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FAQ by ASchultz

Version: 1.0.0 | Updated: 09/08/03

Time Pilot(Arcade) FAQ
version 1.0.0
copyright 2003 by Andrew Schultz schultza@earthlink.net

Please do not reproduce this FAQ for profit without my permission. It 
required a good deal of effort, and I do not look to profit off my work. 
However, if you ask me nicely, mentioning my name and this specific 
game, I will hopefully be un-lazy enough to reply to you. 

================================

            OUTLINE

  1. INTRODUCTION

  2. CONTROLS AND HOW TO USE THEM

  3. SCORING AND LAYOUT

  4. LEVEL STRATEGIES

    4-1. 1910 A.D.

    4-2. 1940 A.D.

    4-3. 1970 A.D.

    4-4. 1984 A.D.

    4-5. 2001 A.D.

    4-6. THE LOOP RECYCLES

  5. VERSIONS

  6. CREDITS

================================

  1. INTRODUCTION

  Time Pilot is one of those games that if you've played, you love. I 
remember it giving me blisters, but I still loved it. It was even better 
than bowling, which also gave me blisters.  It featured a ship in the 
center(not bowling, that just had those cool automatic pin sweeper and 
ball returner) that you could rotate around and semi continual firing. 
It featured five levels and lots of clouds floating around which were a 
bit obstructive but looked cool, especially when they went at different 
speeds to give a simple illusion of depth. Although they turned into 
asteroids for the space level. You had to kill 56 enemy air ships before 
the boss would appear. In addition to little yellow bullets, enemies 
also had non-linear missiles which could get rather nasty. Destroying 
the boss(even by suicide) would get you to the next and tougher level. 
Bosses were mixed in with the rest of the brouhaha and actually weren't 
all that tough, but they sure looked that way.

  Time Pilot was a very colorful game, with your shots providing a sort 
of baseline for the missiles, explosions and alerts when a formation or 
parachuter came back. It had a sequel, Time Pilot '84, which just didn't 
quite have the same soul, I guess. It was futuristic with the same above 
view, and you had lock on missiles for more important targets, but the 
below-background was the same except for some dark color swaps. It 
wasn't bright enough, and levels didn't have their own personality. 
While Time Pilot's levels are clearly different.

  What I find mystifying is that I haven't found Time Pilot on any 
collections, anywhere. And why not? With an analog controller as on the 
PSX or even just left/right buttons and fire, it would be received very 
well.

  2. CONTROLS AND HOW TO USE THEM

  The original Time Pilot cabinet featured a joystick and you would just 
move it around the circumference of where it could be pushed. However 
emulated versions allow you to use arrows or combinations thereof--your 
ship tilts over to the new position.

?? if you go directly in an opposite direction from where you are.

  The number one things to do(and what causes blisters) is to rotate 
between one direction and the one 90 degrees away from it. This will 
allow you to spray your bullets, and you have enough that you can shoot 
as often as possible without worrying about putting more on the screen 
than allowed. You can't just go in pell-mell, though. You'll want to 
avoid clouds, which can hide bullets, and you'll need to duck if a bad 
guy gets too close. It's risky to run at him and shoot him if he's too 
close, but if there are a couple you're about to pass between it's 
better to note this and take one to pick off at a distance. Remember 
you're firing a lot of shots to pick off bad guys, not just for its own 
sake.

  You may have to rotate around at times although I find starting 
Up/Right and jiggling that way is good. If you must turn, remember to 
turn in the direction where there are no bullets, and don't try to cut 
past a small yellow bullet on your way back. Veer away from it 
immediately. If you have a combination of bullets then try to tilt away 
from the yellow bullet's path and then loop around to get rid of the 
more guided missile.

  With guided missiles you can afford to let them on your tail for a 
while with other things getting in your way.If they get too close you 
can make a 90 degree turn in your trajectory(i.e. up/right to down/right 
or up/left) and continue that way.

  It's also usually worthwhile to change your trajectory when an enemy 
formation comes in. It's a quick source of points, which lead to an 
extra man, and enemy planes to kill pretty easily. Since they're in 
formation they are often huddled close enough that they can't really gun 
down your one plane easily. A couple shots can take out one and the 
plane behind it.

  Bosses are different to approach. They're just not as fast as you are. 
I like staying pretty far away but aligning myself horizontally--without 
letting it go off the screen. A trick you can use is to get almost 
aligned, then slowly tip up and back to right/left or however you follow 
the boss. This will let you inch toward it. You should be able to fire 
away and take it down. Approaching from the bottom is risky, and 
bizarrely the bad guy never seems to fire to the side--and if he does 
you can just adjust slightly and fire away, and he's still a goner.

  Lobbed missiles aren't too bad--just stay away from them as they drop 
off quickly. Guided missiles are probably the toughest to avoid. The 
general formula is to circle one way if they are behind you(if they're 
coming at you, swerve quickly.) This doesn't have to be continuous, but 
you should curve out of the way more than half the time. They can be 
lured off the screen in their confusion but if this doesn't happen, 
they'll still eventually wander far enough away for you to turn the 
other way and shoot--which is a good idea if things get crowded in the 
direction you're curving as well. Even with missiles coming at you from 
in front you still have good time to nail them, and if a missile is 
right behind you don't try to tilt too quickly. They give you a lot more 
leeway than you'd initially think, but they tend to guide you into 
'dumb' missiles.

  Although this advice is not strictly related to controls, I found that 
playing consecutive games can be quite frustrating. My hand tends to 
cramp from the constant moving for the best possible strategy(as I see 
it) and more than two or three games can make me grouchy. But over the 
months I suppose this has helped me savor Time Pilot for that much 
longer.

  If you must turn close to an enemy, you might as well go right at him. 
You have lots of shots, but the game tends to nail you if you clip your 
opponents' wings. So be brave and reckless out there!

  3. SCORING AND LAYOUT

--100 for any enemy craft you hit(this includes ones just appearing from 
offscreen)
--100 for any missile
--100 for a hit on a mid-sized jet(scene 2)
--200 for a hit on a boss(23 total hits,) 3000 for killing one. If you 
crash into one you get 1100 + 3000. If a boss leaves the screen with 
damage it cannot regenerate unless you get killed. Also no points for 
the planes which explode once you take down the boss.
--2000 for killing off a formation, although if you take too long you'll 
get no bonus.

  Original scoreboard:

  If I had to estimate points per level, it woud go:

30000, 35000, 30000, 25000, 20000.

Dip Switch info
--extra guys and 10000, 60000, 110000, and every 50000 after with 
default dip switch, alternate is 20000, 80000, 140000 and every 60000 
after.
--1-8 difficulty in dip switches, can't tell difference(5 average, 1 
easy, 8 hardest)
--3-5 lives(3 is default)

  4. LEVEL STRATEGIES

    4-1. 1910 A.D.

  The biplanes that attack you are convincingly ineffective looking and 
all you have to watch out for are the parabolic missiles. The noise they 
make in the background(up the scale and down) provides a big clue as to 
how they're going. Stay anywhere but just below them and you should be 
ok--when in doubt, go left.

Background: ordinary blue sky
Enemy formations w/parachute:
 X X
X X X
Extra missiles: parabolic missiles(down)
Boss: big orange blimp

    4-2. 1940 A.D.

  The planes are a bit sleeker here, but still the same attacks. You'll 
also have to deal with these bigger camoflagued planes which take 7 
hits(100 points each) and give 1500 when destroyed. The only real 
difference here is that everything's a bit faster, and the big airplane 
at the end isn't as easy a target as the blimp because it isn't as tall.

Background: grey-blue sky
Enemy formations w/parachute:
 X   X
X     X
Extra missiles: parabolic(down)
Boss: long plane colored brown/grey, farty noised

    4-3. 1970 A.D.

  Here the helicopters fire normal missiles as well as guided ones. The 
guided ones come from the front of the helicopters and wind towards you. 
The helicopters generally tend not to fire when in close but you will 
still want to kill them ASAP. It gets tricky to pick up parachutes 
around here but you don't seem to have to face more than two missiles at 
once--and two appear only near the end of the level. If one is on the 
screen you can try to shake it off by running in the opposite direction 
it's going, but they don't turn so sharply. Helicopters still appear in 
vulnerable positions and although the yellow missiles are a bit faster 
you can pretty much pick your targets and win fights one at a time.

Background: grey-blue sky
Enemy formations w/parachute: box, narrow
Extra missiles: guided circling missiles
Boss: big helicopter with two sets of top rotors

    4-4. 1984 A.D.

  The light blue planes that attack here are rather nasty. They come 
right for you but seem to know how to zigzag out of the way, and they 
can tail you if you get past them. Their methods of firing missiles may 
catch you a bit off guard, and everything's a bit faster and more 
accurate, so you need to make more exact turns. There are a lot fewer 
loitering planes here, meaning fewer chances for a quick kill. Missiles 
pop up more quickly here, just after bad guys enter the scene, so be 
prepared. Also note that if bad guys and missiles chase you, you'll 
probably need to do a 720 and then turn the other way for an ambush to 
get back to sanity.

Background: purple
Enemy formations w/parachute: even narrower box than before
Extra missiles:
Boss: long green/blue concorde(?) fighter. But don't be tempted to 
approach it from the bottom.

    4-5. 2001 A.D.

  This level is terribly unrewarding until you solve it. That's because 
there's no formation bonus or parachute bonus. In general you'll be 
chased by three UFO's and although they aren't numerous, their shots 
tend to be accurate. Only one of each type of missile appears at a time, 
but they're rather fast and persistant. You'll need to loop around 
several times, turn around, loop the other way, and only then can you 
spray shots hoping to hit enemies. Once a few are down you can maybe get 
on a roll knocking off the ones that just appear, but otherwise you'll 
do a lot of circling. Also beware that the UFO's don't just try to shoot 
you, they also try to ram you. They're a bit faster than you, so it 
works.

  The first time I got through this level I just crashed into the big 
boss to advance. After the frustrations of this--and a few grueling 
levels before--you may well, too.

Background: dark(with asteroids, not clouds, but they're not lethal)
Enemy formations w/parachute: NONE
Extra missiles: white/red boomerangs that zoom in on you
Boss: purple/orange/green flashing 4-decker UFO

    4-6. THE LOOP RECYCLES

  Everything goes a bit faster and shoots more often on subsequent 
levels, but I still find 2001 to be the big stumbling block to get past. 
My high scores range in 280000 or so and the next best is about 160000.

End of FAQ proper

bonus haiku:

rapid fire fun fest
camoflague helicopters
explode so neatly

================================

  5. VERSIONS

1.0.0: submitted to GameFAQs 09/08/2003, should be complete, not much to 
say really.

  6. CREDITS

The usual GameFAQs gang. They know who they are, and you should, too, 
because they get some SERIOUS good writing done. Good people too--
bloomer, daremo, falsehead, RetroFreak, Snow Dragon, and others I 
forgot.
CJayC for having GameFAQs. Hang in there during the move to 
CNet/California. I know how backlogged I get with coding that I want to 
do, man. Guide writing sometimes gets in the way, you know... :)
The retro sites where I found info on this game.

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