2014-07-09: Found a Subversion committed ZSNES save state from this date.
After realizing that this game has unlimited continues, I started playing it for real. My ZSNES auto-saves upon exit, so I can just stop and resume my game as I want, never losing any progress.
Completed stage 4/6 in Sweden. Stage 5 is ridiculous.
Completed first half of stage 5 - and it was crazy. And now I'm up against Phantom Cell, a multi-form boss that morphs from a blue cellular blob into versions of classic bosses, Dobkeratops (the alien from stage 1 of the original R-Type), Laios (?), Gomander (the worm-sprouting thing from stage 2 of the original R-Type), and Gun Dutchman (a modified version of the rotating turrets from stage 1 of the original R-Type). I've given up beating it today, I hope I am quicker tomorrow.
Accomplished Completed stage 5.
- Yes! I finally defeated Phantom Cell. Here's how I did it: Phase 1: Avoided blob. Phase 2: Fired Force Device into Dobkeratops' 'chest', and fired full beams into the little chestburster. Phase 3: Charged Hyper Beam and fired into center. Phase 4: Attached Force device to front, and steered it into the top right snake hole (sounds a bit kinky), shooting to get missiles into the 'heart gem' of Gomander. After worm turrets were all destroyed, attached Force Device to back, and steered it into the top left snake hole (careful not to get too high or the snake will get you). Alternated Force Device attachment and fired a Full Beam into the 'heart gem' when the time was right. And the tricky Phase 5: Attached Force Device to back, charged Hyper Beam and continuously hit the one turret that could be damaged, while carefully avoiding the bullets from the turrets, all the while following the movement of the circle. I tell you, this was *much easier* with the Hyper Beam, apparently it does insane damage per second. The final phase, Phase 6: just avoided the 8-way shots of the blob and blew it to smithereens. Phew.
Man, this game is a technical marvel compared to the less impressive Super R-Type.
It seems I play this game once every 5 years, and this year is no exception.
The first checkpoint of stage 6 is a real nightmare. Hordes of almost unkillable enemies appear from a dimensional portal. The same portal that you have to enter to avoid crashing into walls. It's all very unfair, but the richness of ideas that went into this stage is still pretty incredible.
Completed the game.
As the train pulled into Aalborg Station, I had finished practising dodging the incredibly annoying flying disembodied hands of the final boss, and started the final checkpoint for real. The trick here was to keep shooting normal shots at the hands, and after hitting them around 20 times, they would be sucked into the other dimension. The final part of the boss fight is a little puzzle where you have to fire your force unit back into the mouth of the boss. I entered the ending sequence, as the train pulled to a halt, and today, 11 years after I started playing R-Type III, I finally finished it.