Space Channel 5

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"Strategy Guide" Guide for Space Channel 5


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S P A C E   C H A N N E L   5   F A Q / H E L P - Version 2.0 - 01.12.00

by Tom Callahan
Story info, character names, and all Japanese translations by Sailor Bacon

'For all people who love music ,dance and game.'
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First, let me say that this is not a game that can have a real walkthrough.
The patterns change a lot depending on how well you do, and each situation
is a little different, but they all use the same basic method so once you
figure that out you should be able to figure out how to do any of them. For
exceptions see the Bosses and Hints sections further down.

Let me also say that this game rocks...


WHAT'S NEW
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-Even more details on Extra Mode (and more questions!)

-Sailor Bacon has offered translations, character and boss names, and several
corrections. Anything in this FAQ in [brackets] or any translated items, 
including story details, character names, and other corrections have been 
provided by Sailor Bacon.


THE MENUS
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Since these are mostly in English, I'm just going to mention a few things:

The tutorial option translated says to either read the instructions or to ask
a friend how to play. [*]

You must load manually before you can 'continue'.

There are character info bios in the options. You have to rescue the character
in the game before they become available here. Hit up and down to see
different categories of characters. You can move, spin, and zoom the
characters using the joystick and L/R buttons, and some of the other buttons
remove the text and other onscreen stuff.

The vibration option in the Device Options has two settings - 'Error' and
'No Use'. 'Error' doesn't mean something's wrong, it means it will vibrate
when you make an error. After a while you'll really dread that vibration...
try turning it off if you're having a hard time getting through part of the
game. (Strangely, the manual seems to say that there should be four options -
'No Use', 'Error', 'Shoot', and 'Button'.)


THE BASIC STORY
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The 'Moroliens' have come and enslaved most of the people on Earth with their
dancing prowess, and you, 'Ulala', are a reporter for 'Space Channel 5'. You
have to out-dance the aliens to free the people, fighting not only the aliens
but your rival reporters along the way.  Only in Japan...


MINI WALKTHROUGH (story spoilers!)
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[Thanks to Sailor Bacon for the character names and details on Blank in this 
section! *]

The first level is the spaceport. You go around rescuing people. You go onto
the roof where you dance against a rival reporter, 'Pudding', the girl from
Space Channel 42. You can steal her guitar-playing sidekick 'Guitar Man'. Then
you fight the boss 'Coco Tapioca' and move on. Each level has one rescue
situation that seems more important than the others. This one has two guys
taking pictures wearing candycane-striped astronaut suits.

The second level is the spaceship. You rescue the crew and captain, then move
through the ship rescuing passengers. Next, you dance against the other rival
reporter 'Jaguar' and steal his sax-playing sidekick 'Brass Man'. Then there's
another boss. The special rescue this time is a lady in a frilly dress.

The third level is the asteroid field. You fly through the field blasting
asteroids and guys on space bikes, then you fight Jaguar again, this time in a
shooting situation. Next, you enter a big asteroid (the alien base), and on
the way in through a long, fast tube you fight Pudding from the first level.
Then you fight the alien boss, and during the fight Jaguar joins your side
to help.

At the end of level 3 as the aliens are closing in on you, you destroy the
giant TV that's mind-controlling the aliens, thereby freeing all of the
aliens, who start dancing happily, then they join your side. They were being
controlled by Blank, the guy that runs Space Channel 5. You escape out of the
asteroid just ahead of a giant fireball.

The last level is Space Channel 5 studios. You start in the board room, where
you confront what first appears to be the head aliens (only they turn out to
be holograms), then Blank who is also a hologram. Then you rescue Michael
Jackson, then a little girl playing a keyboard, then you confront Blank again.
He drops a bunch of aliens in to delay you, then retreats. After that fight,
you fight a robotic version of you, then Blank reappears, transformed into a
giant orange ball-thing with a head in a glass bubble. You fight him, and the
head pops off and turns into a TV floating in space. He sucks you into the TV
and you fight him while all of the people you rescued show up outside.
Eventually you escape from the TV and finish him off by blasting him with
a big antenna. Finally, you all walk off into space on a road made of sparkly
things.

Makes sense to me!


CHARACTERS
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Ulala:
Birthdate: May 30, 2477
Age: 22
Blood Type: B
She's a reporter for Space Channel 5, the main character of the game. You
control her.

Moroliens:
The aliens that have come to enslave the humans with their dancing. They
look sort of like teletubbies with TVs for faces instead of in their stomachs.
They're much less annoying, too...

Pudding:
Birthdate: September 5, 2480
Age: 19
Blood Type: AB
She's a reporter for Space Channel 42, one of Space Channel 5's competitors.
You meet her in the first level.

Fuse:
Birthdate: Septembet 21, 2456
Age: 43
Blood Type: O
He's the director of 'Ulala's Swinging Report Show' (the guy on the radio).

[Thanks to Sailor Bacon for info on these next two *]

Jaguar:
Birthdate: ?
Age: ?
Blood Type: ?
He's another rival reporter. You meet him in level 2.

Blank:
Birthdate: ?
Age: ?
Blood Type: ?
The head of Space Channel 5. See the Mini Walkthrough for more on him.


HOW THE LEVELS ARE DIVIDED UP
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Each level is divided into several segments. Each segment has a few situations
in it. At the end of the level is the boss. After each level, if you did well
enough, it will offer to save and continue to the next level. If you choose
continue and you didn't have a high enough percentage, you just start the
previous level over again.


STARTING A LEVEL
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When you start a level, it will display a percentage in the middle of the
screen. That's the percentage necessary to finish the current level and go to
the next. Your percentage is affected by your performance. Dance well and it
rises, dance poorly and it drops. It starts you at 10%. The levels and the
percentages necessary to finish each are as follows:

Level 1 - Spaceport - 15%
Level 2 - Spaceship - 25%
Level 3 - Asteroid Field - 45%
Level 4 - Space Channel 5 - 70%

After you start a level, you will see Ulala walking along. She will then come
upon a dancing 'situation'.


BASIC GAMEPLAY
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There are two types of dancing situations, a dancing one and a shooting
one:

DANCING SITUATIONS
The opponent (usually aliens) will be on screen with hypnotized people in the
background. Your job is to out-dance them to rescue those people. Along the
way you'll rescue generic people as well as important people like the captain
of the spaceship and, yes, Michael Jackson.

You have a given number of hearts. Each time you screw up, you lose a heart.
Lose all of your hearts and it's game over.

If you do well, the aliens will spin around and disappear, and the people you
rescued will appear behind you. As you rescue more people your entourage
grows. If you're good, you can get up to about 15 people at a time following
you.

If you suck, the people will be taken away by the aliens.


SHOOTING SITUATIONS
You can't lose the game by sucking at these, unless it causes you not to
have a high enough percentage to continue. Targets will pop out from behind
things or just materialize in mid-air. Some will be aliens. Some will be
people. Some will be objects. You have to hit the correct directions and
buttons to save the people and kill everything else. More on this later, but
every person you shoot with the good gun in this part appears in your group.


HOW THE DANCING WORKS
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In the bottom left corner is an indicator - blue for the enemy's turn, orange
for yours. There's a little chime that sounds when it switches. The enemy will
say a series of directions (up, down, left, right) and and/or a 'noise'
which sounds a little different depending on who's saying it. Sometimes it
sounds like 'nyah', sometimes like 'chin', sometimes like 'chew', sometimes
like 'shoot'. At any rate, that's the cue to hit the A or B button. In the
dancing situations it's always A. Never B. In the shooting situations, A is
the kill weapon, B is the rescue weapon. Shoot aliens and objects with A,
people with B. Just do everything in the time to the way the enemy did it and
you'll get it right. Mess up anything at all and you get it wrong. Each time
you screw up, you could lose one of the people following you - they'll become
hypnotized and at the end of that situation will leave your group.

After each situation, Ulala moves on to the next one. If you did well, she and
everyone following her will walk tall (or dance tall - she never just 'walks')
for a while until they reach the next situation. The dance they do changes
depending on your ranking and what section of the game you're in (there at
least a dozen that I've seen). If you didn't do so well, they'll walk hunched
over and depressed, or sometimes with their hands on their foreheads, and the
music will be out of tune and screwed up. That, and the director will
yell at you.


BOSSES
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[Thanks to Sailor Bacon for the boss names! *]

First Boss: 'Coco Tapioca'
Just like a normal dancing situation. You have hearts, you have to repeat
what it does. Eventually it changes modes and it becomes a shooting gallery.

Second Boss: 'Mororina'
It will dance around and hold out various things in it's arms. Sometimes
they're aliens, sometimes they're people - shoot the appropriatebutton (one
clue is to look for the hypnotizing ring around the people's heads).
Eventually it picks Ulala up in it's tongue and you have to fight it off. 
Creepy.

Third Boss: '?'
It's a happy/sad monster. It starts out with the monster drawing patterns on
the screen, then he hits you (you can't avoid it). Jaguar, one of the rival
reporters shows up and helps you out, and it starts shooting out a series of
pictures - some aliens and some people. You know the drill.

Fourth Boss: '?'
The key to this one - hit the OPPOSITE direction. The button hits are all
button A, but if it says UP, hit DOWN. Do the opposite. It gets pretty screwed
up, and eventually there's one you're just not allowed to do. You get knocked
away and picked up by the male reporter, then you go back into the fight for
two very hard patterns, and you only have two hearts. You just have to get one
of them right and you can go on to the last boss.

Final Boss: 'Blank'
The guy behind it all. Back to normal directional buttons. I think
he's the president of Space Channel 5 turned evil. He says 'I've always
watched over you.', then yells something about a TV, and sucks you into his
TV. All of the people you've rescued (or could have rescued) and the aliens
and bosses show up. You fight him for a while in the TV, then you break out
of the TV to finish him off. It's pretty straightforward. He alternates
pictures of you and him on his various TVs. A for him, B for you. Once you get
out of the TV and he turns into a big TV-monster, it's all A button hits. It's
really pretty easy compared to the fourth boss. Watch out for a really easy
way to blow it and LOSE THE GAME. When you escape from his TV and it shows all
three reporters (Ulala and her two rivals) say something to him, then power
builds up in the big antenna, you have to hit A three times. IF YOU MISS ANY
OF THEM, you LOSE. Aaarghh...

My highest final ranking: 99% (Sooooo close!)


PROBLEMS WITH THE GAME AND HOW TO WORK AROUND THEM
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-There's a big problem with the syncing of the video backgrounds with the
polygon people. Especially towards the end of each little section, it can get
very out of sync. If you're having trouble, try not really focusing on the
on-screen action. It's the sound that matters so it sometimes helps to stare
at the LCD screen on your VMU. The face on that changes just like the
enemy/you icon on the screen so you can still get a visual cue of when it's
your turn, but you won't be distracted by weird video stuff. Sometimes pausing
the game and waiting a few seconds then unpausing it seems to help. Let's hope
they fix this before it comes out here. Japanese consumers will put up with
stuff like that - Americans won't.

-Related to that, the first thing (enemy does something/you repeat) you do in
each section is hard because the game seems to be re-syncing the video and
polygons, so the actions skips a little. You'll get used to it and after a
while it's just second nature to do things a little different for that first
thing.


HINTS
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-Don't focus too much on the video - it's the sound that matters. The moves
the people onscreen are doing aren't always 100% in line with the buttons
you're hitting, and if you're watching too closely you'll just throw your
rhythm off.

-Sometimes the noise and lights from you getting shot or something else
dramatic happening onscreen will screw you up. In particular, I'm thinking
of the fourth boss when he whacks the other reporters, Ulala screams their
names as they fly off, but at the same time the boss is moving on with the
next pattern, and it's easy to miss something. If you're having trouble, try
to ignore everything except the patterns. Once you get through a part you can
always come back and pay attention to the wackiness.

-Pay attention to whose turn it is. There's a lot of variety in the length of
the things you have to repeat, so one time it may say 'UP LEFT RIGHT DOWN
SHOOT SHOOT SHOOT' and the next just say 'UP', then it's your turn again, and
you can miss your turn entirely if you're not ready for it.

-In the asteroid field level, in the first segment, there are no 'good'
people. All the guys on the space bikes are baddies. Blast away.

-The fourth boss is crazy. See the Bosses section for help on that...

-At the end of most sub-sections, there's a little 3-shot shooting situation,
where three aliens or gun turrets or something jump you as you move on to the
next section. Just be ready for it and it's really easy.

-If you have no rhythm, you will suck at this game.

-If you're having a bad day or you're tired, you will suck at this game.


COOL STUFF
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-After the credits, there's one more thing to do. It's always said 'UP' for
me, and it never seems to give me anything for getting it. If anyone knows if
that does something let me know.

-The director says a bunch of cool stuff (in very heavily accented English)
to rate you as you go. Listen for them:

Bad:
'Never give up.'
(I think most of the other bad ones are entirely in Japanese)

Good:
'Perfect!'
'Good shooting!'
'Great shooting!'
'Dynamite!'
'Miraculous shooting!'
'Shooting, shooting, shooting!'
'Excellent!'
'Sticky!'
'Sticky, sticky, sticky!' (I love that one!)
[It's actually the word "suteki", a Japanese word meaning "lovely, dreamy,
beautiful, great, fantastic, superb, etc." Basically, he's really really
impressed *]

Sometimes he sings along to the music, too.

-You fight your robotic doppelganger right before the fourth boss.

-Ulala's outfit changes for each level. Check out the sunglasses she's got on
at the start of level 3.

-In the part of level 3 where you're running from the explosion, there's an
alien with drums. If you rescue him, he flies along with you and plays drums.
He goes away at the end of the level and seems to server no purpose except to
add crazy drumming to the music.

-There are character info bios in the options. You have to rescue the
character in the game before they become available here. Hit up and down to
see different categories of characters. You can move, spin, and zoom the
characters using the joystick and L/R buttons, and some of the other buttons
remove the text and other onscreen stuff.

-If you get above 95% ranking Ulala glows with purple flames. 
[this is possible towards the end of level 3 in the original mode, or 
anywhere in extra mode *]

-YES, you do indeed rescue Michael Jackson (or Space Michael, as he's called
in the game. And yes, it's really him - it's in the credits. It says:
'Space Michael.............Michael Jackson (Thanks!)'.)   He's in the last
stage, the second situation. While you're trying to rescue him, whenever it
switches from your turn to the enemies or vice versa, he says 'woo!' and if
you rescue him, he says 'Thank You, Ulala!' when he appears on your side.
Then you walk like him as your celebration dance.

-The credits also credit Ulala as 'Ulala................Herself'.


EXTRA MODE
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Once you beat it and save, you can choose which level to load from that saved
game (hit left or right when loading to switch). If you load that game, then
continue, the game is different in some ways. So far I've found:

ALTERNATE PATHS

Level 1:
-A different path that goes through a transport system of some sort (sort
of like the tubes in Futurama). It starts at the end of the first area at the
elevators. At one point you have to resuce a bunch of things that look like
rabbits. This path replaces the part on the roof. You can see a section of
this part if you let the game sit at it'stitle screen for a while. (I think
it's the second clip it shows) Once you get through this you rejoin the
original path at the boss.
-A path that replaces the same part of the original path as the first
alternate path, but this time I want through the waiting area. I rescued a guy
with sideburns that looks at his watch while he dances after a VERY long dance
situation, then something zoomed in from the outside and there was an
explosion that blew Ulala onto some hanging Neon rockets, where you had to
hit Up three times to avoid falling, then you rejoin the original path at
the boss.

Level 2:
-A different path through the second level, diverging from the main path after
you rescue the ship captain, in which you go into a dark tunnel and rescue a
guy with a raygun-looking thing. There are glow-in-the-dark rat-things running
around. Then you go into the trash processing area and fight aliens jumping
out of garbage cans and rescue people, then you go back to the original path
to fight the boss.

Level 3:
-No alternate path even though I started at 95% and finished at 99%, never
went below 96% once I got over it, and held 100% for about 1/3 of the level!

Level 4:
-After the Michael Jackson section, there is an alternate path where you go
through the studios, including a news desk with news anchors to rescue and a
game show with a game show host to rescue. At the end you catch a glimpse of
the final boss who runs away. Once you make it through this part, you rejoin
the original path at the dance against the robotic doppelganger.

(After finding a second alternate path to the first level I have NO IDEA what
triggers the alternate paths. I'm going to say a certain ranking at the right
point in the original path gets you in. I'm going to list the percentages I
had for each alternate path and maybe somebody can figure it out. It seems
that 90% or better gets you in, but what determines which path? Then there's
level three which completely defies that logic:

Rankings that were enough to get in:
Level 1, alternate path 1: ??%
Level 1, alternate path 2: 91%
Level 2, alternate path 1: 92%
Level 4, alternate path 1: 91%, 95%, 97%, 98%

Rankings that were not enough to get in:
Level 3: 95-100%
Level 4, alternate path 1: upper 80%s

If anyone has any better idea how this works let me know!)

ALTERNATE PEOPLE TO RESCUE
-3 of the robotic doppelganger's robots instead of Michael Jackson in the last
stage.
-an old lady with a cane instead of the lady in the frilly white dress on the
spaceship.

(I'm sure there are other different people to rescue, but I have no idea what
triggers the different people to show up - sometimes it's the normal person,
sometimes it's their alternate)

If anyone figures out more specific info on the extra mode, let me know.


CONTACT INFO
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If you can send me something good like more info on extra mode or some real
extra that I missed, go ahead. Or if you know where to get a soundtrack CD or
those T-Shirts I've heard about...

I don't, however, want to hear about all the different people you rescued or
'I can't do such-and-such' thing.'

email:
t o m @ c a l l a h a n . o r g
(take out the spaces to make this address work)


CREDITS/THANKS/LEGAL INFO
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* Anything in this FAQ in [brackets] or any translated items, including story
details, character names, and other corrections have been provided by Sailor
Bacon. Thanks!

Space Channel 5 and all game-related names and terms Copyright 1999 Sega
This walkthrough Copyright 2000 Tom Callahan
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Sticky, sticky, sticky!



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