GerbilMechs 125: Longtail Lost

01Mar05 (Monthenor): Has everybody seen Nanaca Crash yet? 'Cause that's what I'm going to be talking about. The scattered nature of English-language info about this game has moved me to verbosity. You should go save that Flash file locally and follow along while I talk.

How to play: Once in the game, an arrow should be oscillating between 0 and 90 degrees. Hold down the mouse button when it reaches the desired angle. The arc should now be oscillating with a yellow power meter. Release the mouse button at the desired power, and Nanaca will swoop in on her bike and launch that poor blue-haired bastard.

Now he's flying through the air like a penguin doesn't, but you have a couple options to affect his path. In the upper left corner you'll see the word "Aerial" with some red crosses and a blue "100%". These are the Aerial moves. When the word Aerial flashes red or blue you may click to bring Nanaca in for a mid-air attack. The screen area where you're allowed to do Aerials -- what I call the Aerial Zone -- starts just above the hills in the background and ends just below the odometer. If the boy is in this horizontal block of mostly blue sky, you can jump in on the bike and bash him, given the restrictions below.

Red Aerial: Red Aerials can only be used as the boy is falling through the Aerial Zone. You only get three the whole game, so use them sparingly. It bounces the boy back up into the air. It can be used to save yourself from a premature Stop Girl or to give the projectile a necessary boost before friction wins.

Blue Aerial: Blue Aerials can only be used as the boy is rising through the Aerial Zone. This aerial can be used whenever the blue charge is 100%. The move recharges quickly as long as the boy is in the Aerial Zone. This move spikes him downward at about the same angle he was climbing and is mainly used for knocking him into boost girls to continue your flight.

This game would be a midly amusing waste of five minutes if that were all you had to do. But Nanaca Crash adds targets to hit along this never-ending road. People kind of targets. The game gets really crazy when you starting hitting boost girls and Specials/Combo Specials. The next three people in your path are pointed out in the upper-right corner, just below the Special box. I know them only by color and gender so it may take a few games to make sense of the following list.

A note about Specials: When a girl's face is lit up in the upper-right Special box (just below the odometer), you'll activate a Special Combo when you hit her. The Combo activations and effects are listed under each girl below.

Red Girl
Punches the boy forwards at about a 30 degree angle.
Special: Activate by hitting a Red Girl, then hitting another Red Girl before hitting anybody else. Red Girl transforms into some sort of ninja, grabs a katana summoned from the air, and gives the boy three quick slashes to send him soaring.
Blue Girl
Kicks the boy forward at a 45 degree angle. My favorite.
Special: Team Special with Gold Girl. Activate by hitting a Gold Girl that is standing just before a Blue Girl. Gold Girl does some flying uppercuts that knocks the boy forward into a spinning air kick from Blue Girl. Boom!
Gold Girl
Uppercuts the boy up at about a 60 degree angle.
Special: Team Special with Blue Girl. Activate by hitting a Blue Girl that is standing just before a Gold Girl. Blue Girl does a spinning aerial kick that knocks the boy forward into a series of super uppercuts from Gold Girl. Boom!
Green Girl
She is the Eater of Worlds. If you hit her, the boy STOPS. GAME OVER.
Special: Activate by hitting any boost girl, then hitting Green Girl without bouncing. You have to hit her on the fly, or with a Blue Aerial spike directly off a boost. Given the difficulty of doing this, the reward is commensurate: Gold, Blue, and Red Girl jump in and beat you around, which pisses off Green Girl. She then gives you a hefty launch at a 45 degree angle. This is probably the biggest speed boost in the game. I call it the Gangbang Special.
Orange Guy
Changes your angle either up (boo!) or down (yay!)
Special: None. Avoid this guy, it's usually an Angle Up which totally hoses your forward momentum.
Cyan Guy
Slows you down
Special: None. Even more dangerous than Orange Guy, he can slow you enough that you can't even bounce up into the Aerial Zone, and then you are boned.
Purple Girl
Purple Girl gives you a "block", which prevents the next girl you hit from activating her talent. Does not work on guys because Purple Girl is shy and/or stupid.
Special: This one took me a long time to figure out. When you have a Purple Girl looking out for you, you can't be stopped by Stop Girl...but you can't be boosted by any of the other girls, either. However, every six people or so you randomly get a "Purple vs. CFF" message in the Specials Box. If you manage to hit the next girl when this message is lit up, you get a chance at the Comic Force Field Special, which is one of four random bonuses:

Double Impact
The next five times you hit a boost girl, your boost is doubled. Simple.
Charge Boost
The next five times you hit a boost girl, your boy stores a "charge". After that, if this CFF is still active when you would otherwise come to a stop (Stop Girl, friction), you instead automatically release the charge and go flying with the stored energy. I don't know if the strength of the charges you get translate into increased energy afterwards. I got a Red Special charged up once and it didn't seem to affect the outcome.
Bound Boost
Now we're talking! The next five times you hit the ground, the boy gains power instead of losing it to friction. He's essentially made out of flubber for a while. Can get you totally sick power/hangtime with a little luck.
Death Parachute Countdown
Probably the most amusing one. For 100 seconds, the boy flies in a straight line just over everybody's head and then gets launched at about 45 degrees. The speed seems to be fixed and doesn't depend on your previous power, so you'll get about a kilometer out of this before it runs out.

Another curious thing about these CFFs is that, while they usually give you five hits/bounces, getting another one before the first runs out will give you five plus whatever you had left over. For instance, if you had Charge Boost charged twice and then hit a Bound Boost, you'd have eight bounces of flubber-ness. With a little luck and some red Aerials, you can translate eight Bound Boosts into some insanely high altitudes.

Phew! That's all I know about the game, and now you know it too. The conditions to activate those Specials were the hardest thing for me to comprehend...why would some Blue Girls get Specials and others not? I think I've got it all figured out. The game seems to agree.