This section goes into a few details on how to play the Star Force games.
The main game play is fairly typical and resembles any console RPG. You can walk around, talk to people, and search things. Enter the Wave World by using waveholes, which look like large orange whirlpools when you have your Visualizer on. While you walk around on a wave road, you may be attacked.
Once you enter battle, things get a little more confusing.
You fight enemies on a battle field that is a grid of 3x5 squares. MegaMan is restricted to moving on his row of the battle field. (Your row is visible as the first row on the very bottom of the screen. This is the row MegaMan is standing on even though it looks like it is in front of him; they had to make the row really wide so that you could see it.) That means you can move only left and right. The enemies get the rest of the space. Most enemies are found in the 9 squares of the 3x3 area on the far end of the field; however, they can enter the remaining row that is right in front of you, though mostly they do this only to attack.
Most of the time you view the field straight forward, over MegaMan’s shoulder. But at certain times, the camera will shift around. (You can turn this off during battle by pausing, then turning the camera off on the resulting menu.)
To attack, fire your buster or use special items called Battle Cards. You can select to use up to six cards per “round” (when the bar on the right of the screen fills up, you can open your “Custom Screen” to choose new cards); however you are restricted in what sort of cards you can use at a time as explained below.
Cards that you pick up throughout your adventures are stored in your Card Box. Cards that you have prepared to use during battle are in a “Folder.” However, during battle you can’t pick just any card from your Folder; when a battle starts, you are given a choice of six cards picked randomly. When you choose to use one or more of the cards, in the next round the ones you used will be replaced with other random picks.
Each card can only be used once per battle, and you must use the cards in the order you selected them. You can see which card is up next and also how many you have left to use based on the icons at the bottom of the top screen.
MegaMan is restricted to moving on the three panels on his row of the battle field. That means you can move only left and right. When enemies use attacks, the tiles that will be affected will flash briefly, so this helps you to know which way to dodge.
MegaMan’s buster charges automatically whenever you are not using it. Hold down the button to blast enemies with a rapid-fire stream of shots. When the buster is fully charged, press the button to fire off the super-shot. You lose your charge if you take a hit, use your shield, or (in some games) use a Battle Card.
Your shield can be used to defend yourself. It lasts a couple of seconds, though sometimes you can cancel it early. The shield will block most shots, but note that some attacks are “piercing,” which means they will go through your shield. Also, you cannot guard against enemies that hit you with direct bodily contact. You must learn through experience which attacks to block and which to dodge.
When you open your Custom Screen, you will have six cards to choose from. Normally, you can pick any two cards as long as they line up in a column. You can also select multiple copies of the same card, no matter where they are located. (Certain things that you get throughout the course of your adventure may alter these rules.) Furthermore, white Battle Cards (the ones with the gray-white border) can be paired with any other card regardless of position.
When you are editing your Folder, you select six “Favorite” cards. These cards are treated as white cards when they come up in the random draw (so don’t bother selecting white cards as favorites).
Press on the control pad to initiate your lock-on. (You don’t have to hold the down button. Just press it.) You can only lock-on in certain directions; arrows point in these directions to indicate this. Once an enemy is lined up in your sights, a target cursor will appear on him, and that’s when you use a Battle Card! This will cause MegaMan to warp forward and then attack.
You can use this to hit enemies that are far away using short-ranged attacks like swords. However, this works for almost any card, except those that dim the screen. Note, though, that when MegaMan jumps forward, he’s not invulnerable. You might end up warping yourself straight into an enemy attack, so use this wisely.
When you hit an enemy with a Battle Card during a specific part of its attack sequence (usually, this is when the enemy is starting its own attack), you will trigger a Counter Hit. When this happens, you are given a random card from your equipped Folder, and you can now use this Bonus Card as if you’d selected it from the Custom Screen yourself.
You cannot get Bonus Cards by countering enemies using a Bonus Card.
When you are using a Star Force form or certain other transformations, any Bonus Card you receive becomes a “Star Force Big Bang” card (or the equivalent for the transformation in question) for as long as you hold the form.
A BrotherBand is a way of linking up your game with someone else’s. There are two main forms of BrotherBands: in-game (e.g. plot-related), and real-life BrotherBands.
The plot-based BrotherBands allow you to form BrotherBands with characters in the game itself and generally this happens automatically based on the plot. The real-life BrotherBands allow you to Brother up with a real-life friend who also owns the game. These are generally kept separate, though you have a maximum limit on the number of Brothers you can have in either case.
Forming a BrotherBand with a friend can allow you to send messages to that friend, and also allows you to sometimes use each other’s cards during battle. Using BrotherBands can also allow you to access features from another verison of the game, if you form a BrotherBand with someone who owns a different version of the game than you.
Title Menu Star
After beating a Star Force game, you are asked if you wish to save “clear game” data. This save puts you back where you’d saved before beating the game, but the difference is, you will now have a star or another icon on the title screen when you select “Continue.”
Once you have a title menu star, you can do things and then save again without losing the icon on the title screen. The Star Force games are generally designed to avoid “lost forevers,” so by the time you reach the end of the game, you should be allowed to revisit any area and finish any quests or other things that you missed along the way.
Having a title menu star will allow you to access areas and do other things that you could not do before you beat the game for the first time. These areas are usually filled with high-level viruses (more powerful than what you encountered just in the normal course of the game), and frequently require you to fulfill certain requirements in order to continue (such as defeating EX or SP versions of bosses, or collecting all of the Battle Cards, or something along those lines).
In most games it’s possible to gather a collection of title menu stars, each one granted for fulfilling a particular condition. These conditions are usually things like filling out your Battle Card Library and beating certain hidden bosses.
- Your buster has statistics that differ depending on what weapon you have equipped:
- Attack (AT): At the start of the game, every shot from your buster does 1 damage. (Charged shots are 10x the normal damage.) Each point in Attack increases this by 1. This might not sound like much, but it can really add up.
- Rapid (RA): This affects how quickly MegaMan will fire when you hold down the buster button.
- Charge (CH): The higher this value, the faster MegaMan can charge up his buster. This does not affect the actual power of your charged shots (the Attack rating does that).
- Enemies and Battle Cards might be one of four elements:
- Fire: Characters of this type are weak against Aqua. Use Fire attacks to burn grass and do double damage to anyone standing on it at the time.
- Aqua: Characters of this type are weak against Electric. Use Aqua attacks on someone standing on ice panels to freeze them.
- Electric: Characters of this type are weak against Wood. Use Electric attacks on enemies trapped in bubbles for double damage.
- Wood: Characters of this type are weak against Fire. They regenerate health while standing on grass panels.
- Battle Cards come in four basic types:
- Standard: Yellow-gold borders. These are your normal Battle Cards.
- White: These have gray-white borders and can be picked with any other card in your Custom Screen. (Cards that you mark as your favorites become white cards.)
- Mega: Blue borders. These are typically summon cards, but you can find other Mega-class cards as well. There are more restrictions regarding how you place them in your Folder than standard cards.
- Giga: Red borders. These cards are generally very powerful; therefore, you can only put one of them in each Folder.
- Panels can be changed during battle, and they affect both you and your enemies. Some of the special panels include:
- Cracked: You can stand on these, but moving off of them will result in them turning into a hole panel for a short time.
- Hole: You cannot stand on these without AirShoes. If the middle panel of your row is a hole and you try to move into it, you’ll simply blip over it.
- Grass: Fire-type attacks do double damage to anyone who happens to be standing on a grass panel at the time, even if that target isn’t weak against Fire. Fire attacks also burn away grass panels. Wood type viruses and Navi standing on grass panels slowly regain health.
- Ice: Anyone who is standing on an ice panel that is struck with an Aqua attack will be frozen briefly. Frozen enemies are weak against “break” type attacks.
- Poison: Standing on these panels will cause your HP to slowly decrease over time. Floating enemies are not affected.
- Holy: Standing on these panels will halve the damage of all attacks that strike you.
- Buster: Standing on this panel will double the attack power of your buster.
- Hack: You can’t enter these panels; only the enemy can. Even your summons (e.g. Mega Cards) cannot enter these panels.
- Quests are half of the content of a Star Force game. You can only have one quest active at a time, so be sure to save before taking a quest, and don’t save while you are doing a quest unless you are absolutely certain you can complete it. Do quests by:
- Use the Wave World to view a person’s Personal Page and see if he has an issue that you can help with.
- Accept the quest when Omega and Geo talk about it.
- Pulse out and talk to the person in the real world to learn more about the quest.
- Fulfill the quest’s objectives.
- Return to the quest giver (in the real world) to get your reward.
- Remember to use your Visualizer to uncover secrets.
- Be sure to view people’s Transers or Star Carriers to get an insight on what they are thinking.
- Search everything. Sometimes you can uncover new waveholes by turning on objects in the real world, which you can then access via the Wave World.
- Revisit the Wave World frequently; green Mystery Waves will reappear there on subsequent visits and new surprises might have appeared there as well.
- Pulse into everything. Most of the minor devices (such as vending machines) that you can pulse into each have a blue Mystery Wave somewhere inside, just waiting for you to come pick it up.
- You can get knocked out of attacks, which causes you to lose the Battle Card you were trying to use. Be careful!
- Most bosses and mini-bosses (anything but a virus, essentially) will turn invulnerable briefly whenever they take a hit, just like you do. Make sure your target isn’t flashing before you try to use a Battle Card on him!
- To use enhancement cards such as Attack+10, choose the card you want to enhance first, then the enhancement card.
- When enemies place objects (such as time bombs) on the field, you can destroy them with your shots. However, any object that you place is invulnerable to your weaponry. Your shots go straight through your own objects. So fire away!
- Cards which auto-aim for the nearest enemy (such as CancrBuble) also consider inanimate objects like blocks to be enemies, which is something to watch out for.
- When you defeat a major boss, that boss will usually reappear as a “ghost” later in the Wave World. This is so that you can fight him and try to earn his card and improve on your busting records. Be sure to look around for such bosses in areas you have already completed.