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  • Einhänder has the Flash Weapon Pod, which shoots out a deadly pink laser that hurts A LOT but is very rare to find and has very little ammunition. Combine that with the Secret Character Astraea Mk II, who starts out each life with 9999 ammunition for each weapon, give it two Flash pods as its starting weapons, and you'll tear up pretty much everything in the game.
  • Fire Shark has the flamethrower weapon. At maximum level, it fires out SIX streams of deadly fire in a spread (initially). The 4 side flames then proceed to sweep the sides AND back of the player, decimating most mooks they touch via massive damage. Not only that, it's the only weapon to hit behind the player character (there WILL be enemies coming from behind at times). Small wonder why the game is called FIRE Shark...
  • Touhou:
    • MarisaA in Lotus Land Story epitomizes this. Apart from the Good Bad Bugs listed above (and in the case of the "Malice Cannon", even then), MarisaA in Lotus Land Story is considered to be the most overpowered shot type to exist in any Touhou game, purely by virtue of how absurdly powerful her lasers are. It is not an exaggeration to say that she ends boss attacks 60% faster than the next most powerful shot type. On top of that, her lasers pierce enemies, are the only shot in the game that does, and there will be enemies hiding behind other enemies regularly throughout the game. Considering this, it's no wonder ZUN has been so reluctant to give Marisa's laser shot types in later games any amount of stand-out power.
    • Perfect Cherry Blossom brings in Sakuya as a playable character, and she is, by and large, one of the easier characters to clear the game with; her normal shot covers the screen, while her focused shot locks in on enemies, and her bombs (depending on the shot type) have some of the longer invincibility times in the game. And she gets four per life, compared to Reimu's three and Marisa's paltry two.
      • There's an inversion because of the bombs, though; there are bosses on the extra stages who get invincibility frames during their Spell Cards as soon as you bomb. Declaring bombs actually stalls the card, making it harder than it should be, so it's actually better to reserve the bomb stock to activate your border of life and death counter. As game breaker as Sakuya can be in the normal game, it's harder to beat the extra stages with her than with Reimu, whose shots home at sharper angles, has a smaller hitbox and gets a longer time frame to activate her counter-death move.
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    • The Boundary Team in Imperishable Night is by far the easiest team to beat the game with. They're a homing team in a game clearly not designed with homing in mind; Reimu wipes out a significant chunk of the enemies before they can even attack and Yukari deals significant damage to whatever she's attacking even when she's on the other side of the screen (the micrododge-heavy nature of the game makes staying beneath bosses a serious challenge). Combined with a small hitbox and extremely long deathbomb timer, you have something tailor made for beating the game. Given that this is the main character and one of the most powerful beings in the setting, it's kind of understandable.

      Also from Imperishable Night is the "Malice Cannon" glitch. When using the Magic Team, pressing the Shift button on and off every half second or so has the effect of both Marisa and Alice's shots staying on screen at the same time, resulting in the "Malice Cannon," which inflicts the most amount of damage on the opposition in the entire game. Despite this, the Magic Team is still the weakest team (or at least the hardest to use) due to being completely unable to attack anything that isn't directly in front.
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    • Phantasmagoria of Flower View: Medicine Melancholy's "Sweet Poison" card is an immovable poison cloud that can slow down opponents; when pitted against the computer, the AI is programmed to duck around enemy shots, so throwing out several of these shots in their path will result in some... interesting situations.

      Eiki Shiki's boss summon Spell Card also has some odd effects on the AI. The AI appears to not think ahead more than a split-second, while Eiki's summoned boss image regularly shoots a wide laser aimed directly at the opponent, leaving them about a second to get out of the way. Clearly, this is longer than the amount of time the AI tries to think ahead, since it will very often fail to move out of the way.

      Similarly, Aya Shameimaru's meteors make the AI look like an idiot, since by the time the meteor enters the area the computer can "see", it's usually too late for it to dodge. See here for an example of this in action, and note that this is done on Lunatic difficulty, in which the AI can sometimes last over ten minutes against normal characters. Helping Aya's case even more is that this game's story mode lacks Mirror Matches, and Aya is That One Boss.
    • The 'Marisa Bugged/Broken' glitch from Mountain of Faith. Put simply, due to a mishap in the game programming Marisa B does absurd damage firing unfocused between 3 and 4 power. By absurd damage, I mean killing bosses before their bullets even approach Marisa. If you can get through the stages with a decent amount of power this makes clearing the game an absolute joke. The reason this is going here is that if it's an accidental glitch you would expect a patch - the game's been out for over three years now, and no fix.
      • Mountain of Faith in general is broken by its bomb system. Because your bombs are tied to your power level, and because there is an extra level of power (5.00 power is functionally the same thing as 4.00 power, except that power items stop appearing, making it basically a free bomb), as long as you never hit max there will be more than enough power items to make it through virtually anything. The bombs are very large, very powerful, and grant both autocollection and invincibility throughout without any real downsides besides the power drop. To prove the point, there is an infamous replay in which the player bombs every attack and still beats the game without continues.
    • There's also MarisaB from Double Dealing Character. The game has a system where when you autocollect point or power items (whether by bombing or by using the auto-collect point at the top of the screen), it rewards you based on how many items you collected - 60+ items guarantees you a life piece, 3 of which make an extra life. This normally works fine, since you won't see 60+ items in one place very often. But MarisaB's bomb converts any bullets it hits into power items, which add to the collection total and make it ridiculously easy to gain lives by simply throwing the bomb into dense areas - and remember, just bombing causes an autocollect by itself, triggering another bonus. Run out of bombs? No problem, just kill yourself and you'll have a fresh new stock of three bombs to abuse again. See here for this in action. It helps that even apart from this sort of abuse, MarisaB has the highest raw power of any shot type in the game - and because of the power items spawned from the bombs, she will basically always be at full power.

      SakuyaA from the same game is less outright broken but easier to use. Her unfocused shot is a wide-range attack, which means she rains death upon the entire screen for any enemy that dies in a few hits. Her focused shot fires knives that home in on enemies and then explode, dealing substantial Area of Effect damage. Finally, her bomb clears out all bullets upon deployment, then grants a shield not only lasts for 10 seconds or until Sakuya is hit, but also cancels bullets again upon expiration and gives you three bomb fragments back should you manage to survive for 10 seconds. In short, she's well-suited for defending himself, to the point where other characters just don't compare in reward-to-risk ratio.
    • Sanae in Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom is by far the best character in the game. Remember her two shottypes in Undefined Fantastic Object? Well, her shottype in this game combines both of them. Unfocused, she covers the screen in highly-damaging explosive frogs. Focused, sends out homing snakes. Sanae can kill anything, anywhere. In theory this is balanced out by her focused shot being slightly weaker than Reimu or Marisa's and not hitting anything below her, but the damage difference is minor and the game never really makes you leave the bottom of screen. Even better, her bomb lasts a long time and has no real disadvantages in a game where all bombs do roughly the same amount of damage. And all of this is secondary to Sanae's real ability: Being perfect for the game mechanics— Bomb (Pointdevice) or life (Legacy) fragments are gained by killing a lot of enemies while grazing a lot, which Sanae, having a focused homing shot, excels at. She tends to get significantly more resources than anyone else.

      In Legacy mode, which replaces the checkpoints with a traditional lives system, Reisen shines. While her basic shots are possibly the worst in game, her bomb gives her three shields that only go away at the end of the stage at the cost of a larger hitbox (which also increases her ability to graze). While there simply aren't enough bombs in Pointdevice for this to be especially useful, the increased amount of resources in Legacy let her be invincible for most of the game.
    • Hidden Star in Four Seasons has the Autumn subweapon, especially when it comes to the game's mechanics. When it comes to seasonal releases, the lack of movement amongst other things hamper the constant usage of the other subweapons when collecting the season items you get when releasing; with Autumn as the subweapon, however, you will be able to move around with the release aura with the massively increased speed you get with it, allowing you to fly around the entire screen, and pointblank bosses to kill them instantly by spamming Autumn releases. The only major downside to using Autumn releases is the fact that you have no invincibility whilst using it, which will cause you to die by flying into fairies and bosses until you can distance yourself.

      This gets even more hilarious if you choose Aya with Autumn; Not only is she extremely fast from the start, which allows you to fly across the screen even faster, but her bomb has the exact same game-breaking properties as Sanae's bomb in Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom; As Aya's bomb has a single, narrow hitbox, and does not move along with her, players can abuse the bomb's invincibility frames to their advantage by bombing, standing right in front of danmaku and grazing to get many season items until you have a higher-level seasonal gauge, and releasing when need be. Since releasing at higher levels helps increase the point item value, and lives are mainly gained through score requirements, someone who abuses this as much as possible will be looking at not only capping the point item value at 500,000 points per item, but they will also gain just over TEN extends on their way, with both goals easily reachable even before Stage 4.
      • Due to the Unexpected Gameplay Change in the Extra Stage, where you are locked to an exclusive backwards-firing subseason, Reimu becomes scarily effective. Due to the gimmick that most boss attacks in the stage are designed to be shot at from behind, Reimu's additional homing shots make most of the fight a cakewalk due to the massive damage increase that Reimu players have. It doesn't help that the special subseason's release aura only costs one bar like Summer, allowing you to phase through bullets and insta-kill Satono, Mai, and Okina's attacks.
    • Even Touhou's best fangames are not immune to this, as ReimuA in the popular Touhou fangame Marine Benefit shows us. At first glance, she appears to be a basic forward-focus needles shot with a rather bad bomb to make up for the power of her shot - the bomb doesn't even hit the boss at all, only clearing the area directly around Reimu when the bomb button is pressed, and not moving to where Reimu moves during its duration. But this ignores one important thing about how the game works: in Marine Benefit, grazing increases the oxygen counter, which is what gives the player extra lives. Instead of the bomb being ReimuA's weakness, it's actually a godsend. Every time the player bombs, rushing up to the boss and grazing everything they shoot during the invincibility period can give the player a ridiculous amount of resources. For some idea of just how bad this can get, see here, where a player ends an attack with double the resources they came in with...despite dying six times, and making multiple mistakes. Or here, in which that same player demonstrates that it's a constant issue throughout the game, instead of just being the fault of that one attack.
    • Another Touhou fangame Game-Breaker is Riverbed Soul Saver's Liberation mode, which gives your character absurd amounts of firepower (think Imperishable Night's Malice Cannon glitch if it didn't require constantly focus-shifting and covered a wide area). It also lasts for a ridiculously long time, around 30 seconds or so, often enough to get through three or even four boss attacks with the firepower it provides. On top of that, it doubles any resources you pick up, meaning constantly abusing the mode throughout the game snowballs and provides you with more lives and more time spent in Liberation. It's meant to be balanced out by the fact that getting hit during Liberation causes your character to lose all the bombs they have in stock (making it a high-risk high-reward strategy), but due to the incredible area of attack and sheer power of the mode, it's very easy to avoid getting hit - and even if you do get hit, the doubled resources typically make up for the bombs you lost anyway.
      • And it's taken Up to Eleven with FutoC's Liberation mode, which slows down the enemy bullets to the point where you're practically playing the game tool-assisted. Yeah, in a Bullet Hell there's no way that could be broken.
      • Another shot type that takes Liberation's brokenness Up to Eleven is MarisaA. Her Liberation has two completely distinct shots. Focused, she shoots a spread of lasers that cover the entire screen without any effort, and unlike most spread shots, the individual lasers are very strong, which turns most stage portions into complete jokes. Unfocused, she shoots a forward-focus cluster of lasers that, when targeted on an enemy (which is very easy to do), deal damage at the level of MarisaB's glitched laser from Mountain of Faith, except that this isn't a glitch, it's the intended behavior. This allows for shenanigans like wiping out a boss spellcard so quickly that Marisa can stay in one place and have the card dispel before any bullets even have a chance to reach her - and then doing that four or five times straight. On top of all that, how does MarisaA enter her Liberation mode? By using Master Spark, which is every bit as powerful as it is in canon. The only downside to MarisaA is that she is slightly underpowered outside of Liberation, but she has enough to work with that she can still gain Liberation charge pretty easily.
  • The Len'en Project series of games has it's bombing system. Bombing, in general, is seen as much more broken in comparison to Touhou; whereas Touhou has high damage output against stage enemies, and low damage output against bosses, Len'en's bombs do obscene amounts of damage, no matter what. Characters like Tsubakura, Kuroji, and Sese have bombs that will practically instantly end any nonspell or Spell Card. It does not help that bombs are handed out much more regularly in each game as opposed to Touhou, especially in BPoHC.
    • In the fourth game, Brilliant Pagoda or Haze Castle, two particular standouts are Hooaka and Sese. Hooaka, while unfocused, shoots arrows in all directions which explode on contact and deal huge amounts of damage constantly. Sese, while a Joke Character at the start, gains bone spikes with Hitbox Dissonance at higher power levels that can end attacks nigh-instantly. Sese in particular was why a later update gave the bosses Mercy Invincibility at the start of their attacks.
      • Brilliant Pagoda or Haze Castle also has the Secret Character, Suzumi. Not only can you cover practically the entire screen with both of your highly-damaging shots, which either surround you with knives which explode outwards when you release the shot key or can shoot down enemies with their 100%-accurate lock-on homing knives, but your flash bomb functions like Fumikado's but without having to charge it, which can allow you to practically phase through attacks at will. That, and your bomb can either restart a cell or attack or, when upgraded, skip them entirely. The only downsides of playing as Suzumi is that they are counted a single unit in their 'team', as opposed to the three characters in other teams, and their upgraded bomb actively decreases the chance of gaining extra bombs, and does not work on final attacks.
      • In the same update that let you play as [[Suzumi], there was also a new feature that let you play as any combination of characters if you beat ex+a as [[Suzumi]. This, of course, led to a lot of interesting and game breaking combinations, the most infamous of which being Tenkai main, Aoji sub, and Fumikado support. While Tenkai’s shot type is decent, their barrier capacity is arguably their greatest perk as it's the highest in the game. That, combined with Aoji and Fumikado's skills and enough upgrades, makes them so tanky that with the right upgrades you can beat Absurdly Extra+α (the hardest mode in the game) without even moving.
    • Not helping Brilliant Pagoda or Haze Castle's case is the usage of skills and upgrades which can be applied to the player characters, many of which are horrendously unbalanced;
      • Tsubakura's Black Wings: Gives Tsubakura an upgraded bomb which takes the above-stated problem with Len'En's bombing system Up to Eleven; Whereas Tsubakura's normal bomb, Monochrome Ray, does absurd damage but lacks any wide range, Black Wings now makes the bomb full screen, and negates the bomb immunity of Stage 6 and Extra bosses.
      • Shion's Es-kun and Id-chan: Gives Shion two large familiars. Es-kun is small but actively homes in on enemies, and Id-chan is a larger familiar that wanders all around the screen. With both of these skills, you are always covering almost half of the screen with both your shots and familiars. In the trial version of the game, the size of Id-chan was even bigger, covering almost a quarter of a screen on it's own.
      • Iyozane's Spirit Fire "Blaze Reversal" and Jun's Satellite Parasol: Both skills follow the same principle of actively erasing bullets, even during spellcards. This can cause some considerable Sequence Breaking if you know what you are doing.
      • Sukune's Haniwa Knuckle and Sese's Necropotence: When these two upgrades are combined, a Preschool Team player who has Sukune in their sub position will be able to spam multiple damaging flash bombs for free when hit. While Haniwa Knuckle only truly shines against bosses who actively stay still, there are many bosses and individual patterns where this skill combo becomes immensely useful.
      • Sanra's One-Trigger Kill: Gives the player the chance to deal abusurd damage out of nowhere, resulting in instantly ending the attack where One-Trigger Kill activates. Sanra's upgrade, which can give your player additional critical hits with their shots, does not help with this matter.
      • Yaorochi's Cloud-Mowing Sword: Allows the screen to be cleared, with major damage being dealt to everything, once the flash bomb gauge is filled by grazing. This is like Yaorochi's inactive gimmick in the previous game, Reactivate majestical imperial. However, unlike previously, where the screen was only cleared every other time the flash bomb gauge was filled, the screen clears here game now apply for every single time the flash bomb gauge is filled. Graze-heavy bosses like Yabusame now become complete and utter jokes, as now you can just graze, kill everything, use a flash bomb, rinse, and repeat. This synergizes very well with Medias'note , Saragimaru'snote , and Hooaka's note  skills/upgrades, allowing you to become an absurd, graze-fueled killing machine with any team.
  • Touhou's sister series Seihou is no stranger to game breakers either.
    • In Shuusou Gyoku, VIVIT's laser option is easily the best shot type. It has high power, decent range, and an amazing bomb.
    • In Kioh Gyoku, due to how the A.I. works, practically EVERY character has at least one A.I. Breaking attack. However, the Difficult, But Awesome Erich is widely considered to be the absolute best character in the game. Why? His amazing homing lasers can easily destroy the A.I. opponents, especially on slower characters. Every single one of his attacks involves these nasty lasers, which appear in large numbers, are fast, and do a lot of damage. Oh, and since EX attacks are sent by grazing, and there are so many bullets when late in the match, so more and more lasers are sent to your opponent to keep racking up the damage.
    • In Banshiryuu, Hirano A is easily the best character, especially for score runs. She's very fast, and has the absolute strongest shot in the game, which makes her amazing for damaging bosses, as well as racking up a high score during their SE attacks (they're invincible, but you still get points from damaging them). Her only downsides are her terribly weak bomb, (which is still amazing defensively due to it basically covering the whole screen, and can be strong if used close), and her weak focused shot, which is rather useful during the stages, though.
  • Tyrian has the Plasma Storm, a "sidekick" weapon that has only ten shots (that replenish slowly) but does massive damage and has a very fast fire rate—you can empty it in about a second, which will easily wipe out anything that's not invulnerable. Oh, and it's available before the first level. You can only afford one at that point, but that's enough. It was toned down slightly in Tyrian 2000, but still retains most of its original awesomeness.
    • Also, the Zica Flamethrower, a "sidekick" that fires a stream of flame that passes through enemies, allows one to "affect" an enemy that has a collision box (including most bosses) and then ram them for a One-Hit Kill. This Game-Breaker applies to any weapon with a penetration effect.
    • Not a weapon-type Game-Breaker, but something of note is that during Episode I, in Savara V, during the boss fight, you can stay in a spot away from the boss and intercept its shots for money indefinitely.
  • The Spread Gun in Contra. Since it fires five shots at a time, you can destroy quite a few bosses with ease just by firing point-blank. And most other enemies only need one shot anyway. If you're a competent platformer player, the jig is up once you have this weapon.
    • The Fire Gun in Contra III constantly does high damage to anything in the fire. Most bosses die in seconds if you aim it at their weak spots. Also the Laser Gun, which fires at a slow rate but also pierces through many enemies and kills bosses faster.
    • The upgraded version of the Machine Gun in Super Contra (the arcade version, not the NES game Super C) has a ridiculously fast firing rate allows you to wipe out most bosses in a matter of seconds
    • Browny in Hard Corps. He is very small, is the only character with a double jump and his Super-Electromagnetic Yo-Yo weapon can destroy bosses very quickly. He has the worst slide but that's a very minor drawback compared to his other advantages.
      • Brad Fang is also very overpowered. His A-type weapon, the Beast Shot, has a wider range than the other characters' A-type weapons, and his Explosive Punch and Psycho Blaster can wipe out bosses in seconds. His only drawback is that his tall stature makes his an easier target than the other characters, and the latter two weapons can only be fired horizontally.
    • Weapon Set F in Neo Contra has the GV Laser (from Gradius V nonetheless, hence the name), which fires a constant laser beam with a ridiculously long range. Its the best weapon to use if you want an easy S-rank in no time.
      • Weapon Set D. The main weapon is a Lightning Gun that can One-Hit Kill many enemies, the secondary is a hard hitting bazooka that does massive damage against bosses and stationary objects, and the lock-on weapon is the Heaven's Laser, which is absurdly strong, never misses, and reloads stupidly fast, making things that need a lock-on utter push-overs. Oh, and it's unlocked early on at Stage 5, compared to Weapon Set F's Stage 7 requirement.
      • Jaguar's katana can be considered a Game-Breaker too. It kills bosses in a few swings if you get up close to them.
  • Gunstar Heroes has one of two game-breakers depending on your movement choice at the beginning of the game. If you chose "free shot" (i.e., move while firing), your best option is the Lightning/Chaser combo, which fires a large homing laser that stays onscreen and seeks out any targets as long as you hold the fire button. It makes many situations much easier, in that you can focus entirely on dodging enemy attacks while letting it do its thing. It's kinda stupid, though, in that it's nigh-impossible to force the weapon to attack a particular target, and it may just end up trying to destroy something that's indestructible; its damage output is also rather lacking, and prone to only doing Scratch Damage on many enemies in Hard and Expert. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you chose "fixed shot" controls (i.e., holding the fire button makes your character unable to run, which has the side-effect of aiming diagonally much easier), use Lightning/Fire instead. It's essentially a short-range beam of energy that's extremely powerful and can even destroy most enemy bullets. Which one ends up breaking your game largely depends on your playing style, but most vets will conclude that Lightning/Fire is superior despite its terrible range that often puts the player right in the face of danger (contending, of course, that the high damage and bullet-killing properties made close-range encounters end in a snap).
  • In Thunder Force VI, every ship is broken in some way. The starting ship, the Phoenix, starts with all of its weapons and both Craws, and never loses them on dying like ships from past games. The Rynex-R, unlocked upon completing the game once, doesn't have this luxury, but more than makes up for it with the incredibly broken Twin Shot Over Weapon, pictured above. The caption is not hyperbole; a boss that takes 30-60 seconds to defeat can easily go down in under 10 seconds. It also has the Free Way weapon, which will target and slam an enemy that comes within proximity of your ship, making it idea for crowded parts of the game. Finally, the Syrinx, the last unlockable ship, is similar to the Phoenix, but with a new Wave Shot that, instead of firing a three-way spread of crescent wave bursts, fires a microwave-style laser that incinerates everything in its path and makes waves of "popcorn" enemies all but trivial.
    • Thunder Force III / Thunder Force AC / Thunder Spirits: Grab a Saber powerup. Use it on a boss. Instant win.
    • Thunder Force V: Grab a Free Range powerup. Get up close to a boss and spam its Over Weapon. Instant win and x16 point multiplier. Heck, the Free Range in general. It projects a wireframe cone in a direction of the player's choosing, and anything that gets inside is fried by a powerful 100% accurate laser, even more if the player has CRAWs.
      • In the case of Thunder Force V, for owners of the Playstation version, they had access to the RVR-01HiS via a secret method. This version of the RVR-01 was significantly faster and boasted slightly improved firepower. The only downside is reduced CRAW regeneration, but when they appear as random item drops, who needs to worry about CRAW recharge rate?
  • R-Type Final has the Needle Force, which comes with the otherwise unspectacular Pod ships. It's not especially powerful when docked, but once it's loose a fully-powered Needle Force will fire a spray of bullets in all 32 directions possible for bullets to travel in a spinning pattern, one bullet per game tick. No other Force fires even close to this fast and no other force is capable of filling the screen so effectively with bullets. Park it next to a boss's Weak Point and said boss will go down in very little time. The space armada in level 5? No problem - just launch the Force into each ship as it arrives and wait for it to do its magic. They will hardly be able to get a single shot off before they are destroyed, one after the other.
    • Also the Mega Wave Cannon, the little brother of the intentionally broke Giga Wave Cannon. Why? Due to the way things work, the Mega is just as good at killing everything as the Giga regardless of how many loops. Note: this is a Wave Cannon that basically one shots anything that's not explicitly invincible AND goes through walls and obstacles.
  • Raiden:
    • The Lock-on Laser in Raiden II. They removed it in Raiden III, but restored it by popular demand in Raiden IV.
    • The hidden Slave fighter in Raiden Fighters spinoff. It fires shots that spread out in front of it, which fire very fast and are capable of doing large amounts of damage, particularly at point blank. Moreover, it has a small hitbox, and if you choose the Judge Spear variation of the Slave, you not only can move absurdly fast, but you also have the Judge Spear's super-powerful bomb. The Slave is so hideously broken that all the other ships are simply not worth using; on the Raiden Fighters Aces compilation, the Slave dominates every single online leaderboard, save for ship-specific leaderboards.
      • Some consider the Judge Spear itself to be a Game-Breaker. Fully power it up and give it a Slave formation that makes up for its lack of defensive spread, and you can easily tear through large enemies (and earn QUICK SHOT! bonuses that most other ships would find impossible to earn) and bring down bosses in very little time.
    • Raiden V's Catch Plasma isn't terribly powerful at first, but at the highest levels this weapon easily becomes a Master of All and one of the strongest weapons in the entire series. Its orbs lock on to enemies instantly, allowing you to easily rack up that x6.0 multiplier on popcorn enemies, expand out in a wide angle allowing you to zap anything in front of you, and multiple orbs can target the same enemy at once, making it more than powerful enough to take on bosses.
  • Gradius Series: Some of the custom weapon set-ups can be this if the right weapons and Option formations are used.
    • Spread Bomb appears in many games as a missile item. It drops to the ground and instead of following the ground, it explodes to deal a lot of damage in a wide area, making it excellent for big groups of turrets and enemy spawners.
    • Falchion Beta in Gradius Gaiden, compared to the other three ships Lord British, Vic Viper, and Jade Knight. For its Double, Falchion Beta has Auto-Aim - Which auto-tracks and destroys any enemies above it. Auto-Aim renders any stage a cakewalk, even in higher loops. Its Laser, Gravity Bullet, causes such a high amount of concentrated damage that bosses die in mere seconds. Its missile weapon, Rolling Missile, will also pierce targets forward and back from where it drops.
    • Also in Gradius Gaiden is the Jade Knight, thanks to the aforementioned Spread Bomb and the ability to upgrade it to split into two bombs. The Jade Knight also has the Round Laser, which gives it 360-degree coverage in a game where enemies can come from all sides, and the Pulse Laser, which is a souped-up Twin Laser that pierces enemies and can be upgraded to a triple burst.
    • E.Laser, R. Option, Reduce Shield, and Full Barrier in III SNES. E.Laser and R.Option combined give you a powerful rotating charged attack that can erase destructible bullets even while charging and can kill most everything in several hits. Reduce shield is the best shield in the series, although it can only negate two hits, it makes your ship, and thus your hit box, smaller, allowing you to slip though most bullets with ease. Full Barrier allows you to refill a partial shield instead of deplete it to bring it back to full.
    • In Gradius V:
      • Freeze Options (Type 1), especially when combined with Spread Bombs, can speed-kill most bosses with ease by inserting the options into their weak points and exploit safe spots the other types can't, and are overall a versatile option type that allows for many custom formations, including replications of Type 3 (Formation) and Type 4 (Rolling).
      • The Fire Blaster went from a pathetic matchstick to a devastating fire-breathing monster, as its constant fire rate and high damage-per-second makes short work of bosses (especially when combined with the aforementioned Freeze Options and Spread Bombs), and the harder stages (such as Stage 5 and Stage 6) by easily destroying the asteroids and green goo respectively. As a cherry topping on the cake, the sweeping effect can clear out swarms of popcorn enemies and destructible projectiles. Just get used to the short range, because it's utterly devastating when used smartly.
    • In ReBirth:
      • Type D, the Metalion from Nemesis II MSX, is capped to 2 Options, but it doesn't need the extra two when it has the Up Laser, which fires expanding energy bars upward while retaining the ship's basic gun and without halving its firing rate.
      • Type E has a variant of the 2-Way Missile in which the missiles actually slide along the ground instead of just vanishing when touching it, and also has the Force Field like Type B does. As long as you never use Double or Lasernote , it's easily one of the most powerful ships in the game.
  • The Thunder Claw and Binchou Laser in Twin Cobra II. The red and blue weapons needs ungodly Button Mashing to make them not piss-weak, whereas the Thunder Claw has a huge spread and doesn't need rapid fire to be powerful. The Binchou Laser doesn't need Button Mashing either and it kill things really fast.
  • The auto-bomb feature, which substitutes a life lost for a bomb fired (if any are left) if you get hit. Games that implement this become much easier, as your bombs are essentially extra lives and you don't need to concern yourself with deciding in a sticky situation whether to use up a bomb. Take Mushihime Sama Futari's Novice mode, which has auto-bomb, for instance. You start with 3 lives and 3 bombs, and every time you die you reset to 3 bombs. 3 lives × 3 automatically-fired bombs = what is essentially 9 lives, which you can get 1 more of by getting a bomb and 3 more of by getting a 1-Up. DoDonPachi Dai-Fukkatsu Ver. 1.5 also has (non-disableable) auto-bomb, which contributes to Dai-Fukkatsu being regarded as the easiest DonPachi game to complete one loop of.
    • Some games, however, are smart about this. Ketsui Death Label has auto-bomb, but when it is activated, you lose all of your bombs.
  • DeathSmiles Mega Black Label has Sakura. All the other characters in the game have a single familiar, which fires alongside them and absorbs suicide bullets. Sakura has two familiars, grouped together closely enough that the space between them registers as the hitbox for absorbing suicide bullets. This makes dealing with suicide bullets much easier as Sakura effectively has a single giant familiar.
    • This is sort of justified, as fighting Bloody Jitterbug requires completing every level on the hardest difficulty without getting hit once. She needs that extra protection.
  • DoDonPachi DaiFukkatsu has Strong Style, which is essentially a beefed up version of Bomb Style. Compared to Strong Style, Bomb Style is utterly useless. Hence why in DaiFukkatsu BLACK LABEL, selecting Strong Style will sharply increase enemy difficulty, essentially turning Strong Style into the rough equivalent of Mushihime Sama's Ultra Mode.
  • Strikers 1945 II brings the world the F5-U Flying Pancake and the Hayate. The F5-U isn't strong but the main gun spreads a little, has homing lasers, and it's quick enough to evade many attacks in the game. Also, its charge shot consists of a laser that can kill many enemies in little to no time. The Hayate isn't as fast, but compensates for its lethality via attack drones that home in and whittle enemies down to nothing.
    • Then there's the XP-55 Ascender, unlocked via cheat code in Strikers 1945 Plus. Again, not the fastest, but compensates for it with its decent strength and ludicrous special attack. It homes in on enemies, charges quickly and can hold the maximum nine specials—when other planes have at the most five specials.
    • Strikers 1999 has the X-36, also unlocked via cheat code. Like the Flying Pancake, it's extremely fast, has homing lasers, and the most devastating special attack in the game. Oh, and it's a Transforming Mecha.
  • Time Crisis: Crisis Zone has the Laser Rifle. While exclusive to the console port, it is the most broken weapon in the game. Instantaneous hit rate, obscene rate of fire, very damaging, and it takes no effort to kill anything. The only issue is that it has to be unlocked, but it is well worth it. The weapon in question can be seen here.
  • In the mobile game Gun Bros. by Glu, there is the obscenely powerful heavy gun called the Kraken. When shot, it shoots loads of homing missiles. As you shoot, the gun appears to quickly overheat. All is lost shoots a gigantic laser beam that vaporizes anything it touches. The gun does not stop firing missiles even WHILE firing the laser. However, there is a price to pay. Quite literally. Originally when the gun was released it was 1400 War Bucks. (currency you spend real cash on.) The maximum package currently offered is 710 War Bucks for $99.99. Which means this thing was initially a little over $200. If you thought that was bad, they've updated it to cost a staggering 3499 War Bucks. Do the math...yeah. Holy shit indeed.
  • Bullet Heaven has Anna, unlockable by getting S-ranks on five levels. All the other player characters have subweapons that are, well, weapons; a wider-range, more powerful attack that can only be used occasionally. Anna's subweapon, however, is a Super Mode that gives her triple firepower until the subweapon meter runs down. Upgrade the subweapon recharge speed to max, and you can pretty much keep it on permanently.
  • Space Invaders Infinity Gene? More like Infinity Cheese. If you're going for the leaderboards, pick either of these two ships or don't bother.
    • The "Field" ship, the sixth unlockable ship, has a circle that it uses to target enemies; anything that enters the circle will be zapped with lasers until they leave the circle or die. Said circle gets wider the more you power it up, until its diameter becomes the size of the whole screen. At this point, anything that dies in one shot will not be able to touch you, hell you might not even see it because your radius ensures that anything that enters from the top or bottom of the screen will show up on-screen for maybe a frame or two before being zapped dead. Bosses still take some time to be killed, but if you shrink your circle by half the attack will do extra damage.
    • The "Variable" ship, which uses four Attack Drones to wield laser swords that inflict immense damage, and can be swung by moving up and down. By powering up the weapon and moving the swords such that they all intersect, you can easily eat bosses' health for breakfast. The Variable ship is also great as a defensive weapon; you can move the swords to cover the area right in front of you; certain enemy shots as well as most enemies will be destroyed trying to get to you.
  • In the Adobe Flash Web Game Enigmata 2: Genu's Revenge, the Stop Time skill is this. It stops time, allowing you to wail on a boss without much problem, and you can activate it again as long as you have energy remaining. It has a high energy cost... which can by solved by upgrading it so that it uses less energy.
    • The "INFINITE Bonus" equipment. Normally, when you get a bonus weapon, it only lasts for a short time before reverting back to your regular weapon. This powerup makes your bonuses last infinitely. Combine with the "Bonus Lock" skill to prevent Power Up Letdown, and you have a monster ship on your hands.
  • In GHOST Squad, the two best weapons are the SPR11 sniper rifle and TR14 machinegun, two weapons that are classified as having high-rank penetration, allowing you to shoot enemies behind objects that even the best real-world firearms should not be able to cleanly pierce through. Aside from allowing you to kill enemies well before they have a chance to strike, this also means you can easily score a lot of Quick Shot bonuses, making both weapons ideal not only for survival but also for score.note 
  • Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony has the Gunner ship, which moves fast and can fire in any direction, unlike the other ships, making it ideal for hitting everything on the screen, including enemies to the side of and behind you. Once you give it a few minutes, you'll find it difficult to use any other ship in the game. To add insult to injury, it's the first unlockable ship, so you can get it not long after you begin playing and have it carry you throughout the entire game.
  • Type-Z in Crimzon Clover; it's basically the Type-I ship on steroids, having the highest attack power and widest range out of all the ships in the game, not to mention the fact that its Break bar fills up ridiculously fast when it hits 50%. On the other hand, getting it is no easy task; you have to survive throughout the game until you reach the staff roll, and then grind up enough stars to purchase it in the shopnote  or unlock itnote .
  • Dariusburst has a few ships that are a cut above the rest:
    • Next, whose Fixed Burst aims in the direction of the ship instead of away from it, making it much easier to make Burst walls to protect oneself from onslaughts of bullets and enemies. And since killing enemies and nullifying projectiles refills the Burst meter, it is possible to keep the Burst going for minutes if there are enough "popcorn" enemies and bullets on the screen.
    • Gaiden from Darius Gaiden, which makes its Dariusburst debut in Dariusburst Another Chronicle EX, has much faster shots than the other ships, gaining both all-penetrating waves and non-penetrating bullets alongside aimed crescent shots in the last third of its shot upgrades. It also has the Black Hole Bomb, which inflicts tremendous damage to anything caught in its radius. It lacks a Burst Counter, but you don't need it.
    • For scoring purposes, Second from Darius II, which also made its Dariusburst debut in Another Chronicle EX. It makes up for a lack of Burst with a maximum x60 base multiplier on top of a Spread Shot and omnidirectional piercing lasers that will ensure that anything that enters the screen and is within line of sight of the ship dies.
    • The Murakumo in Chronicle Saviours combines the best parts of other ships. It has Attack Drones like the Genesis, but there's four of them, can have their firing angles adjusted when in rotation or formation modes, and act as temporary shields (especially in rotation mode). And as for its Burst, it's a Wave-Motion Gun (like the Legend's, Next's, and Formula's) that counters simply by touching an enemy Burst beam (like the Genesis's), and if fired long enough releases a massive explosion (like the Assault's).
  • Star Soldier: Vanishing Earth has the Blue Ship. The Green Ship has wide coverage and nice spread damage, the Red Ship has strong frontal and minimal back coverage with some good focused damage. The Blue Ship is entirely front-facing, and unlike the other ships' shots two of its laser cannons power up from level 3 and on, dealing astounding amounts of damage for a standard attack. Its first Ex-Arm is not truly noteworthy, especially compared to the other two ships, but its second Ex-Arm is devastating: it unleashes a Wave-Motion Gun that deals so much damage it can kill or nearly kill most bosses in one shot. The fact the Blue Ship is also the fastest ship and has the longest lasting Rolling is just icing on the cake. A halfway proficient player can keep the Blue Ship running on max or near max power the whole game and unleashing Ex-Arm 2 mostly on bosses to end the fights in seconds.
  • Event Horizon has a strategy dubbed as the Death Ray Oracle, which revolves around pairing the Oracle ship, a huge Flying Saucer with 360° auto targeting, with the Death Ray, a Charged Wave-Motion Gun which Hits For Massive Damage and has long enough range to cover the entire battlefield when buffed. The result? A build powerful enough to Curb Stomp anything, anywhere, within 5 seconds or less, which resulted in banning Oracle in PvP for quite a long time, until auto targeting was nerfed and several weapons and ships were implemented with the sole purpose of countering it.
  • Caladrius features a wide array of characters and weapons, so there's bound to be some that basically render all the other options obsolete unless you're doing some sort of Self-Imposed Challenge, especially once you unlock Element Shot customization (where you can slap any three Element Shots of any character onto your chosen ship):
    • Sophia's Defense shot, Acid Reaction. Unlike other shield-type attacks that usually have some sort of gap in their defenses, Acid Reaction completely envelopes your ship as you fire your main shot and blocks not only conventional bullets, but even some attacks that other shields cannot. You can even just leave it at level 1 and focus on leveling up the other two Element Shots, only bothering to invest in Acid Reaction once the other two weapons are maxed out; while leveling up this attack does increase the damage radius, it's not necessary to do so to enjoy the defensive benefits. As such, some players make it a point not to use Acid Reaction or else the game gets too easy for them. To quote the Shmups Forum strategy guide on the game:
      "This [Element Shot] in my opinion is totally broken and cheapens the game immensely. Anyone should be able to easily 1ccnote  the game using it, but just know you aren't really experiencing the game if you do it that way. It really appears like it was specifically designed to allow novice players to 1cc. Isn't that what easy mode is for? Lame..."
    • For building up multiplier, none compare to Noah's Life Stalker. It sends out vines that instantly seek and latch onto enemies, with the number and power of vines increasing as you level up the attack. Once you have at least two vines, you can destroy entire screens of "popcorn" enemies just by briefly pressing a button, racking up multiplier in record time.
    • Most Element Shots are designed to take up one of three different roles: damage, multiplier-building, or defense. Kei's Defense shot, Tempest Willow, can do all three pretty well; it's a tornado that extends out from the front of the ship, doing high damage and cancelling enemy bullets, and moving your ship sideways causes the tornado to sway in the direction of your movement, allowing it to take out large hordes of enemies and neutralize screenfuls of bullets. Since it does not fire your main shot (which will not raise the multiplier when destroying enemies with it), you can quickly rack up multiplier just from a Zerg Rush of enemies. This makes it a fantastic all-arounder, especially in Arcade Mode where you can activate Fusion to use it with no gauge cost for a significant period of time that can be extended by collecting the hidden green recharge towers.


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