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12 has been solved. I just had PHOENIX live 4 times in one level. (!)
"I suspect that the TWINEE can get an extra ball from the bonus Multiball only for balls stuck on the envelope (unlike SOLSTICE ;)). It's just a guess."
If you don't know TWINEE's ability, don't even bother guessing. Believe me. I've spent days trying to figure this ship out. Whatever you can suggest, I already tried it.
"My guess is that the "luck" of the EXPLORER is the same as the scoot ball : more chance to get bonus (especially good ones). It's much more useful in hard mode."
18 has been solved. Thank you very much, benj. You were right! The EXPLORER makes it so that some of the conglomerates that normally would've given nothing now give Bonuses, just like the Scout Ball. And you're just in time, because I was ready to start the submission process for the guide today!
Also, since I've decided to always write this in bold, I'll mark that I'm considering 1, 3, 7, 8, and 10 to be solved. Even though we never did figure out if there was a trick to the Photonic Clone, I no longer really care.
This wall of text has been brought to you courtesy of one of the board's resident spectrum children (and Linux users).
Well, just one last thing; Assuming you mean the ARTEMIS, these are the answers to #8 and #9:
#8: No. The ARTEMIS generates small, red scythe-like shots, while the Mass Cannon generates a big fuzzy white ball of energy. Surprisingly, the ARTEMIS's shots deal about 3 times as much damage as the Mass shots.