down the overall damage you do to the ship. A good way to see this bonus is to get to a very disclosed Pandora’s Box and select Lagi as a Life/Eine option (so you don’t have a gun at all), a powerful dragon and a laser setting such as BCG or Heavy. You can use the berserk to achieve this bonus. In fact, having limitless berserk and unleashing it continuously is probably the easiest way to see this bonus.

Episode 4-1

Once the elevator starts moving, ensure you destroy EVERY single piece of scaffolding and all the massive guardians that will come to get a 10000(×3). This is possibly even harder than the 3-2 bonus and in fact I have achieved it only twice so far by having limitless berserk with Heavy laser and a top dragon. I just used the berserk continuously and it worked, so the berserk won’t keep you from getting this.

Episode 4-2

Destroy all monsters when you get to the darkened room to get a 10000(×3). Berserk is allowed and pretty useful.

Episode 4-3

Destroy all drones/projectiles that shower you from behind at some point to get 10000×3. Berserk is allowed.

Episode 5

When the “snakes” made of seven cones come out of the ground, hit the bottom/last one with a lock on laser. You can also lock a few other ones but not the head I think. They will receive the hit without suffering any damage, but you will get a 3330(×3) pink bonus, which can be replicated for all 3 snakes (roughly the equivalent of 10000(×3)).

Episode 6

Just destroy the three paddles of the Shelcoof to get a 10000(×3), not exactly a secret here, as it’s mandatory to destroy them in order to move on in the level. However, almost as rewarding is delivering the final blow to each of them with 12 lasers locked to get 2400×12 on each, although it’s hard to make sure you don’t end up with just one paddle at some point, on which you can lock a maximum of 8 lasers.

This part of Episode 6 can allow for leeching if you focus on the rotating bullets that are shot at you. However, this is a shamelessly cheap tactic, let alone really boring and not requiring any skills.

Episode 7

This bonus is slightly different from the other ones. To obtain it, you should max out on the lock-ons of the first form of the Guardian Dragon and release them. As soon as you release them, unleash the berserk attack. You’ll notice that each berserk laser will actually have a ×12 pink multiplier rather than the usual single score. This is a unique occurrence in the game and there is no way to tell whether it’s deliberate or a bug. I haven’t done the calculation to see whether the ×12 is actually capped at ×10, but it’s good to know that the berserk can be used without losing out on points.

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