Hidden Star in Four Seasons/Gameplay/Strategy/General
This article is the general strategy for Hidden Star in Four Seasons.
Lives and Bombs
In Hidden Star in Four Seasons, extends are score-based, and you will gain an extra life when reaching certain score thresholds. You can also obtain extends from 1up items dropped by the midbosses of Stage 3 and Stage 5. As for bombs, every pattern will award one or two bomb pieces, and full extra bombs are awarded by the midbosses of Stage 2 and Stage 4. There is also a hidden extra bomb that is awarded by completing the section after the Stage 4 midboss without dying or bombing.
Points are primarily gained through releases, the unique mechanic of this game. The main goals throughout a score run are to first max out the Point Item Value, which is ideally done through releasing at high levels such at Level 5 or Level 6, which have the highest amount of Point Item Value awarded by releasing, and once it is getting close to maxed out, constantly use releases (of any level) to score as many raw points as you can using your maximized value. As such, releasing is responsible for both increasing how many points you can get as well as awarding raw points. Besides releasing, collecting power and point items is also important; in this game, power items are point items when you reach max power (this also means that dying will significantly hurt your score). How exactly to release and when the Point Item Value is maxed out depends on which season is being played.
(Each character's respective season is also used for their sub-season in this case)
- Reimu (Spring)
Reimu has her homing shot as usual, although she no longer has a small hitbox, instead having the same hitbox as the other characters. Reimu is especially powerful on the Extra Stage, as the combination of the backshot with Reimu's homing shot deals a lot of damage. Overall, Reimu has the easiest shot to use and is good for new players, as well as being one of the two common choices for survival runs.
- Cirno (Summer)
Cirno has a wide and relatively weak shot, although it can deal some good damage when up close. Unfortunately, the game does not present you with many opportunities to do this. She also has a slow movement speed, which hinders her scoring ability. The Summer season's in-place releases work well for Easy mode, but on higher difficulties, it becomes the lowest scoring season in the game, due to how briefly the releases last as well as the inability to move them around like Autumn.
- Aya (Autumn)
Aya, while also one of the weaker shots for survival due to her poor range and high speed, is the best character for scoring on all difficulties above Easy, because of both her speed and her bomb. Her speed, while disadvantageous for survival, is advantageous for scoring, since it allows for cancelling more bullets in a single release than any other character when combined with the Autumn release. Her bomb can be aimed away from bosses and thus allows the player to graze their patterns without damaging them, which can be used to reach Level 6 and then release. The Autumn season in general scores the highest on all difficulties above Easy; Easy mode simply does not have enough bullets for Autumn strategy to be profitable.
- Marisa (Winter)
Marisa has a strong, forward-focused shot, and deals good damage no matter the season used. She is therefore a common choice for survival runs such as No Bomb runs, complementing Reimu. The Winter season is the best at scoring Easy mode, because of its ability to cancel out bullet spawn points, which is where most of the bullets will be located. On higher difficulties, this gets outscored by Autumn, as there will be so many bullets around the screen that cancelling them all out with Autumn yields (much) more score than merely cancelling spawn points.