The Last Comer plays like a fairly typical vertically-scrolling danmaku shooting game, in which the player's character is always facing towards the top of the screen, shooting at anything that moves, avoiding and weaving between enemy bullets, and confronting difficult bosses at the end of a stage. There are 4 levels of difficulty: Easy, Normal, Hard, and Lunatic. Each difficulty level features differences in the number of bullets fired by each enemy, rate of fire, variations in the bullets' pattern of movement, and the number and type of enemy Spell Cards used.
A character's "shot" is the player's primary method of attacking enemies. The shot's attack area and behavior varies depending on the character the player has chosen.
The Last Comer features bombs (actually spell cards) with distinctive visual styles that differ between shot types. A character's "bomb" is the player's limited-use method of getting out of difficult situations. A bomb's attack area, duration, and power varies depending on the character type the player has chosen, but it typically deals heavy damage to every enemy it touches, in addition to canceling out any bullets in the bomb's way. The player's character becomes invincible during and for a short time after the bomb's effect wears off. At the beginning of the game and any time your character respawns, you will start off with 3 bombs. In addition, extra bombs are awarded after the Stage 6 midboss, as well as the Extra Stage midbosses.
As usual, deathbombing is here. After being hit by a bullet, the player is given a very brief window of time to bomb and negate their death. The "death" sound effect will play, and the bomb will then activate.
You start off the game with 2 lives in stock in addition to your current life. You can lose a life by getting "hit" by an enemy attack. The hit box for your character is quite small in comparison to your on-screen sprite, approximately only one pixel in size. If you hold Shift, a colored dot will appear, showing the hitbox precisely. If the hit box of your character's sprite comes into contact with the hit box of an enemy bullet, laser, or the enemy itself, then you have been hit. In The Last Comer, the player's life stock is represented by hearts. The player is awarded extra lives upon reaching certain score totals or by collecting 1up items. In the regular game, the player is awarded extra lives at 10, 20, 40, 60, 80, 100 and 140 million points. A 1up item is dropped after defeating the midbosses of Stage 3 and Stage 5, bringing the total number of extra lives earned to nine. In the Extra stage, the player is instead awarded extra lives at 50 and 100 million points.
There are 6 stages and an extra stage in the full version of the game.
The main challenge and the main attraction. Each boss has multiple lives, which are represented by multiple health bars shown at the upper left of the screen. Bosses usually alternate between attacking normally and attacking with Spell Cards, switching once with each health bar. Markers on the health bar indicate the start of a Spell Card attack when the boss' health is depleted that far. Normal attacks are typically incrementally stronger versions of the boss character's basic attack. Spell Card attacks bedazzle the player with combinations of complex patterns that often involve the use of projectiles and obstacles crafted especially for use with that Spell Card. If the player manages to defeat a Spell Card attack without getting hit or using any bombs, a substantial score bonus is rewarded for the feat. Each attack is accompanied by a timer. When time runs out, the boss will switch to their next attack pattern even if their health bar isn't empty. Waiting for a boss character's attack pattern to self-destruct may be enough to beat them, but mere survival won't earn the player any score bonuses. (Note: There are some boss attacks with a spell card bonus that does not decrease. For those bosses, you WILL get a score bonus if you survive the countdown to zero without dying or bombing.) When fighting a boss, a position marker shows up on the bottom margin of the screen, indicating where the boss is on the horizontal axis. Since your target can be completely obscured by bullets or darkness at times, use this marker to help you aim your shots. The marker will dim when the boss is being hit, and will flash red when her health bar gets sufficiently depleted.
Your character Player Score High Score: your highest score for the current character, type, and difficulty Score: your current score The number of remaining lives and bombs / The approximate location of the point of collection Player Status Power: your shot power level, maxing out at 4.00 Point value: the current value of point items Graze: the number of enemy shots that have grazed your hitbox during the game Enemy Status Left bar(s): the number of health bars the enemy has left. White bars indicate the boss will use regular attacks, red bars indicate the boss will use a spell card. Right number: the amount of time left before the enemy's attack spell fails (self-destructs) Meteor/Star Gauge There is a Gauge to the left of the screen for the entirety of the game (excluding the ending). This gauge marks how much power you have collected from stars in a percentage. When the gauge reaches 100%, then you enter a period of invincibility in which all bullets (excluding lasers) are changed into point items and all stars collected count towards your score. Spell Card Status Title: the name of the Spell Card being used Bonus: the constantly-updating value of the Spell Card Bonus History: the number of times you have "collected" the Spell Card currently being used, and the number of times you have faced it.
- Extra Stage
- Level Practice
Any damage you deal to any enemy, whether it be caused by your shots or your bombs, will cause your score to increase very slightly. Actually destroying enemies will not award you any extra points.
Spell Card Bonus
Occasionally, a boss will attack using a Spell Card. You will know this is happening when the background changes and the Spell Card's name appears in the upper right corner of the screen. If the boss's health bar is depleted within the time limit and without getting hit or using a bomb, the Spell Card bonus will be added to your score.