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  3. Guardian Legend Stats and Mechanics

User Info: The Admiral

The Admiral
7 years ago#1
We’ve been discussing some of this game’s stats and mechanics recently, so I figured I would create a thread to begin sharing our findings. Below is the summary of what I’ve found. Feel free to add anything else or point out any corrections/comments to what I have here.

Player Health
The player’s health is stored in individual units from 0 to 255 (refer to these as health points or HP). The on screen health bar will actually show changes as small as 1 HP. There is also a visible heart counter at the bottom left that displays larger increments (refer to these as health hearts). Your health can still increase even after your health bar has reached the end of the screen.

- 1 Health Heart = 8 HP
- Starting Health = 64 HP = 8 Health Hearts
- Max On-Screen Health = 192 HP = 24 Health Hearts
- Max Health = 255 HP = 32 Health Hearts

You can get up to 32 Health Hearts if you collect enough points (see below), but this would take a considerable amount of time. It’s much more achievable when playing in “TGL” mode by using the die-at-each-level trick to take advantage of the health bonus at the first 30,000 points.

Health Bonuses
You can get up to 12 bonus health hearts from scoring points. Note that if you cheat to give yourself the maximum score, you will immediately be awarded any health bonuses you should have gotten from score accumulation before then when you kill an enemy. You will get bonus health at the following totals.

30,000
100,000
500,000
1,000,000
2,000,000
3,000,000
4,000,000
5,000,000
6,000,000
7,000,000
8,000,000
9,000,000


Power-Ups
Most of the collectable power-ups restore some health:

- Heart: 40 HP
- Red Chips: 16 HP + 500 Chips
- Blue Chips: 2 HP + 20 Chips
- Red/Blue Lander: Max HP + Next Health/Chip Level
- Special Weapon/Upgrade: 16 HP
- Energy Tank: Max HP

User Info: The Admiral

The Admiral
7 years ago#2
Player Attack
Attack is measured by the number of guns on the status screen, which max at 4. These guns correspond to the following attack values and damage increases per level.

Guns...Attack...Inc.
1........1.......-
2........2......100%
3........3......50%
4........5......40%


For the most part, each bullet you fire will inflict damage equal to the attack value above, as enemies have no defense. It’s interesting to note that the fourth gun increases your attack from 3 to 5, which seems to be done for balance reasons. The guns collected also affect the damage of several special weapons, discussed later.

When you run into normal enemies (in labyrinth or ship), you will damage them with an attack power equal to one indicated by your gun level.

On a technical note, the game uses two different bytes to record number of guns and attack power, and it will perform checks each time you collect a power-up or do certain actions to verify that your attack level is appropriate. There is also a hard check to make sure your gun level does not exceed 4. You can get around this in the short-term by editing the attack power byte directly ($05A8), and this will let you do massive damage on the current screen. However, this will reset in the course of normal playing.

Consecutive Firing
You fire bullets continuously while holding down the B-button, and the delay between bullets is determined by the number of consecutive firing power-ups you collect. The more power-ups, the less the delay, the tighter your bullets will be clumped. You can get up to five upgrades in this game. Any ones you collect above this will do nothing.

CF....Delay
0......12
1.......5
2.......4
3.......3
4.......2
5.......1


The lower the delay number, the better. I am not sure if it corresponds to a real unit (like frames), but this is how the game records it. The importance is the relative difference between them. Collecting the first power-up makes a drastic and immediately noticeable difference. The remaining ones are much less important and harder to distinguish.

Bullet Limits
Regardless of consecutive firing, you are still limited to a certain number of bullets on the screen at once. These will depend on if you have a weapon selected or in use. Note that while the bullets will change in appearance as your max chip level increases, each “band” still counts as one bullet and can only damage an enemy once. The bullet limits are:

- No Use Selected: 4 bullets
- Area Blaster/Back Fire/Cutter Laser in use: 2 bullets
- All other special weapons queued or in use: 3 bullets

The take away should be to keep No Use selected if you’re not actively using a weapon. Even queuing the enemy erasers, which never have an on-screen sprite, will limit you to 3 bullets.

User Info: The Admiral

The Admiral
7 years ago#3
Player Defense
Player defense is measured by the number of shields on the status screen and maxes at 7. Collecting additional shields beyond that does not do anything. The game has a hard check for this as it does with attack power.

The game calculates your damage reduction from shields by dividing the enemy’s base damage by the number of shields you’ve collected. As such, the amount of base damage you take and the reduction are as follows:

.........Damage....Damage
Shield...Taken....Reduction

1........100%.........0%
2.........50%........50%
3.........33%........67%
4.........25%........75%
5.........20%........80%
6.........17%........83%
7.........14%........86%


For example, if an enemy bullet has 64 base damage, it will do 64 with 1 Shield, 32 with 2 Shields, 21 with 3 Shields, etc.

Special Weapons
Each special weapon has three power levels. There are no additional levels that can be unlocked, even by cheating. As you level up the weapons, they will usually change in speed, size, and chip use. The special weapons will do damage equal to either a fixed amount per level of some multiple of your attack power determined by your gun level (abbreviated as “A” below). The damage they do is as follows:

Special Weapon...Lv1....Lv2....Lv3
Multibullets......A......A......A
Back Fire.........A......A......A
Wave Attack.......1......2......6
Bullet Shield.....A......A......A
Grenade..........16.....32.....48
Fireball.........16.....24.....32
Area Blaster......A......A......A
Repeller..........4......7.....10
Hyper Laser.......1......1......1
Saber Laser......2A.....4A.....8A
Cutter Laser.....2A.....4A.....8A


Note that the damage above is for attacking regular enemies. At bosses and mini-bosses, the maximum damage per hit is capped at 5. For this reason, many of the attacks above will do the same damage as the Fireball near the end of the game and become much more effective (the level 3 Area Blaster is the best known example).

As a final oddity, the weapons normally turn from blue to green to red on the menu screen as they increase in level. The Enemy Erasers are the exception to this, as they normally remain blue throughout the game. You can change their color to green or red using cheat codes, but it has no gameplay effect.

User Info: The Admiral

The Admiral
7 years ago#4
Bosses
The tables below show the stats for bosses and mini-bosses. The boss names are from the manual, the mini-boss names are made up by me and should hopefully make sense. I included the areas for clarity.

The damage values below are the base values before any reduction from your shields. Bosses themselves have no defense, so the damage you inflict on them will be equal to your attack power or special weapon power from above (capped at 5).

Note that bosses and mini-bosses have a short invincibility period that regular enemies do not have. Each boss hit will be signified by a visible explosion.

The table below has values for contact damage (touching the boss) and damage from their projectiles.

Boss......................Contact...Proj1....Proj2
Name................HP....Damage....Damage...Damage..Corridor

Defense System......4/8......0..........4........-.......0
Fleepa...............80......8..........4........-.......1
Green Optomon.......160......48........48........8......11
Crawdaddy...........144......12.........4........-.......2
Red Fleepa..........128......16.........4........-......12
Blue Optomon........256......64........64.......16.......3
Blue Bombarder......192......32.........8........-......13
Teramute............256......16.........8........-.......4
Blue Clawbot........516......36/128....36........8......14
Zibzub..............224......48.........8........-.......5
Green Clawbot.......452......16/128....16........8......15
Glider (Bat).........96......48.........4........-.......6
Red Optomon.........320......96........96.......32......16
Eye Growth.......96/384......0.........24........-.......7
Eye Growth.......96/384......0.........24........-......17
Red Grimgrin.......1664......96........24.......64.......8
Blue Grimgrin......1152......64........24.......64......18
Blue Eyegore........512......96........96........1.......9
Red Bombarder.......240......48.........4........-......19
Red Eyegore.........768......112.......64........1......10
Red Clawbot.........580......80/128....80........4......20
Last Boss..........2176......32.......128.......48......21


Notes
1. The Defense System and Eye Growth have two different types of turrets. The HP for the smaller and larger ones are given by the split. Note that the smaller ones are considered normal enemies, so they will take full damage from special weapons. For the Eye Growth, the eye projectiles have 16 HP.

2. For the Optomon battles, projectile 1 is the eye tendrils, projectile 2 is the bullets.

3. The Clawbots have 4 visible stages during their battles: the starting appearance, claws turn orange, claws detach, body turns orange. These changes happen at fixed HP levels. Here are the HP values for each phase:

Blue Clawbot....236/80/150/50
Green Clawbot...172/80/150/50
Red Clawbot.....300/80/150/50


Projectile 1 for the Clawbots is the laser attack; projectile 2 is the missiles. The second contact damage value for the Clawbots is for their detached claws. These deal a massive 128 damage if touched, so avoid them.

4. Like the Clawbots, the Grimgrins have 4 visible stages: starting appearance, main eyes removed, top eyes removed, and exploding. Here are the HP levels for each of these phases:

Blue Grimgrin...128/256/256/512
Red Grimgrin....640/256/256/512


For these enemies, projectile 1 is the eyes, projectile 2 is the bullets

5. For the Eyegore battles, projectile 1 is the skull and nail attacks. Projectile 2 is the front lasers. And yes, they only inflict 1 HP in damage for some reason.

6. The final boss also has 3 distinct phases, denoted by color: blue, orange, red. Its HP for each of these phases are 1664/256/256. For this fight, projectile 1 is the bubbles and projectile 2 is the missiles.

User Info: The Admiral

The Admiral
7 years ago#5
Mini-Bosses
The mini-bosses are a bit simpler and never have more than one type of projectile attack, if any.

Miniboss..................Contact.....Proj
Name................HP....Damage.....Damage....Area

Red Burrower........64......32.........4........0
Green Spider........16......16.........-........0
Green Lobster.......32......48.........8........1
Blue Spider.........48......48.........8........1,2,4,5
Blue Lobster........64......64........16........2
Green Urchin........64......24.........-........3
Red Burrower 2.....112......32........16........3
Blue Urchin........112......40.........-........4
Crystal Plant......208......48........24........5
Orange Burrower....160......32........32........6
Red Lobster.........96......96........32........6,7
Blue Burrower......256......32........48........7
Red Urchin.........256......56.........-........8
Red Spider..........96......80........64........8,9
Green Burrower.....320......32........80........9
Dragon Skull.......288......64........96........10
Glider (Bat)........96......48.........4........10


Notes
1. The Red Burrower in area 3 is identical in appearance to the one in area 0 but has higher HP.

2. The Glider enemy in area 10 is identical in stats and attack to the boss of corridor 6.
- The Admiral

User Info: FatRatKnight

FatRatKnight
7 years ago#6
Awesome. We now have a good chunk of boss data on display here. Thanks!


Boss "invulnerability" timer
In addition to capping the damage done per hit at 5, bosses also reduce the frequency with which they can be hit by your attacks. They don't have an actual invincibility timer that you would be familiar with in other games, but they still serve to make the battles last longer.

For your normal shots, when it hits the boss, rather than disappear immediately like against normal enemies, your normal shots instead turn into explosions, and these explosions do nothing more than taking up a slot that would otherwise allow you to shoot some more. Thus, your rate of fire with normal shots is effectively reduced, waiting until these explosions finally vanish.

As for special weapons, the check for damage done is only made every 8th frame. So not only is sticking your saber into that boss isn't doing more than 5 damage a hit, it is also hitting 1/8 as frequent as it would against normal enemies. As well, the "every 8th frame" coincides with the moment where your saber weapons are on the "short half" of their 2-frame animation, making it difficult to actually harm the boss, and also makes your grenades somewhat inconsistent on hitting the boss.

Regardless, TGL does notice your special weapon may be in contact on the other 7 frames. So long as your special weapon is in contact with the boss, the boss's hitbox will not react to your normal shots or the Guardian herself. You may safely reside "inside" a boss as long as you can keep a special weapon also "inside" the boss.



As a note, when referring to frames, it's basically whenever the NES updates the picture. If you have any idea on how videos work, it's the same concept. Standard NTSC systems (USA, JPN) runs at about 60 frames per second. I can confirm the consecutive firing upgrades are working with these frames, and that 1 means it's firing every frame, if possible.

By the way, passwords do allow for "out of range" values for SHIELD and rate of fire. 0 SHIELD is likely a debug value, as it strangely affects damage you deal, and rate of fire 6 and 7 are far slower than default. Picking up a SHIELD item with 0 SHIELD doesn't kick you out of 0 SHIELD, but picking up a rate of fire upgrade with the glitched 6 or 7 sets you at 5 power-ups, the within-bounds normal maximum rate.
Please be specific when titling topics. I want to know what it's about before I click it!
If there's spoilers involved, feel free to remain ambiguous!

User Info: DragonAtma

DragonAtma
7 years ago#7
Keep in mind that when a game normally expects a value to be between 1 and X, setting it to be X+1 often reads from a different set of data entirely.

Here are the hex values from 087DE to 087E5:
0C 05 04 03 02 01 32 00

The first six are how often (according to your firing rate) you can fire shots. Changing the 0C to 01 will let you fire with 0 firing rate as quickly as if you had maxed out (5) firing rate. The other two numbers are what you'd get if you managed to set your firing rate to 6 or 7, and almost certainly are data for something else.
Nagas on a plane! ^_^

User Info: FatRatKnight

FatRatKnight
7 years ago#8
0x32 is 50 in decimal. The byte that follows is zero. I'm aware that chips don't exactly fit inside of just one byte, so I wouldn't be surprised if these two bytes happen to tell you your CHIP count when you have zero Red Landers picked up. I'm guessing the following bytes would be 64 00 | 96 00 | C8 00 | 90 01 | 20 03 | B0 04 | 40 06 | 60 09 | A0 0F | 70 17 .

Incidentally, that probably explains why it looks like it takes around a second for 6 pick-ups and over four seconds for a consecutive shot at 7. After a decrement, 0x00 becomes 0xFF, and that's not zero. And since it's not zero, don't call the firing code, and don't reset the counter. Not until you hold that button down for another 255 frames.

Each press still, of course, fires the shot. Much like how you can probably hit that button more rapidly than 5 times per second, faster than zero consecutive fire power-ups.


Curious about any other mechanics I can think of, off-hand...

Effects of SHIELD
As has been explained earlier, SHIELD divides incoming damage. However, collecting these has more effect than just the incoming damage.

As follows:
- You move faster when you have at least 5 SHIELD.
- The "circle of comets" change in size and count based on SHIELD.
- Certain "turtle" normal enemies in AREA 0 change with at least 3 SHIELD.

If you use the password system to start with 0 SHIELD, then:
- Incoming damage is divided by 32. All attacks deal 1 to 7 damage to you now.
- You are as fast as you would be with at least 5 SHIELD.
- The "circle of comets" are glitched -- The thing just flies off to the right, no effect.
- The "turtle" enemies in AREA 0 are in the 1 or 2 SHIELD forms.
- Somehow, your attack power is 64, ignoring ATTACK. This breaks levels 2 and 3 sabers.



Which special weapons can hit enemy projectiles? Specifically, the projectiles that can't be hit by basic shots, but can come into contact with the Guardian anyway. Some weapons are able to hit these just fine. And no, using the Guardian herself as the "weapon" to remove these projectiles is usually not a smart move. Would help to know a list of weapons and at what levels they can do it.

How durable are the boss projectiles? Maybe 1. Maybe 255. To my knowledge, all of them can be destroyed with the right sort of firepower. Even the mega death beams of one set of bosses can be destroyed with sufficient firepower (0 SHIELD says "hi"). Just curious if some of them need to be hit multiple times with my 1 ATTACK puny shots of utter worthlessness.

How durable are player projectiles? Figured that inverting the previous question would be a good idea. I am aware that some of the special weapons are somewhere between 1 HP and indestructible at some levels. I am also aware that whatever damage the enemy would have done to a 1 SHIELD Guardian would do that damage to your projectile, if it isn't an invincible shot like level 3 fireball.
Please be specific when titling topics. I want to know what it's about before I click it!
If there's spoilers involved, feel free to remain ambiguous!

User Info: DragonAtma

DragonAtma
7 years ago#9
You, sir, are completely correct about the 32 00 being the start of the max chip count. ;)

I believe thew two most common types of projectile (roof turret's spinning bullets in corridor 0, the small circular bullets Optomon fires) have only 1 HP. no matter where they appear. it's different for other projectiles, though (I'm certain I've seen the spinning eyes take multiple hits).
Nagas on a plane! ^_^

User Info: The Admiral

The Admiral
7 years ago#10
FatRatKnight posted...
How durable are player projectiles?


The health of your special weapon projectiles are stored in the RAM at $0593 and $0594, just before the block for enemy health. While they are all assigned HP values, some are indestructible and will just keep resetting to 255 HP after they hit something. Things like destroying blocks or hitting solid walls will reduce HP. I believe the standard seems to be 4 HP per hit, but this would need to be verified.

Some of the special weapons change in power as they level up. For example, the level 1 Fireball has 128 HP and can be destroyed if you shoot it into a wall or at those hockey puck enemies. However, the level 2 and 3 Fireball are indestructible.
- The Admiral
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