Brilliant Pagoda or Haze Castle/Gameplay/Strategy

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Which character to use[edit]

Yabusame

  • Main: Their shot type isn't bad, and their skills are all active when they're main.
  • Sub: Bomb and flash bomb are both quite simple, but easy-to-use and not that weak.
  • Support: Only support perk they provide is two more barriers, which, while good, isn't the best.
  • Overall: Good for beginners, but if you're and advanced player, you're better of using someone else.

Tsubakura

  • Main: Great damage, but arguably lowest range in the game. High speed might make them difficult to control. Their Bird's Eye "Dark-Red Eyes" skill is very good.
  • Sub: Bomb and flash bomb are great, but tough to use. Fortunately, the skills fix that problem, and make them even stronger.
  • Support: The aforementioned Bird's Eye "Dark-Red Eyes" skill works when they're on Support position, making them a good support character.
  • Overall: A great character on any position, especially with skills.

Shion

  • Main: Shottype isn't that great, but all of their skills are available when they're main.
  • Sub: Bomb is pretty bad, but flash bomb is fine.
  • Support: Their support skill is random, but pretty strong if it works.
  • Overall: Rather mediocre on their own, but their skills can be useful. Probably not worth using only for their skills, though.

Fumikado

  • Main: The slowest character in the game. They have high range, but unlike Yabusame, shotgunning isn't as effective.
  • Sub: Bomb is mediocre, but flash bomb is really good, especially with skills.
  • Support: Great support skill, but do note it also works when they're sub.
  • Overall: Bad main, great sub, good support.

Iyozane

  • Main: A good balance of range and power. Shotgunning isn't effective, though. Main skill is pretty good.
  • Sub: Bomb and flash bomb are both quite good.
  • Support: Their support skill can be overpowered when used in a specific way, and it's pretty useful even when used casually. Do note it's available with Iyozane at any position.
  • Overall: A really good character, regardless of position.

Tsugumi

  • Main: Highest range, but weak. Despite the low power, it's pretty good.
  • Sub: Bomb is good, though a bit difficult to use. Flash bomb is simple and easy-to-use, yet strong.
  • Support: Only really worth using when the main character is slow.
  • Overall: Good main and sub, situational support. Generally meant for a defensive playstyle.

Tenkai

  • Main: Great shottype, but the options are a little difficult to use.
  • Sub: Bomb is excellent. Flash bomb is also great.
  • Support: Pretty good.
  • Overall: Good offensively, great defensively.

Sukune

  • Main: Bad, and their skills don't really make up for it.
  • Sub: Okay bomb and flash bomb. Upgraded flash bomb is tough to use and doesn't clear that many bullets, but it's extremely strong damage-wise.
  • Support: A measly item collection skill.
  • Overall: Only worth using as a sub.

Sese

  • Main: Supreme damage and very constricted range. Bullets don't reach the top of the screen, but compared to Tsubakura, has more horizontal range.
  • Sub: Not bad bomb and a really good flash bomb, especially when upgraded.
  • Support: Good defensive support skill.
  • Overall: Good on about any position, especially excells as a main.

Kuroji:

  • Main: Somewhat low range, but quite strong. You'll have to rely mostly on the focused shot, though.
  • Sub: Bomb lasts long and deals heavy damage, but has very low range. Flash bomb is situational.
  • Support: Useful only if your sub has a good bomb.
  • Overall: Mediocre in every area, unfortunately.

Hooaka

  • Main: Super high power, low range. Their main-exculsive skill is pretty good.
  • Sub: Bomb is strong, but short and has somewhat low range.
  • Support: Like Kuroji's, their support skill is only useful when the main has a good bomb.
  • Overall: Good sub, not that good on other positions.

Aoji

  • Main: High range, but low power. More or less like Iyozane, but less power. Their skills are all available when they're main, though.
  • Sub: Also similiar to Iyozane, both in bomb and flash bomb.
  • Support: Like Kuroji and Hooaka, only good when the sub has a good bomb.
  • Overall: On their own, they're like a slightly worse Iyozane. Their skills are really powerful, though.

Suzumi

  • Main: Their charge shot is high-range and very strong, but it charges slowly. Fortunately, if you don't like charge shots, the familiars don't do a half bad job on their own. Do note that the knives that gather around Suzumi while charging can deal damage, even whitout releasing the charge.
  • Sub: Unupgraded bomb is great for scoring, upgraded bomb is great for survival. The flash bomb is weak on its own, but it allows for some broken combinations.
  • Support: The support skill is really useful in survival, not to mention a nice time save.
  • Overall: A great character on any position.

General[edit]

Most of your score will come from the following places:

  • Bullet cancels - the Len'en project is notorious for giving lots of score this way. On Hard, you can expect about 10 million each from Kurohebi and Aoji, plus more from bullet-heavy enemy formations and certain other attacks.
  • Spell bonuses - some spells are worth capturing. Tsubakura's upgraded flash bomb works well to facilitate captures.
  • End-of-stage bonuses - worth about 10 to 15 million for the first three stages. This depends on two main factors:
    • The number of point items collected. While using the POC does not yield more score from point items themselves, doing so makes the items easier to collect.
    • The amount of graze you get that stage. Before the point multiplier, each graze gives 100 points.

Route: stay at Senri Shrine; fight Kurohebi and Aoji. Either Lumen or Sese works for the third boss.

Keep Suzumi locked, or you will not get high scores. In other words, do not encounter both Kunimitsu and Kaisen.

Upgrades[edit]

Yabusame's

  • Upgrade: Useless on Instant Death. High priority.
  • Higgs Juice: Useless on Instant Death. Rather low priority.
  • Slight Dimensional Fracture: Useless on Instant Death. Medium priority.
  • Warp Kingdom: Might make up for Yabusame's low speed. Rather low priority.

Tsubakura's

  • Upgrade: Low priority.
  • Monochrome Ray -Flash-: High priority if you're using Tsubakura as a sub. Don't use in scoring.
  • Bird's Eye "Dark-Red Eyes": Works with Tsubakura as support. Do note that if this skill triggers during a spell card, you won't receive the capture bonus. High priority.
  • Black Wings: High priority if you're using Tsubakura as a sub. Don't use in scoring.

Shion's

  • Upgrade: Useless on Instant Death. Medium priority.
  • Id: Arguably the best out of Shion's skills, but it requires Shion as main or sub to work. Medium priority.
  • Little Es-sy: Random, but its saving grace is that it works regardless of Shion's position. Medium priority.
  • Mr. Superego: Low-range and requires Shion as main, but it's the only one of the three to have defensive capabilities. Medium priority.

Fumikado's

  • Upgrade: Deathbombing is more useful than usual, but this isn't worth picking if you can't deathbomb at all. Low priority.
  • Inherited Iron-Body Legend: High priority if you're using Fumikado as a sub. It might be detrimental to scoring, though.
  • Seven Shadows: High priority. Useless on Instant Death.
  • The Flask's Protection: Rather high priority.

Iyozane's

  • Upgrade: While pretty useful, has the downside of reducing your thrillbox, so it might not be worth picking if your playstyle is flash bomb-heavy. Also not worth using in scoring. Medium priority.
  • Ghost Cannon "Promotion Bazooka": Rather high priority if you use Iyozane as a sub. Not useful for scoring, though.
  • Spirit Fire "Blaze Reversal": Medium priority.
  • Spirit Body: If you can utilize it well, excellent for both scoring and survival. Makes for a broken combination with Suzumi's flash bomb. Medium priority.

Tsugumi's

  • Upgrade: Low priority.
  • Pumpkin Rocket: Useful if you're using a slow main. Low priority.
  • One Yellow Eye: Worth picking if you have a lot of bombs available, otherwise probably not. Low priority.
  • Low-Quality Genes: Useless on Instant Death. Low priority.

Tenkai's

  • Upgrade: Low priority.
  • Four Gods' Interstice: High priority. Useless on Instant Death.
  • Desperate Strength Barrier: Pretty useful, but if you have a lot of barriers, you won't need it. Medium priority.
  • Nemuri-neko: Rather high priority. Useless on Instant Death.

Sukune's

  • Upgrade: Low priority.
  • Haniwa Cage: Low priority.
  • Haniwa Hand: Low priority.
  • Haniwa Knuckle: Medium priority.

Sese's

  • Upgrade: Low priority
  • Absooooooorptiooooooooon!!: Rather high priority. Useless on Instant Death.
  • Bone Skewers: High priority if you're gonna use Sese as sub.
  • Necropotence: Especially good if you have a damage dealing flash bomb. Do note this skill is useless if Fumikado or Suzumi is your sub. Rather high priority.

Kuroji's

  • Upgrade: Low priority.
  • Reverse Linking: Unless you use Kuroji as main or sub, low priority.
  • Thrift Ordinance: Useful with a good sub. Medium priority.
  • Black Wings [Shitodo]: Low priority.

Hooaka's

  • Upgrade: High priority.
  • Double Meaning: Useful with a good sub. Do note this doesn't affect the acquisition of Suzumi's bomb. Medium priority.
  • White Out: Excellent for scoring, as it synergizes well with Re-Thrill (farming thrill) or Shadow Familiar (free bullet cancels). Medium priority.
  • Aura Wind: Medium priority.

Aoji's

  • Upgrade: Rather high priority. Useless on Instant Death.
  • First-rate Soul: Raher high priority.
  • Insurance Bomb: Useful with a good sub. Rather high priority.
  • Life in Reserve: Useless on Instant Death. Medium priority.

Souko's

  • Upgrade: Medium priority. Useless on Instant Death.
  • Life Expentancy of a Rock: Medium priority. Useless on Instant Death.

Mitsumo's

  • Upgrade: High piority. Useless on Instant Death.
  • Evil-Illuminating Mirror: High priority. Useless on Instant Death.

Kurohebi's

  • Upgrade: Medium priority. Useless on Instant Death or if you have Tenkai's Nemuri-neko skill on.
  • Remembered Remnants: A bit tough to get used to. Medium priority.

Jun's

  • Upgrade: Useful especially for low-damage mains. Rather high priority.
  • Satellite Parasol: A bit situational, but overall useful. Rather high priority.

Kujiru's

  • Upgrade: Low priority.
  • Slimy Slug Trap: Low priority.

Medias'

  • Upgrade: Rather high priority.
  • Re-Thrill: High priority.

Shou's

  • Upgrade: Low priority.
  • Slug Scramble: Low priority.

Kaisen's

  • Upgrade: Medium priority. Useless on Instant Death.
  • Tsukuba Toad Oil: Low priority. Useless on Instant Death.

Kunimitsu's

  • Upgrade: Rather high priority.
  • Sudden Upset: The downside is pretty small. Medium priority.

Lumen's

  • Upgrade: Low priority.
  • Cross Fiyah: Low priority.

Garaiya's

  • Upgrade: Rather low priority.
  • Shadow Familiar: High priority

Kaoru's

  • Upgrade: Rather high priority. Useless on Instant Death.
  • Miasma Bullets:Medium priority.

Hibaru's

  • Upgrade: High priority.
  • Money Bill: High priority.

Saragimaru's

  • Upgrade: Medium priority.
  • Dedication: Out of the 4 flash bomb gauge-related upgrades (Medias' upgrade, Re-Thrill, Saragimaru's upgrade, and this), this is probably the one least useful. Rather low priority.

Para's

  • Upgrade: Low priority.
  • Clone Revival: Useless on Instant Death. Rather low priority.

Sanra's

  • Upgrade: Medium priority.
  • One-Trigger Kill: Especially useful for low-range mains. Medium priority.

Chouki's

  • Upgrade: Medium priority.
  • Chain-Link Vengeance: Most useful for low-range mains. Medium priority.

Mitori's

  • Upgrade: Useless on Instant Death. Medium priority.
  • Cancel Arrow: Rather high priority.

Clause's

  • Upgrade: Especially useful for low-range mains. Rather high priority.
  • Profundity of Darkness ~ Wormhole: Has a few niche uses, but will get in the way rest of the time. Low priority.

Yaorochi's

  • Upgrade: Most useful for low-range mains. Rather low priority. Do note this upgrade also affects some flash bombs.
  • Cloud-Mowing Sword: Great even if you don't use flash bombs a lot. High priority.

Hamee's

  • Upgrade: Rather high priority.
  • Recurrence and Experience "Replay": High priority.

Xeno a's:

  • Upgrade: Rather high priority. Useless on Absurdly Extra.
  • Inevitable Miracle: Arguably most useful on Instant Death. Medium priority.

Yago's

  • Upgrade: Most useful for low-range mains. Rather low priority.
  • Blood-Varnished Scabbard: Rather high priority.

Haiji's

  • Upgrade: Rather low priority.
  • Spell Collector: High priority. Useless on Instant Death.

Tsurubami's

  • Upgrade: Rather high priority.
  • The Crane's Verdict: Low priority.

Ardey's

  • Upgrade: High priority.
  • Memory Forgery "Overwrite": High priority. Don't use in scoring.
  • Big Mistake: High priority. Don't use in scoring.

Kurohebi[edit]

First nonspell: graze the knives; flash bomb periodically.

First spell: Use the flash bomb to erase the wave of balls and capture the card.

Second nonspell: graze the knives; flash bomb periodically. Try to cancel bullets at the center.

Second spell: flash bomb the waves of knives that come toward you, alternating sides every wave. Bombing does give more points; I usually use 2 on this spell.

Aoji[edit]

First nonspell: If you think you can dodge it pretty well, then graze it; otherwise, shoot it down.

First spell: Use the flash bomb right in front of Aoji to try to capture this spell.

Second nonspell: Use your bombs when Aoji is releasing the spiral of bullets. If you don't have any, flash bomb the spiral or graze it.

Second spell: Shoot it down, using flash bombs.

Third spell: Use flash bombs on the sides, and perhaps regular bombs too.

Lumen[edit]

First nonspell: Graze the bullets, and use your flash bomb to Lumen's side. You can stay close to Lumen at the first wave for more graze.

First spell: Shoot it down.

Second nonspell: Stall it, grazing the bullets Lumen shoots.

Second spell: Stay on the sides when Lumen is about to fire a spark. Shoot this down too.

Third nonspell: Shoot it down. Stay close to the center.

Third spell: Use a flash bomb to damage Lumen and get the bonus.

Sese[edit]

First nonspell: Shoot it down.

First spell: Shoot it down or use flash bombs.

Second nonspell: Stall it, flash bombing periodically.

Second spell: Use your flash bombs to cancel some of the bullets.

Third nonspell: Shoot it down.

Third spell: Either capture it or use your remaining resources to milk bullet cancels.

OP Team[edit]

Unlocking custom team feature[edit]

You can Unlock the custom team feature by clearing Extra or AbEx+α difficulty and you must clear it with all characters.

Recommended Team for Clearing Abex Mode[edit]

  • Main Character:
    • Sese Kitsugai
      They have a really powerful shot type and it is useful for beating a hard spell or a nonspell quickly. They have a really small hitbox so you don't have to worry about bullet size. Requires good positioning and a bit hard to use.
    • Tenkai Zuifeng
      They have a good homing shot type with decent power and penetrating familiar which can beat enemies easily. They have convenient movement speed which allows you to dodge easily.
  • Sub Character:
    • Tsubakura Enraku
      Their upgraded bomb can damage the extra boss and has very high damage that can skip an attack from a boss. Their upgraded flash bomb covers a wide range and has medium damage, which can help you clear a lot of bullets and reduce the boss HP. It is hard to fill the flash bomb meter with them.
    • Suzumi Kuzu
      Their flash bomb is very cheap and can be used almost any time during the game on AbEx. Their bomb can repeat a boss fight to get more barriers. Their upgraded bomb can skip a cell or a boss fight and even a spell card. Requires good eye and positioning to see among a lot of bullets
  • Support Character:
    • Fujiwara no Iyozane
      Their upgrade will make you invincible almost any time during the game on AbEx. Doing a run with Suzumi as Sub and Iyozane as support will make you invincible any time during the game.