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Battle Garegga is a vertically scrolling Shoot 'em Up arcade game released by 8ing/Raizing in 1996, and then later ported to the Sega Saturn in Japan.Mathew Wayne, a great mechanical engineer, lived in a small country town where he owned a small automobile factory. His young sons, Brian and Jason, were influenced by his work. The sons were taught by his father every trick of the trade of becoming a mechanical engineer as great as he was. A few years later as their father retired, Brian and Jason took over the operation of the factory. As years rolled by, words of their vehicle designs and high technical capabilities passed from one town to another until it reached the ears of the federal government. After talks with the managers of the federal weapons development, the Wayne brothers accepted a large contract to develop a new line of military vehicles and weapons for them. Their creations were years ahead of anything else like them in the world.One morning, the sky turned dark by the oncoming fleet of planes and the echoes can be heard from a far distance. The weapons and the vehicles that the Wayne brothers originally developed for the federation destroyed every town and city in their way - including their own. Seeing that their weapons had enabled the federation to expand through conquest and had claimed many victims in the process, Brian and Jason complete four powerful prototype planes whose designs they never submitted and set off to destroy the weapons they helped create.Battle Garegga is perhaps one of the more controversial Shoot Em Ups. It is well-known for its Dynamic Difficulty, which demands some unconventional tactics (such as dying on purpose) to keep lowered enough that the game remains completable. Another source of debate is the graphics; the graphics are very brown and gray with low contrast, right down to the bullet colors moreso than most other graphically traditional shooters. However, amongst those who dedicate themselves to this game, Battle Garegga is a very rewarding shooter, with many, many secrets and tricks and plenty of challenge to go around.See also Armed Police Batrider, the Spiritual Successor to this game.
Tropes used in Battle Garegga
All There in the Manual: All of the story comes from the promotional flyers for the game. Also, the game itself never mentions anything about why you're in a plane shooting other planes at any point.
Attack Its Weak Point: Most bosses must be hit in their centers in order to damage it. However, hitting everything else on it will still give you points. It's often a good idea to prolong a boss fight this way to get you close to or even get an extra life, depending on your skill and your current rank.
Boss Rush: The second half of Stage 5. You fight improved versions of the stage 1 and 2 bosses, followed by the huge plane you saw under construction in stage 3, culminating with the endboss Black Heart.
Cap: Averted; the score display has 7 digits, but exceeding 9,999,990 will simply make the millions digit start using letters instead of numbers. The world record is in the range of "K million" points.
Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: In addition to the standard of creating a Shot Power-Up and Option icon when you die, small enemies are destroyed, big enemies and bosses take damage, all enemy bullets are cleared from the screen, and most importantly, Rank is alleviated.
The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: The way rank works is somewhat involved. There is one nice little detail for those who cheat, though: using an emulator cheat to nail rank down to the "easiest" level will cause items to fall about as fast as they do when you hit the actual rank caps, instead of the speed they fall at the easiest level of rank. In other words, they accelerate downwards rather quickly.
Disc One Final Boss: Black Heart, the last boss you face before enterting the enemy base. Also the longest for many players.
Diesel Punk: The technology looks like it would have been around World War II level if it were not for the brothers' inventions.
Difficulty By Region: In addition to the larger number of points required to extend, rank (see below) increases at different rates depending on the region as well as the difficulty setting (U.S. "hard" is harder than Japan's "very hard", by the way).
However, turning the extends off (which isn't possible in the Japan revision) will clamp rank to "manageable" and won't raise very much even if you collect everything and max out the autofire rate.
Dynamic Difficulty: The Rank system determines how hard the game is. Firing and powering up the main weapon, as well as picking up various items, will increase your rank. The only way to decrease your rank is by dying. Thus, players are "forced" to keep themselves powered down, conserve shots, and die on purpose in order to keep the last few stages of the game playable.
Foreshadowing: The title of the Stage 1 music is "Fly to the Leaden Sky". Stage 5 is the leaden sky being referred to.
Gotta Catch Them All: Miss a medal on accident, thus screwing up the chain and losing oh so many potential points? Many Manly Tears were had this way before. Restarting a chain ends up jacking up rank more than maintaining it on top of it.
Guide Dang It: The exact workings of the rank system, the 'hidden' level of shot power (Get to the normal max, skip 5 small power ups, then get one), and the hidden option formations. this Thread mentions the details of all these things.
More Dakka: The Grass Hopper's secondary weapon. The spent casings will also damage anything behind it.
Palette Swap: Averted. Not only does pressing certain buttons or combining A+B+C together give you different colored planes, but they also get name changes and enhanced stats. For B it's an increase in speed, while C decreases the size of your hitbox. Pressing A+B+C gives you both.
Playing with Fire: The Silver Sword and Wild Snail use a napalm and fire secondary weapon, respectively.
Real Is Brown: A lot of the backgrounds are like this, which can be aggravating because of the gray bullets that you might not see until it's too late. Did we say gray bullets? There are also brown bullets. And lots and lots of shrapnel. They all look like each other (same color, y'see). The bullets are what'll kill you, though. Happy dodging!
(Note: there was, however, Battle Garegga - Type 2 version, which replaced a good many — but not all — of the "bullet" bullets with the more typical yellow circles).
Rewarding Vandalism: Bombing certain background objects will reveal score medals needed to raise your score and earn more lives.
Smart Bomb: Instead of collecting one bomb icon for one bomb, you need to collect 40 icons to use a bomb at full power. Also, collecting at least one icon will let you use it, but it will only last for a very short time compared to the full power bomb, depending on how many icons were collected when used.
Spiritual Successor: Battle Bakraid and Armed Police Batrider are this to Battle Garegga. Which itself was inspired by Taito's Gun Frontier; the Real Is Brown-style palette, realistic-style bullets, and mini-bomb power-ups were all drawn from there. Gun Frontier also had a rank system, but it was strictly based on how much you shot (the idea was to discourage firing when you had no reason to believe you'd hit something), and did not require getting yourself shot down if you wanted to 1CC the game. The programmer, S. Yagawa, would go on to do Ibara much later on.