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FAQ/Walkthrough by Retro
Version: 1.0 | Updated: 04/17/04
| | ______ ______ _______ | | | | | / \ | | | | | | | |____| |______ |______| | | | | | | \ | | | | | | \ | | | | _ | _ | \ _ | | _ | | |_| |______ |_| | \ |_| \_______/ |_| H.E.R.O. FAQ/Walkthrough (Atari 2600) version (c) 2004 by Jason Owens E-mail: StormyWeather980@aol.com AIM: StormyWeather980 CONTENTS 1. FAQ/Update History 2. Introduction 3. Controls & Related Things a. Controls 1. Flying/Hovering Tips b. Enemies c. Scoring d. Variations e. Ending 4. Walkthrough 5. Credits 6. Legal Stuff 1. FAQ/UPDATE HISTORY ===================== Sunday, April 11, 2004: Started on my first ever FAQ! Completed the Introduction and Controls, Enemies, Scoring, etc. sections. Not bad for my first day! Friday, April 16, 2004: Finished the H.E.R.O. FAQ and submitted the completed version to GameFAQs and HonestGamers. 2. INTRODUCTION =============== First, the story, which was pretty cool for its time. Roderick Hero (R. Hero to his associates) is a hero who's come to the rescue of his comrades, which are all trapped deep inside the claustrophobic holds of underground mines. But Roderick Hero isn't your everyday hero by any means. He's grown attached to a helicopter that stays on his back and he has a laser beam that he can shoot out of his helmet at will. And he has a supply of dynamite for blowing up walls that stand in his way. Roderick Hero will need more than these three cool abilities and items to make it alive through 20 levels of twisting mine shafts that are full of living non-human critters, rivers of lava, and magma deposits. Time isn't his friend either! H.E.R.O. stands for Helicopter Emergency Rescue Operation. Not only does it have a great title and storyline for its time (1984), it's an unbelievable game (and one of the best!) for the Atari 2600. The crisp graphics, fluid sounds, and extremely engaging gameplay are almost of NES quality. I could go on for several paragraphs about this title's greatness, but I'll save that for a future review. 3. CONTROLS & RELATED THINGS ============================ a. CONTROLS ----------- *Up: Pushing the joystick forward Makes R. Hero fly upward. Whether you're standing on solid ground or already in the air, you'll have to keep the joystick pushed forward for a few seconds (around 3) before he'll begin moving up. *Left & Right: Makes R. Hero run or fly to the left or right. *Down: Pulling the joystick back (toward you) places a stick of dynamite on the ground. You have 6 sticks of dynamite in stock at the beginning of each level. Dynamite (or bombs) is used to blow up small walls of rock or lava, but after laying it move out of its way (at least two steps away from it) quick or you'll become a fried hero! You can only place one stick of dynamite on the ground at once and you must be on the ground, whether standing still or running. While in the air, pulling back on the joystick has no effect. It won't make you descend faster or make you change direction while going up any more precisely than simply returning the joystick to the central position will. *Firing button: Fires R. Hero's microlaser beam. Press the firing button to make a single shot come out of his helmet or keep hold of the button for continuous shots. The laser is used primarily for defeating the various living enemies (only takes one shot to kill any of them), but it can also be used to knock down the aforementioned walls that block your path. But this takes around 20 seconds to do; you'll be better off using dynamite. **Flying/Hovering tips: As mentioned earlier, to take off from the ground manually, push forward on the joystick and keep it held for about 3 seconds. Once you're airborne, you can stay in the air as long as you like - there's no fuel requirements or anything of that sort. You usually won't need to take off from a standstill, however. When you see a hole in the ground, you simply walk off of it and you'll automatically begin flying downward, letting gravity take control. Whether flying vertically, horizontally, or diagonally, it's easy to get used to - it just takes a little practice. R. Hero flies at a constant speed and is pretty easy to manage. You can fly left and right without any hassles whatsoever; as soon as you press left you start moving left, and vice versa for right. The only thing that will give you a good bit of frustration is slowing your descent with precision or slowing down and then moving up. While floating down, you must push the joystick forward and it takes about 2 seconds to stop your descent, then about 3 seconds to begin flying up. Let's say you've reached a magma door that opens and closes (these will be discussed later in the Walkthrough), making it where your timing on your descent has to be in top-notch form. I've found that the following is the best option: Push and hold forward on the joystick until you become stationary in the air. Once you're stationary, tap forward briskly without holding the joystick forward. This will make you stay in place while you time it in your mind and get comfortable enough to descend past your obstacle. ****REMEMBER THIS FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE AND SPREAD THE WORD: You may have heard by now that it's possible to plug in and use a Sega Genesis controller to play your Atari 2600 games. This is TRUE! I must admit, H.E.R.O. is one of those games that are much easier to control with a Sega Genesis directional control pad than with a joystick. If you use the Sega controller, B will serve as the firing button. No, you won't be able to pause the game with the Sega controller :-P b. ENEMIES ---------- Shaft Bats: These critters tend to hover right above or below a narrow shaft, making it where you can't pass through them unless you want to give up a life! You'll have to drop down certain passageways cautiously and slowly to see some of them but avoid hitting them. At least they show you which way NOT to go! Mine Moths: The moths flap their wings and fly left and right all the time. You'll come up on a lot of these moths and they'll give you more trouble than any of the other living enemies, especially in the latter levels when they speed up. Springing Spiders: These are the laziest spiders I've ever seen! Before reading the instruction booklet, I thought these were just swords hanging stationary in the air, but if you look close you can see that they really are spiders. They hang by a thin thread in the air with no web or caught prey anywhere in sight. They barely move up and down in place; these spiders should be the least of your worries when it comes to the enemies. Nesting Snakes: Look a little ahead of you at times and you're liable to see a snake that nests in the mines, restlessly sticking its head in and out while it opens and closes its mouth. These reptiles are hungry for something other than dust and chemicals, and they like what they see in you! Tentacles: In the latter levels of H.E.R.O., when you're crossing a lava river (some rivers look more like water but oh well) you'll see what looks to be a warped bubble, but it's the tentacles of some mysterious creature that refuses to show its face! Proceed with caution against all of these enemies, for if you touch any of them just once, you're a dead man. You can shoot and destroy each of the aforementioned foes, with the exception of Tentacles. When it comes to magma deposits (the walls, ceilings, and floors that flash red) and lava rivers (even the ones that are dark and appear to be murky, cold water), don't touch them. You can get as close to them as possible, but don't let any part of you, even your copter blade, touch them or you'll be R. Dead Hero. Once you play H.E.R.O. a good bit, you'll find that the until the latter levels, the only hazards that will give you problems, really, are the magma deposits and the lava. The actual living enemies are nothing as long as you play it cautiously. c. SCORING ---------- *Shooting an enemy------------------50 points *Dynamite a wall--------------------75 points *Rescuing a miner-----------------1000 points You can also earn points for completing a level. A graph (horizontal line) of life fills up at the start of each level. When you find and rescue the level's miner, this graph will empty as points. You earn extra points for each unit of power that's left on that graph, and the higher the level number, the more points you'll get for each unit of power. My friend and fellow FAQ'er/reviewer, ASchultz, thinks the formula for the timer at the end of a level is as follows: "You get 80 ticks to solve a level. Bonus = (# of ticks) *(20) *(level #)." Playing through the game, that seems pretty accurate to me! A 'tick' on the Power meter goes extinct about every 3 seconds. It takes about 3-4 minutes for the meter to count all the way down. Once it's completely empty, you'll stay alive for about 3 seconds, and then you'll lose a life. You also get 50 points for each stick of dynamite that you have left at the end of a level. **Extra lives - You start the game with 3 lives in storage. For every 20,000 points you obtain, an extra life will be given to you. You can have up to six reserve lives in the tank. d. VARIATIONS ------------- Variation 1--------------Begin on Level 1 Variation 2--------------Begin on Level 5 Variation 3--------------Begin on Level 9 Variation 4--------------Begin on Level 13 Variation 5--------------Begin on Level 17* *Variation 5 is a little different from the other four. It begins on Level 17, but all of the following levels are random. Also, it never tells you at the bottom of the screen which level you're currently on in Variation 5 like it does in variations 1-4. H.E.R.O. is a one-player game; no two-player variations are available. e. ENDING? ---------- I suppose you could say there's an ending of sorts to H.E.R.O. When you complete Level 20 in variations 1-4, instead of saying which level you're on at the bottom of the screen, it'll say LEVEL: PRO for the rest of your game, and the levels will begin at Level 13 and cycle in order through Level 20 and keep going in that cycle until your game is over. Finally, when you get a million points (1,000,000), the score won't roll; your game will just end and you'll see a bunch of exclamation points (!!!!!!) at the bottom of the screen where it usually tells you which level you're on. 4. WALKTHROUGH ============== LEVEL 1 ------- Upon beginning, you'll immediately see what happens at the start of each and every level. And the same thing happens each time you lose a life (except for your restarting where you died at when you lose a life). Your Power graph will fill up and then you'll be hovering in the air as no sound is heard. This is because the level hasn't yet begun. You can take as long to start a level as you want! In a time when the "Pause" feature hadn't yet been invented, this was awesome! Move the joystick in any direction to begin. Upon landing, all you see in front of you is a small wall. Every single wall in the game that can be blown up looks like this (it's about twice your height and about as wide). Go up to it (you don't HAVE to be right up against it - you can be a step away) and dynamite it. Walk in the opposite direction quickly to keep from being blown up yourself. Now, simply walk off the ledge into the hole in the floor, which will take you to the next screen. Shoot the hopping spider and rescue the miner. LEVEL 2 ------- Blow up the wall in front of you and drop down the hole. You'll see two narrow holes in the floor. The one on your right leads to a dead end. Destroy the spider and bomb the wall and then drop down into the left hole. Kill the bat and continue your downward journey, lasering the spider on your way down if you so choose. Do in the bat and rescue your man. LEVEL 3 ------- As you've now grown accustomed to doing at the beginning of each level, bomb the wall and fall through the opening. As you're dropping down, hug the left side of the wall to avoid touching (or shooting) the lantern, which would turn the lights out in the current room, allowing you to see nothing but the airborne enemies, glowing magma deposits (these are discussed later) and yourself. When you touch a lantern, the lights immediately go out, and you won't be able to see anything the rest of your game in that room. If you go back to the previous room or to the next, you should be able to see a little light - unless you touch a lantern in there too! Dodge or kill the enemies on your way down. When you land, kill the spider and drop down the left hole. A spider is in the middle of the left hole, so on your right, bomb the wall, defeat the bat, and drop down the right hole. Bomb the wall and continue downward. Shoot the moth and rescue the worker in distress on your left. LEVEL 4 ------- What do you think you do at the beginning of THIS level? Very good! Bomb the wall and descend down into the deep, dark mine. Stay along the left side of the wall to avoid making it even darker. Do in the spider on your right and go down that hole. Laser the bat to get it out of the way and keep going down, staying as close as you can to the right side of the wall to avoid the upcoming snake who's playing peek-a-boo. Avoid the serpent and keep going downward. Land and bomb the wall. TIP: If you lay the bomb right next to the wall (not a step away from it) and time it correctly, you can blow up the wall and the moth as well. Try to make it where the moth will be at the wall when the dynamite explodes. If you didn't do that this time, shoot the moth and fall down the opening, hugging the left side to keep things alight. Bomb the wall on your left and go down that hole. Then bomb the next wall and continue downward, avoiding the bat. Land on top of the block in the middle of the screen. You'll see a snake right below you on your right that's sticking its head in and out of the block on which you stand. As he's retreating back into the block, step off the edge and rescue the trapped miner. LEVEL 5 ------- Bomb the wall in front of you and drop down the pitch black hole, hugging the left side. Introducing in the right corner of the screen the first magma deposit in the game! You'll know a 'magma deposit' when you see one by its flashing orange and red. Kill the clueless moth on your left and venture out of screen to the next screen. Now, this is a BIG hole, and a big drop too. Avoid (when I say avoid, you can always kill them if you like :-P ) the spider and moth as you venture southward. You might want to go into the next screen somewhat slowly if you're a beginner, because you'll want to avoid the two big rectangles of magma on either side of you and the spider that's directly over the narrow hole in the middle of the screen. Kill this spider and go down. As you're going down, press up momentarily to see what's in this upcoming room before you hit the lantern and turn the lights out, because you can't help but to hit this lantern. The right passageway has an unavoidable snake. Stay away. Bomb the wall on your left, kill the moth, and drop down. While the bomb is flickering, you can see your surroundings; keep that in mind from here on out. In the next room, bomb the magma wall on your right, conquer the spider, and keep going down, staying up close and personal to the left wall to avoid the lantern. A bat guards the entrance hole on the right, so bomb the magma wall on your left, kill the spider, and go down that left hole. You're finally there! Go right, kill the moth, and rescue your pal. That was the first mildly long level, and they only get longer and more difficult from here. LEVEL 6 ------- Bomb the magma wall in front of you and drop down the hole, hugging the left wall. You can actually go either left or right once you land. On the right is a fluttering bat, and on your left is a wall with a moth right below it. Let's go left. Bomb the wall and avoid the moth on the way down. Destroy the bat and carefully step off onto the left part of the ledge into the hole below you, avoiding the spider that's hanging threateningly on the right side of the hole. Stay on the left side of the hole on the way down. Whoa now! There are four small holes in the ground in which to choose from this time. You know the third one from the left isn't the right one cause it has a spider occupying it. If you try the first or last one, you'll see that they lead to a floor of magma deposit. Don't do it! Slip by the moth and then slip down into the second hole from the left. Now there are two holes, one you could simply continue down into, and one on your right that has a destroyable magma wall and a moth guarding its path. You guessed it. The one on the right is the correct one to choose. Bomb the wall, kill the moth, and go down. Next, steer clear of the bat and spider as you continue down into the next screen. As you're letting gravity take you down, move a little to the left to stay away from the lantern that hangs on the right-side wall. Go right, tell the bat that its time has come, shoot it, and go down that hole. Here we go. It's easy to see where to go, but here I can tell you about a basic tactic that will come in handy, especially in the levels to come. Once you land, you see a narrow opening in the ground with a spider in it. Yep, you know to go past it, but here's the thing. You COULD push forward on the joystick for a few seconds and wait for R. Hero to take off and then fly over this tiny pit, or you can simply run over it as you push forward a little on the stick. If you simply run forward, you'll fall into that pit, hit the spider and die. Simply push the joystick in a forward/left diagonal position and you'll run right over that hole without even lifting from the ground. Nifty! Bomb the wall, kill the bat, and descend into the left hole. I suppose you don't really have to right here, but you need a little bit of practice coming to a complete stop and staying in place while in the air (see section 3 - Tips on flying/hovering). As soon as the screen changes, push forward on the stick to come to a complete stop in the air. Keep your eye on the moth below you, which will be flapping to the right. Wait until it starts moving left to ease your way down to the ground, kill the moth, and destroy the magma wall. Venture down the hole, kill the spider and rescue the miner. LEVEL 7 ------- Ooooooo, nice colors to start this level. They're colored much like the main character, R. Hero! Of course, bomb the magma wall and drop down the one and only opening in the ground. Embrace the left wall on the way down if you like seeing the room you're in. Here's another place where you could go either left or right, but I recommend going right because on the way down on the left is a lantern. Bomb the wall and go down the right hole. Show the bat the way to its tombstone and go down the hole. Here we are with another room in which you have no choice but to hit the lantern. Land and then run left. You'll see that you can only run to a certain point. That's because there's a wall here that's waiting to be dynamited. Dynamite it and then. . . . .well then! We have a snake that's ever so slightly above the reach of your helmet's lasers. What I do in this situation is hold down the firing button for continuous fire as I push the joystick forward and keep it there to fly up. That'll show that snake who's boss! Now go down that left hole cautiously. As soon as the screen changes, hover for a few seconds until the moth begins moving to the left. Then land and kill the critter. Walk a bit to the left, being careful not to run too fast (you'll hit that magma deposit if you do) while also timing your descent down into that hole to where you don't get bitten by the green snake. I always kill that snake too, cause I don't like him. Wait a minute now! You could easily continue downward past this next screen without even worrying about it, but that would lead to a hot dead end. Land on the edge of the ledge in the middle of the screen instead. Shoot the spider and then bomb that wall on the right. Then go down into the next screen, avoiding the moth. Keep your cautious hat on as you go down. As soon as the screen changes to the next one, you see two different magma deposits bordering the bottom of each side of the wall, and to add to the suspense, a spider is sitting on its lazy ass right beside one of them. You must carefully hover and position yourself in the air to land right on the left side of that spider, and you want to be facing your right. R. Hero will land with most of his feet hanging off the edge; we don't know how he does it but we're glad he can! Shoot the spider that's terribly invading your personal space and drop down the hole. Land on the bottom piece of land, bomb the wall, and then either fly or hover over (you know, that little trick I taught you earlier where you push up/diagonal position on the joystick to basically walk over a small hole) to reach the left side of the land that borders the next hole. Squeeze down the left side of the hole to avoid the spider and stay on the left to squeak past the lantern. You can go either way in this next screen. I tend to prefer the way that doesn't have the lantern, so I go left right here. Bomb the magma wall and drop down the left hole. Here we have two small openings in the ground that are right next to one another. Destroy the spider and choose the hole on the right. ALERT! This is the introduction of another kind of screen/challenge. It looks as if you'd keep going down, but if you did that, you'd drown in that brown sea of lava. To your right you see a bat that guards a horizontal opening in the wall. Hover just right and kill the bat. Then touch ground and run into the next screen. Kill the bat and rescue the miner. LEVEL 8 ------- Destroy the magma wall and start your downward journey, staying against the left side of the wall to keep from turning the light out along the way. Don't move any left or right as you go down. You'll go between the two spiders. Then in the next screen, STILL don't move left or right a bit. You'll slip right between the big magma deposits on either side of you and right past that spider in the one and only hole. Keep falling straight down until you land on the ground. Now, bomb the magma wall to your left, dodge the moth and go down that left hole. Keep going down and down, avoiding the snake on the way. While dropping past or shooting the snake, keep to the right side of the wall to avoid landing on the upcoming magma deposit. Bomb the magma wall on your right, shoot the spider, and continue going down. Here we are in the next screen with yet another place where you could go left or right and wind up in the same place. Since a lantern is on the way down the left hole, I recommend killing the spider to your right and going down that one instead. Now, bomb the magma wall on your left and carefully walk a couple of steps to your right to avoid the explosion; I say 'carefully' because you don't want to run into that magma deposit on your right! Slip by that snake that's nesting in the volcanic deposit (ouch! How does he do it?) to your left while he's slipping his head back in and go down the hole. You won't be able to help but to touch the lantern and turn the lights out in the upcoming room. Come to a stop in the air right before you leave the current screen (the one with the snake that's nesting in the deposit) and then ease your way down if you'd like to get a quick view of the next screen before you turn the lantern off. With H.E.R.O.'s excellent controls and with a little practice, you'll be able to do this like an expert before you know it, if you can't already. Land right beside the middle magma deposit and then time your descent so that you slip by the snake below you. This takes you to the next room. Again, don't be too hasty; a magma deposit borders the left and right side of you not long after you enter this next room/screen. Slip between the two deposits and continue down. Land on the right piece of ground and catch your breath if you need to. Below you see a green river; it might be spring or summer where you are in real life, but R. Hero isn't a fan of swimming in lava rivers, because they kill him! Either take off from the ground first and then fly to your left, or push forward on the joystick as you walk off the ledge, whichever way you can control it better. I always do the latter, myself. Shoot the spider to get it out of your way in the middle of the screen, then land on the piece of land on the left side, and then walk out of the screen into the next one. You'll immediately see a snake that's poking its head in and out of the gray block in front of you. Stand close to the edge of the platform you stand on and push forward on the stick as you hold down the firing button for continuous laser shots. You'll fly straight up and kill the snake right after you take off. Now it gets tough. This variety of screen is the most challenging in the game, in my opinion. First, land back on the piece of ground that you came in on. Next, step off the ledge and let gravity take you down just a little bit, but not much. You must go down enough for your head and helicopter blade to get past that large block in the middle of the screen, but if your dangling feet touch the lava river at the bottom, you're dead. You'll probably die a few times trying, but again, like you've heard all your life, practice makes perfect. Right after you walk off the ledge, push forward on the joystick as you also move left. Don't worry about your copter blade touching the aforementioned big block that you must go low enough to clear. It won't hurt it. Shoot that moth out of your path, continue left, keep pushing forward on the joystick to fly up, and finally land on the left piece of land. I imagine these kinds of screens are the ones that would make some impatient or not-quite-dedicated-enough gamers give up on H.E.R.O. Don't give up! Bomb the wall and exit left to the next screen. Oh, man. Well, we can now see that Level 8 is where H.E.R.O. gets really H.A.R.D. Not only is your time running short now, but here's what looks to be an even tougher species of screen. But looks can be deceiving. You see a very small piece of land in the middle of the screen with a bombable wall occupying most of its landing area. A snake is playing peek-a-boo on the right side of the land, right below the landing part. For awhile, I thought I had to hover down just right and shoot this snake so I could then fly up and land on that middle piece of land, bomb the wall, and step off the ledge as my bomb explodes. But I was wrong. Ok, you're still standing on the right piece of land you entered this screen on, right? Good. Forget the snake and fly over to that skinny, middle piece of land and land right beside the wall. Keep your eye on the snake. Time it in your head. Wait until you're truly ready to do this. As the snake is going back into its nest or the split second before it begins going back into its nest, lay the bomb and IMMEDIATELY step off the ledge to the right and push forward on the joystick to keep from hitting the water. Make sure you go enough to the right to avoid the continuously snapping fangs of the snake. Fly up and to the right and land where the wall you just blew up was. Take off from a standstill or step off the edge to your left, shoot the spider, and go left out of the screen and into the next. Phew! That was a tough level. Shoot that bloody spider and rescue the miner. IMPORTANT NOTE: Remember this from now on! If for some reason you just can't get past those screens that are like the next to the last one that I just described in detail (the one with the skinny piece of land in the middle with the dangerous snake), remember that you can always opt to use your laser to blast through any wall that you would normally blow up with dynamite. But also keep in mind that doing so takes about 20 seconds. If you're reckless with your bombing, you might HAVE to use your laser to plow through some walls, but if you're conservative with dynamite like you should be, you'll never have to laser through any - unless you want to. LEVEL 9 ------- Annihilate the magma wall at the start and proceed down into the hole. Keep to the left side of the wall to avoid the lantern. Destroy the magma wall to your left, kill the bat, and continue your downward trek through the haunting mine. You'll be in a U-shaped room. Keep going nearly straight down, to the left of the spider. Then do the same in the next screen, except you'll go past a bat this time. You should still be in the left side of the screen. Slow down a little before you go to this next screen. It's much like the previous two; it has two narrow openings through magma deposits that you must squeeze through, but you'll probably have to move just a bit to the right to avoid hitting the fiery magma. The next room is more of the same. Choose either of the two cracks to go down, just make sure you avoid the moth at the bottom. Slow down and wait for it to fly out of your way if you need to, then progress. Land on the small platform in the middle and shoot the bouncing spider and then go down that right hole. Blow up the magma wall on the right and proceed down that hole. Then go down the next screen's only hole, staying on the left to save a little light. Don't touch the spider or moth on your way down to the next screen. You've now reached the bottom of that treacherous drop through several screens. If you don't look closely, you'd think that you keep going down, but as in every screen, you need to look closely! A moth is flapping back and forth above a blue river while a spider hangs over a chunk of land on the right. Land on the land, kill the spider, and run right, into the next screen. The next screen has the same blue river flowing with a moth flying back and forth above it. Fly across the gap to the other piece of land, you landlubber! Then blow up the wall and continue right. Stop for a second as soon as you enter the next screen or you're liable to walk right off the ledge and drown. Glide over to the vulnerable wall that stands in your way and blow it...wait, wait just second before you lay the bomb. Let me teach you another one of my little tricks right here. You should be standing right against the left side of the wall. Read the next few sentences before you do your bombing. When you get ready, lay the bomb. You know you'll need to step to the left, off the platform, right when you lay it, to keep from blowing R. Hero into pieces. But here's what you should know. Common sense would tell you that you need to go at least a few feet away from the flickering bomb in order to avoid its blasts, even though you'll be hovering in the air, right? Well, if this were a real life situation, you would. But this isn't the case with H.E.R.O. As soon as you place the bomb down, step JUST off the platform and of course keep your joystick pushed forward in order to keep from falling into the river. You can be hovering right up against that small platform where the wall stands/stood and the bomb is flickering/blowing up. You can have R. Hero's head seemingly not even an inch away from the bomb, and you won't get killed - as long as you're not standing on platform with the bomb. Neat, huh? When you're done with that, get back on that small ledge. You could do one of two things here. Right below you is a snake, and a spider is hanging a few feet in front of you. If you want to challenge yourself (not recommended!), you could time it just right and step off the platform, go low enough to fly under the spider and rise back up once you get past it, and then land on the right piece of land and be on your way to the next screen. What I would do is take off from the middle platform on which you stand and then hover over to the spider while holding down the firing button, drop down just a little to shoot it, then go right. Argh! Here's another one of these U or V-shaped screens where you have no choice but to drop down just enough, hover to the right, then go back up and land on safe territory. No type of room will take more practice than these. That's all I can say to do. This particular one has a moth flying in the lower region where you must hover horizontally. Wait until the moth is nearly as far right as it will fly and then step off the ledge as sharply as you can. Get under the square in the middle of the screen and keep the joystick pushed forward full force. While pushing forward on the stick (you should be staying stationary; don't move left or right any), hold down the fire button. As the moth moves back toward you, it also bobs up and down a bit. It'll run right into your life of fire. Then continue right and up, killing the deadly spider and landing on ground. Bomb the wall and go right. Next is another U-shaped room, except that it has no enemy at the bottom. Work your way under the rectangular block, fly up to kill the spider, then land and keep going right. Kill the final spider and rescue the miner. LEVEL 10 -------- Bomb the magma wall and go down, hugging the left side of the wall to keep your world alight. It looks like you've been here before. Once you land, a moth is flying to your left, a bat is guarding the left hole, and a magma wall is on your right. But you notice something. That moth and bat seem a bit faster than they were in previous levels. Yep, there's nothing you can do about this. This is to signify that you've made it a long way and the game's challenge is trying to catch up to your skill! Bomb the magma wall on your right and go down the hole. Go down slowly and hover in place if you want to see the next room for a few seconds before you hit the lantern. You'll have to hover in place for at least a few seconds anyway; if you don't you'll land on the moth and lose a life. Land, kill the moth, and...well, let me teach you another valuable trick to H.E.R.O. that can help you from start to finish. Anytime you hit a lantern and everything goes dark, there's one way you can still tell where the holes in the ground are. Let's take this screen, for instance. Look down at the bottom of the screen, right above your Power meter. See that stationary, black & white pattern that resembles waves on top of flowing water? It looks like a perfect, symmetrical pattern except that the middle crest (top of the wave) has a hole in the top. This is the one and only hole in the screen, and it leads to the next room. If there were two holes, there would be two broken crests, and so on. That's neat too! Especially for an Atari 2600 game. But I'm sure you've noticed by now that H.E.R.O. is spectacularly awesome for an Atari 2600 title. It's almost of NES quality in every way. Anyway, go dive into that pit in the middle of the screen to go to the next. Hover in the air again at the top of this next screen if you want to see this room in full light. You have no choice but to hit a lantern yet again. There are now three pits to choose from. The one on the right is the right one. Bomb the magma wall and go down that right one, proceeding with caution again. You're introduced to another new kind of challenge right here. You can easily see that you just keep plunging straight down, but the passage is narrow - so narrow that when the everyday nesting serpent sticks its head in and out of the magma, its head reaches over far enough to bite any passerby that comes through. All you can do is hover in place above the snake until you're ready to make the move. This takes some top notch timing right here, folks. I guess you can call me a H.E.R.O. expert since I can get a million points and make it through all 20 levels, but this kind of hazard kills me more than any other. My suggestion is to get right above the snake to where your toes are almost touching it and hover in place. When the snake is still sticking its head out, when its head is almost all the way out, return the joystick to the center position and slip by the snake. Yep, you probably got killed. It'll take a lot of practice, of course, but even once you're considered a H.E.R.O. expert, doing this will also take a good bit of luck. Good luck! Keep going down. When you reach the next screen, it looks like a spitting image of the one you just passed and probably died in, but it's not. This snake cannot reach you with its bite. Land, push forward on the stick to fly straight up, and keep hold of the firing button to kill the snake. Then continue downward. Bomb the magma wall, kill the menacing moth, and then go down the center hole. NOTE: When you play H.E.R.O. a lot, especially in the harder levels, it'll become second nature to stop and hover in place at the top of each new screen. You'll find yourself doing this instinctively because it's impossible to memorize exactly which way to go in every level, and after dying so many times, you'll learn to be super cautious. You need to stop and hover in place and be cautious like always in this next screen. Get yourself in position and squeeze through the tiny opening in the magma that seems to have been specifically fitted for you and go down into the next screen, avoiding the moth. Keep floating straight down through the next one as well. And then the same through the next. That bat on the right and the moth on the left shouldn't be in your way; if they are, position yourself and slip by them or even better, kill them on your way down. Whoa, now! Don't get accustomed to going straight down like a bomb for too long! If you do, you'll land right on top of this massive magma deposit. Make your way to the left, killing the bat and walking left out of the screen and into the next. Ahhhh, nice fresh air! Well, not really. Mines are never full of fresh air, but at least this room is pretty wide open, except for a couple of bats. Hover along the ceiling and to your left, defeating the top bat on your way. Walk left to the next room. Hover over to and land on the small platform in the middle and then either shoot through the wall or bomb it, whichever you prefer. Since this is a long level and time is probably running short, I recommend bombing the wall, stepping sharply to the right off the platform, then hovering back over to where the wall was. Shoot the bat and hover left to the next screen. Man, H.E.R.O. is really socking it to you now! New kinds of challenges are being thrown your way seemingly every few rooms now. Here's another one. That small yellow platform on the river is your friend. Land on it. It immediately begins floating at a constant speed to the left. If you wait long enough, it would turn around and come back to the right, then back to the left, etc. Don't worry about it sinking. To get off of this friendly platform, keep the joystick pushed forward for a few seconds until you lift off. It's exactly the same as lifting off from solid ground anywhere else. What matters the most is your timing. You wouldn't want to lift off of the floating platform while under the magma deposit. Wait until you're directly under the middle of the magma deposit and then keep the joystick pushed forward. You'll take off right near the end, just as the doctor drew it up. Go left into the next screen. Bomb or shoot through the wall, kill then hover to the left, killing the top moth, and keep proceeding left into the next room. Kill the final moth and rescue the miner. YOU ARE NOW HALFWAY THROUGH THE GAME!! You deserve a victory cigar, beer, or whatever's up your alley. LEVEL 11 -------- To start off, let's bomb the magma wall and go down that first hole there, sticking closer than close to the left side to avoid the lantern, like you do at the start of most levels. Keep going straight down into the next screen. But slow down before the screen changes, or right when it does change, cause you don't want to land on that magma deposit in the center of the screen. That wouldn't be very comfortable for R. Hero. Time it so you don't land on top of the killer moth on the left, either. You want to make landfall under where the most is as it's moving to the left, so you can dodge it then shoot to kill it. Then bomb the wall and proceed down into the dark depths of that pit. Be careful in the next room as well cause it's much like what you just finished doing. Time your landing to where you can dodge the moth then land and kill it, bomb the wall, and go down the left side of the hole, past the spider. This next room is an interesting one, especially given the fact you'll see it twice. Continue down into the next room. Ignore or laser the moth and then go up into that narrow right hole. And do it carefully, because a moth is up at the top and it loves flying horizontally back and forth, as if guarding its territory. Destroy it and then go down the right hole, past the next screen and into the next one. You won't have any choice but to switch off that darn lantern. Just keep falling until your feet hit the ground, right below the lantern. This room looks tougher than it is. It's all talk and no show! Simply walk to your left until you walk off the ledge, staying to the right of that spider and moth. As you're going down, move a little to the left to keep from turning the light out in the next room or landing on a too hot deposit. Slip through that one and only crack through the deposit and go down into the next room, stopping in place at the top. Position yourself and then go down the left hole, since it's open, and go into the next room. Stop in place at the top again and move a little to the right and go through the next magma deposit crack and into the next room. You should land in the middle of the screen on a tall piece of land. You'll see that you must maneuver your way through one of the small U-shaped challenges, being careful not to let your feet touch the river, which would cause R. Hero to look directly at the screen (at you!) as he sinks slowly into this river, as if asking you "Why? Why did you let me die like that!?" Make landfall on the right chunk o' land and run right into the next room. You've seen this next kind of room too, where there's a small piece of land in the middle with a wall that makes up most of its ground space. Only this time, that wall is a magma one, so you can't run against it. Hover over to and land lightly beside the magma wall. Shoot through it or bomb it, whichever you prefer, then take off toward your right, shoot the moth, and go right into the next screen. Ok, here's another screen where you must, or should, ride the floating raft. Land on the raft and fire up that spider right in front of you. Right before you're in the middle of the screen, push forward on the joystick and keep it there to lift off from the raft. You want to lift off to where you can fly straight up, shoot the spider, then make landfall and run into the next room. If you lift off while under the spider, no sweat. Just return the joystick to the center position, move left a bit to get out from under the arachnid, then continue upward and to the right, killing the spider that's not as friendly as the one in Charlotte's Web. Fly over the left hole and land up against the bombable wall. If you bomb it, make sure you step off the ledge to your left, cause I just tried out of curiosity to bomb it and simply walk over to and stand on the edge of the land and I got blown to smithereens. Go right into the next screen. Hover over the pit, not letting yourself dip so low to walk with the spider and go over to the wall and bomb it. Murder the bat and go into the next room. Kill this moth and rescue your friend. LEVEL 12 -------- Bomb the magma wall and go down, sticking to the left to avoid making it nighttime. Bomb the magmatic wall on your left, shoot the spider, and continue down. It WILL become nighttime in this next screen. I hope you're not scared of the dark, because R. Hero certainly isn't! Once you land, run to your right, shoot the spider, and keep running right into the next room. Hope over that little first pit and the bat, kill the spider that's hanging over the right, and correct, hole, and drop down that one. Again, you won't be able to help but to turn the lights out. And your surroundings appear to be scarier than they really are again. Land, walk toward the moth and shoot it. Then do the trick that I taught you earlier. Look at the pattern at the bottom of the screen, right above your Power meter. The crest of the middle wave has a hole in the top, so you know that there's a hole right there. A hungry snake is even more obvious. Step off of the immediate right edge of this ledge, timing it where the snake will have its head in or mostly in its nest so you can shoot it on your way down. As soon as you traumatize this snake, immediately push forward on the joystick or if you're really on cue, immediately hug the left wall, because there's a lantern near the beginning of the next screen on the right. Whether you can see your environment now or not, do what I say. Face the right, shoot the bat, bomb the magma wall, and carefully step off into the hole in the right. Hover stationary at the beginning of this next screen as soon as it changes, as you should be doing second naturedly by now anyway, position yourself to where you can drop straight down and through that ever so narrow magma crack and into the next screen. One small tip here: Try to be facing your left as you slip through that crack, just in case the moth below you gets too close for comfort and you want to shoot it. Next, hover at the top of the next screen, move a little to the left to avoid hitting the lantern or falling on the moth, then make landfall. Shoot the moth and go right. In the next room, shoot the spider and drop down the hole, avoiding the moth on your way to the next screen. Do like you (should) always do and hover at the very top so you can see what challenge awaits you in this new screen. You'll see that you need to go up against the left wall and drop straight down into the next screen. Those moths look mean but they're really just minding their own business. You can ignore them altogether if you want. I know you probably feel like landing already, but you can't quite yet. Fly precisely over to the left at the right altitude to shoot the spider and then continue into the next room. Then fly over to the magma wall and get rid of it, avoiding the snake. Fly to your left, shoot the moth, and go left out of the screen and into the next. In the next one is another one of those feared U-shaped territories. Shoot the snake just to be on the safe side, then drop down and show this U that you know how to fly like a pro and land and bomb the wall, being sure to step off the ledge while it explodes. Then go left into the next room. We have another screen just like the one a couple of rooms before with the nesting snake, except that this wall is made of magma and that a lazy spider is sitting a few feet down and to the right of the piece of land on which you stand. This is a gut check room right here. Do you feel confident enough with your H.E.R.O. skills? If you do, lay down that stick of dynamite and step off the ledge quickly, not venturing far enough to the right to touch that spider. REMEMBER: The bomb can blow up right in your face and you'll live, as long as your feet are BELOW the level of the blast. You can't be standing on the ground beside the bomb or flying at its level (to where your feet are right beside it) or above it. That sounds sort of weird, but that's just the way they made the game. If you're not yet confident in your ability to hover with precision, just shoot through that magma wall. Fly over to your left, kill the moth, and go into the next screen. Here's another, but harder, lava river room with a lake. A small piece of magma deposit is hanging from the ceiling in the middle part of the screen, so you certainly don't want to take off from the life-saving raft while you're under it. To the top left of that deposit is a moth. At your level, while riding the raft, just a little to the left of the deposit (you see it) is a spider. You could hold down the firing button as you also push forward on the joystick to get ready for liftoff, but if this is one of your first times, I don't recommend doing that quite yet. Do this instead: Get on the raft and shoot the spider. Let the raft hit the left side and ride it back to the right side of the screen. Then, when it starts moving left again, get ready. Push forward on the joystick and keep it there once you get to about the middle part of the screen (directly under the magma deposit). Make sure you lift off near the end of the raft ride. Don't let your head hit the moth. Go left into the next room. Fly as far up as you can and get in place and keep the firing button held down to kill the topmost moth, then fly over to the miner and rescue him. You don't have to land or even decrease your altitude one bit to rescue the man. It's impossible to hit that magma deposit behind him. LEVEL 13 -------- Destroy the magma wall and go down the hole to get the level started. Hug the left-side wall to avoid turning the lights out. Once you're past the lantern, switch over to the right side of the wall and go down to the next screen. Keep going down until you hit the ground; as long as you're on the right side, that moth can't touch you. Now kill the moth anyway. Even though it has a clearly visible lantern, go up the left hole to return to the screen you just passed. Very carefully land beside and bomb or shoot through the magma wall to your left. Shoot the spider then go down, passing the next screen whose lights are still out. Hug the right side of the wall after you slip through the magma deposits. Again, you'll have to turn the lights off. Land, kill the moth, and walk to the right and bomb the magma wall. Go down the hole on the right. Avoid the moth and continue down into the right hole in the next screen, keeping to the left side of the wall. You want to be facing your right, though, so you can shoot the upcoming bat that's exercising right beside a deposit. Walk slowly off the ledge, careful not to run into the deposit that the bat was right beside. Stay to the left side until you hit the ground, slipping by that spider, lantern, and to keep from landing on top of the blood-sucking bat. Shoot the bat and run right into the next room. Shoot the moth and slip down past the bat into the next screen. Again, stay on the left side to keep from touching the pesky lantern. Upon landing, shoot the spider to your left and go down that hole. Hover for a few seconds at the top of this next screen to avoid coming too close to comfort with the moth. When it's out of your way, land and then shoot the moth. The room will be all dark except for yourself and a magma deposit to your far right. Run left out of the screen. Shoot the next moth, bomb the magma wall, and keep going left. When you come to the ledge in the next room, take off from your standing position and fly over to the magma wall Before you blow it up, watch the moth for a few seconds. Other than noticing that it's a fast little critter and that it flies left and right like they all do, it should come to your attention that when it's as far left as it'll go, it's right under where you'll have to hover once you set your stick of dynamite onto the ground. If there's any parts of the game where you should opt to shoot through the wall, it's the screens like these, with the moths. If you're a brave soul, lay your bomb down right before the moth begins to fly right, and step off the ledge and hover in place as the wall's being annihilated. Whichever way you decided to get the wall out of your way doesn't really matter. It's all up to you. Go back to where the wall was and shoot the spider, then fly over to the left piece of land and go into the next screen. It's another raft-riding room. Get on the raft and (by now, you should be able to do this with ease) hold down the firing button so that spider in the middle part of the screen won't kill you. When you're under the beginning part (right side) of the hanging magma deposit, push forward on the joystick until you lift off. You may have to fly just a bit to the right as you're going up to avoid the moth. Kill that bug that's infamous for being attracted to light and go left into the next screen. Another room just like the one I just have described in detail makes a second showing. Fly over and land on the thin piece of platform beside the magma wall. Shoot through or bomb it, being careful to avoid the moth if you decide to do the latter, and keep going left, shooting the other moth along your way. In the next room, I recommend hovering directly over the bat and holding down the firing button until the moth runs into your line of fire. Then continue westward into the next room. Don't even land. Hug the ceiling and fly to where you're just to the right of the most rightward position that the topmost moth flies over to and keep the firing button held down to kill it. Keep going left and rescue the miner. LEVEL 14 -------- Destroy the wall and go down the first hole, just like you've done in the previous 13 levels. Like you've done in most of the earlier levels, stick to the left wall on your way down to keep from turning the lantern out. Also, slow your descent so you won't land on top of the moth. Shoot the bug and run left into the next room. Shoot the next moth and time your descent down into the next hole to keep from being swallowed whole by the snake. Keep to the right side until you land. You'll have to turn the lights out on your way down to keep from landing on a bat. Run right, into the next room. Here we are with three regular-sized holes to choose from. The left and right one don't have anything in them, while the middle one has a gaping snake inside it. Guess which one you have to go down. Yep, go down the middle one, sticking to the right side in order to slip by the snake. Hover at the very top of the next screen. I hope your heart's prepared to speed up cause it's about to when you see what lies ahead of you. It doesn't really matter whether or not you turn the light off or not. It would probably be better if you stayed on the right side and did turn the light out, because a bat is occupying the left side of the space below you. But it's what's right before the bat that is the most dangerous. I know I said several levels ago in this walkthrough that the hardest type of room to get used to are the U-shaped ones in which you must drop down just right without hitting the lava rivers, but this right here is what kills me more than any other type of obstacle. It's nothing more than two magma deposits, with a crack in between the two in which you must pass through, like you've seen a million times. One thing's different about this one and several more that you'll come across in the rest of the levels of H.E.R.O. These open and close at a constant rate. If even the tip of your toes or the top edge of your helicopter blade touches this magma deposit, you'll lose a life. And trust me, you will lose a BUNCH of lives on this type of obstacle. My advice is to hover down more cautiously than you ever have before in any other place, until you're right above the opening and closing magma deposit. It's real hard to explain how to time your descent through these seemingly living deposits. All I can say is to do a little trial & error until you've figured out the pattern. You've played H.E.R.O. enough to see that once you're hovering in place, it takes about 2 seconds to begin dropping. When you're directly above these moving deposits, wait until the deposit doors are about three-fourths of the way closed, and then return the joystick to its center position to start the 2-second wait until you start descending. I still die around 25% of the time on these screens; it's all in the timing, baby. Again, good luck, cause you'll desperately need it. I hope you've been shooting most of the enemies you come across, cause you'll sure need those extra lives from this point on. One thing I waited till now to mention is as follows: Activision tried to be as fair as possible when making H.E.R.O. And that's awesomely fortunate for its dedicated players! Check this out. Whenever an enemy hits and kills you, that enemy disappears from the screen, so it won't hit you again. When a magma deposit door kills you, it will open up as wide as it can and stay open the rest of the time you're in that screen, as if having mercy for you. Interestingly, if a lantern's on the wall, it will totally disappear. That's some thoughtful 20-year-old programming right there now. Too bad those lava rivers don't disappear when you hit one of those! And when you hit a stationary magma deposit, they don't show any mercy either. Continue downward with caution. A magma deposit block is covering the middle of the screen. Hover over to the right without touching the lantern, then land and kill the spider. Continue your southward path, staying to the left-hand wall. Get rid of the bat and then run right into the next screen. Fly over the first pit, which has a bat in the center of it, and kill the moth on your way to dropping down into the pit on the right. Stay on the left side of the wall while dropping down the pit, until you hit the ground. Bomb the magma wall and go down the single pit. Stop at the very top of the next screen before you hit the lantern, which you should now be accustomed to doing. Before the lights go out in this underground world, you'll see that you must go down to where you're barely above the murky-looking river, then to the right and up. Do that then continue to the right, into the next room. If you accidentally hit the lantern before seeing your surroundings in this room, just go down and keep the stick pushed right as you ease your way down and clear that big block. In the next room, fly to the right, kill the moth, shoot through or bomb the magma wall to get it out of your way, and then continue to the right to get to the next screen. Then we have your everyday raft challenge. Make the bat go extinct at the top before you land on the raft. Push and hold forward on the joystick and keep the firing button held down (to get rid of that pest in the form of a spider) right before you reach the left side of that magma deposit that hangs in the air above you. Bomb the magma wall and keep going right. Shoot the spider and then get rid of the magma wall and travel right into the next room. Bomb or shoot through yet another magma wall, then take off from the ground and continue right, killing the spider on your way to the next screen. It's the last room of Level 14! Float over the first pit, kill the bat, float over the second pit while being careful not to dip down and touch that ugly ass spider, and rescue your man. LEVEL 15 -------- Another level whose colors seem to have been patterned after R. Hero! Destroy the magma wall and go down to begin your mine trek. Hang to your left to dodge the lantern as you hover for a second or two to keep from falling on a moth. Land and shoot the little nuisance that's in the form of a bug. Then walk over to and drop into the left hole. Shoot the bat and spider on your way down into the next screen. Avoid falling on the moth on your way down and then shoot it. Bomb the magma wall and go down the right hole. Go down the big hole in the center, shooting the moth and swinging over to the left side of the wall as you continue downward, avoiding the lantern. Land and destroy the bat. Choose the hole on the right and go down. Keep falling straight down until you reach the snake. Shoot that mean reptile and then hug the left side of the wall to avoid the upcoming lantern. Continue your seemingly never-ending downward journey into the right hole. After you unwillingly hit the lantern, land beside the magma wall and bomb it. Then go down that middle hole. Whew! Here's your second 'magma door' obstacle, as I like to call them. Do the trick I taught you earlier. Ever so carefully hover down until you're right over the opening and closing magma deposit, then wait until it's NEARLY all the way shut (about three-fourths of the way shut) and return the joystick to its center position and then wait for R. Hero to slip on through - hopefully alive. If you died (like I just did!), just be patient. You'll get better. Once past the deposit, stay to the left side of the wall. You'll land right beside a lantern. Take a look all around you at the room you just entered. You'll have to step off the very edge of the ledge on which you stand, turning the lights off in the process, kill the bat on your way down, then gain the right altitude and make your way to the left and up, also killing the moth that's invading your privacy. Bomb the blue wall and go left into the next screen. Now we have another one of these screens that we love so much. Fly over to the tiny piece of land and land right beside the magma deposit. If you're low on lives and have a decent amount of power left in your meter, just shoot through this magma wall to be safe. Then continue left, killing the moth in the process. Here's a sneaky little room of sorts. You know what to do by looking at it. Drop down and go under the hanging block, then, fly up the immediate left side of it, ignoring the bottom snake. Land on the platform, bomb the wall, then fly straight up and shoot this top snake. Fly under this other hanging block and go left into the next screen. Land on the raft and ride it. Push forward on the joystick and keep it there once you're under about the middle part of this huge magma deposit to lift off at the end of your short-lived joyride. Oh yeah, shoot the spider along the way. The next screen is stunningly easy! Simply walk to the left, shoot the moth on the way, and keep going left until the screen changes. Go over the first pit, kill the spider, go over the second pit, and rescue the miner to end this frustrating level! You're now three/fourths of the way through the game; If you can make it this far from starting on Level 1, you should definitely be able to beat the game. LEVEL 16 -------- Hey now...this is a little different from the previous 15 starts. Instead of a single hole in the ground, there's now three of them. Blow up the magma wall in front of you and select the one on the right. Kill the bat and continue right. Shoot or dodge the top moth and make your way down into the next screen, moving a little to the right to keep from landing atop a body of magma deposit. Slip by the two spiders and keep letting gravity do its natural work as you stay a bit to the left of the center of the screen. Land beside the bat, shoot it, bomb the magma wall, and go down that left hole. The lights will go out soon when the screen changes. Bomb through the magma wall, shoot the bat, then carefully step off the ledge, avoiding the moth on your way down. Hover at the top of this coming up screen and position yourself to go down either one of the holes. Don't forget to dodge that moth as you keep going down. Woohoo, our favorite! Another magma deposit door is alive and kicking, or opening and closing, whichever you prefer. Time it right and make it through unscathed and keep plummeting downward. Keep going down into the middle hole in the next screen. Then attempt to make it out alive past yet another opening and closing magma deposit! Keep going down, hovering at the top right when the screen changes. Fly your way down and to the right, shooting the moth and venturing through the hole in the wall into the next screen. Shoot the spider and land on the raft. Do like you've been doing and hold down the firing button to get rid of the upcoming enemy, and push forward on the joystick and keep it there once you reach about the middle of the magma deposit that's hanging above you. Go right into the next screen. Fly over to the magma wall and get it out of your way and then continue right, killing the moth and running (or flying) through the wall's hole. Shoot the bat and land on the raft. Shoot the spider during your temporary ride and carefully lift off at the end of the raft. Lift off slowly, just in case you lift off a bit too soon, while you're still under the huge deposit. Bomb the magma wall and keep going right. Kill the first moth, bomb the next magma wall, and fly over the second hole, going into the next screen. Shoot the spider and stand there a few seconds until you feel brave enough to drop down and fly with precision under that hanging magma wall. Rescue the miner. LEVEL 17 -------- Bomb the magma wall and go down to start the action. Hang to your left side to give the lantern the cold shoulder on the way down, but be wary of the moth below you. Destroy the magma wall on your right and go on down past the bat into the next screen. Hover at the top and position yourself to go on down past the spider and through the narrow opening. Before you go down far enough for the screen to change, move about three/fourths to the left of the screen, and then go down cautiously, because two moths are flying back and forth in a neat row. These two must be in love. Then keep going down into the next screen, being cautious of two upcoming moths that are flying to and fro together yet again. It must be moth mating season. Then keep going down until you touch ground beside the lonely bat. Shoot this bat to end its misery, then go down. The lights will soon go out. Shoot the moth to your left, then bomb the magma wall to your right and go down the right hole. The lights will go out for the second room in a row. Shoot the moth and run to the left for seemingly a mile to the next room. Shoot the spider then drop down past the moth. Well, you knew it wasn't going to be easy for the rest of this level. Put your best timing hat on and slip through the magma deposit door and past the spider below it. In the next screen, be careful not to land on top of the moth, then go left into the next screen, gliding over the small pit with the snake. Here you're introduced to Tentacles for the first time. That weird looking bubble right below you in the water isn't a bubble at all, and it's not a platform that you can safely land on either! It's the tentacles of a mean octopus. As long as you don't touch it, it won't bother you, so don't go to bed tonight and have any nightmares of an octopus tentacle reaching up and grabbing you. Shoot the spider, drop down until you can fit under the big block above you but stay above the tentacles, then go left and land beside the wall that's standing in your way. Bomb it and go left. Fly over to and bomb the magma wall and keep going left, shooting the moth on your way. Dang at the walls! In the next room is yet another wall of the not so overheating type. Fly over to and bomb it, then continue left, shooting the bat along the way. Land on the platform and do the trick that I've told you about at least twice in detail (pushing forward in the middle of the magma. Shoot down both of those spiders in the process (be careful not to let your head hit the upper one after you lift off) and continue going left. Fly along the ceiling, shoot the moth, and rescue the miner. LEVEL 18 -------- Bomb the magma wall and go down. I would say to hang to your left to avoid touching the lantern, but man. Your heart will definitely skip a beat or two when you first enter this room, hovering at the top, and look down at what lies ahead. There's nothing you haven't seen before, but that moth and bat are both flying at speeds that would make you think their ass is on fire. In this room, I always go ahead and turn the lantern off, then land below it, cause timing your landing correctly without landing on moths THAT fast isn't easy. Shoot that moth when you do land. There are four tiny holes in which to choose to go down. Bomb the magma wall, then go down the furthest hole on the right. The light will go out soon after you enter this next room. Shoot or ignore the spider on your right after you land, then carefully step off the ledge to your left, going down past the scary snake. If you want to, hover at the very top of this next screen so you can move over to your left (or shoot the snake and hover and move to the left side of the wall at that time), to avoid the lantern. Land, bomb the magma wall, then take off from a standstill and kill the moth on your left. Then, step off the ledge carefully on your right to avoid landing on the bat. Continue southward. It looks like you could land on this moth, but you can't. Shoot it if it irks you, then bomb the magma wall on the right and go down that right hole. You CAN land on this next moth. You can't help but to hit the lantern, but time your descent carefully (you'll lose a lot of lives to these lightning quick moths, but you'll get better) to avoid letting the moth take a life from you. One thing I've found to be helpful in avoiding these super fast moths is to fly as far in the opposite direction as soon as you can on your way down. Run right, into the next screen. Shoot the moth at the top, then you can choose either hole. I recommend flying over the first one and going down the one on the right, since the one on the right doesn't have any moths or lanterns in it. Once you touch down, shoot the bat and continue going down. The lights will go out again, giving that magma deposit door a new light. Slip on through it when the time is right and keep going down past the next screen completely. And then keep going down until you hit the ground. Man, the room you're in now and the one you just skipped completely just went dark as well. Kill the lively moth to your right, then walk to your right until you're standing close to the magma deposit. Lift off and travel back up at full speed, holding down the firing button. If you go up more slowly, you'll have to time it right to keep from hitting the deadly insect, but doing so at full speed, the moth will be on the far right and will fall prey to your constant lasers. Land below where it was flying and walk to the left until you fall through the pit. You'll hit the ground. Go to the right, to the next screen. Shoot the spider and dip down and to the right quickly to escape the tentacles that are chasing you in the water. Kill the bat, bomb the wall, and continue right. In the next room, shoot the spider at the top then ride the platform, shooting the spider along the way and lifting off at the right time to keep going right. Knock down the magma wall, shoot the spider, then continue flying right. Stay in the air and cross that huge pit below you. Land, squash the spider, and keep progressing to the right. In the final room, shoot the moth, then make your way to the other side of this U-shaped room and rescue the miner. That was a long level. My time was almost down to the last tick. Was yours? LEVEL 19 -------- We're to the next to the last level already!? Time sure does fly by (no pun intended) when you're having fun! Bomb the magma wall and go down to start the beginning of the end. Hover at the top of the changing screen. You'll involuntarily switch the lights to the Off position. Drop down until you're right above the hyper as hell moth. Once it's moving to the right and it's about in the middle of its rightward flight, return the joystick to the center position to try and time it right. Since there's a magma wall to your right, you'd instinctively think by now that that's the right way to go, but you'd be wrong. Walk into the left hole and let gravity take full effect until you land on the blue surface. Then continue down, making sure you don't land on the moth's head, or butt, whichever way it's facing. In the next screen, bomb the magma wall on your right, then once again time your step off the ledge so that you don't land on top of the moth pest. Hover at the top of the just-changed screen and position yourself to land right to the left of the spider. Now tell the spider it was nice knowing him and shoot it. Keep going down, past the bat and into the next room. Bomb the magma wall, shoot the spider, and continue your journey downward and closer to the earth's core. Hover at the top and drop down to turn the lights off so you'll be right above the magma deposit door. Time it like a pro and slip through in one brave piece and keep going down into the next screen. Step off the left ledge in the next room, wholly avoiding the moth and bat. Hover at the top of the next screen and position yourself to where you'll go down past the snake on its right. Keep going south to the next room, again hovering at the top. Position yourself and go down the scrawny left hole. Hover at the top of the next and go down past the snake on its right. Then be careful not to touch that filthy mud-looking body of water below you and make your way to the left and into the next screen. Shoot the bat and maneuver your way down and to the left, avoiding the invincible tentacles and shooting the vulnerable moth. Bomb the wall and continue left. Interestingly enough, if any of these enemies kill you (like Tentacles just did me!), all of them will disappear, even Tentacles. Land on the platform, kill the spider along your way, then take off and shoot the bat as you keep going left. Land next to the magma wall and annihilate it slowly or quickly (lasers or bomb), then continue left, killing the moth along your way. Follow the U-shaped pattern as you're accustomed to doing by now in the next room, staying as far away from the tentacles as possible and knocking that spider out of your way near the end. Get rid of the magma wall and progress to the left. In the final room, shoot the moth and lift off if you're not already in the air. Drop down past the bat on your right and then carefully avoid the magma deposit above you as you rescue the miner. LEVEL 20 -------- This is it, folks. Can you feel the excitement of completing this 20-year old game? I can. Bomb the magma wall and go down to get the show on the road. Hover at the top and after your eyes adjust to the suddenly onset darkness, time your descent down to the ground with accuracy to avoid the moth. Shoot that moth ASAP. Bomb the magma wall on your right and step off the ledge to the left of the spider, staying to the left side of the wall on your way down. Drop down the hole and hover right above the moth. When you're ready to suck it up and make the move down past the moth and into the next room, do it. Hover at the top of the next screen and then glide all the way over to the left side of the screen where the snake-free hole is. Then go down past the spider. When the screen changes, hover over to the right side of the open space between the two magma deposits. Do that and the moths can't reach you. Go down past them and into the next room. Use your awesome timing skills (if you've made it this far, you KNOW you're awesome!) to slip through the magma deposit door, as I'm fond of calling the opening and closing deposits. Hover at the top of the next screen and then move to the left. This part's a good challenge. Make sure you don't accidentally hover back up into the previous screen, cause you could easily hit a moth or deposit that you've already passed. Position yourself so that you can fall straight down through the narrow crack between the deposit and ledge, being even more careful not to land on top of the moth. When the screen changes, hover and make your way to the right in the next screen. Drop down the right-side hole, past the moth. In the next room, keep to the left of the lantern, then land on the small ledge on your right. Step off that same ledge to continue downward when you're 100% positive that you'll squeeze by that moth below you. Hover at the top of and position yourself in the next screen to fit through the miniscule hole in the deposit and past the spider. Upon landing, run to the right, step off the ledge, hovering in place immediately to shoot the spider, then go right, into the next room. Shoot the bat, then land on the platform and do what you always do in this room, lasering through the spider on your way. Bomb the magma wall and continue east. Shoot the moth, fit under the hanging magma deposit until you're just past it, then rise straight up, ignoring the spider. Land beside the magma wall and get rid of it. Then continue right. Shoot the bat, make your way down and to the right through this U-shaped monster and shoot the moth to get it out of your way. Make landfall, bomb the magma wall, and keep going to the right. Another U-shaped room! How many of these in a row are there??? The game knows you're close to the end and it's really socking it to you now! Shoot the moth, make your way to the right, avoiding the tentacles and shooting or rising above the moth, then continue right. Shoot the moth in this, the FINAL room, then make your down, right, up, and right to rescue the miner. IS THIS THE END? ---------------- Yep, but only if you want it to be. Look down at the bottom-center of the screen where it always informs you of which level you're currently on at the very beginning of the level as your Power meter is filling up and you'll see the words, LEVEL: PRO. The levels will now start over at Level 13 and go in order from Levels 13-20. Once you complete Level 20, the cycle will start over again at Level 13 and that'll continue until your game is over. So you'll notice that in some levels the enemies will be back to normal speed (they'll seem slow to you now!), while in others they still suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It'll say LEVEL: PRO at the beginning of each level now that you've completed the 20th stage, which really inflates your ego! But your ego deserves to be awakened, because H.E.R.O. isn't that easy of a game, and it's not short either. Believe me, it's worth continuing, and not just because H.E.R.O. is boat loads of fun. Yes, you've beaten the game, but you haven't yet achieved the ultimate goal. The greatest achievement that is to be had is to reach the pinnacle of a million points. That's 1,000,000 points. Unlike it does in most Atari 2600 games, such as Asteroids, Ms. Pac-Man, etc., the score does not roll over (start back at zero). As I said in an earlier section, the bottom of the screen, where it usually tells you which level you're about to go up against, will change to a bunch of exclamation points (!!!!!!). Then the screen will freeze. Watch it for a few more seconds and it'll then start showing the computer play like a pro in the demonstrations. It's even interesting to watch this. Unlike most games, on any platform, the computers play through several stages in H.E.R.O.'s demonstrations. 5. CREDITS ========== Retro (that's me) would like to thank the following: God, for everything and more. Activision, for producing an unbelievable Atari 2600 game in the name of H.E.R.O. that I'll never forget. Activision Classics and Activision Anthology, for introducing me to H.E.R.O. after I missed out on it all those years for the real Atari 2600. CJAYC, for running this awesome site we all know as GameFAQs. Jason Venter for trying to contend with GameFAQs with a not so bad site itself, HonestGamers. And of course, where would I be without all the cool people I've met on GameFAQs? The following are cool enough to be listed in this FAQ: Masters (or whatever name he chooses to use later today), Jerec, VGrevolution, cyper, Snow Dragon, KBroccoli, NT220, Psycho Penguin, Leroux, RuninRuder, yatesy, Bloomer, FFM, J-dog, inkhands, Zigfried. Lastly (but extremely far from leastly!), ASchultz, for inspiring me to write this FAQ with his suggestions and saying that he was excited to see the final product. 6. LEGAL STUFF ============== As you've probably read in every other FAQ on the site, the same holds true for this one. Don't think you can simply copy it over to your site. If you want this H.E.R.O. FAQ/Walkthrough on your website, e-mail or IM me and get my permission first. Once posted, it must not be altered in any way, shape, or form, unless I do it. Remember to contact me at StormyWeather980@aol.com if you have any questions or comments regarding H.E.R.O. or this FAQ. Well, have a good day and enjoy H.E.R.O.!