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GOFER no Yabou ~Episode II~ (MSX)
ゴーファーの野望 ~エピソードII~ (MSX)

FAQ v1.1 - Original text version by granz, html edited version by GameStone.

aka - Nemesis 3 The Eve of Destruction

Table of Contents

Foreword

Game Setup

Gameplay Mechanics

Power-Ups

Stage Tips

  • Stage 01 - Nova Suns
  • Stage 02 - Botanical Zone
  • Stage 03 - Anti-Gravity Zone
  • Stage 04 - Time Tunnel (Boss Rush)
  • Stage 05 - Moai
  • Stage 06 - Needle Cavern
  • Stage 07 - Desert Area
  • Stage 08 - Biological Zone
  • Stage 09 - Factory
  • Stage 10 - GOFER's Fortress
  • Stage 11 - Final Battle

Frequently Asked Questions

Foreword

It is Nemesis year 6718 - nearly 200 years after the grueling conflict with Dr. Venom. James Burton is missing. His descendant, David Burton, sets out on a mission to locate James and safely return him to Nemesis. The prized Vic Viper has been retired from service, and superceded by the multi-class vessel, Vixon. Equipped with his A.I. Guadie, David must navigate Bacterion space in search of clues to James' whereabouts.

Time-travel is quite a common theme in this game, and it seems poor James has been temporally displaced. Locating him won't be an easy task...

Unlike previous Gradius / Nemesis games, this isn't just another straightforward shooter. It's necessary to collect several key items and clues that will lead you in the right direction, and allow you to proceed toward your ultimate destination. Failure to locate them will only throw you back a level; so be sure to pay attention to where these items are located in the "stage tips" section!


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Game Setup

Procuring an actual MSX system can be a difficult task. Although there are some decent retro-clones out there, (for instance, 1chipMSX) these too can be difficult to track down. MSX disks and cartridges can be even rarer. This is where emulation comes in handy. There are a handful of MSX1 and MSX2 emulators out there, and perhaps the most popular at the moment is blueMSX. Although blueMSX supports a lot of features, it's also prone to software-bloat, and may not run at full-speed on older computers. This is why I opt for "meisei," ( http://hap.samor.nl/meisei.zip) which is more suitable for low-end PCs.

If you're determined to emulate your MSX instead of going through the hassle of tracking down the physical system and its games, then here are a few notes to help you get set-up:

Remember that MSX requires a BIOS to run. Most MSX emulators are bundled with this. (usually a custom BIOS, which sometimes functions better than the original thing) In the case of meisei, you can select which BIOS to use through File > Media > Internal > BIOS. Bear in mind that meisei only emulates MSX1; so don't bother to provide an MSX2 BIOS to the emulator.

Some emulators don't include a front-end / GUI. This means ROMs either have to be loaded from a command prompt, or you have to specify a front-end from a third-party. (similar to MAME emulation, if you're familiar with it) Other emulators, like blueMSX and meisei, have their own GUIs; so this isn't a concern.

Setting-up controls can be difficult, because MSX has a number of different control peripherals available for it. Usually, you need to specify the type of controller / input the emulator is referencing before you can customize the controls themselves. This can be pretty easy to do with meisei if you don't mind editing the configuration .INI to manually map your controls. (in fact, you can map controls to handy emulator functions; such as quick-save and load states, or speed-up and reverse)

 

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Gameplay Mechanics

Nemesis 3 follows in the footsteps of other Gradius / Nemesis games, and "schmups" in general. There are a few deviations; such as the ability to collect upgrades from secret locations, and the necessity of collecting key items to gain access to further levels. Unfortunately, the location of these items isn't always apparent, and to save yourself the frustration of repeating levels over and over again, it's generally necessary to consult maps or walkthroughs.

The Nemesis series on MSX bears a notoriously steep difficulty when compared to the rest of the series; so taking advantage of hidden upgrades becomes a necessary part of the game. Although you'll find that a fully-powered ship can breeze through most levels with ease, losing a ship means losing all your active power-ups. In some levels, this can present an unwinnable scenario, as fending off hoards of enemies might be impossible without the most fundamental power-ups at your disposal.

This is one of the first Gradius games to introduce multiple weapon configurations. Choosing the right ship can be an important decision later on, as the more powerful weapon options have very different effects. It's also important to carefully choose your shield and "multiple" formation. I would recommend the force field and rolling multiples for beginners, or anyone who generally wants to curb the game's difficulty.

Power-ups are gained by collecting the power-up cells that are occasionally dropped by enemies, then using them to "buy" a power-up from your meter. You'll notice that each column in the meter lights up when you collect enough cells, affording you that particular power-up. Obviously, the more powerful options appear in the later columns; such as your shield, or multiples. Some power-ups will have multiple levels of power; such as your missiles and lasers.

Between levels, you may receive messages from your ship's A.I., "Gaudie." This will give you descriptions about various key items you've found, or clues about the location of James. Gaudie doesn't seem to reveal any useful details along the way, but still plays an active role in narrating events.

Scoring is important, because you can earn bonus lives as a result of increasing your score. Considering the steep difficulty curve, you may need all the extra lives you can manage.

 

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Power-Ups

Nemesis 3 presents us with four different ship classes to choose from. Not only does this affect the default units carried by your ship, but it also restricts which upgraded units you may procure later on in the game. There isn't a significant difference between the classes, but it's important to note which upgraded units are available to the class of your choice, as some of the different lasers have varying degrees of effectively. (and some are more difficult to wield than others) You may also choose which type of shield and multiple formation you wish to use. I personally opt for the force field and rolling multiples, as it offers the most cover.

VIXEN Class-1
SPEED UP MISSILE TAIL BEAM DOUBLE ? LASER MULTIPLE
VIXEN Class-2
SPEED UP PHOTON MISSILE TAIL BEAM DOUBLE ? LASER MULTIPLE
VIXEN Class-3
SPEED UP NAPALM MISSILE TAIL BEAM DOUBLE ? RIPPLE LASER MULTIPLE
VIXEN Class-4
SPEED UP 2-WAY MISSILE TAIL BEAM DOUBLE ? RIPPLE LASER MULTIPLE
VIXEN Class-1 - Auxiliary Weapons
MISSILE HAWK METEOR LASER SCREW LASER
VIXEN Class-2 - Auxiliary Weapons
PHOTON HAWK TWINKLE LASER SCREW LASER
VIXEN Class-3 - Auxiliary Weapons
NAPALM HAWK FIRE BLASTER EXTEND BLASTER
VIXEN Class-4 - Auxiliary Weapons
2-WAY HAWK FIRE BLASTER VECTOR LASER

Default Units:

These are the default units included in the various ship classes. Note that the "?" upgrade is later replaced by upgraded units.

SPEED UP - slightly accelerates the ship. This effect is stackable. Increasing the ship's acceleration too much can be hazardous.

MISSILE - the normal missile option, which fires a single missile downward.

PHOTON MISSILE - penetrates multiple enemies.

NAPALM MISSILE - yields a large blast radius, which is useful for destroying dense formations of ground targets.

2 WAY MISSILE - fires a coupling of missiles both upward and downward.

TAIL BEAM - fires an additional shot directly behind the ship.

DOUBLE - fires an additional shot in an upward-diagonal direction.

LASER - a laser pulse that consistently flows with the ship as it moves.

RIPPLE LASER - fires a circular laser that expands outward, covering a large radius.

? - this spot is reserved for some of the upgrades you may procure in hidden areas. Until then, you can't select it.

Shields:

The normal shield offers substantially more protection, but less cover; the force field covers the entire ship, but can't sustain as much damage.

SHIELD - protects the front of the ship from a substantial amount of fire. Grows smaller as it weakens.

FORCE FIELD - protects the entire ship from a moderate amount of fire. Changes color as it weakens.

Multiple: (a.k.a., "Option")

These mimic the ship's actions, allowing multiple weapons to be fired. The ship may have up to two multiples at a time. There are three formations to choose from:

SHADOW - trails behind the ship.

FIXED - consistently remains in a static position behind the ship

ROLLING - circles around the ship at all times, which can be exploited to cover the ship from oncoming enemies.

Upgrade Units:

These units may only be found in select locations, which then permanently adds them to the ship's weapon roster. Note that some of these upgrades are only available to specific ship classes, so it's not possible to collect all of them.

MISSILE HAWK - enhances normal missiles to spread along solid structures. (only available to Vixen Class-1)

PHOTON HAWK - enhances photon missiles to spread along solid structures. (only available to Vixen Class-2)

NAPALM HAWK - enhances napalm missiles to spread along solid structures. (only available to Vixen Class-3)

2 WAY HAWK - enhances 2-way missiles to spread along solid structures. (only available to Vixen Class-4)

GUIDED MISSILE - enhances missiles to home-in on nearby targets.

DOWN DOUBLE - fires an additional shot in a downward-diagonal direction.

UP LASER - fires a vector laser upward, which extends in length as it ascends.

DOWN LASER - fires a vector laser downward, which extends in length as it descends.

METEOR LASER - extends the width and damage of the laser. (only available to Vixen Class-1)

TWINKLE LASER - extends the width and damage of the laser. (only available to Vixen Class-2)

SCREW LASER - a wide laser that penetrates multiple enemies. My personal favorite

FIRE BLASTER - ignites a short-range flamethrower in front of the ship. (only available to Vixen Class-3 and Class-4)

EXTEND BLASTER - enhances the fire blaster to emit two simultaneous flamethrowers. (only available to Vixen Class-3)

VECTOR LASER - fires an extending wide-beam which covers a large radius. (only available to Vixen Class-4)

 

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Stage Tips

I have formatted this section to provide a short overview (or sort of check- list) of important events in each stage, or things you should look-out for. This is both to give the player an idea of what's ahead, and add convenience for players who want to ascertain their objective at a glance.

Stage 01 - Nova Suns

Stage overview:

  • 1 - collect power-ups
  • 2 - safely navigate the small space between each star
  • 3 - defeat the Phoenix
  1. The first section will present you with formations of firebirds. One in each group drops a power-up cell. Since these enemies appear all throughout the level, you're presented with a good opportunity to purchase power-ups and prepare yourself for the following stages.
  2. The next section and onward has several stars appearing at the top, in the center and at the bottom of the screen. The stars will occasionally send fireballs your way. Be weary of coming too close to the stars, as they emit a pattern of flares from every direction. Dodging these flares while navigating through several, simultaneous stars can be difficult.
  3. The stage's boss is a large phoenix or firebird, similar to the enemies encountered earlier on. (this is actually a boss borrowed from the original Gradius II) The creature will fly to a random position toward the top or bottom of the screen, and launch a series of fireballs and diffusing missiles. As the missiles expand, you'll have an opportunity to safely navigate between them. Fire at the creature's face to defeat it.

Stage 02: Botanical Zone

Stage overview:

  • 2 - collect the upgrade from the second flap
  • 4 - watch out for the plant that steals multiples
  • 5 - defeat the Plant Eye
  1. The plants along the ceiling and floor will spew several enemies, which drop power-up cells. This is a good opportunity to arm yourself
  2. Watch out for the large sacs in the next area. If you don't destroy them in time, they'll explode, sending several missiles your way. A couple of flaps will attempt to crush you if you come too close to some of the sacs; however, the second flap reveals a small opening which you can fly into to collect an upgrade.
  3. The next area is covered in foliage, which you must clear in order to proceed. The following area contains a large flower, which spews enemies in all directions. These enemies are capable of "consuming" your multiples; so be careful not to fly too close to them.
  4. In the following area, the plants along the ceiling and floor will drop a seed in the center of the room, which will expand into more foliage. The green pieces can be destroyed, but not the red. The plants themselves can also be destroyed at the right opportunity.
  5. The boss will wildly swing its arms while moving up and down and covering the left side of the screen with indestructible objects. When the boss opens its eye, concentrate all your fire on it.

Stage 03 - Anti-Gravity Zone

Stage overview:

  • 2 - watch out for the falling debris
  • 3 - safely navigate the streams
  • 4 - collect the upgrade from the inactive black-hole
  1. You'll fly into interstitial space, and be greeted by classic Gradius formations of enemies, which provides a good chance to get powered-up for the
    coming challenges.
  2. Chunks of meteorite and debris will fall from above. If you have the up laser at this point, then clearing them shouldn't be a hassle.
  3. This area's surface is covered by streams that will pull your ship downward if you become caught in their wake. At some point, you'll have to directly navigate through the streams in order to clear the level. Try to balance your ship by edging it in the opposition direction to avoid being pulled into the surface itself. Being hounded by enemies throughout the entire level really doesn't help the situation any...
  4. The enemies in the second section will fire missiles at you; so try to quickly destroy them. You'll eventually come upon a field of black-holes, and each will try to catch you in its gravitational field, which will send you back to the start of the level. I find it's easiest just to hold the down button for the duration of this section; you'll notice, however, that one of the black- holes isn't active like the others. Fly into it to collect an upgrade.

Stage 04 - Time Tunnel (Boss Rush)

Stage overview:

  • 1 - clear the enemies and collect power-ups
  • 2 - defeat Tetran
  • 3 - defeat the Abbadon Warship, and collect the upgrade
  • 4 - defeat the Misfit Warship
  • 5 - defeat the Big Core
  1. Immediately, enemies will begin to appear out of thin-air from every direction. Destroy as many as you can to collect power-up cells and prepare yourself for the oncoming boss fights.
  2. This boss will extend several arms in surrounding directions, and twirl them as it circles around the screen. Just fire on its core when the opportunity arises. If you ship can't accelerate enough, then evading it may be impossible. It's important to have at least 4 or 5 speed-ups.
  3. The next boss will fire a wide laser while moving up and down the screen. Like the previous boss, this can be difficult to evade without acceleration. Fire at the core to defeat it. The boss has been defeated once it pauses for a long period of time. This is your opportunity to fly into its core and collect an upgrade. You should only fly into the edge of the boss, and not actually all the way to its core. The upgrade is right at the opening.
  4. This boss will fire four lasers simultaneously, which is surprisingly a lot easier to evade than the previous two bosses. Just fire at its core.
  5. The final boss of this stage is one of the classic big cores. It will fire a barrage of four missiles at a time, and it won't give you any opportunity to recover. Staying at the bottom of the screen generally ensures your safety, but its difficult to move between the missiles long enough to fire on the core.

Stage 05 - Moai

Stage overview:

  • 1 - survive the Moai collective
  • 2 - collect the RED MAP (key item)
  • 4 - defeat the Mecha Moai
  1. Ah, the notorious Moai. They're big, they barrage you with missiles from every direction, and... they're everywhere. This has come to be a Gradius staple. Navigating fields of Moai can be difficult, but it's relatively easy if you've kept all your power-ups intact.
  2. After clearing the first section of Moai and flying across a small area of empty space, you'll then come upon another section of Moai. Notice the two Moai back-to-back. Defeat the first one and fly into the small gap between them to collect the RED MAP. (key item)
  3. Some of the Moai in this area will fire an expanding vector laser, although these Moai are generally easier to defeat.
  4. This boss is basically a much larger version of the Moai. As it moves up and down the screen, it will occasionally open its mouth and release several smaller Moai. Try to target it during this time, as it's your only opportunity to damage it. Once the Mecha Moai begins to weaken, part of its body will become noticeably damaged.

Stage 06 - Needle Cavern

Stage overview:

  • 2 - dodge / destroy the teeth that protrude from every corner
  • 3 - collect the upgrade from the second destructible crater (ceiling)
  • 6 - defeat the dragon
  • 7 - defeat the Needle Diamond
  1. For this level's interstitial space, you'll be greeted by formations of enemies that ascend or descend directly from above or below.
  2. When you proceed into the red chamber, you'll notice several teeth-like obstacles protruding from all around. These are best cleared with two rolling multiples, or otherwise a lot of weapon fire.
  3. Farther into the chamber, you will come across small craters that spawn green enemies. These craters are destructible, and you'll notice that destroying them creates niches where they were once located. The second crater's niche (the one along the ceiling) contains an upgrade.
  4. The next section of the chamber contains moving pillars. Just like in earlier levels with similar obstacles, slowly edge through them as they retract out of your way.
  5. You will then come upon more craters, which are now centered in the middle of the chamber, followed by larger craters. The larger craters are also destructible, but require more concentrated fire.
  6. Finally, you will come upon the dragon's head, which will simply fire formations of teeth at you while remaining idle. Just focus your weapons on its mouth. Although it's relatively easy to clear the dragon, bear in mind that the screen continues to scroll while you are facing this enemy. Not destroying it in time will ensure your own destruction.
  7. The boss of this level is fairly straightforward. It will extend its arms in a plus-shape, in all four directions, and then pull itself in one of these directions while firing missiles. It's only vulnerable when it's mouth opens long enough to fire at you.

Stage 07 - Desert Area

Stage overview:

  • 3 - collect the BLUE MAP (key item) from the second major rock formation
  • 2 - dodge the sand traps
  • 5 - defeat the Desert Worms
  1. The interstitial space contains very few formations of enemies that come from the right, like in most Gradius games.
  2. This area appears to be a desert of some sort. There are several rock formations, and the ceiling and floor is covered with sand. The enemies in this area will fire obscene amounts of missiles at you, so destroy them quickly. Be wary of the sand traps that occasionally release torrents of sand.
  3. The second major rock formation from the floor contains the BLUE MAP. (key item) Fire at it and an entry point will open on the left side. Carefully navigate into the niche without crashing your ship.
  4. Some of the rock formations will begin to shift, creating narrow passages; some will attempt to block your passage completely. Just before reaching the stage's boss, you'll navigate a corridor with many sand traps, in addition to long blasts of sand from the right side of the screen. Enemies will also begin to appear out of thin-air along the ceiling and floor.
  5. The stage's boss consists of three worms. Each will attempt to rush at you and fire a barrage of missiles afterwards. You will have to navigate between each worm to avoid being crushed, but this leaves you a short opportunity, as the other worms will still get in your way. Each is relatively weak in its own right, since there are three of them.

Stage 08 - Biological Zone

Stage overview:

  • 3 - collect the GREEN MAP (key item)
  • 4 - collect an upgrade from the last cell
  • 7 - safely navigate the enemy grid
  • 8 - defeat the Organic Core
  1. The interstitial space has several formations of enemies that will appear diagonally, which may catch you by surprise if you're too close to the center of the screen.
  2. The first section has many cell-walls, which require a lot of focused fire to navigate through. There are also many stationary enemies that drop several power-up cells.
  3. You'll notice a large, hollow mound in the ceiling, and then one in the floor. Destroy the left side of the floor's mound, and enter it to collect the GREEN MAP. (key item) Navigating out of the mound can be difficult, as there's not much space to maneuver.
  4. The next section is blocked by several muscles or moving cells of some sort. Each one is destructible. After destroying the last one, navigate through the very center of the passage it opens to collect an upgrade.
  5. You'll soon come upon a narrow passage, and several cells will begin to cling to the walls behind you. After clearing the passage, several more will cling to the walls in front of you. Without a lot of weapon fire, they can be difficult to avoid.
  6. The next section contains more of the muscles / cells you encountered earlier, along with enemy generators along the floor and ceiling.
  7. Lastly, the most difficult section of this stage is a navigational nightmare. There is a large grid of enemies that will pass along a pattern of pulses. The easiest way to navigate safely through this section is to dart along the bottom section, and occasionally duck between enemies when you suspect they'll be firing pulses nearby.
  8. The boss is only vulnerable when its eye is opened. (red) It will move up and down the screen firing barrages of missiles before occasionally stopping to extend its arm. When it does this, its eye will close, and several enemies will appear within the vicinity of the creature's appendage.

Note that without the three maps intact, you will not be able to proceed. You will instead be warped backward until you've successfully collected the maps.

Stage 09 - Factory

Stage overview:

  • 2 - clear the falling tiles and sealing doors
  • 3 - collect the EXTRA-SENSORY DEVICE (key item) from the platform
  • 4 - clear the Crab Warlock
  1. You'll be greeted by a very short formation of enemies before heading into the factory. The sealing doors will open and close recurrently, so you can safely navigate them at your own pace. The conveyer belt in this room will continuously produce enemies. This can become an annoyance if you don't cut them off at the source.
  2. The ceiling and floor tiles will begin to separate and fly straight toward your ship. Rolling multiples are helpful here. Be mindful of the sealing door in the next section, which leads to a room full of lasers. There are several sealing doors in following stages, and failing to clear them in time means you'll be crushed when the screen scrolls too far.
  3. At the right side of the center platform in the next room, you'll notice a large gap. Fly back into it to collect the EXTRA-SENSORY DEVICE. (key item)
  4. Rather than defeating this stage's boss, you merely have to survive it. A large spider-bot of sorts will slowly crawl in from the left, accompanies by several enemies. When given the chance, fly underneath the robot's legs until you can clear it and reach the other side. Rolling multiples or the tail beam are useful here, as clearing the hoard of enemies from behind can be difficult. When the robot reaches the right end of the screen and turns around, do this again to get back to the right section. Stay in the right section this time, and before the robot reaches the end of the screen, it will turn back and leave you alone. Be careful to clear the door this time, as it will seal.

Stage 10 - GOFER's Fortress

Stage overview:

  • 2 - collect the SPACE FIGHTER SHIELD (key item)
  • 5 - collect the GALACTIC LASER, (key item) and create an access-route
  • 7 - defeat Gofer's Warship
  • 8 - destroy the warship's core, and explore the inside of the ship
  1. There are a lot of enemies in this stage, and heavy barrages of missiles. It's a good idea to be fully powered-up. If you crash your ship at any time during this stage, it may not be possible to survive long enough to get your power-ups back.
  2. You'll notice two platforms centered in the middle of the screen. Fly into the gap on the left side of the second platform to collect the SPACE FIGHTER SHIELD. (key item) Without this item, you won't unlock the good ending.
  3. Several green circles will be generated from the alcoves within the next section, which will then try to home-in on your ship. They're relatively easy to clear with rolling multiples.
  4. 4.) The next section will feature alcoves with shifting platforms. Naturally, running into one of these platforms means certain death. The following section will be guarded by several mechanical tentacles. Fire at the red points to destroy them; otherwise, they will attempt to block your path.
  5. The last tentacle will drop a temporary upgrade: the GALACTIC LASER. (key item) It's important that you grab this and fire at the precise moment to clear an access route to the rest of the level. You will only get one shot, and you're screwed if you didn't do it correctly. Wait until most of the wall appears, and fire before you're about to be crushed.
  6. You'll eventually come upon a fork in the road, which splits between two narrow pathways, top or bottom. The top path is a dead-end. Take the bottom path. The proceeding doors will seal, so clear the area quickly.
  7. The core will move up and down, occasionally firing a wide, spectral laser. Just aim for the core's center, and move the opposite direction when it begins to fire.
  8. The warship will slowly propel itself in a square pattern. When the ship leaves a clear opening near the top of the screen, navigate your way past it, and avoid the thrusters as they begin to fire-up. Navigating into the small corridor packed with enemies can be difficult, but the rolling multiples or the team beam can make clearing the section relatively easy -- just keep your movements in sync with the ship. Fire on the center core and fly into it once it's destroyed. Note that the core may fire a barrage of missiles at you as you're trying to clear its shielding.

Stage 11 - Final Battle

Stage overview:

  • 1 - defeat GOFER II
  1. This boss is quite simple. Fire on the veins that appear above its head, and they'll quickly be destroyed, clearing a path out of the level. If you're fast and well-equipped enough, you can destroy the boss before it has a chance to attack. If you can't defeat it quickly, the boss will shoot lightning from its eyes, and missiles from its mouth. As long as you remain toward the top of the screen, this should be easy to evade.

That's it. Enjoy the ending! Hopefully, you *did* bother to collect all those key items along the way, and unlock the good ending. Also note that you can replay the game with your lives, score and power-ups intact by pressing F5 after the ending. Enemies will generally be more difficult, however.

 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q.) Where was this game released?

A.) To my knowledge: Japan, Europe and South Korea.

 

Q.) Are there any version differences?

A.) The Japanese title is "GOFER no Yabou ~Episode II~" (lit., "GOFER's Ambition") The European title is "Nemesis 3: The Eve of Destruction." The South Korean title is "Salamander II." Aside from translation, I am unaware of any regional differences.

 

Q.) How does this game fit into the series timeline?

A.) I believe this actually takes place after every other game in the series, so it should cover the most recent events in the Gradius timeline.

 

Q.) Why do I keep warping backward?

A,) Make sure you collect the maps along the way, as outlined in the stage tips.

 

Q.) How do I unlock the good ending?

A.) Obtain the "Space-Fighter Shield" from stage 10. This will allow Vixen to safely escape Dr. Venom.

 

 

FAQ v1.1 - Original text version by granz, html version edited by GameStone