Base system / Power ups
The player starts at (fire) power 0. Enemies might drop red Power Up items when shot. Collecting power up items raises the power by 1, gradually increasing the damage that the shots do.
As the Power goes up, so does the number of bullets the player fires.
Once the player reaches Max Power, the red items will slowly increase the points they yield, starting with 10 and slowly doubling up to a certain max.
Base system / Extra lives
Extra lives are earned when the player reaches a certain score.
Base system / Boss attack patterns
Bosses in Project Shrine Maiden usually have several "attack patterns", following each other. The boss starts with the first, and if the player reduces the boss's health bar by a certain amount, the boss switches to the next attack pattern. A typical early stage boss can have about 3 attack patterns, with the final bosses closer to 10.
Clearing the boss attacks without dying or bombing yields the player a bonus.
High score system in Lotus Land Story
Adding to the basic system from The Story of Eastern Wonderland, where the Point Items give more points the higher up on screen they are collected (up to a maximum of 51,200, quite close to the top of the screen), Mystic Square features a Dream value, that starts at 0. The naming is identical to the Dream in Lotus Land Story, but works quite differently. Instead of simply adding the Dream value to every Point item, the Dream value in Mystic Square lowers the invisible horizontal line above which the Point items give their max points (the "Item Max Point Line").
Dream is increased by collecting Point items above the Item Max Point Line, and is actually also decreased by collecting point items very far down on the screen. Hence, raising the Dream from scratch is harder than later stages, as the Item Max Point Line starts very close to the top of the screen.
Once at Dream Max, the Point Items will yield 100,000 points wherever on the screen the player collects them. On all other Dream values, the Point Item max is 51,200.
Dream can also be insta-maxed by collecting the rare Dream items that some mid-bosses drop.
Dream is decreased by a fixed amount when dying and bombing.
Also, once the player has reached Max Power, the red Power up items will start yielding substantial points.
High score aiming summary:
Apart from the obvious of collecting point items, aiming for high score in Lotus Land story consists of:
- Quickly getting Dream to max. As collecting Dream is harder at first, learn at what points on early stage 1 you can safely stay very close to the top of the screen. Stay high up (though you can go lower and lower), collecting as many Point items above the Item Max Point Line as possible, to increase Dream to max. Once at Dream max, there is no reason whatsoever to stay high up.
- Avoid bombing (and dying) as that will decrease your Dream. The penalty is not that heavy, though, and dying is worse since it also resets the points gained from red Power items. However, bombing/dying in bursts is devastating. Three or four bombs/deaths with no ability to raise your Dream, and you'll find yourself at Dream 0, which at later stages is very hard to do anything about.
- Memorize where the Dream items drop. Bombing and then collecting a Dream item means virtually no penalty.