Went ahead and rom-swapped my Guwange PCB into Blue Label to get 1CC on that as well. Very easy swap, and that mode is a lot of fun!
What is Guwange Blue Label?
Blue Label is a modified version of the game Guwange, developed eight years after the original game. It has a large number of changes (detailed further below) to its gameplay, but overall has the same enemy placements with changed patterns, and a modified gameplay system.
Originally it was made for a Cave event (matsuri) in 2007, but it was released as part of the Xbox 360 Guwange release, and the Blue Label roms could be extracted from that.
Turning your Guwange PCB into Blue label
Turning your regular Guwange PCB into Blue Label is as easy as switching two program roms (27C040 EPROM works) on the PCB. I use a TOP3000 programmer for burning the EPROM’s, but any EPROM programmer should work.
A lot is similar between the versions. Characters play the same, enemy placement is the same and the chaining system is very similar. Blue Label has some significant changes to core gameplay though:
- Grazing bullets (walking near them) when shikigami is active increases your chain.
- Quick taps of A while holding autofire and having about 1000 gold will no longer cause additional gold to spawn.
- Bullets touched by Shikigami will slow down for their full duration, while they speed up in regular Guwange afterwards. Killing anything with Shikigami will cancel all slowed down bullets.
- You get a lot more gold in blue label
- Some enemies have additional “revenge bullets” added to their deaths (especially noticeable on S6 boss).
- Bombing will not stop your chain. Skulle meter stops being reduced at two skulls.
- Some patterns are harder on Blue label. Especially the first pattern of the S6 boss.
- The safespot on S4 boss (see 12:10 in regular 1CC above) does not work on Blue Label
- S5 boss will grow during the boss fight until he covers half the screen!
1CC survival tips
Playing for survival is pretty similar in both games. In general, this game is heavy on dodging and not so heavy on routing, so most of it just comes down to practice of dodging the harder patterns.
I recommend not playing Kosame, since she does very poor damage compared to the other characters. Gensuke does the most damage, but the difference between him and Shishin isn’t that significant, so either of those are good.
There’s a full life refill on S6 if you kill enough of the early spiders, so beating the game can basically be broken down into two parts.
- Survive until S6 life refill
- Finish the rest of the game from there
The first two stages have very little in terms of threats, except the S2 boss. Using a bomb there is fine.
Ideally you want to not have lost a full life until S3, because there is a small life pickup from one of the statues at the end of the horizontally scrolling section (shoot the biggest statue first).
Stage 4 has a one-bar life pickup from the midboss. If you have more than two bars of life here and want more bombs, consider dropping down to the second bar to get two bombs back. Section before boss often needs a bomb. Boss is not too bad.
On Stage 5, you want to practice a route for the spinning vampires. After you shoot them, you need to step on them in order for them not to respawn. The section before the boss can be tricky, so consider bombing there. Boss is generally not that hard. Patterns are easy to memorize, with the exception of the very fast ones towards end of phase 1, which may need a bomb.
Stage 6 until the spiders is not too bad, but after that things get real tricky, and I don’t have a lot of specifics tips here other than to just practice this section a LOT. You want to have about 2 full life bars reaching the boss, so you can fill up to around full health with the health pickup of the boss.
The last pattern of the boss is real rough, and you want to preserve as much life as possible for it, so you can tank some hits. It seems generally better to be hit by the yellow orbs than the blue bullets. The last pattern is highly random, so hope for good random numbers!