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Guide and Walkthrough by retrobloke

Version: 1.02 | Updated: 02/04/2009

Revenge of the 'Gator
DMG-PB-USA
HAL AMERICA INC.

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Guide by Retrobloke
terenceshew@aol.com
Copyright Terry Shew 2009

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REVISION HISTORY:
1.00 - The original submission to GameFaqs on 02 February 2009.
1.01 - Added some snippets of additional info. General tidy up - additional
       sub-headings and divisions. 04 February 2009.
1.02 - Some minor changes to help clarify a few points. 22 February 2009.

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I post and update on GameFaqs. If you are in any doubt, then the latest version
can be found there. I give an indication at the end of the FAQ as to my future
plans regarding updates.

I have also given permission to www.supercheats.com to host my FAQs.

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CONTENTS:

01 INTRODUCTION
02 GAME OPTIONS
03 CONTROLS
04 SCREEN C
05 SCREEN B / BONUS STAGE 2
06 SCREEN A / BONUS STAGE 3
07 SCREEN D / BONUS STAGE 1 / BONUS MULTIPLIER
08 HIGH SCORES
09 MATCHPLAY
10 CREDITS

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01 INTRODUCTION:

Revenge of the 'Gator (RotG) is a fun pinball game published by the Japanese
company HAL Laboritories Inc in October 1989. The original Japanese title is
'Pinball: 66 Hiki no Wani Daikoushin.' Hal is probably best known for its range
of Kirby games. RotG is set across the four main linked screens, and three
additional bonus games accessible from three of the four main areas.

I decided to write a guide for this game because there doesn't appear to be any
out there. Not that I could find anyway. Also, carts regularly turn up for
sale without the manual on eBay here in the UK. I'm sure the same is true for
other countries as well. I do own the manual, but it is far from comprehensive.

RotG was a very innovative game for it's time, and still stands comparison for
its gameplay with many titles released since.

I have owned this game for many years, and along with Kirby's Pinball Land
- also released for the original Game Boy and published by the same company in
1993 - it is one of my favourite pinball games on any system. RotG has some
similarities with KPL, though the latter game is visually more polished and has
fourteen different playable screens compared to RotG's seven (eight, if you
include the Matchplay option). KPL is almost certainly the better known of the
two, but RotG is a great game in its own right and worth checking out.

Clearly, RotG is played across an unrealistic pinball table which would be
impossible to replicate in the real world. But, one advantage RotG does have
over video game renditions of more traditional tables is that each individual
play area can be seen in its entirety, without the necessity for the camera to
scroll up and down the table following the ball. In RotG you can see every part
of the screen being played. The camera only scrolls when the ball moves between
screens.

I would recommend playing the game on the GBA SP as the view can be enlarged
(Left Shoulder Button) and some additional colours are displayed.

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02 OPTIONS:

Press Start at the title screen to see the different game options available.
Use the D-pad and Select to make your choice.

'Gator 1 Player
'Gator 2 Player
Matchplay A (2P for beginners)
Matchplay B (2P for experts)

The bulk of this guide will be dedicated to 'Gator 1 Player.

'Gator 2 Player uses the 'hot seat' system where each player takes a turn - one
ball at a time - before passing the GB/GBC/GBA to their opponent.

Matchplay uses the gamelink cable, with each player controlling flippers on
their side of a special screen not featured in the main game - of which more
later. 

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03 CONTROLS:

The A Button is used to pull back the plunger to send the ball from the shooter
lane into play. BUTTON A or B controls the right flipper and the D-PAD controls
the left flipper. Sadly, there is no way to nudge the table. Press START to
pause the game at any time to view the high score and your current score.

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04 SCREEN C:

You will start with three balls with the possibility of gaining an extra ball in
Screen A (see below). You can only gain one extra ball per game.

Screen C is where the action starts. There is no access to any of the bonus
games from this screen.

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SAVERS:
At the top of the screen you will see four hearts which light up as the ball
passes through the channels. Light all four and the side savers and saver post
between the flippers appear for a limited time. This is not difficult to achieve
and is well worth attempting. Getting the savers will add 1000 pts to the bonus.

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SPINNER LANE AND SLOT MACHINE:
To the right there is a spinner lane which activates the slot machine. Three
stars increase the bonus multiplier (only viewable on Screen D) by one. Three
fish activates the side savers and saver post. Three eggplants makes the savers
disappear, and returns the bonus and multiplier to 1000x1.

By and large, I would not recommend bothering with this feature as the main
object when on this screen is to get to the one above it. There is some point to
attempting to increase the bonus multiplier at the start of each ball, but
thereafter you run the risk of wiping out tens of thousands of pts should you
get the three eggplants. Most of the time you will get a combination of stars,
fish and eggplants, which will have no effect. When I play, entering the spinner
lane is usually acieved more by luck - via the bumper - than by any skill with
the flippers.

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TARGETS:
To move up to Screen B you will need to hit the three small targets to the left,
just below a blocked off channel leading up. The targets will disappear when you
hit them, opening up the channel to Screen B. Should you slip down to the screen
below this one (Screen D) - if only momentarily - then you will have to clear
the targets again from scratch. Once open you should attempt to send the ball
up the channel to Screen B. You may need to make several attempts at it. More
often than not the ball will travel some way up the channel before falling back
into Screen C.

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BUMPER:
Occassionally, the lights around the bumper will start flashing. Hitting the
bumper at this time will earn more pts.

Hitting the bumper will also reset the hearts at the top of the screen when the
savers are in position, and the targets to the left once the channel has been
opened. Neither amounts to very much, but you could extend the life of your
savers by getting all the hearts again.

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If you lose the ball from Screen C you will enter Screen D (see below). But,
let's stay positive and assume you have moved in the desired upward direction
and take a look at Screen B next.

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05 SCREEN B:

SAVERS:
The three 'gators (roll over switches) just above the flippers grow a little
each time the ball rolls over them. They have three states: invisible, small and
large. Get all three to their largest size and the side savers and saver post
will appear. Conversely, the savers will disappear when all three are invisible.
I would not recommend making this your main focus on this screen as it is likely
to happen at some point in any case - if only by chance. Indeed. the savers come
and go more frequently on this screen than any other in the game. However, if
you have managed to raise the bonus multiplier to x2 or more then you will earn
2000 bonus pts every time you get the savers, instead of the usual 1000 pts.

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TARGETS:
Screen B has lots of small targets to the upper left and right. Hit them to make
them disappear, including the spikes attached to the walls.

By clearing the targets on the right you will open up a channel to Screen A
(see next section).

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GETTING TO THE BONUS STAGE:
Behind the targets on the left there is a small hole. Hit the ball into the
hole, once all targets on the left have been eliminated, to enter Bonus Stage 2.

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BONUS STAGE 2:
Here you will find a number of eggs which you hatch by striking them with the
ball several times. As each egg hatches a baby 'gator appears which will vanish
when you hit it. Get all five to score a bonus of 30,000 pts. If you lose the
ball, at any point, you will be returned to Screen B, where all of the targets
will be back in place. You will have to clear them all again to get back in.

Points earned in the bonus stages are added to the score immediately. They are
not the same bonus pts that get added to the score at the end of each ball.

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06 SCREEN A:

This is where you want to be. You can only go down from here, and Screen A gives
access to the bonus stage scoring the most pts. The slot at the upper right
leads to Bonus Stage 3 (see below).

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EXTRA BALL: 
There is a 'gator at top centre trapped in a cage. At top left and right there
are small channels with a fish in each. By sending the ball through the channels
you send the fish to the trapped 'gator. You will have to clear both channels
before the fish are replenished, so that you can continue to feed the 'gator.
Whenever you clear both channels two small flying 'gators appear which can be
hit for extra pts. Every time the caged 'gator eats a fish he grows a little
larger. Eventually he will get too big for his cage and break out. As he
descends down the screen hit him with the ball. Your reward will be an extra
ball. You can only earn one extra ball per game.

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BONUS MULTIPLIER:
Should you free and hit a second 'gator on Screen A, then the bonus
multiplier will increase by one. The bonus multiplier can only be viewed on
Screen D.

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GETTING TO THE BONUS STAGE:
You will probably want to avoid the slot at the upper right which leads to Bonus
Stage 3 (see below) until you have earned the extra ball. Once the flying
'gators appear the targets will be back in place on Screen B below, which is
where you will warp to when you exit the bonus stage. You will then have to
clear all targets again.

Entering the bonus stage before the flying 'gators appear will not result in
the targets reappearing on Screen B.

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TARGET:
There is a wall-mounted target to the left which makes a loud 'wobbly-whoopy'
sort of noise when hit. As far as I can tell this adds to the bonus recorded
on Screen D.

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SAVERS:
The savers are activated for a limited time by hitting the three drop targets
at the upper left. If you lose the ball from this screen you will be returned
to Screen B.

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BONUS STAGE 3:
Eight 'Gators pop their heads up through holes into the play area before
disappearing again. Once hit they will not reappear until all 'gator heads have
been hit. The process will then start again. Every time you clear the screen of
'gators you will earn a very welcome 50,000 pts. It is difficult to predict when
they will appear. The best strategy, in my view, is to keep the ball alive and
try to send it into the areas where there are still 'gators to be eliminated.
You can see which 'gators will reappear as the stars decorating the holes change
from black to white once their respective 'gator has been hit. When you lose the
ball from here you will return to Screen B.

Points earned in the bonus stages are added to the score immediately. They are
not the same bonus pts that get added to the score at the end of each ball.

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07 SCREEN D:

Lose the ball from Screen C and you drop to Screen D.

You don't want to be here! Lose the ball from this screen and it's gone for
good. Screen D is a little more crowded with items than the others, so extra
care is needed to guard against unexpected ricochets.

This is the only screen on which you can see how many balls remain in the game.
The number is given at the bottom right of the screen next to the shooter lane.
As games can sometimes be quite long it is easy enough to forget.

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HOLE:
If the ball enters Screen D from the right-sided out lane in Screen C there is
a pretty good chance it will fall into the hole at the top right. It will then
be swatted by a 'gators tail. By raising the right flipper the ball will return
to Screen C. If the flipper isn't raised the ball will hit its underside and
remain in Screen D.

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WARP:
Across the top of the screen there are three 'gator heads which open and close
their mouths. If the ball goes into the 'gator's mouth on the left the ball will
warp to Screen C. If the middle 'gator swallows the ball then you will warp to
Bonus Stage 1 (see below). The 'gator on the right warps the ball back to the
shooter lane from where you can also get back to Screen C.

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SAVERS:
Down the left side there are four 'gator heads in profile. When all of them have
been hit on the snout the savers will appear, and 1000 pts are added to the
bonus. This is worth attempting as it's not too difficult, and you can then
start smacking the ball around in relative safety looking for an exit. Repeat
the process with the snouts and the three 'gators across the top of the screen
will keep their mouths open - after a short delay - making it more likely that
one of them will swallow the ball.

At the level of the flippers it can be difficult to stay alive without the
savers. The two powerful bumpers just above the flippers are deadly as they can
send the ball through the gap between the flippers and into the animated screen
below where a giant 'gator swallows it. The best strategy for Screen D is to try
to hit the ball to the sides of the screen, avoiding the bumpers as far as
possible.

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BONUS MULTIPLIER:
It is on Screen D that you can see the Bonus Multiplier. As mentioned, this has
nothing to do with the pts won in the bonus stages. Because it isn't always in
view it wasn't immediately clear to me when this bonus was added to. The manual
has nothing to say on the subject. But, then I noticed that when the snouts of
the four 'gators down the left side of Screen D were flattened 1000 pts were
added to the bonus. Getting the savers on the other screens, I now realise, has
the same effect.

The wall-mounted target to the left of Screen A makes the same noise when hit as
can be heard when getting the savers on Screen B. As it doesn't seem to have any
other purpose, I can be pretty sure that it too adds to the bonus.

The Bonus Multiplier starts at 1000x1. Three stars on the slot machine in
Screen C will raise it to 1000x2, etc. Three eggplants on the slot machine will
return it to 1000x1. Hitting a second escaped 'gator in Screen A will also
raise it to 1000x2, etc.

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BONUS STAGE 1:
A 'gator is sitting on top of rows of blocks. Knock out the blocks in this
Arkanoid/Breakout style game, then hit the 'gator as he falls for 10,000 pts.
Repeat for another 10,000 pts. It's the most difficult bonus stage to get into
of the three, yet it offers the lowest pts. But, at least you will have got away
from Screen D. From this stage you warp to Screen B. Yes, that's right, you will
bypass Screen C.

The bonus pts are added to the score immediately. They are not the same bonus
pts that get added to the score at the end of each ball. The higher the screen
from which a bonus stage is accessed, the higher the pts on offer.

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08 HIGH SCORES:

The high score table is already populated with five high scores. If you score
highly enough you can add your own initials. But, as the cart doesn't include a
back up battery there is little point. All new additions to the high score table
will be lost when you switch the Game Boy off. Perhaps, if you were playing an
extended session with friends, you could use it to keep track of the score.

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09 MATCHPLAY:

Please feel free to skip this section if you are unlikely to ever play RotG
using the Video Link cable.

I'll be honest. I have never played this option. I can, however, describe the
game to the best of my ability, and in my own words, from what I have gleaned
from the manual's text and single screenshot for this mode of play. The manual
is far from comprehensive. It is not clear, for example, as to the difference
between Matchplay A and B. Okay, one is for beginners and the other for experts.
But, what this means in practice I couldn't say.

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VIDEO LINK CABLE:
You will need to connect two Game Boys using the Video Link cable. Both units
must be switched on at exactly the same time. The manual doesn't say if both
players should have a copy of the game inserted, so presumably one cart will
suffice.

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PLAY AREA:
The screenshot shows a table divided across the middle with a single bumper at
the centre. Each half of the table is a mirror image of the other. Each player
sees their flippers at the bottom of their screen. There are no kickers to the
sides of the flippers. Each player has their own shooter lane on the right side,
and an out lane on the left. There is a cluster of targets attached to the wall
between the out lane and the left flipper.

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SAVERS:
Three rollover targets are sited in front of each player's flippers in the form
of baby 'gators which start out invisible. When all three have grown to their
largest they will activate the side saver and saver post between the flippers.
When all three have vanished you will lose the savers.

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SCORING:
Each player's score is shown on their side of the screen. In the manual's sample
screenshot one player has 0950 pts, and the other has 0800 pts. My guess would
be that each started with 1000 pts?

If the ball is lost on your side you forfeit 100 pts.

The object of the game is to hit your opponent's targets to lower his or her
score. The harder you hit them the more pts they lose. When one player's score
is reduced to zero the 'Gator and Crossbones appears. The game is lost when the
ball passes over the 'Gator and Crossbones.

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ITEMS:
Additional items appear in the game which affect the conditions of play for one
or both players depending on the item hit and the direction from which it is
hit.

An illustration in the manual shows eight items in the form of a chart. Six
items are circles containing a letter or symbol. The circles have wings
attached. Perhaps they move around the table making them more difficult to hit?
Four contain letters.

~(G)~  Makes the ball heavy.

~(F)~  Makes one flipper disappear.

~(R)~  Return to original condition. (So maybe you can get your flipper back?)

~(S)~  Makes the savers appear.

~(ll)~ Makes the centre savers appear. (Looks like a 'pause' symbol.)

~(^)~  Increases gravity. (Upward pointing arrow.)

(+100) Score item.

 777   Players' scores are reversed. (Three upright 'gators.)

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Looks like a fun game. Perhaps I'll set up a game with my nephew, and if any
the above proves to be inaccurate with regards to Matchplay, or I can remove any
ambiguity, I'll update this guide. Alternatively, if any readers know any better
then perhaps they can let me know? I will of course give credit for any
additional info. Thanks.

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CREDITS:

The Instruction Booklet that came with the game. 
        
The author's powers of observation over many hours of gameplay, on and off, 
over a number of years. 

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This guide is written in British English. Spelling mistakes may not be spelling
mistakes unless they really are spelling mistakes.

Retrobloke recommends Kirby's Pinball Land. Another good fantasy-style pinball
game for the original Game Boy.

This is probably the final version of this FAQ, but one should never say never.

Thank you for reading this FAQ.

GAME OVER














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