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FAQ by War Doc

Version: 1.03 | Updated: 01/26/04

                             | D E F E N D E R |

              GAME:  DEFENDER
           CREATOR:  WILLIAMS Copyright 1980
AUTHOR OF THIS FAQ:  Kevin Butler AKA War Doc
            E-MAIL:  kevinb(at)technologist(dot)com
       FAQ VERSION:  1.03


                              TABLE OF CONTENTS


1.  Legal Stuff
2.  Version Information
3.  Acknowledgements
4.  Welcome
5.  Overview


6.  The Game

    6.1  The Controls
    6.2  The Playing Fields
    6.3  Scoring


7.  Playing the Game


8.  Conclusion


To find a particular chapter or subchapter do the following:

1.  Highlight the chapter or subchapter name you wish to find.
2.  Press CTRL-C
3.  Press CTRL-F
4.  Press CTRL-V
5.  Press CTRL-F
5.  You will arrive at the desired chapter or subchapter.


********************************* U N I T  I **********************************
| 1.  LEGAL STUFF |============================================================

This guide may not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal
private use.  It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed
publicly without advanced permission from the author.  Use of this guide on
any other web sit or as part of any public display is strictly prohibited, and
a violation of copyright.  All content in this guide is Copyright 2003 by
Kevin Butler.  Only the sites listed below have permission to publish this
work or to display it:


If you wish to put this guide on your site, e-mail me and ask.  Save yourself
the headache of putting up with lawsuits and whatnot because you failed to ask
a simple "Can I post your guide on <insert site>?".  If you wish to use info
in this guide, please acknowledge that you have done so.

If you see this guide on any other site then the one listed above, please
e-mail me.  If you wish to ask questions or give input to this guide, please
e-mail me.  Just have Defender as the subject so I know it isn't another kooky
vendor trying to sell me hair gel or another XXX site telling me I have new

| 2.  VERSION INFORMATION |====================================================

Version 1.0   8/14/03:  A guide is born.

Version 1.01  8/17/03:  Fixed TOC.

Version 1.02  8/28/03:  Fixed a couple of errors.

Version 1.03  1/25/04:  Fixed up a few things due to reader input.

| 3.  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS |=======================================================

The following are a list of people or organizations that have made this FAQ

My wonderful family (who has had to put up with the tapping on the keyboard)
Williams for making a great arcade game
GameFAQ's for putting up this FAQ
jjt_defender@yahoo.com for his valuable input.

| 4.  WELCOME |================================================================

Welcome to my FAQ for Defender.  Since the game has you continuously playing
through waves until all your men are killed, there is no walkthrough per se.
Instead it will be broken up into the game itself and strategies for survival.
Input is appreciated along with constructive criticism.  If you wish to e-mail
me thoughts on this FAQ, better ways of doing things, other strategies, etc.,
feel free.  Make sure you put Defender as the subject.  If you don't, I'm
liable to discard the e-mail as spam.

| 5.  OVERVIEW |===============================================================

Defender was created by a company that was, up to that time, more known for its
pinball machines then electronic arcade machines.  A couple of years
previously, Williams attempted to enter the arcade market but the game flopped
badly.  Defender was different.  It was the first game to feature not only the
joystick control, but five buttons to do various things.  At first, people were
leery of playing this game and those that did found it to be very difficult.
It must have been the difficult nature, though, that started the wave of
popularity for this game.  It was to become one of Williams best time sellers
ever and established Williams as a company to be reckoned with in the video
game world.  The premise of the game was simple:  Make sure that you keep the
humans safe on the planets surface.  Of course, there are a lot of enemies
around to make that job difficult.  In addition to complexity, Defender was
also the first to feature the "wrap-around" screen.  This basically meant you
could fly your ship either way without reaching the edge of the screen.  This
gave the illusion of a never-ending flight.  Of course, your view was only a
small part of this area.  Good luck at dealing with the hazardous in keeping
the humans safe.

******************************** U N I T  II **********************************

| 6.  THE GAME |===============================================================

Defender is a two-dimensional, shooter style game.  You have at your fingers
the most advanced fighter in the arsenal.  With its array of weapons and the
ability to maneuver quickly, this fighter is ideal for dealing with the enemy
threats.  In addition, you can respond quickly to any threats by quickly
reversing your motion and taking the quickest route to deal with said threat.
You also can fly continuously in one direction or the other to make yourself a
harder target to hit.  Be warned, though, that if you lose all ten humans, the
planet will explode and you will be out in space against some pretty aggressive
enemy units.  This is definitely a game of only the fittest survive.  To think,
you volunteered for this duty.
/ 6.1  The Controls /__________________________________________________________

The controls on this game are pretty hard.  It will take a lot of practice to
get used to them.  That is because you have five buttons you must keep track of
and use at all times.

-  A two-way joystick for moving up and down

-  A thrust button

-  A fire button

-  A reverse button

-  A smart bomb button

-  A hyperspace button

/ 6.2  The Playing Fields /____________________________________________________

Defender involves battling either on the planet or in space if you lose all the
humans.  The screen itself is a never-ending world since it "wrap-around" so
there are no edges.  You only see what is within your limited view but you can
see everything else via your radar.  I have included an example of what the
playing screen looks like:

    |  \___ FIGHTERS|           |  --   |                |              |
    |  \___ LEFT |- |           YOUR VIEW                |              |
    |            |- |\      /\     /\_/\   /\_         _/|              |
    |   250      |- | \/\__/  \/\_/     \_/   \/\/\___/  |              |
    |            |                                                      |
    |           SMART BOMBS                                             |
    |                 LEFT                                              |
    |           /\_____                                                 |
    |           +-----/                                                 |
    |                                                                   |
    |                            +--+                         +--+      |
    |                           /    \                       /    \     |
    |                          /      \                     /      \    |
    |                         /        \                   /        \   |
    |                        /          \                 /          \  |
    |                       /            \_______________/            \ |
    |                      /                                           \|
    |                     /                                             |
    |                    /                                              |
    |                   /                                               |
    |__________________/                                                |
    |                                                                   |
    |                                                                   |
    |                                                                   |
    |                                                                   |

You control your fighter through this screen.

/ 6.3  Scoring /_______________________________________________________________

Scoring in this game is relatively simple.

Lander :   150 points
Mutant :   150 points
Bomber :   250 points
Pod    :  1000 points
Bomber :   250 points
Baiter :   200 points
Swarmer:   150 points

500 points for saving a human from a Lander.

Bonus at the end of each wave of Humans Left X 100.

You get a bonus ship and smart bomb every 10,000 points.

******************************** U N I T  III *********************************

| 7.  PLAYING THE GAME |=======================================================

You start the game in the middle of the screen.  You can look at your radar to
see where the various enemies are.  Get to learn the sounds of the game because
they are an important clue as to what is going on out of your viewing range.

-  First of all, learn how to use the buttons with proficiency.  You don't want
   to be hunting around for the smart bomb or thrust button when you are in the
   middle of a firefight.  Practice is what will make you proficient.

-  Learn to use your radar screen and after a while you will only look at the
   viewable area briefly to take care of business.  Each enemy has a unique
   color on the radar so you should be able to easily identify what they are.
   In addition, you will also learn how each enemy moves around.  This will
   definitely become a great benefit in the later waves.

-  As I've already mentioned, listen to the sounds of the game.  When you hear
   a high-pitched chatter, that means a Lander has picked up a human in order
   to create a mutant.  Use your radar and look for the green shape going
   straight up; that's the lander.  Try to get over there as quickly as
   possible.  Just shoot the Lander, not the human it has taken.  When you hear
   what sound like something being put together, that means a Lander has become
   a Mutant.

-  Once you shoot the Lander, your job isn't over yet.  If the height is too
   great, the human will fall and die on impact.  Fortunately, your fighter is
   equipped for such emergencies.  All you have to do is fly over the human and
   your fighter will pick them up.  Anytime you scrape against the ground, you
   will set the human down.  Some players continuously ride around with a human
   like this to prevent the planet from exploding.

-  The planet will only explode when all ten humans are dead.  They you will
   have to go through five waves of nothing but mutants and the other regular
   enemies until you are back to a planet again.  Mutants are very dangerous to
   deal with because they not only tend to swarm, they also fire a lot of shots
   toward your fighter.  Of course, real good players just shoot all the humans
   so they can have the challenge of going through these "mutant" waves.

-  If you take too long on a wave, a saucer shaped enemy called a Briter will
   appear.  The Briter is much quicker then your fighter and it has the
   tendency to fire pretty accurate shots.  Try to clear waves as fast as

-  Use your smart bombs only when your viewing area is crowded with enemies.  A
   lot of players like to get all the Pods into their viewing screen then touch
   off the smart bomb.  A quick way to get a few thousand points.  Another use
   is to break open the pods so that Swarmers are all over then touch off the
   smart bomb.  Again, more points.

-  Speaking of Swarmers, they can outrun your fighter.  One of the tactics to
   "throw" them off is to reverse quickly a couple of times.  This disorients
   briefly and may even give you a chance to pick off a few of them.

-  Use hyperspace only when you are in a totally desperate situation (like
   getting swarmed by Mutants or Swarmers).  More times then not, the hyper-
   space will put you somewhere else but destroy your fighter in the process.

-  Watch out for the bombers.  Although they travel slowly, they have a bad
   habit of leaving strings of bombs.  If you are not paying attention, you may
   become another statistic if you attempt to fly through them.

-  You can fly through and under the terrain.  Use this to your advantage when
   maneuvering around.

-  Since you "wrap-around" the screen, this gives you a little more maneuvering
   room.  However, keep looking at your radar because the enemy that disappears
   off the left side will show up on the right side.  Also, shots do not wrap
   around the edge.

-  Since you get a free fighter and smart bomb at 10,000 points, that should be
   your constant goal.  As the waves get higher, though, things move a lot
   faster making even getting 10,000 points a challenge.


jjt_defender@yahoo.com states:

-  The most free fighters you can have is 255 displayed and smart bombs are at
   254.  If you roll over these two value, you will end up with only the
   fighter you are using and no smart bombs in the inventory.

-  The highest score you can have is 999,999.  After that, it will roll over to
   0 again.  You don't get any more ships or smartbombs after one million
   points until you get to a certain WAVE depending on the gamming setup.  You
   will then you start getting fighters and smart bombs again.

********************************  U N I T  IV *********************************

| 8.  CONCLUSION |=============================================================

I remember when I first played this game.  It was very frustrating because of
all the buttons one had to learn about.  It wasn't enough just to have an idea
of where they were, you had to instinctively be able to use them without even
thinking.  This was part of the mystique of this game, hard enough to keep you
interested but not so hard as to make you give up.  Replayability was great
because the same things didn't happen twice even though the basic premise of
the game remained the same.  One could spend a lot of quarters just to get
comfortable with this game and a lot more to at least get a degree of
proficiency.  Williams definitely did a good job on this video game.  Un-
fortunately, it is very rare to find this machine anywhere.  However, through
the miracle of emulation, a whole new generation is realizing what we "old"
folks enjoyed those many years ago.  In addition, www.shockwave.com is bringing
many of these classic games back.  Check out their site to see what ones are
there.  I hope this guide helps you in being able to get the most amount of
gameplay for this game.  If you do have other ideas or thoughts, please e-mail
me and share them.  Who knows, maybe I'll start a Q&A Chapter in this guide if
enough people ask the same questions.  Anyway, thank you again for reading this

To see other FAQ's I have written please go to:


           ~~~  No trees were harmed in the making of this FAQ ~~~

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