Raiden Fighters Jet

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Raiden Fighters Jet

Raiden Fighters Jet is a shoot-em-up developed by Seibu Kaihatsu and released in 1998. The third and final game in the Raiden Fighters series, RFJ is known for its fast bullet speeds, energetic soundtrack, and large number of hidden secrets and easter eggs found during gameplay which are integral to playing for score. It was rereleased in 2008 for the Xbox 360 as part of the Raiden Fighters Aces collection, and again on PC in 2013 as part of Raiden Legacy.


Gameplay Overview

Raiden Fighters Jet, commonly abbreviated as RFJ, is a two-button game with fourteen playable ships, plus two secret ships. The stages progress in a branching path depending on player performance, with a full run of the game adding up to seven stages. RFJ contains two different scoring systems - one in which medals follow the player and increase in value by merging with each other, and another that's activated mid-run via an easter egg. Bonus points are awarded under certain conditions, including destroying enemies quickly before they begin shooting, destroying multiple enemies simultaneously, destroying parts of enemies in a certain order, and grazing enemy bullets. Easter eggs and secrets are very important to score, primarily in the form of point and item-granting fairies which appear under certain conditions, and micluses, Seibu Kaihatsu's mascot, which come out from under specific locations in the scenery when the player hovers over them.


Controls

The hit-boxes (yellow) and graze-boxes (red) for the different ships in Raiden Fighters Jet
  • A (Press): Fires standard shots from the ship and options
  • A (Hold): Fires a charged shot from the ship
  • B: Fires a limited-use bomb

Characters

RFJ contains fourteen standard ships and two secret ships. Each ship differs by speed, shot type, bomb type and base bomb count, and hitbox size, as well as whether they have access to laser and missile shot types. The two secret ships are a fairy and an option ship (referred to as "slave" in-game), selected by holding the B button when pressing start, then picking any of the other ships at the character select. Choosing the miclus ship will select the fairy, and choosing any other ship will select the option ship. The option ship inherets the speed and bomb type of the ship it was selected with, while having its own shot type and a significantly smaller hitbox.

Resources

RFJ uses lives to measure player health, and starts the player at two lives. There are no extra lives granted to the player at any point.

The player starts off with two or three bombs depending on the ship selected, which are replenished after respawning from death, regardless of how many bombs they had before. Additional bombs are granted by killing specific enemies.

Those playing for pure survival are advised to use a bomb if they feel death is unavoidable, in order to maximize how many bombs will be available to them throughout their playthrough.

Items

RFJ has four different types of items: power up items which increase the strength of the player's shot and switch it between laser type (L) and missile type (M) where applicable, bomb items which grant the player an additional bomb, option items which grant the player an additional option ship, and medals which grant the player score.

(pictures of the items)

Scoring System

Full details: Raiden Fighters Jet/Scoring

Medals

There are 3 phases of medal collection in Raiden Fighter Jet.

  1. Build up a 2,048,000 point medal: When the player has at least one Slave ship following them or when grazing bullets, medals dropped by enemies will begin to follow them. These follower medals can be guided around the screen to merge with each other and increase in value, up to a maximum 2,048,000 point medal. Reaching the maximum value medal is accompanied by a distinct sound effect.
  2. Make 9 medals appear: After picking up the maximum 2,048,000 point medal, the player then has to make 9 medals appear on screen at once, e.g. by shooting a Miclus but not immediately picking up the medals. When done correctly, the medals will explode and all subsequent medals will appear as gold medals instead, fundamentally changing the scoring system.
  3. Gold Medal Mode: In Gold Medal Mode, all medals have a base value of 10,000 points. Collecting all the medals on screen will increase the medal value by another 10,000 points, up to a maximum value of 100,000 points per medal. If a medal is dropped offscreen, the medal value will reset back to 10,000 for the next medal to appear on screen, and the player must start from 10,000 again. Once the player has entered Gold Medal Mode, the game will not return to any of the earlier phases of medal collection.


Miclus & Fairy

Full details: Raiden Fighters Jet/Scoring#Secrets

Hovering over certain locations in the scenery will cause a Miclus, Seibu Kaihatsu's mascot, to appear. Continuously shooting a Miclus will release a total of 9 medals and destroying a Miclus awards an additional 100,000 points.

Fairies can appear when shooting down the main turret of a large ground enemy and waiting for it to advance far down on the screen. Picking up a fairy grants 100,000 points. Fairies will drop a bomb item if left on the screen for some time. However, they can also be killed by the player, reducing their value to only 10 points.

Both of them can also appear as rewards for fulfilling additional stage specific secret conditions.


Bonus Message Chaining

Certain actions will make various bonus text messages appear on screen. If these messages pop up in close succession, a multiplier x2, x3, x4 etc. is built up, which caps at x9. The multiplier is active as long as there is at least one text message displayed on screen. The bonus messages are as follows:

QUICK SHOT Destroy certain enemies before they shoot
DESTROYED AT A TIME Destroy certain 2 enemies simultaneously
DX BONUS Destroy all parts of the trains in LEVEL 05
DISCOVERED THE MICLUS Make a Miclus appear
DISCOVERED THE FAIRY Make a Fairy appear
KILLED THE FAIRY Shoot down a fairy

The multiplier gained from chaining these text messages is applied to most of the score bonusses displayed on screen (except for medals). It is worth mentioning that the chainable text messages for the Fairy and the Miclus immediately appear with uncovering these characters themselves, which then increases the multiplier. However, the actual score which effectively can be multiplied is gained only after picking up the Fairy and blowing up the Miclus (after shooting it for 9 medals).


Grazing Bullets

Getting close to enemy bullets without touching them is known as grazing, and will grant additional points as well.


Stage Completion Points

Bonus points are awarded at the end of each stage based on three criteria: ability, medals earned, and technical points. Ability is a cumulative bonus based on enemies killed, medals collected, and bonuses chained. Medals earned is the number of medals collected during the stage, excluding medals blown up to enter gold medal mode.

Technical points are awarded according to the following criteria:

  1. Not dying in the level: five points
  2. Enemy destruction: up to three points, based on the number of medium and large enemies destroyed
  3. Discovering at least one miclus: one point
  4. Discovering at least one fairy: one point. However, killing a fairy will deduct a technical point.

The number of technical points for a level cannot exceed ten.

References

  1. Raiden Fighters Emporium | https://rf-emporium.ghegs.com/rfjet/index.html
  2. Primary info provided by SLRmercury and Plasmo