OK, let's begin! The enemies for the first stage are...

Alongside the standard Power-Up and Fire aliens, the pink blob is our first Flying type, and it's really nothing to write home about. They're pretty small, slow, easily ducked, and like all Flying Aliens, they appear in clusters, but even a 4-year old can take these guys out.

The first stage isn't really anything to worry about- in fact, Stage 1 is an amazingly gentle introduction to the game, given how fiendish it eventually gets. You'll need to take the time to adjust to the slightly odd jumping controls, but there's only 4 floors here, and they'll be over really quickly. This stage introduces you to some of the basics- the monkey bars, the escalators, the moving platforms, and the trampoline on the top floor, with relatively few enemies pestering you. You can make things even shorter by using the open doors, which leads nicely onto my next point...

Usually, going through a door will act as a short-cut to make getting to the next floor quicker. Randomly, though, you'll be taken to this strange place known as the bonus stage, where you can win fabulous prizes! Each one is practically the same, just with a different background and different obstacles- some of them have stationary hurdles, others have moving logs. Jump over the obstacles for 500 points apiece, and you get an increase to your gun's power by either 1, 2 or 3 levels, depending on how well you did. The fire is also present here, and if you die in the bonus stage... You actually lose a life!

The bonus stages run in a pre-set order, so if you skip the one on Stage 1 and find it in Stage 2, you'll still get the first bonus stage rather than the second one, as you'd assume. I suppose this is because there's no guarantee that you'll actually find a bonus stage on a level- it's randomly determined. This means that getting each one matched up- the first one on Stage 1, the second on Stage 2, etc.- is both pointless and difficult. The bonus stages are pretty imperative for racking up a good score, though.

Since getting all the bonus stages in one run is an absolute nightmare, here's images of all of them, in the correct order:

With that out of the way, when you get to the roof, you still have the business of catching the blimp, and escaping to safety. It's pretty easy, you just have to wait, take out the enemies that make one last attempt at killing you, and when the blimp shows up, you have to jump up and grab it!

Just like in Bonanza Bros.!

Oh, and this is the handy score tally screen that appears after every successfully completed stage. Quite amusing to think that, despite the shortness of the first level, 88 aliens still managed to get gunned down mercilessly. Each stage adds up the total number of enemies killed, and multiplies the number by the stage number multiplied by 100- so on the first stage, the multiplier's 100, the second uses 200, and so on. For what it's worth, the pink 'things' that come out of the Power-Up Aliens count as individual kills.

Having magically aged 2 years since the last stage, Momoko's enemies for Stage 2 are...

We get our first look at the Floating Aliens here- to be honest, you encounter them so infrequently they're hardly going to be any kind of threat to you. The fish thing is a slightly bigger version of the pink blob, but the yellow thing needs to be looked out for- partly because they're worth more points, and partly because, on this stage, they'll move up and down erratically. Be on your guard.

Stage 2 is a lot like Stage 1, except now there's 6 floors to scramble up. This is also the first stage with ladders, which will only serve to annoy you- unlike every other video game ever made, you can't hold Up and expect Momoko to climb the ladder automatically, the only way to make her move up to the next floor is to whack the Up button repeatedly, while enemies start homing in on your position ready to take you down. You'll get the timing down for it eventually, but there's nothing quite as tragic as the first time you use these bloody things, the moment of utter confusion as Momoko does nothing to get out of the way of the small flotilla of Lonesome Aliens aiming to send her hurtling down towards the fire. The little sods.

After completing Stage 2, Momoko advances 6 years (they grow up so fast, don't they?) and her adversaries on Stage 3 are...

The Floating Enemies come back, and our Flying types on this stage are weird pink parrot-like things, and are almost as pathetic as the pink blobs from Stage 1. Keep in mind, though, that there's strength in numbers! We also get our first Blue Drip Alien on this stage- remember, the trick is to inch forward and make them fall down, then stop. They're triggered long before they can pose a threat to you.

Stage 3 is where Momoko 120% starts to show its mean side, and where you learn that in this game, you've gotta earn the escape blimp at the top. First of all, the enemies come in much larger numbers now, and the parrot things often show up in pairs- hope you've got something better than the standard pea-shooter. Second, using the monkey-bars to get past pits is much more difficult because of the blue Drip Aliens, which you'll need to lure away... Usually while a load of parrots try to kill you. Finally, this is the first level where you'll need to use a trampoline to get across a floor, not just to get to a higher one- jump down onto the trampoline while holding down the jump button to avoid falling and losing a life- and also the first where you need to use a vertically moving platform to get to the roof- don't try to get back in the building once you're on the platform, as you'll die! The fact that the building is now 8 floors high only adds to the horror.

3 years get added to Momoko's biological clock, and in Stage 4 she must fight through these guys...

The blue Drip Alien is gone, only to be replaced with its far more sinister cousin, the Pink Drip Alien. They're very annoying, and can easily get the drop on you... They're even more annoying when you get to the roof, as they'll rain from the sky in a last-ditch attempt to get you, so don't forget about them. The Lonesome Aliens from Stage 2 come back for more, and this time, they'll employ their 'start at the ceiling and inch down slowly' strategy. Watch out for it. Finally, the level's throwaway enemy is the blue squid thing.

There really isn't much to say about Stage 4, to be honest. It's just difficult, that's all. There's 10 floors to climb up, which makes it a pretty long stage, but it's more a case of surviving and hanging on to your upgraded gun, above everything else- the enemies are pretty relentless here, and will appear in packs of 4 and up. Getting on to the roof requires you to use a vertical platform again, but that's pretty much all I can tell you. Getting through this stage without coming up a cropper is dependent entirely on your skills... If your trigger-finger lacks stamina, then Momoko- and maybe the world- will lack a future.

For the last normal stage, Momoko ages 3 years, and faces against the final menagerie of foes.

Both types of Drip Aliens are here for you to avoid, and we meet the final Flying type, a little UFO that's actually the largest of all the Flying Aliens. This, of course, means they're also the biggest targets. A good thing, and they're easier to fight them than the Lonesome Aliens...

This is it, the final battle- Momoko Vs. The Aliens. 12 gruelling floors await you in Stage 5, the most fiendish yet, where there are swarms of enemies, the level layout does everything in its power to screw you over, and there is no refuge. Some noteworthy segments include the open doors that actually lead you away from the next floor (these doors are from Floor 5 onwards, so try to avoid them), a few jumps that require pixel-perfect accuracy to get past, and the vertically-moving platforms come back for more. The most sinister set-piece of all is the segment on the 10th floor where, to make it to the 11th floor, you'll need to jump off two trampolines in a row... Unless you chicken out and just use one trampoline to get up to the next floor, as pictured. If you've made it this far, though, you're hardly going to puss out at the last hurdle, right? This building also has a lot more gaps in the floor, especially on the roof, where dozens of Pink Drip Aliens make their last stand and try to catch you... Don't give up! The end is in sight!

Finally, Momoko's 20 years old, gets kitted out in a wedding dress, and... Well, Stage 6 is a formality, really.

Hold on a second... These are not enemies!? Well, aside from the guy in the middle. These are the items you'll pick up on this stage- hover your mouse over them to find out how many points they're worth, bu the values given seem to be a bit random...

The final stage is an extremely brief bonus level in a chapel of all places- there's 12 items dotted about on various floating platforms, and there's 30 seconds on the clock. Hop to it! Since this is a chapel after all, Momoko's stripped of her gun, so all you can do is jump. Her jump's been greatly improved, however, so you can reach some of the higher platforms. Although some of the items are placed in pretty out-of-the-way platforms, you can easily finish this section with at least 5 seconds left.

On the ground floor, there's a couple of Midget Aliens that move about very, very slowly, and since you spend most of your time on the higher platforms anyway, they rarely get in your way. If, however, you're foolish enough to touch them (or, in the interests of science, you run into one to see what happens) then you'll be booted to the end of the stage at an agonizingly slow speed. You're also booted straight to the end if you run out of time.

I hope there's a boss monster on the other side of that door. That would be so awesome.

Go to the next page for the ending and bonus stuff!