Soldier Blade Guide (TurboGrafx-16)

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Soldier Blade Guide (TurboGrafx-16)

~By tankMage (December 2021)

About this Guide

There probably isn’t much point in writing a guide for Soldier Blade since it’s a shooter and such games are all about skill. That said, there are a few strategies that can help players get past some of the tougher parts of the game. Players may also be able to benefit from the explanations of basic gameplay and bosses I’ve included. Aside from that, you’re going to have to rely on your experience with shooters and memorization.


I. Basic Gameplay

    A. Controls

    B. Powerups

    C. Weapons

    D. Option

    E. Super Shells

    F. Burst Out

    G. Taking Damage

    H. Game Modes

II. Tips

    A. Laser and Cluster are the best weapons.

    B. Find a speed that’s comfortable for you. 

    C. Learn how to use all of the weapons.

    E. Play defensively.

III. Operations (Stages) and Bosses

    A. Operation 1

    B. Operation 2

    C. Operation 3

    D. Operation 4

    E. Operation 5

    F. Operation 6

    G. Final Operation

IV. More Resources 

V. Download PDF

I. Basic Gameplay

This section covers the fundamentals of Soldier Blade which include controls, the weapons, and the two gameplay modes.

A. Controls

D-Pad: The directional buttons are used to move the fighter around.

Select Button: Cycles through Options and Game Modes on the title screen. Pressing this button during gameplay will change the ship’s speed setting from low to high or vice versa.

Run Button: Used to start the game on the title screen or select a game mode. During gameplay, the Run Button pauses the action.

Button 1: Activates Super Shells during gameplay.

Button 2: Fires the main weapon.

B. Powerups

Powerups in Soldier Blade are colored pods that upgrade your ship’s weapons. They come in three colors: Green, Red, and Blue with each color granting the ship a different weapon power. Powerups are also stored as Super Shells once collected. The ship’s weapons have three upgrade levels that improve with each powerup collected. 

The overall weapon level of your ship is maintained even if you collect an upgrade of a different color, so getting a red powerup at weapon level 3 when you have a blue powerup will give you a level 3 Cluster.

C. Weapons

The Soldier Blade fighter has three weapon modes that change depending on the last powerup you collected. Each weapon has its own attributes that have a major impact on your ship’s performance.

1. Cluster (Red Powerup)

The cluster shot is the most balanced of the three weapons in terms of spread and damage. It’s also the default weapon. When fully upgraded, Cluster can hit enemies in five different directions, though most of the fire is concentrated in front of the ship. Cluster is a good choice for any situation, but will not kill bosses as quickly as the Laser. It’s also worth mentioning that Cluster is the only weapon of the three that can hit enemies from behind. 

2. Wave (Green Powerup)

Wave does the least damage out of the three weapons while having the best frontal screen coverage. Wave simultaneously fires three waves that spread out in three directions in front of the ship when fully upgraded. Despite its great coverage, Wave is a poor choice compared to the other weapons due to its low damage. It often takes far too long to kill things with the Wave shot, so you’re better off sticking to Cluster or Laser unless you have no other option. It’s also worth noting that its coverage is arguably inferior to that of Cluster, because it cannot hit enemies behind the fighter.*

3. Laser (Blue Powerup)

Grabbing a Blue Powerup will earn you the Laser. It’s the most concentrated and powerful of the three powerups, which makes it a great boss killer. It also fires two beams at an angle to the left and right that make it possible to hit enemies not directly in front of the ship, though these beams are slightly weaker than the main cannon. Overall, the Laser is the best weapon.*

* Wave and Laser are both capable of hitting enemies behind the ship, but the hitbox is very small and attempting to use them on enemies behind the fighter will place the player in danger.

D. Option

Collecting a powerup of any color will grant the player a mech that follows the ship around. The mech provides support fire and can be used defensively as well as offensively. Many small projectiles and missiles are destroyed upon contact with the Option. Its weapon also tends to be about as powerful as that of the ship, but it lacks coverage. 

E. Super Shells

Obtaining a powerup will grant the player a Super Shell as well as the aforementioned bonuses. The number and type of Super Shells the player has on hand are displayed on the lower right hand side of the screen. A maximum of three Super Shells can be in the player’s inventory. Press Button 1 to activate a Super Shell. Doing so unleashes a special attack and consumes one of your stored Super Shells. 

The color of the Super Shell determines the type of attack it unleashes. The Super Shell that will be consumed when the player presses Button 1 is highlighted on the HUD and it is not possible to alter the order in which they appear outside of picking up powerups in the order you wish to use them. Super Shells are extremely useful for both offense and defense, because the Soldier Blade fighter becomes impervious while a Super Shell is active. Using a Super Shell will also change your main weapon to that of the Super Shell you just activated.  Below is a list of the effects of each type of Super Shell.

1. Maximum Heat (Red)

Consuming a Red powerup will activate the Maximum Heat Super Shell. In this mode, the Option will break from the ship and home in on enemies. Maximum Heat deals medium damage and lasts for a moderate amount of time. The fighter can fire its main gun while this Super Shell is active.

2. Chase Blaster (Green)

Chase Blaster causes the Option to become surrounded by a spinning ball of green plasma that tracks enemies much like Maximum Heat. It is the weakest Super Shell in terms of damage, but it covers a wide area and has the longest duration. The long duration makes this Super Shell an excellent defensive weapon, because it allows the player to take advantage of the invincibility period for a longer time. Overall, this is the best Super Shell to use during a level, but not a great choice for bosses.

3. Sweeper Blade (Blue)

The Sweeper Blade is a powerful laser beam that lances through anything in front of the Soldier Blade ship. Unlike the other Super Shells, this one is emitted from the fighter itself and can be directed by the player. Sweeper Blade is extremely powerful, but short lived.

F. Burst Out

A “Burst Out” occurs when the player collects a powerup that matches his current weapon while the ship is fully powered up and has three Super Shells in stock. The Burst Out will basically destroy or severely damage everything on the screen. 

G. Taking Damage

Soldier Blade is forgiving as shooters go, because it gives players a few hits before their ship is destroyed. That said, how many hits your fighter can sustain before exploding is based on the number of powerups you have. A fully upgraded fighter can take two hits without blowing up, while one that has no upgrades will explode the second something makes contact with it. 

Being hit will downgrade your weapon one level and you will have to collect another powerup of the same color to re-upgrade the weapon. Re-upgrading the weapon will also give your ship an extra hit. You will not lose a Super Shell if you take damage, though you will lose all of them if the fighter is destroyed. It’s possible to collect lost powerups.

H. Game Modes

Soldier Blade has two modes: Normal and Challenge. Normal Mode is the base game where players proceed through the stages (or Operations as the game calls them) in hopes of defeating the final boss. 

Challenge Mode places players on a timer. The object of Challenge Mode is to accrue as many points as possible before time runs out. It also features new stages and restricts the player from using Super Shells. You will not obtain an Option after picking up a powerup in this game mode.

II. Tips

A. Laser and Cluster are the best weapons.

While I am fairly certain the Laser is slightly more powerful than the Cluster, it’s safe to say they are the best weapons in the game. Both are good for clearing the screen of larger enemies and great for fighting bosses. They also have the strongest Super Shells, so try to prioritize these weapons when grabbing powerups.

B. Find a speed that’s comfortable for you. 

The Soldier Blade fighter has two speed modes: low and high. Both modes are fast and responsive as shooters go, so which one you use is mostly a matter of taste. That said, players who use low speed may want to practice with the fighter moving at high speed, because there are situations where it’s better to use high speed.

C. Learn how to use all of the weapons.

The Laser and Cluster may be the best weapons, but there are times where you have to use what you can get. Get used to all of the weapons and their Super Shells to prevent yourself from having difficulty in situations where your favorite weapon isn’t available.

D. Save your Super Shells for midbosses and bosses.

The standard enemies in this game can be dealt with using the ship’s standard weapons, but bosses are often very sturdy. Saving up Super Shells for the next boss will almost guarantee that you’ll be able to beat the stage.

E. Play defensively.

Your fighter can take a few hits before going down, but sustaining damage will cost you precious upgrades. Focus on avoiding enemy craft and projectiles. Let the wide firing arc of your weapons hit things as you move. When larger enemies appear, focus on taking them out quickly to keep them from unleashing their weapons.

III. Operations (Stages) and Bosses

This guide briefly overviews each stage and provides tips for the “ALERTS” that occur in every Operation. Alerts are often warnings of incoming bosses, midbosses, or masses of dangerous enemies.

A. Operation 1

The first operation is fairly moderate in terms of difficulty as far as shooters go. It’s easy enough to allow the player some time to adjust to the game, but difficult enough to keep players on their toes. Try out the various weapons that are dropped by the orange pods that appear throughout the stage and get used to dodging bullets.

1. Alert 1: Mech Midboss

The first Alert incident in the stage and the game is a mech midboss. Several smaller green mechs will fly in from the top of the screen and fire on your fighter before the midboss appears. The Laser and Cluster weapons can eliminate these mechs before they get a chance to fire many bullets, but you’ll probably have difficulty destroying them as quickly with the Wave beam.

The midboss is a purple mech that wears an extra layer of armor on its shoulders and chest. It stays at the top of the screen while flying left and right. Missiles that track towards the player launch from the shoulders and bursts of bullets fire from the lower part of the shoulders..

The missiles can be destroyed with the ship’s guns and shifting left or right should be enough to get out of the way of the bullets.

He will also fire larger missiles that cannot be destroyed. The mech will pause and move upwards just before launching missiles that fan out across the screen. Fall back and fly between the big missiles.

You’ll have to start attacking the chest armor in the middle of the midboss’s body first. A fully powered up Laser can destroy the chest armor in a few seconds and the Laser’s Super Shell can eliminate it even more quickly, but I recommend saving the Super Shell for the shoulders. Both shoulders become vulnerable once the chest is gone. With careful placement, you can damage both shoulders with the central and side beam of the Laser or you can use a Super Shell to destroy them in a few moments. The Mech will retreat once his armor is gone.

2. Alert 2: Operation 1 Boss

Operation 1’s boss is a larger mech than the midboss. It fires rings of energy towards your ship and a laser that breaks apart and fans out in eight directions after reaching the center of the screen. Both of these attacks come simultaneously. The rings can be dodged or destroyed with your gun, but the laser must be evaded. The hatches on the mech’s shoulders open before firing these weapons, which is your warning to get out of the way. Stay low and fly in the opposite direction of the laser to avoid it. Shooting while flying away from the laser should also clear the rings and damage the boss a bit.

After using its laser/ring combo, the boss will open its guns again and shoot clusters of purple orbs that can be blasted away. Fly to the left or right away from the center of the mech while it’s releasing orbs, because it will also detach its lower half and send it downwards in an attempt to ram the player. 

Shoot at the lower half of the boss in the beginning of the battle since it’s the only part of the boss that can be damaged at this point. The lower portion of the mech is durable and it will take a concentrated blast from the Laser Super Shell or a sustained main gun attack to destroy it.

The boss will change tactics after its lower section has been removed. It will alternate between its laser/ring combo from the start of the battle and purple orb attack. However, it will follow up the orbs with an energy blast that travels straight down similar to its ram attack. Start firing on the shoulder guns and move from side to side to get out of the way of its bullets.

With the shoulders destroyed, the body of the boss will have to rely on its energy blast attack. It will move from side to side very quickly, pausing briefly to fire an energy blast. Luckily it pauses a moment before shooting, giving you time to move out of the way. Get hits in while the boss is moving and bank left or right when it stops to get out of the way of the blast. Destroy the body of the mech and you can move onto the second mission.

B. Operation 2

The second operation is about as difficult as the first, though the mid and stage bosses are tougher. You’ll also encounter fewer powerups in this mission. As usual, the Laser takes a lot of the challenge out of this stage. Watch out for larger ships, which are more common in this operation than they were in the first.

1. Alert 1

Position your fighter closer to the center of the screen when the first Alert goes off. Several mid-sized enemy ships will fly in from the bottom of the screen a few seconds after the warning, so being in the center will prevent them from crashing into you. The ships fire clusters of bullets, but are not much of a threat outside of their surprise attack.

2. Alert 2: Gunship Midboss

This gunship is fairly dangerous thanks to the smaller drones that join it. The gunship itself merely flies horizontally across the top half of the screen, stopping to fire beams that have about as much girth as the gunship itself. Banking left or right is enough to dodge the beams, but the drones are another matter. They will fire bullets at your ship before attempting to ram into it. 

The drones respawn after flying off the screen or being destroyed, so much of this fight boils down to blasting the drones before they can hit you. Don’t hesitate to use Super Shells on this midboss. Concentrate your attacks on the guns attached to the sides of the midboss to destroy them as quickly as possible. The gunship will flee once you destroy the side guns. Keep in mind that the gunship will not retreat if its drones are present, so be prepared to use another Super Shell or shoot the drones down.

You’ll have to fight the remaining core of the gunship later in the stage after passing over a city. In the second match it will move in the same pattern, deploying missiles instead of commanding drones. It will also fire its main gun, which has less range this time around. Stay to the left or right of the gunship to keep clear of the main gun and use the angular fire of your weapon to hit the gunship. You’ll have to scoot under the gunship’s barrel and shoot it between its own laser bursts if your gun is not upgraded enough to fire diagonally.

3. Alert 3: Carriers

Go back to the center of the screen when you hear the Alert sound effect again, because a pair of carriers will emerge from the bottom right and bottom left of the screen. The carriers fire bullets and missiles, but it’s easy to foil these defensive measures by flying behind the carrier and shooting it. They will also spawn smaller ships that will fly towards your fighter that can be shot down without much fuss. The carriers themselves will be reduced to scrap pretty quickly if you stay behind them and blast their engines.

4. Alert 4: Operation 2 Boss

This huge gunship follows a very predictable pattern that is easy to react to if you know what attack is coming next. First, it will fire the big guns on its front four times. Simply bank out of its way to stay safe. Next, it will move to the bottom of the screen and launch a swarm of small missiles that can be shot down. 

The boss will fly back to the top of the screen and fire huge shells from its left and right flanks after launching its missiles. These shells move in a straight line and cannot be eliminated, so you will have to fly left or right to avoid them. Finally, the boss will launch large gray missiles that cross the screen horizontally. Either fly between the missiles, or start moving down as soon as the boss nears the top of the screen to reach safety at the bottom. The boss will repeat this pattern until you destroy its frontal guns. You’ll have to watch the attacks carefully and weave through them. Shoot the frontal guns when the opportunity presents itself.

The boss will retain most of its moveset after the frontal guns have been destroyed, except it will replace the first part of its repertoire. It will spray small bullets around the screen and fire a laser downward, then use its missile/shell barrage. Stay away from the boss while it’s spraying bullets during this phase in order to give yourself time and space to maneuver through the projectiles. Blast away at the missile pods on the boss’s sides to damage it.

Eliminate the missile pods and the boss will start spamming its bullet spray/laser combo. While this may seem dangerous, it’s actually a lot less difficult to fight this thing with most of its weapons gone, because it will only move up and down. Stay out of its way when it’s near the bottom of the screen and fire on the boss when it’s near the top, but be mindful of its laser beam.

As you may have guessed, Super Shells are the best way to deal with this boss. Use the first Super Shell to get rid of the frontal guns, then use a second Super Shell on the missile pods on the boss’s flanks. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to neutralize both missile pods with a single shell, but the second pod should be easy to handle with your guns once the first one is history. Don’t waste a Super Shell (if you have any left) on this boss once all of its weapons have been removed, because you’ll need them for later.

C. Operation 3

Swarms of tanks attack along with the usual airborne enemies in this operation. It’s usually best to concentrate on the tanks, because they can lock onto your fighter and shoot relatively fast moving bullets at it. Save your Super Shells for the stage boss, who happens to be the toughest one you have fought thus far.

1. Alert 1: Tank Carrier Midboss

Huge plasma bursts will fly across the screen just after the first Alert sounds. The bursts hit the sides and center of the screen, so try to stay just left or right of the bottom of the screen, towards the middle. 

A huge ground vehicle that holds smaller tanks will appear at the top of the screen after the barrage. It will launch small missiles (shoot these down) and ring shaped projectiles that strike the ground for the first few seconds of the battle. Just firing your guns will take care of the missiles, but the donut shaped projectiles create shrapnel that fans out upon hitting the ground. Focus on avoiding the shrapnel by staying near the bottom of the screen.

The carrier will start releasing tanks after shooting at you for a while. The only opening to damage this machine is when it opens the doors in its center to release tanks. This is made difficult by fighters that come in from the sides and fire small bullets that spread out.

I like to stay near the top of the screen and shoot at the doors, then fall back when the fighters appear. This should force the fighters to adjust their aim, making it likely they will miss you. You’ll also get a few hits in on the doors while they are opening and damage the tanks. Better yet, a Super Shell can blast the doors to pieces in just a few seconds, though you will have to time its use carefully.

Destroy the door and tanks will pour out of the carrier. Shoot them and keep an eye out for a few powerups. The carrier will retreat and you will fight a few small enemies before it appears again.

The midboss returns with a pair of cranes and two small turrets on its sides. The turrets fire small bullets that spread out in various directions, but the cranes seem to serve little purpose. Swarms of small fighters will fly towards your ship every few seconds, so don’t get too distracted by the midboss. Blow the cranes and turrets up. Start shooting the missile bays (which will launch missiles at you when the turrets are gone) to destroy the midboss. You shouldn’t need a Super Shell for this part of the fight since the gun is more than enough to eliminate the carrier’s parts and small fighters.

2. Alert 2: Operation 3 Boss

You’ll have to deal with three turrets on the boss’s rear when this battle begins. The turrets track the fighter and fire on it, which can result in defeat if you let them pin you. Circle the turrets while firing your gun to keep them from hitting you and destroy them in the process. The screen will scroll up to the boss’s second half once the turrets are history.

The second section of this giant tank is difficult to deal with. It has two turrets on its sides that emit laser beams, a central turret that fires plasma bursts, and missile launchers. Your guns can take care of the missiles and the shots the tank fires all travel straight down, but this thing also generates force waves that move your ship. The force wave pushes you left or right and changes often, which will likely mean it pushes your ship into enemy fire. 

To be honest, I couldn’t beat this boss without dying unless I used Super Shells. It takes a lot of normal fire to destroy the turrets and the force wave will likely push you into enemy lasers, damaging your ship before you can take out both turrets. Even with the turrets gone, you will have to take out the big one in the center, so use a couple of Super Shells if you have them.

Without Super Shells, you will have to stay between the turrets, shifting position constantly to keep up with the force wave. The direction of the wave seems to change from left to right after the tank’s weapons cycle, so there is a rhythm to it, but it’s easier said than done.

With the side turrets done, you can focus on the central gun. The force wave will still be a factor, but the left and right sides of the screen are somewhat safe without the turrets. Use the extra wiggle room to maneuver and fire on the main gun whenever it isn’t shooting to defeat this boss.

D. Operation 4

Consider the fourth operation the halfway point of the game. It’s not as difficult as the third operation in my opinion, but that’s due to the fact that the boss does not have a force wave that moves the player’s ship around. However, the resistance is more aggressive in this stage and you will find yourself dodging a lot more bullets fired by small craft. Get used to playing more proactively, because the game only gets tougher from here out.

1. Alert 1

I’m not really sure why the game warns the player at the start of the stage, because the entire operation is basically the same as the Alert sequence in the beginning. At any rate, a large vehicle in the ravine will start launching fighters that shoot at the player. Keep your eyes on your ship and evade the bullets. You will encounter a lot of ships that spray bullets all over the place in this stage, so play defensively. It’s far better to come out of this battle unscathed than it is to destroy a few extra enemies.

2. Alert 2 : Rematch with the Mech from Operation 1

Remember the purple mech from the first stage? Well, he’s back just as he promised (This guy must think he’s the Terminator) and with better armor this time. He’s also a lot more difficult. The central chest plate of the mech’s armor is really tough and you will have to eliminate it before picking away at the rest of his armor. He’ll follow a pattern that goes like this:

-launch swarms of missiles while sending the hands on his arms to the left and right side of the screen. 

-Extends an arm downwards and fires clusters of bullets that spread out. The arm will fire a series of lasers that move across the screen horizontally. He will also move towards the player with his arm extended. 

The mech will repeat this process while moving left and right. He will also randomly fire clusters of bullets every now and then to keep you alert. Try to stay on the opposite side of the screen towards the bottom so you can dodge his arms and bullets. Super Shells are a good choice in this fight as always and you may as well use any you have to get rid of the chest armor ASAP. A single Super Shell isn’t enough to get rid of the chest armor, so be ready to finish it off with your gun.

Once the chest armor is no longer an issue, the mech’s hands become a vulnerable target. The hands are not easy to hit due to their relatively small size and positioning. Start firing on the arms after the hands are gone. After the arms have been dealt with, you can shoot the mech a few times to get it to flee again.

The mech’s attack pattern remains virtually the same throughout the fight, but he will lose attacks as he loses limbs. For example, he won’t be able to send his claws out once they have been blown up, so he will fire lasers and missiles more frequently. While the chest armor takes a lot of punishment, just one Super Shell is enough to obliterate the hands and both arms if you use it well.

3. Alert 3: Operation 4 Boss

Before engaging this boss you will come to a circular orange machine that is protected by a group of small ships. Two of the ships stay near the top of the screen with one on the left and the other on the right. They will fire blue rings that travel to the bottom of the screen, spin around a bit, then take off in the player’s direction. To make matters worse, other ships of the same size will come in from the sides and shoot clusters of bullets at the player’s ship. Weave through the bullets and stay to the center left or right so you can react to the energy rings while shooting the ships.

Your fighter will be transported into space to fight the boss once the smaller ships have been dealt with. The boss starts out with three flame throwers. Two of the flamers are on its sides while one is near the center. It will alternate between the flamers while tracking the movements of your fighter. The fact that the boss tracks you makes it difficult to avoid the flamethrowers despite their short range.

I try to move from the left to the right side of the screen, squeezing past the jets of flame when they stop and getting hits in on the boss whenever possible. Moving to the top of the screen after ducking under the boss while it’s tracking the fighter will bait it towards you and open up a gap you can pass under. Flying from one side of the screen to the other in a sort of U pattern is a good way to stay safe. It’s possible to hit the boss’s sides and front from the very beginning, which is a good thing considering the fact that you will have to stay in motion throughout the battle. A Super Shell can remove the flamethrowers from the boss in a matter of seconds. I recommend focusing on the flamers mounted on the boss’s sides first so they will not be a problem later on.

Destroy the front and the boss will extend its “head” along with a long chain of fireballs that it spins around the screen as it moves around. There’s a hole in the fireball chain that you can fly through, but you will have to watch out for the fireballs the head sprays. You should also try to destroy the flamers on the boss’s flanks if you haven’t already, because they will also shoot fireballs at your ship.

Shooting the center of the boss will destroy it, but it takes a fair amount of damage and you will have to move constantly to avoid the fireballs. A few well timed Super Shells can solve this problem if you have them.

E. Operation 5

The game really heats up at this stage with enemies that are both numerous and aggressive. Powerups are fairly common in this operation, which is good since you may have to use a Super Shell or two to get through some portions of the stage unharmed. There’s also a sequence with large rectangular ships that fly towards the player at high speed not long before the first Alert. Use a Super Shell to get past the first few ships, then fly to the left to stay safe from the rest.

1. Alert 1

The first Alert event in this level isn’t really a big deal. A few mid-sized ships will fly in from the bottom of the screen (stay near the middle where it’s safe) and fire clusters of bullets. There are also a few of the carrier ships from the second operation, but they are not going to pose a threat if you have gotten this far.

2. The Giant Laser Barrage

This is not an Alert sequence, though it should be due to the dangerous nature of what occurs after the first Alert. Giant lasers will rain down on the player from the top of the screen. They are wide and move quickly, which makes it difficult to react to them when they come in groups. Fortunately, you can see where they are coming from by watching the top of the screen for a glow that indicates a laser is about to cross the screen. 

The final part of this event is marked by purple ships that approach diagonally from the upper right to the bottom left. These ships will shoot at the player while the laser beams are still flying across the screen. Try to avoid them by moving from the left to the right.

3. Laser Ship 

This is another part of the stage that deserves an “ALERT” warning, though I suppose the entire stage would be one big ALERT sequence if that were the case. Anyway, two thin craft that fly alongside each other will arrive after the laser barrage. Apparently, these are the ships that have been shooting at you this entire time. The ships fire big lasers from their bows and have turrets mounted on their decks. They also have bays that open to release waves of smaller ships on their  sides. 

Stay between the ships and eliminate the turrets first, then take out the bay doors. Try to position your Option in front of your ship and use it as a shield against the bullets fired by the turrets. The long ships will occasionally fly closer together in an attempt to crush you. Move to the bottom of the screen when this happens. 

A larger ship that looks a bit like a gun barrel will emerge from the top of the screen after you damage the laser ships enough. Move to the bottom left or right of the screen to get out of the big ship’s way, because it will launch gigantic missiles straight at the player. From here you will fly over this massive ship, firing at the turrets mounted on it. The fight is very straightforward, but watch out for the blue lasers fired by some turrets. These lasers go down, then abruptly turn left or right when they are lined up with your ship. Don’t be afraid to use a Super Shell to get through this.

4. Alert 2: Operation 5 Boss

As difficult as this stage was, the boss is not that tough in my opinion. It will fly to the left and right just like almost every boss in Soldier Blade and shoot lasers from its wings. The lasers blanket the screen, but they do not move quickly and are easy to weave around. After doing its laser sweep, the armor on the central part of the boss will open up, revealing a turret. The turret will spawn blue circles in close proximity to your ship. Fly away from the circles, because they explode after a second.

After taking some damage, the boss will start shooting small bullets at the player while firing its lasers. This part of the fight is more difficult thanks to the bullets, but it’s not that bad if you keep an eye on your ship and make small adjustments to dodge them. Damage the boss some more at its armor will stay open, which is the perfect opportunity to blast it with a Super Shell to end the battle. 

F. Operation 6

Welcome to the final stage….sort of. The sixth operation is pretty tough thanks to a host of enemies and midbosses. The devs tried hard to make this a stage that kills players and didn’t do a bad job at it. Practice makes perfect as they say and everything in this operation can be learned after a few tries if need be, so don’t give up.

1. Alert 1: Midboss A

I don’t even know what to call this thing, but it’s a worthy opponent. It starts out by flying around in a sort of circular pattern and stops to fire shots that hover a moment before hurtling towards the player. After that, the midboss will quickly move upwards, then fly to the bottom of the screen while shooting lasers to the left and right.

I like to stay near the bottom and fly up to dodge the homing bullets, then quickly fall back to avoid the lasers. The protrusions on the side of the boss can be damaged and destroying both will start the next part of the battle. You can get hits on them while maneuvering to dodge its attacks and it’s easy to fall into a comfortable pattern in this part of the battle.

With the sides destroyed, the midboss will start moving in a tighter circular pattern while firing smaller bullets that spread out. Its center becomes vulnerable at this point and it will still fly to the bottom of the screen while shooting lasers as it did before. This part of the fight is fairly dangerous and you will need to dodge through the bullets more actively. I like to use a Super Shell at this point, because you can eliminate the central pieces of the midboss without taking damage. Otherwise you will have to destroy the mid, top, and bottom sections of the craft while evading the bullet spam.

2. Alert 2: Midboss B

The second midboss looks like a cross between a mech and a fighter jet with arms. It will use the arms to pick up weapons left for it in the stage and is invincible until you destroy all of its weapons. The first weapons should be familiar from the Operation 1 boss. It will use them to shoot the same spread laser and energy rings from before as well as the purple orbs. You should have no problem firing on the midboss’s weapons while dodging in this phase. Refer to the Operation 1 boss if you are having trouble.

The midboss will spray bullets all over the lower half of the screen and flex its arms after you get rid of its first set of weapons. Stay near the bottom of the screen to make it easier to evade the bullets. It will pick up missile pods like the ones used by the Operation 2 boss after a few seconds. It will fire a swarm of small missiles that can be shot down, followed by large shells that move in the player’s general direction. 

Fly towards the top of the screen to avoid the shells and back near the center to get away from the volley of large gray bullets it fires. The gray bullets cross the screen in the same manner as those from the second stage boss and you can fly between them easily if you are near the lower half of the screen. Blast the missile pods on the sides of the midboss to end this phase.

The midboss will spray bullets and flex its arms again after you demolish the missile pods. Afterwards, it will equip a pair of flame throwers like those of the Operation 4 boss. The flamers can’t hit you at the bottom of the screen, but you will have to watch out for the small bullets the midboss shoots continuously. The real danger in this phase is the possibility that you will miss a bullet that has been concealed by the flames, so watch your ship carefully. Try to hit the flamers while you are shifting around the bullets.

Without any weapons, the midboss will resort to spraying more bullets and using its arms. Sometimes it will grab a bit of pipe using its arm and fling it at your ship. To be honest, I never figured out how to dodge the pipe reliably and I just use a Super Shell to blast the hands of the midboss away. It usually takes about two Super Shells, but it’s worth the expenditure.

You can shoot the body of the boss once the arms are history and it will retreat after a few hits. However, this enemy has one last trick up its sleeve as it will explode off screen, sending deadly shrapnel in your direction.

3. Alert 3: Operation 6 Boss

This ship stays at the top of the screen and flies around from side to side, stopping to fire bullets every few seconds. The bullets really spread out and tend to move at different speeds. Try to move from one side of the screen to the other while weaving through the projectiles. This should draw the boss’s fire away from your ship and give you breathing room. Do not use Super Shells yet, you will need them for later.

Damage the boss a bit and it will launch drones that circle it while firing the same type of bullet. Stick to the moving from one side of the screen to the other strategy to draw its fire and keep shooting the ship. The drones will fly towards you and off the screen after you damage the boss a bit more. Simply juke out of the drones’ way. Once again, save those Super Shells for later in the fight.

The boss will leave the screen after sending its drones at you as two purple machines appear to the left and right. These things are a pain to fight, because they will fire green lasers that curve in your ship’s direction after going downwards a bit along with regular bullets. More importantly, they also emit pink spheres that track your ship. Touching the spheres will send you to a sort of warp space that’s full of enemies. Dodge the spheres for a few seconds and they will fly off. 

I like to stay near the center of the screen and dodge everything the boss sends my way by moving up and down with a few lateral adjustments thrown in when needed. Your weapons can damage both parts of the boss if they are powered up. Otherwise you’re going to have to fly below the boss and shoot it, which isn’t easy.

Hopefully you saved those Super Shells, because they are the easiest way to deal with this part of the fight. Use a few to take out the machines. Keep in mind that the invincibility from the Super Shells will not stop your ship from being warped, so take time to avoid the spheres. It’s actually helpful to get touched by a sphere once, because you will get some powerups the first time it warps you. You can actually purposely enter the warp to farm powerups, but the enemies get tough on the 2nd and 3rd entries. Furthermore, the powerups only appear every 3 warps starting with the first, so it’s probably more risky to farm powerups than it is to simply fight the boss.

Destroy the machines and you will fight the main part of the boss again, only this time it’s docked in a large purple machine. This thing will fire more of those annoying green lasers as well as small bullets. It will also shoot green waves down the center of the screen, but these do not travel all the way to the bottom.

Stay in the center near the bottom and move up a bit to avoid the green lasers, then immediately downwards to get away from the waves. You’ll have to really control your movements and keep your guns focused on the gold ship in the middle. Do not go too far left or right or you will collide with the machine.

Use Super Shells if you have them and move out of the center if the gold ship starts to spin, because it will launch itself down the middle of the screen after a few rotations. It will also shoot some bullets as it returns to the machine. Get it to spin twice and you can be sure it will fire after a few more shots.

G. Final Operation

The final operation is really just a series of boss fights. If you were able to beat the Operation 6 boss, you can beat this operation, because it isn’t as difficult as the previous one in my opinion.

1. Alert 1: Purple Mech Rematch

The mech from the first operation is back again and it means business this time. His arms will separate from his body and fly to the far edges of the screen, then shoot lasers. He also spawns mirrors that line the center of the screen. He’ll bounce a pair of laser beams off these mirrors while his arms fire clusters of bullets at you. The mech is invulnerable during this phase of the fight.

It’s possible to destroy the mirrors, but he’ll just create more later in the fight and destroying them doesn’t accomplish anything. Concentrate on evasion. The bottom of the screen is kind of safe from the bouncing lasers, though you’ll have to watch out when they cross the center. The bullets from the arms can easily hit you, but shifting left and right can get you away from them. You can also use the Option to absorb bullets for you if you position it well.

The boss will call the mirrors back after about twenty seconds and fire a few volleys of bullets. His arms will reattach to his body and start shooting lasers at this point. He will also become vulnerable, so shoot his body or use a Super Shell. Watch out for the clusters of bullets he fires.

It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to defeat the boss before he releases his mirrors again, so be ready to deal with the mirrors at least twice. You should be able to force him to retreat yet again as long as you can manage to deal a lot of damage while his arms are attached to his body.

2. The Rocket

I’m not sure if this is a spaceship or some kind of missile, so I just call it the rocket. Regardless of its name, the rocket will spawn four smaller ships that stay at the top of the screen. These ships will fire bullets that burst and spread out in every direction. Beware the jets of flame that come out of the rocket’s exhaust ports. Do not bother with killing the small fighters right now, because the rocket will just produce replacements. Instead, focus on dodging and shoot the bottom half of the rocket. Hit it for a few seconds and it will detach from the top. Be sure to move, because the bottom half of the rocket can damage you as it drifts across the screen.

Try to obliterate the smaller ships as quickly as possible after the bottom of the rocket is gone, because the top half will shoot rows of bullets that fly to the left and right before swinging towards the player. Shoot the rocket while moving left and right to counter its tactics. You may as well use a Super Shell or two if you have them. 

3. Alert 2: Final Operation Boss

The purple mech is back for one last fight. He’s also the final boss, go figure. He’ll start with a shield and gun. You can only hurt him when he raises the shield to fire the gun. The shot he fires moves towards the player’s fighter rapidly and isn’t easy to avoid. 

You’ll hear the boss say “I’ll kill you!” just before firing the gun. I found that the best way to avoid his energy blast is to fly up and to the right just as he says his line. You should be able to get a few shots in as you are dodging if you hold the fire button. Look out for the small bullets he shoots, though they aren’t much of an issue. The boss tracks your movements, so try to keep him on the left so you have room to dodge.

Hit the boss enough and he will lose the gun and shield. Your nemesis will start to fly around the screen while firing bullets that go in every direction. Use any Super Shells you have left at this point, but don’t activate them back to back or you will waste them if the boss becomes invulnerable as it changes tactics. Put most of your effort into evasion during this phase of the fight, because the bullets will be everywhere. Damage the boss some more and it will start shooting directly at you. He’ll add some missiles into the mix as well.

He’ll change tactics again in his final phase by adding green lasers that fan out in all directions to his repertoire of bullets and missiles. It becomes very difficult to dodge all the bullets at this point, so you should put all your effort into making the minute adjustments needed to stay alive. It helps to make your way around the screen while dodging, especially if you can get the boss in front of you so your gun can hit him. Use any Super Shells you have left to end the battle. 

IV. More Resources 

I wasn’t able to find any written walkthroughs for Soldier Blade, which isn’t a surprise. While I’m usually reluctant to post videos as sources due to the high likelihood of such links becoming defunct due to TOS issues or if the poster chooses to delete the video, I did find a good YouTube walkthrough that is well worth watching if you want to master this game:

V. Download PDF

Click the link below to download a free PDF copy of this guide.

Thanks for using our Soldier Blade (TurboGrafx-16) Guide! ©2021

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