Level 4 - Techno Party!
From biohazard to biotech! As this level begins, the bee undergoes a genetic metamorphosis to give it a form more suited for this level.
This really is a nifty level. It's also the hardest - even harder than Boss Panic, the final level. It differs from the previous levels in that there are only two stages.
The whole graphical style goes techno, although it's still recognisable as Apidya-style. The machinery in the background is actually animated, which I suspect is what makes this level absolutely crawl on WinUAE.
The level appears to be largely a homage to R-Type, a famous and excellent arcade shooter by Irem, and lots of the scenery and enemies can be recognised as ''R-Type'' references. In addition, there's a notable difference in the explosions - on all other levels they're puffs of fire and smoke, but in this they resemble the explosions from R-Type - sort of pink circles that hollow out. It's a nice touch.
Here we go. Sadly, you're missing out on the awesome techno soundtrack. Check out the bio-clutter down the bottom there.
Er... no idea what the colourful bio-organic-machine-thing at the top of the screen is, but it's harmless. Unless you crash into it. Notice all the ''R-Type'' homages.
A pair of huge techno-flamethrowers. They can be destroyed when they're not shooting blue flames into the air.
I've dubbed the blue-and-green things 'mechano-petals', for lack of a better name. A choice of paths lies ahead.
Take either of the two upper paths and you have to face those strange helicopter-things which always remind me of rabbits. Take the bottom path, and you have to contend with doors that slide up and down...
...or, just down. An indestructible door drops down, completely blocking your path. It's a dead end! Or is it? Or IS it? Or IS it?
Well, no, actually. The door sneakily raises at the last second to let you through. At this point things start to get a little intense, because these colourful aliens (which I think are R-Type-based) sneak in from behind at the same time that a whole bunch of turrets are shooting at you.
These neat machines pop up at the bottom of the screen, and smoothly rise up to the top. I think that they're supposed to be like vertical versions of the 'trash-moles' from Stage 2 of R-Type. Easy to avoid and destroy.
This bit is intriguing. The things that look like square brackets of pink lightning are mostly harmless - the bee will not die on contact with them. The brackets slide through the tunnels, and can push your bee through. The danger is being inside a bracket when it moves off the screen, as this will crush the bee.
These large, colourful enemies, which I guess are armoured robo-hornets of some kind, crop up several times throughout the level. They fire a spread of mechano-petals.
Now this guy is definitely from R-Type. Strangely he doesn't use that gun - instead, two missiles fly out the back and swing forward at high speed. Oh, and the white contraption in the middle is a nasty crusher.
Just before the boss, there's this little section with several flamethrowers and an onslaught of those red flying roboturtle enemies. Lots of helpful power-ups can be gotten from them before you meet the boss.
And here he is. Some kind of mecha-crab, I guess. The claw-tipped feet slowly ascend and descend as he moves.
The mecha-crab is in fact quite passive - he doesn't shoot, and he can't be destroyed. The attack comes from little robots which walk along the top of the screen and jump down, shooting at you. At the same time the boss is wandering the screen, so you have to avoid his feet as well as the little robots. Once he's done a lap or so of the screen, he moves off and the stage finishes.
Starting Stage 2, with a couple of those robohornet thingies.
Some mecha-petals bubble up from the bottom of the screen and shoot you.
And here, a wave of those rabbit-copter things advances toward you. Having a drone to shield you helps a lot here.
Um. Some more bioclutter and R-Typeish enemies.
These neat little ships crouch on the ground for a while, and then thrust upward on a little blue jet of flame. Easy to kill, though.
Another techno-flamethrower, but the ones on this level are nasty - they're indestructible, and act as gates, so you have to fly through while they're not flaming.
More familiar bad guys. Here they descend from the top unexpectedly.
Another techno-gate thing.
And the electro-bracket things make a reappearance.
A tight squeeze.
I'm pretty sure these resemble some part of the scenery in R-Type, but I can't remember what. Alternatively, they might be techno wood-planes, or something.
Boss - Techno Gun
This is Level 4's so-called boss. Personally I thought the Mecha-crab looked far more impressive. Anyway, it's a tall robot with a big gun that can move up or down on a metal track. The gun follows your bee up and down.
The gun-robot itself is impervious to fire. However, there's also this little round robot thing, which floats around the screen and is orbited by four silver orbs. Every so often, the orbs dilate, and one of them fires an expanding burst of glowing balls.
Here's the main gun firing. I can't really figure out this boss... you can only shoot the little round robot, and only at certain times, but if you hit it enough, the whole lot explodes, and it's onto the final level.
Level 5 - Boss Panic