At the bottom of the sea awaits a cunning adversary: Merak, who forges deadly traps from the fabric of space itself... - Flavor Text
The Subaquatic Base (3rd Seabed Base in Japan) is a mission in Azure Striker Gunvolt, codenamed "Abyss". Gunvolt's objective is to scout out unusual activity in one of Sumeragi's bases. Unbeknownst to GV and QUILL, it is a trap by Merak to kill the Azure Striker.
Moniqa: We've received some new intel from a secret operative... Sumeragi is moving a lot of materials to their subaquatic base. These supplies, and the recent construction of anew docking platform... Suggests intent to build some kind of massive armed submarine. Gunvolt: I see. I guess you're gonna need confirmation. Moniqa: Right, and if there is an armed submarine down there... Gunvolt: Disarm it, right? Got it, I'll take care of this one. Moniqa: Thank you. You sure kept it quick.
This is the game's obligatory water stage, though no water actually shows up until the second half. Instead, the main gimmick in the first half is the wormhole traps placed by the boss, Merak. These wormholes lead to enemy-filled corridors, and there's three of them total. However, one is placed in an avoidable place right above a platform, so it's easy to avoid it by just jumping straight to the area above the platform. There also exists a hidden route right before the first wormhole that requires either Anthem or the use of Equipment that grants at least two air hops. This hidden route leads to a secret wormhole that grants 300 Kudos for just entering, though the area it leads to is identical to the third and final wormhole area. Once you leave this area, you'll instantly be transported to the last part of the first section, a short walk away from the Hexapyle.
The second half of the stage is where the "water" part of this water level finally comes into play. After a short walk, you'll arrive at a vertical section with rising water. Obviously, you need to outrun this water, though don't worry, it won't instantly kill you if you land in it. Instead, you'll slowly begin to take damage after spending too much time in it, and you'll be unable to use the Flashfield without instantly overheating. After this long vertical section, there's just a small area before an enemy room, then an even shorter corridor leading to a Hexapyle and the boss, Merak.
Boss: MerakDeep within this base lies the incredibly lazy Sumeragi Seven member, Merak "The Slothful Conjurer". Unlike the rest of the Sumeragi Seven, he's rather level-headed, but also can't be bothered to put too much effort into fighting you. Instead, he rides around in an admittedly powerful chair, loaded with missiles, lasers, and even extendable arms for punching. His most basic attacks are the aptly named Chair Punch and Ramming, which, of course, have his chair punch in your direction a few times, and ram once you're out of range of the punches. His next attack is Wormhole Missiles, which has him fire missiles out of his chair and through a wormhole. This wormhole has three exits that the missiles come out of. It sounds difficult to dodge at first, but just remember that you can easily block missiles with the Flashfield.
Once his first life bar's depleted, he'll unleash two more attacks. The first is Wormhole Punch, which has Merak basically do Chair Punch but through a wormhole. He'll do this up to three times, sometimes changing the position of the exit wormhole while doing so. His next attack is yet another Chair Punch-esque attack, but this time he punches through a wormhole again. However, the exit wormhole is absolutely huge this time, and each punch will cover half the screen. Which side of the screen he punches first is random, so you just need to rely on quick reflexes for this one, and quickly run to the opposite side before he punches again.
Finally, once on his third phase, he'll unleash his Offensive Skill, Lazy Laser. This attack has Merak's chair fire a huge laser through several wormholes. The position of the wormholes will change depending on where you move, so be careful to not leave yourself with no room to hide.
- Subaquatic Sprint: Clear in 8 minutes or less. (Reward: Garnet x8)
- Euphotic Euphoria: Clear in 5 minutes or less. (Reward: Microdegenerator x1)
- Trench Fighter: Clear with a rank of B or higher. (Reward: Graym Culture x8)
- Power Plunge: Clear with a rank of S or higher. (Reward: Antigravity Engine x1)
- Aphotic Apotheosis: Clear with a rank of S+. (Reward: Antigravity Engine x5)
- Early Bird: Clear while avoiding as many wormhole traps as possible. (Reward: Microdegenerator x2)
- Above the Brine: Clear without getting submerged in seawater. (Reward: Antigravity Engine x1)
- This stage has a secret icon that can be found by shooting an area below an elevator with Mizuchi five times, and will set your Kudos to 1000. This icon is the mascot of the gaming news site "Game*Spark".
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