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My brother and I were re-playing Actraiser 2 last evening when we came across a very unique glitch in the game. It seems to unlock a game mode that we call "impossible mode", though we're not sure if it was intended by the game designers to be accessible or not. Here is how one goes about "entering" the mode.
1 - Enter the password MFMJ TVSY FVPX - this brings you to Death Heim with 38 lives. Not only this, but the code seems to change the amount of life that the bosses have. Some, like Jealousy (the boss of Altheria) attain a great deal of life whereas others seem to have HP reduction (compared to when you do Death Heim in a Normal/Hard/Expert mode). Nevertheless, this 38-life last level run is well-known and not unique.
2 - Defeat Tanzra in this 38-life Death Heim run. He'll take a good while to defeat, but he's not that difficult.
3 - Let the credits role, and the game reset itself.
--- So far, this is nothing unusual ---
4 - Now, things get interesting. Once the game resets, you'll see the usual opening demo screen (the Master in a clouded orange-hued environment). But contrary to the usual opening, the Master will actually get killed when he encounters the first red demon in flight!! ;).
5 - Once the Master dies, the game apparently bypasses the title screen and goes to what looks like the start of a new game.
6 - Try any of the usual available levels in the world. You'll find that you have 38 lives to start, and the monsters have very unusual/unpredictable traits! Among these include:
* Monsters with a TON of health (as you attack them, their health first cycles in color from blue down to red, and then the actual health indicators begin disappearing). * Monsters with very little health. * Monsters that one-hit kill the Master. * Monsters that do absolutely no damage to the Master at all.
(This also applies to the mini-bosses and main bosses!)
The net result of this, whether intended by the game developers or not, is a really bizarre game mode that's a great deal of fun to try beating. In many cases, it requires taking advantage of various characteristics of the game in order to progress through parts that are normally easy (i.e., getting hit by an enemy that doesn't instant-kill you first, then running by a cluster of those that do). Time also suddenly becomes a major constraint for the bosses that have uber-life :).
It seems that all of this "game" is doable up to the boss of the Tower of Souls. It doesn't seem possible to defeat Pride before the time limit runs out, though we are still working on it.
Note - We have tried this on both the "E" and "U" Actraiser 2 ROMS. Both work fine up to Step 5. For Step 6, the U ROM seems to glitch whenever one tries to access a level (the game freezes when beginning the descent into a worldmap site); however, this is seen to happen in other cases during normal gameplay, and may be just an issue with the ROM & emulator. We intend to give this a try on an actual U.S. cartridge in the next few weeks.
Finally - there seem to be a full set of unique passwords for this unusual game mode. Here is one that gets you past just Death Field (for the "E" ROM):