Round 1: Picknica
♫ BGM: Picnic ♫
♫ FZ1 BGM: Opa! Opa! ♫

Enemy Generator + Generated Enemies

Other Picknica Enemies

The first round is easy enough- the Enemy Generators only take a bomb or two to take out and the enemies themselves don't offer too much resistance. You'll want to keep on the look-out for the spinny things, though, because their erratic movement might catch you out if you're just starting. Don't get complacent this early, though- things only get rougher from here. You can't expect the first stage to really be that hard.

Recommended Equipment:
The first Shop Balloon will appear when you've destroyed 2 Enemy Generators, so you ought to have $2000. When you're there, grab the Big Wings then make a decision about which bomb upgrade you want to equip. If you're a Fantasy Zone veteran, then you might feel more at home with the Twin Bombs to put the hurt on the Enemy Generators. If you're less experienced or simply want to be on the safe side, buy the Quartet Missiles- not quite as powerful, but they can really help out in a pinch. In either case, throughout the guide, I'll be telling you which of the two is better for each level, so pick whichever you like on this stage, and swap over if you need to at any point.

Boss: Pumpkin Bomber
An awkward first boss, the Pumpkin Bomber will fire out a pellet from his mouth which splits into several little bullets and spirals away- they don't move in the way you're probably expecting them to, but the gaps between them are very big. He'll then move over, fire another one, then teleport off-screen, to re-appear shortly afterwards and continue the pattern. On the plus side, he's got not specific weak-point, and shooting him anywhere counts as a hit. The Twin bombs can make very short work of him if you get close enough (and if you've got them) but try to stay on the ground when he fires his pellet, as it's easier to dodge the spiralling bullets from there. Keep this up and he'll eventually die.

Round 2: Kazarne
♫ BGM: Mango! ♫
♫ FZ1 BGM: Keep On The Beat ♫

Enemy Generator + Generated Enemies

Other Kazarne Enemies

Kazarne isn't that much of a step up from Picknica, although the Enemy Generators might start to annoy you- they sway, very slowly, from side to side, which means if you're not watching, they'll smash into you, and that's terrible. The enemies aren't even that much to worry about really, as they generally move slowly, and don't even fire at you that much. In fact, since the boss is so easy, you'd think that this place was supposed to be Round 1...

Recommended Equipment:
By now, you should be able to afford the Jet Engine, and this is the last speed upgrade you'll be getting. Anything else will be uncontrollably fast. In fact, some might feel that the Jet Engine is too fast- feel free to stick with the Big Wings if you prefer. From here on, there isn't any other 'essential' equipment- as long as you've got a Jet Engine/Big Wings and a bomb upgrade of some description, you'll be fine. Your choice of bomb on Kazarne really doesn't matter, as the enemies never surround you too often, so pick between the Twin Bombs and the Quartet Missiles at your leisure.

Boss: Laser Sphere
The Laser Sphere is probably the easiest boss in the game, which makes you wonder why he wasn't on Round 1. His only attack is to fire lasers from the tiny little cannons surrounding his body- they'll fire in an anti-clockwise pattern at the start, and they'll switch between clockwise and anti-clockwise throughout the fight. At the start of the battle, take out as many as you can to give yourself a bit of space, then pick them off one by one. You don't even have to switch sides if you've got the Twin Bombs, as when you've taken enough cannons out, they'll start to rotate, letting you destroy them from the left side.

Round 3: Niagaro
♫ BGM: Water Melody ♫
♫ FZ1 BGM: Saari ♫

Enemy Generator + Generated Enemies

Other Niagaro Enemies

Niagaro is the place where the training wheels come off, and Super Fantasy Zone shows its true colours- this game's hard, and it wants you to know all about it. The Enemy Generators get tougher to kill, the enemies crowd the screen a lot more, and they're much less shy about gunning you down. Your only choice is to cowboy up and deal with it, and keep on top of it all. Fortunately, we haven't seen any of the really annoying enemies just yet, so this isn't the worst stage. It also has the best music in the game, just so you know.

Recommended Equipment:
The enemies really step up their game on Niagaro, so you might want to switch to the Quartet Missiles to help when poor Opa-Opa gets totally surrounded. If the prospect of tougher Enemy Generators is a bit much for you, then this is the perfect time to try out the Laser Beam to put the hurt on them and profit from it. Finally, the boss can be taken out with either bomb type, although the Missiles do make things easier, but to really put the hurt on, grab an Ultra Bomb- if your aim is true, you can do some serious damage to the boss with this thing.

Boss: Vacuum Fish
The Vacuum Fish might prove to be difficult initially, but he's actually a bit of a pushover once you learn how to handle him. He'll start the fight by inhaling, bringing you closer to him, while firing tiny blue bullets straight ahead, one at a time. While he's sucking you in, you'll have to move away from him, and this is where having a speed upgrade other than the Small Wings is very handy. Unfortunately, his only weak-point is his open mouth, so you'll either have to fire the Quartet Missiles while flying away from him, or- if you're a daredevil- turning around for a split-second, lunging a bomb in his mouth (or an Ultra Bomb if you've got one) then flying away again. When he stops sucking in, he'll fire a spread of blue missiles- get between them to not get hit, then he'll start inhaling again, and the process repeats itself. This one's a battle of attrition- keep the pattern up and he'll eventually die.

Round 4: Risscave
♫ BGM: Good Evening! ♫
♫ FZ1 BGM: Prome ♫

Enemy Generator + Generated Enemies

Other Risscave Enemies

Risscave is the first of two levels in the game which has a specialised piece of kit for you to pick up. You see, it's awfully dark on this planet, so you can't see much at all. Buying Super Lights at the shop rectifies the situation a little bit, but you still won't see all of the screen. Since leaving you completely in the dark would be really unfair, you're given a little help- even in this grim place, you're able to see bullets and Enemy Generator health spots in the dark parts of the screen. This won't stop you crashing into enemies, though...

Recommended Equipment:
Obviously, you'll need the Super Lights to make things easier for you on this round, but you can skip them if you absolutely have to. You really ought to have enough money for them by now, though- if you don't, you must really suck at this game. Anyway, you might also want to switch to the Quartet Missiles at this point and pick up a Heavy Bomb if you want to make the boss a lot easier.

Boss: Axe Head
Fortunately, when you get to the boss, someone finally decides to switch the lights on for you, but this doesn't make things any easier. At first, he'll just float slowly up and down, but then he'll release axes from his side and move them about a bit- they'll move only slightly at the beginning of the fight, but as you get his health down, the axes start to sway more erratically. While this is happening, the little turrets in the middle will start firing bullets at you, but after a few seconds he'll bring his axe arms back in, float a bit more, then repeat the pattern.

Actually hitting him is a bit of a pain, as the only weak spot is the head, and only when he's attacking. You'll have to wait until he brings the axes out, then camp at the top of the screen and bomb him with Single/Twin Bombs while moving to avoid the bullets. If you've got the Quartet Missiles, you can also attack from below, which might be a good idea- the Missiles take longer to kill him, but when the axes start moving wildly, it's hard to find a decent space where you won't be hit on the top of the screen. If you brought a Heavy Bomb with you, then make sure you only launch it when the axes are out, otherwise you'll waste it.

Oh, and watch out- when the boss dies, coins spurt from the left axe then the right axe rather than the head- be ready for it.

Round 5: Grandiuss
♫ BGM: Fancy Promenard ♫
♫ FZ1 BGM: Hot Snow ♫

Enemy Generator + Generated Enemies

Other Grandiuss Enemies

From here on, you'll really notice how much tougher the Enemy Generators are, as the washing machine things on this stage take a lot of punishment. However, the good thing is that they'll also start dropping much more loot when you kill them... Assuming you're quick on the draw. The little enemies aren't much to write home about, though, aside from the Thing on a Spring that the Enemy Generator spawns- these enemies can reach the top of the screen in a single bound, so don't just assume they'll mill along the bottom out of harm's way. The Cannon isn't very nice either, as they can catch you out.

Recommended Equipment:
For this level, I really recommend the Laser Beam, and if you're a skilled (or patient) player, then this should be the first time you should buy one. You'll rip the Enemy Generators apart pretty quickly, and you'll be able to cash in on the oodles of cash they drop. If you haven't upgraded to the Jet Engine by this point, then you might be wise to do so- speed is what you need for the boss. Finally, as for the eternal question of Twin Bombs Vs. Quartet Missiles, it's six of one and half a dozen of another- honestly, it doesn't make any difference, both are just as effective both in the level and on the boss. If you want to bring a Special Weapon to this boss, the Ultra Bomb and Heavy Bomb would be your best bet.

Boss: Head Blocks
Two for the price of one, the Head Blocks move around the arena in a vague pattern, and one of them will have their eyes open at any one time- this is the only time they can be damaged. They share the same amount of health, so it doesn't matter which one you hit, as long as you hit them while the eyes are open. Keep this in mind if you want to use any Special Weapons, too. As for the pattern itself, you don't really need to learn it, really- memorising it won't help you beat the boss any faster, and as long as you pay attention, and don't make any really stupid moves, you'll be fine.

If you want to find somewhere on the screen to hide, though, there's only one point in the pattern where the extreme left/right of the screen is unsafe, so you can hide there and stay about halfway up the screen to be safe from attack. When they do make their way over there, quickly move out the way and get back there when they're done. Keep shooting them in the eyes, and they won't take long to die.

When the bosses die, coins spurt from the individual boxes, from left to right, so if they're too far apart, good luck getting all the change.

Round 6: Le-Picker
♫ BGM: Vilily ♫
♫ FZ1 BGM: Dreaming Tomorrow ♫

Enemy Generator + Generated Enemies

Other Le-Picker Enemies

Another round that gets a lot easier if you buy some special equipment, the floor on Le-Picker is electrified, and touching it is a swift death... Unless you buy the Rubber Boots, which come in a very fetching blue colour and allow you to walk on it like any normal level. It's in your best interests to do this- all the Enemy Generators are on the floor. You really need to watch out for the Teleporting Mcguffins on this stage- they'll appear out of nowhere and move along with the screen, and crashing into them even as they're materialising will kill you! When they fully materialise, they'll move towards you- don't move too much, especially up and down, this makes them close in on you even faster. Just take out as many as you can, and avoid the stragglers. These guys do appear a lot here, so you'll have to get used to fighting them.

Recommended Equipment:
I hate repeating myself, but don't leave the shop without the Rubber Boots. If, for some insane reason, you'd rather not buy them, then it's perfectly possible to still beat the stage, but you'll have to be very careful when taking the Enemy Generators out. If you really struggle fighting the Teleporting Mcguffins, then you might want to buy/equip the Quartet Missiles although relying on them will make the boss a touch more difficult. Alternatively, you can pick up the 7-Way Shot to obliterate them as soon as they appear, or (gasp!) the Wide Beam to take out more with each shot. You'd think that buying the Laser Beam would be clever, because you can breeze through the stage by destroying each Enemy Generator in seconds, but it's not wise- the Laser Beam isn't very wide, which will make killing the Teleporting Mcguffins much more difficult. As for Special Weapons, the Heavy Bombs are, as ever, pretty useful on the boss.

Boss: Electro Gunner
The Electro Gunner sways from side to side while firing giant electric bullets from the 8 cannons on its side. The bullets are a bit awkward, because they don't always fly straight out of the cannons- each time they fire, their trajectory arcs either up or down a little more, so keep that in mind. The bar on the Electro Gunner's face serves as a count-down, and when it's empty, it'll fire two lasers out the top and bottom of its head, which means you can't switch sides, but this only lasts for a few moments.

Destroying the cannons on the left side is easy enough- just keep wailing away at them and they'll disappear soon enough, or use a few Heavy Bombs- but you might struggle with switching to the right side, because it never really stops firing for too long. If you've got the Twin Bombs equipped, you can take out the top cannon by lunging bombs over at it (remember, tap forward before firing a bomb) and if you've got the Quartet Missiles, you can achieve the same thing by hovering near the top and firing- hopefully, you'll hit it. When you've taken out that top cannon, getting to the other side is much easier, just don't walk into its charge-up laser like an idiot!

As a little aside, if you don't buy the Rubber Boots and beat the boss, you can walk on the floor when the stage is over without dying!

Round 7: Aflorious
♫ BGM: Fresh Melon ♫
♫ FZ1 BGM: Don't Stop ♫

Enemy Generator + Generated Enemies

Other Aflorious Enemies

The round with the second best music in the game, Aflorious is... Well, it's actually pretty easy compared to Le-Picker. At least the enemies are easier to deal with, although the Squiddly Diddly enemies spawned by the Enemy Generators might give you trouble- just remember that when they've locked on to you, they can't change direction. None of the other enemies are worth a damn, and the only trouble you'll have is with the sheer amount of them- they can crowd the screen quickly. The fact that the Enemy Generators are more resilient than ever doesn't help matters, but after Le-Picker, this stage is a pushover.

Recommended Equipment:
Assuming it's not too expensive at this point, a Laser Beam might be a good thing to buy to make short work of the Enemy Generators on this stage. The bombs don't matter here, so take your pick. As for the boss, you can make it a lot easier on yourself if you pick up a Heavy Bomb or three. Even if you think you can beat the boss without them (it's perfectly possible) it's nice to have a back-up plan, so pick up at least one for safety. You could also probably use a Backfire to help you, but it's less effective than the Heavies.

Boss: Prawn Multiplier
To make up for the easy stage you've just had to play through, the Prawn Multiplier is, without a doubt, the toughest boss in the game- it's even harder than the final boss, and is the only boss that still gives me trouble, even after writing this guide. The battle starts out deceptively easy- the giant prawn launches huge, easy-to-dodge bullets while moving up and down. Hit it anywhere to hurt it. Once you get its health down enough, though...

The boss splits into four medium-sized prawns, which start firing smaller bullets at you and move around in a circle. Hurt one of them enough...

That's right, they split into four even smaller prawns, and this is where the fight gets nuts.

The tiny prawns don't fire bullets at you, but they'll move freely around the screen. Shoot them enough to turn them red, and their corpse stays on screen, floating in place. Touching them kills you. Needless to say, the screen gets crowded quickly, and unless you play it smart, you'll end up cornered by bodies, sealing your fate. There's lots of ways to approach this battle, so I'll list some key points you should bear in mind:

#1 - Crowd Control! - If you can, try not to let all the tiny prawns get released at once. Focus your attacks on one of the four medium prawns rather than hitting all of them. By doing this, you can take the tiny prawns out at your leisure, rather than having to take all of them on at once.

#2 - Keep on the Move! - Don't be afraid to move around a bit. If you stay on the left religiously, you might end up being trapped by floating bodies, or get forced into a no-win situation, so it sometimes pays off to fly closer to the enemy, maybe even all the way over to the right to keep yourself from getting caught. Moving over can be a little dangerous, as the circling medium prawns will often block the top/bottom of the screen, but just wait until it's safe and make your move. If you're stuck with the Small Wings, though, this is probably worse than sticking to the left.

#3 - Get Heavy! - If you bought a few Heavy Bombs at the shop, then you can make this fight a lot easier on yourself. You can either use the bombs for defensive purposes- use one when a tiny prawn is closing in on you from above to eliminate the threat- or use them to go on the offense- kill one of the medium prawns, then as soon as the tiny prawns spawn, drop a Heavy Bomb on them to keep them from spreading all across the screen. However, you might trigger the other tiny prawns to appear if you do this, but it shouldn't be a huge problem- either use a Heavy Bomb on those guys as well, or move back to the left and take them out how you wish, as you'll have plenty of screen space.

If you use these hints, and keep a clear head, you can defeat this evil boss.

Move on boldly to Part 2 of the guide!