JSS really offers a very limited selection of options and a lot of intriguing question marks. You must unlock every single option in the game! On the other hand, the settings are highly feature-rich and include things like stage choice, God Mode, and a Super Shot that is utterly overpowering.
These unlock work because every credit you play adds a score to a “Total Score” in the options menu. You can check this out at any time by choosing “Setup” from the title screen and “Information” from the options menu. All options are unlocked the same way — increasing the Total Score.
Functionally, the Total Score is basically like experience points in an RPG. It’s a number that only keeps going up with every credit you play. It’s a nice way to let you feel like you’re making progress on something even if a credit goes poorly.
Option levels keep going all the way to 100, but after level 50, they don’t seem actually to unlock anything.
Farming Total Score
So what’s the fastest way to farm score and rise up those option levels? I’ll cut right to the chase:
- Play Normal or Hard Mode to earn more points
- Don’t quit/restart runs after a death, you will forfeit those points
- Later areas are worth more points, so it’s good to continue
- Change the settings to increase your lives and start in later stages, so you spend more time in more lucrative areas
- Once you can clear the game, there is a very large point bonus (2M on Normal) for each extra life remaining
In general, you should begin on the most recent level you’ve unlocked and with the most lives you’ve opened. Because later sections are more valuable for points, this will quickly snowball, and before you realize it, you’ll be at a high option level and familiar with the game’s routines.
The 1024M required for God Mode may appear far away, but once you’re competent enough to clear from a late-stage start, it won’t be.
If you feel bad about continuing to use non-default settings, just think of it as good practice. You may be cultivating Total Score, but your meatspace self is gaining real-life experience points. Have some fun with it, and
Unlocked at Option Level 43, the Super Shot is so ridiculously powerful that it will kill bosses before they have time to attack you.
The weapon is so strong, actually that it completely trivializes the game. It was added to the game to help the developer debug things. And for us, that means we can use it to practice more time efficiently. Think of it as a fast forward button to get through boss fights you aren’t interested in grinding at the moment.
This shot does not replace any of your standard shots. It has a 4th dedicated button for it. So if you can’t figure out how to fire it, double check your input mappings. Because it’s a separate button, it’s easy to forget when Super Shot is left on. Imagine the shock on my face, clearing Special Mode without a leaderboard update because Super Shot was turned on (but never used during the run). Learn from my mistakes!
Special Mode is unlocked by clearing Area 31.
People often say you need to “1CC Normal” to unlock Special Mode, but this is not quite true. That’s only related to how you enter Area 31. The game will end after Area 30, unless these conditions are met:
- Complete Areas 1 through 30 on a single credit
- Only appears in Normal Mode and Hard Mode
- You must not be using God Mode unless your option level is 50
Note that there is nothing in there about being on default settings. You are allowed to increase your starting lives.
While you almost need to 1CC to meet these conditions, once you are in Area 31, you can continue as much as you want. The single credit condition is for unlocking Area 31, not for the Special Mode unlock.
By all means, crank up your lives, do a “1CC”, and then continue your heart out trying to complete Area 31 with all those extra lives. It’s approachable though still a tough challenge.
Most able gamers should find themselves making steady progress. Don’t feel bad if you don’t get it first try. I needed to cheese my way into Area 31 several times before I was able to push through with unlimited continues. But if you’re not finding Area 31 fun or don’t think you have what it takes, then a little more patience with Total Score farming will get you there: once you hit option level 50, you can beat Area 31 with God Mode enabled.
The Secret Ship is unlocked by clearing Special Mode.
This is it! The ultimate secret unlock is buried behind another secret unlock!
Unlike unlocking Special Mode, your only options are to get absurdly good or else to use God Mode. Special Mode doesn’t respond to the lives setting, so there’s no shortcut. So if you want that Secret Ship, go farm your Total Points up to the 1024M needed for God Mode!
The Secret Ship (aka G-XACALIA) is a cool final gift to the player. And it plays very differently as well:
- A straight shot is replaced with a narrow but extremely powerful laser. Position it right and you can penetrate large enemies to damage several at a time.
- The wide shot is replaced with a rapid stream of homing balls. Useful in a crowd, but they are lower damage and the homing has a slow turn rate, meaning it can miss some rapidly moving enemies.
- The shield is replaced with a very original “bullet repulsion” attack that slows bullets down or even reverses their direction, all while damaging all onscreen enemies.
- Hitbox is slightly lower and larger than the main ship.
Have fun experiencing all the familiar patterns of Judgment Silversword in a new way, using this creative and original ship!
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