Codex Gamicus


DoDonPachi arcade PCB

DoDonPachi (怒首領蜂?) is a vertically scrolling manic shooter arcade game developed by Cave and published by Atlus, in 1997. It was the second game developed by Cave, and the sixth on Cave's first generation arcade hardware. As with its predecessor DonPachi, the title is both a Japanese term for expressing the sound of gunfire, and a term that relates to bees (here it means "angry leader bee"). The sequel to this game is DoDonPachi II.


Compared to DonPachi, DoDonPachi is generally known for introducing new gameplay elements while improving or changing existing ones. The overall background of the game, unlike following sequels, remains more or less centered around a supposed invasion by a mysterious race of mechanized aliens, which the player is called to face throughout its run. However, more sinister and shocking secrets lie beneath the surface, accessible only to those brave and skilled enough to clear the entire game.

Game play[]



The player takes on the role of a squadron fighter facing a race of mechanized aliens that recently appeared and started causing havoc. There are three different ships to choose between, and each ship can be played in Laser or Shot mode.

  • Type A: A red (or yellow/orange, for player two) fighter, which fires a narrow stream of shots
  • Type B: A green (or purple, for player two) helicopter, which fires its main guns forward, but has side guns that rotate in the direction of movement
  • Type C: A blue (or black, for player two) fighter, which fires a wide, three-way spread of shots


Each aircraft has a main forward-firing gun used by tapping the two shot buttons, the style of which is determined by the type of fighter chosen. Each ship also has two small floating guns which it deploys at the start of the game. The placement of the guns is different on each craft, which affects their firing style.


If the fire button is held down, the floating guns combine in front of the ship to produce a vertical beam, which provides more firepower than standard fire. This also makes the ship move more slowly. An aura is generated around player's ship, which damages contacting enemy.

If laser is fired at close proximity to enemy, laser delivers more damage to enemy.


The ship has a limited number of bombs, which are activated by pressing the bomb button. There are two types of bombs that can be used at anytime you could normally bomb, and there is no penalty for picking a particular bomb to use, aside from the point reductions that using a bomb might give you. These bombs are triggered based on whether you're using standard fire or laser fire when the bomb button is pressed:

  • While firing standard shots, bombs produce a large explosion which damages or destroys all enemies on screen, and makes all enemy projectiles disappear for the entire duration of the explosion.
  • While firing the laser, the ship unleashes a high-powered beam instead, which does more damage at the cost of range. Enemy projectiles in the beam's range will be destroyed.

At the beginning of the game, player has 3 bomb slots, and the slot count increases by 1 every time player loses a life (up to 6 slots).

Power-Up Modes[]

Each ship can be played with a Shot or Laser boost, making the chosen mode of firing more powerful; the mode is chosen as you choose your ship:

  • Shot Mode increases the density/spread of standard shots, essentially doubling standard firepower.
  • Laser Mode increases the effectiveness of the laser weapon, allowing the laser to penetrate through multiple enemies. It also gives you a shield against minor bombarding enemies while firing the beam.

When player loses a life, the chosen weapon's power is decreased by one, and the other weapon's power is decreased to the lowest level.

Collectible Items[]

There are three types of power-up items in the game, identified by different letters:

  • P: Makes the player's guns stronger and laser thicker.
  • B: Adds one bomb to the player's supply. The player can hold a maximum of three bombs at start; this maximum increases by one whenever the player loses a life, to a complete maximum of six. At the end of a stage, the player's bomb supply is fully restored, to the limit it is currently at.
  • MP: Appears after the player has lost all their lives; as such, it can only be picked up upon a continue. Collecting this powers up the player's weapons to full strength.
  • Bee: There are 13 golden bees scattered throughout the stage, which are exposed by firing the head of laser over the area. The value of each collected bee increases throughout a stage providing player does not lose a life, beginning with 100, then 200, 400, 800, 1000, 2000, 4000, 8000, 10000, 20000, 40000, 80000, finally 100000. When player loses a life, the next collected bee drops back to 100 points.
  • Star: Gains 100 points when picked up. When a mid boss or end boss is destroyed, each of its bullet is converted to a star.
  • Giant star: Gains 10000 points when picked up. In a multi-part boss, destroying a non-critical component causes giant star to appear.
  • Pentagon: Gains 300 points when picked up. Pentagons are only found on ground.

MAXIMUM bonus[]

New to DoDonPachi is the addition of "MAXIMUM mode". This mode is triggered whenever a bomb is collected when all bomb slots are full. During MAXIMUM mode, player's score increases for at least 220 points per 1/60th second. The score multiplier begins with 2, and increases by 1 for every successive bomb collected in MAXIMUM mode. Whenever a bomb is used or player loses a life, MAXIMUM mode ends until bomb overstocking occurs, which will cause multiplier to resume at the last MAXIMUM mode multiplier value. The score stops increasing during boss fights.

MAXIMUM mode multiplier is carried to successive stages (including new loop).

Get Point System[]

Get Point System (GPS) from DonPachi is improved. Now there is a combo gauge on the left side of the screen that shows it builds up when a (fragment of an) enemy is destroyed. Player receives an increasing number of points for the same enemy with larger hit count. Combo gauge is drained when player fails to destroy a (fragment of an) enemy, unless enemy is hit by laser, then the combo gauge stays at red (low) level. Combo is broken when the gauge is empty. Combo hit count is increased by 1 when destroying a (fragment of an) enemy, or when using laser to continuously damaging an enemy by sufficient amount.

In boss battle, there is no combo gauge. Combo hit counter simply increases when boss is hit by player's Laser or Laser Bomb, and decreases otherwise. The part of boss being hit can be a non-critical portion to increase hit count, but not including enemies released by boss after boss battle began.


The game has 7 areas, but area 7 is only accessible by entering 2nd loop. 2nd loop is accessible by completing the first 6 areas on 1 credit without letting the second player join in and fulfilling one of the following requirements:


Hachi, the mecha bee boss that gives the game its name

  • Loses at most 2 fighters (lives).
  • Depending on the fighter used, have a maximum hit count of at least the following:
Type A: 270 hits
Type B: 300 hits
Type C: 330 hits
  • Score at least 50 million points at the end of the area 6.
  • Collect all 13 bees in four of the six areas.

The second loop has the same areas, enemy patterns, and bosses as the first loop, but the amount of bullets the enemies fire is greatly increased. Destroying the area 6 boss in the second loop unlocks a secret area where you fight the trademark boss of the series, the giant mechanical bee Hachi(蜂; 'bee'). When you defeat it, you will then fight Hibachi(火蜂; 'fire bee'), true final boss in DoDonPachi. If it is defeated then the best ending is achieved.

Area bonus[]

After completing an area, player gains following scores based on performance in the completed area:

  • Boss hit: It is the sum of base boss score, and 5000 points per hit combo when boss is destroyed.
  • Star: 500 points per item collected in the area using current live.
  • Pentagon: 1000 points per item collected in the area using current live.
  • NO MISS: If player did not lose a life in the completed area, player gets 200000 points for Area 1, and the bonus increases by 100000 points for each successive area. For 2nd loop areas, player gets 2000000 points for Area 1, and the bonus increases by 1000000 points for each successive area.

If 2nd loop is completed with 1 credit, player gets 10 million points for each reserved fighter.


Should a player fail to meet the requirements for second loop access, he/she is simply congratulated by the DonPachi Corps commander for his bravery in battle, after which the credits roll.

Should the requirements be met, the commander reveals, in a shocking twist, that the mechanized aliens were in fact the pilot's own comrades (the International version of the game renders this as a "lost fleet" legendary among cadets) trying to actually stop him/her, being aware of the commander's nefarious scheme revealed in the true and final ending. Having served its purpose, the commander's advanced fleet is ordered to annihilate the pilot, and on this premise the second loop of the game begins.

If the player completes the game once again, this time without any kind of requirement except the annihilation of the ultimate fighting machines Hachi and Hibachi, in the true ending the pilot realizes that the DonPachi's true goal was to annihilate the human race, owing to its deranged commander's idea that mankind was a flawed creation to be eradicated from existence. Ironically, the existing problems of overpopulation, environmental pollution, and arms races were solved by this one-man war. The staff credits appear afterwards.

World records[]

Arcadia (formerly Gamest) magazine lists the following as the current top scores worldwide for DoDonPachi:

  • 748,414,350 - Type A by player SOF-WTN
  • 704,468,390 - Type B by player KTL-NAL
  • 722,157,820 - Type C by player SSP-YOU KUMO

Campaign Version[]

Also called Special Version, or DDP BLUE ROM, this is a special arcade board rumoured to have an extremely limited print ranging from three units to a single specimen, handed out to the winners of a DoDonPachi scoring contest held by Cave in which each participant was asked to submit the highest score they could reach within a three-days period. It is essentially the same game with an extreme increase in difficulty, the addition of a Hyper Mode (a primitive form of the feature later seen in the sequel DoDonPachi Dai Ou Jou) and a blue (rather than red) title screen. Extremely rare and sought after, only two boards have been confirmed to exist so far, one of them being property of SOF-WTN, current world record holder for DoDonPachi and related Cave game Ketsui: Kizuna Jigoku Tachi.

Mobile versions[]

The EzWeb version was released as 2 separate games.

i-mode version was released after the original DoDonPuchi port. It includes enhanced graphics over the original.


Developer(s) Cave
Publisher(s) Cave
Engine Engine Missing
status Status Missing
Release date Release Date Missing
Genre Manic shooter
Mode(s) Single player
Age rating(s) Ratings Missing
Platform(s) i-mode, Yahoo Mobile
Arcade system
Media Media Missing
Requirements Requirements Missing
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough

It is a mobile version of the game.

External links[]