Ibara 1CC

Ibara was the first Cave game developed by Shinobu Yagawa (known for earlier games like Batrider and Battle Garegga). It was initially released in 2005 for the Cave CV1K arcade platform, and later ported to PS2. It’s consider one of the harder Cave games, and great fun both when playing for score and survival.

1CC capture from January 2020 – Played on original PCB

My first time playing this game was actually in some Akihabara game centers, since I happened to visit Tokyo in 2005 around the release of the game. Unsurprisingly it completely destroyed me though, and I don’t think I managed to beat the second stage.

Poster advertising Ibara in a Tokyo Game Center in 2005.

I then bought this game back when it was released for PS2, and still have the game and booklet. The port lacks a lot of the arcade slowdown, and has some graphical issues. It’s still one of the more expensive PS2 titles on online auctions nowadays though.

Clearing this in one credit took me several months, where the last few weeks was just me getting destroyed in the last stage. Felt great to finally clear it.

Stuff from collection

Ibara PCB
Ibara PS2 Port
Ibara PS2 Poster
Ibara PS2 limited booklet

Survival 1CC strategies

A lot of Ibara is about rank management, and I actually played this wrong, thinking that avoiding medal chaining was beneficial for keeping rank low. In practice, it is better to medal chain and suicide spare lives to keep rank low.

The biggest tip is to never hit two spare lives in Ibara before the last stage. As soon as you are getting close to hitting an extend, run into a bullet to go down to the last life, since this will lower rank a lot. On the last stage, it’s fine to extend up to two spare lives, since it helps with staying alive.

Other good tips for rank management is:

  • Don’t pick up more power up items once at max power
  • Don’t pick up more option items once at max power
  • Make sure to go down to zero spare lives before you get your first extend (preferrably close to when you get the extend, but doesn’t matter too much).
  • Machine gun increases rank a lot less than other options, so consider using that for easier sections at least.

Other good tips:

Activating Hadou Gun will create an Aura Flash which can cancel bullets. This means that activating a Hadou, and keeping it pressed can be used to get out of tight situations. Then release once you want the Hadou to fire.

Never bomb when playing for survival. Store bombs for Hadou Gun.

Learn the safe strat at the start of the S2 boss (4:15 in video at top).

Learn the Double Hadou into triple Bomb setup on stage 5 (see 13:09 in video) to spend two bombs to get three back.

Hitting a Hadou at the edge of certain sprites does massive damage and will cancel entire boss phases (15:20 in video for an example).

A lot of the game is bomb management to allow for Hadou Gun usage on the last two bosses, since they are crazy hard without it.

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