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Return to Perfect Cherry Blossom: Strategy
This page will have advice for the stages of PCB. In particular, the critical points of the game are identified here.
One can run alongside the teal bullets on Letty's first spell before they spread apart.
Spell Card 9 has an excellent opportunity for grazing by following the bundled lasers around Letty.
At the early phase of the stage, there will be kedamas shooting easy to stream green bullets. The conditions to open a border is having at least 23000~ cherry points at the start of the stage plus a suicide, and >27000 at the start of the stage if without suicide.
Near the end of the stage, there will be a lull in the waves of enemies, and then several enemies will show up and shoot spreads of bullets directly at you. However, none of these bullets are aimed directly at you(for difficulty Normal and above); they are only aimed in reference to you, and will pass you harmlessly if you do not move during this process. It is ideal for grazing, especially at higher difficulties. Right after this, there will be a large spread of bullets, some of which are aimed directly at you. Simply move slightly to the left or the right, and you will both dodge and graze them all. Try to time a border for these points.
Spell Card 34 is a good place for a border. The bunched shots are perfect for grazing.
At the earliest kedama waves, if you have at least 45,000~ cherry points, you can bomb them to convert it to a border, then supergraze the next waves. If another spare of bomb is available, you can prolong the border until the fairies are summoned.
The swarms of medium round red bullets are worth around 10,000 CherryMax each when grazed during a border. To activate in time, just make sure the border in the beginning of the stage finishes sometime during the first long break in enemies, and not a second earlier. After that, the border should naturally occur at the right time.
Quickly defeating Lily White will reward you with bonus enemy waves. This is an ideal place for grazing with the border. Try to let the screen fill up with bullets before cancelling the border to make the next one come about sooner as well as trivializing this portion of the stage.
A strategy on Lunatic with high power shot types such as Reimu B is to activate a border during Lily White to graze the aimed arrowhead bullets, then break it during the red / blue bullet spam. Broken late enough you can stay close and shotgun Lily White into ending the attack early. Afterwards you can stay at the top of the screen and drop a bomb which should yield enough items to activate the next border for the critical wave of red bullets.
If you can't open a border during Lily White, make sure you defeat her on her 2nd loop, 4th attack. This will skip the unwanted kedama cluttering up the screen with purple bullets and open a border before the red bullets kedama.
Just before the last fairy in the stage, the fairies firing spread shots are also ideal for grazing. If the border from the previous critical point was manipulated correctly it should end shortly after the fairies start dropping in. The next border will activate in time provided most, if not all future cherry items are collected and enough spell cards have been captured up to that point.
For Spell Cards 45 and 46 the notes coming from the sister in the middle provide a large amount of graze. It is possible to stay near her until the blue notes start appearing but the margin of error is small.
For Spell Card 65 it is possible to position yourself in the middle of all three sisters to graze the spawning point of the bullets.
The sister you fight after you face all three sisters the first time depends on which one you do the most damage to. In general, Lunasa (the black one) is the easiest one on Normal, while Lyrica (the red one) is the easiest one on Hard and Lunatic. Your opinion may be different.
For scoring purposes, you'll probably want to focus Lyrica on Easy/Normal or Merlin on Hard/Lunatic. For instance, delaying Merlin's Spell Card 055 can yield up to 1100 graze and an astronomical capture bonus.
The beginning of the stage is a good place for a border for collecting items.
The enemies just after the midboss shoot a lot of bullets. An excellent place for a border.
As either the midboss or stage boss, Youmu's first normal attack is always aligned towards your position, but the shots start at a fixed range. During the conversation, move just above her, near the top of the screen, so that her first shots will start firing off-screen before moving down at you.
There are a lot of items available from the swarm, and it is doubtful you will be able to hang out at the top. Get a border here by planning during Youmu. Activate it as late as possible.
A high risk method of doing the final spell card is to hang around the top right corner. Once you get a rhythm going you can get enough borders to not worry too much about dying. Or if you have captured at least 15 spellcards before the final spell card, you can safely break-POC-summon the border consistently, making it beneficial to both survival and scoring (to some extent).
With ReimuB, at the very beginning of the stage, it is possible to use two focused bombs (that is, Duplex Barrier) with very arrangement specific timing in order to reach a border very early in the game. Start by focusing, and then moving up so that your spheres cover the opening text of the stage halfway. This height is critical. You should end up with something like this:
In this position, dodge the first stream of bullets using horizontal motions only, move back to the middle of the screen then fire the first bomb a bit less than a second before the enemies with the small bullets arrive. Stay where you are after you fire the bomb, and then fire another one in the same position when the invincibility effect from the last bomb wears off. Move down a little, and a border should appear shortly. Stream/graze the resulting bullets.
The timing of each bomb is done in order to maximize the number of star items that are converted from bullets without killing the enemies that fire them too quickly. Use this principle to fine tune your bomb timing.
The point behind this is that if you burst this border with the right timing, you can get enough cherry petals to reach CherryMAX right away because there are enough bullets on screen in the moments right after the border appears. It is also possible to burst it so that you get both CherryMAX instantly and another border. However, the timing of this burst may affect your Border planning later in the stage, so take that into account as well, and time the bursting of this border according to your own plans for the stage.
Near the end of the stage, a swarm of enemies will show up and fire bullets randomly. Because of the number of bullets, making the POC difficult to reach, and also because of the fact that each enemy is too strong to shoot down quickly, this is a good time to fire a bomb both to kill the enemies quickly and to collect items. With ReimuB, if possible, try to move up as far as possible and then fire a Duplex Barrier. This bomb is strong enough to take out all of the enemies, if you're in the right place. Each enemy that is destroyed drops a fair number of point items.
Ran's Spell Card 124 gives you a lot of cherry pickup items every time the pattern changes. Thus, it is possible to milk an extra border or two out of this spell card, if you stop firing and wait until the last second to finish this spell card off.
Phantasm is very much like Extra, so all of the strategies given for Extra stage are applicable to Phantasm, with only small modifications needed. Although the trick to get the border at the beginning of the level is easily done with two bombs due to the higher volume of bullets, it is also possible to get a border with a single bomb. However this requires completely different timing and placement.
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