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FAQ/Walkthrough by gudfooht
Version: 1.1 | Updated: 08/08/05
____ _____ / __ \ / ___/ / / < < / / / /__/ / / /___ \_____/ionic \____/ommando Elite Forces Version 1.1 Copyright 2005 gudfooht gudfooht ATTY yahoo DOTTY com Only gamefaqs.com has been authorised to host this document. This may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal, private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed publicly without advance written permission. Use of this guide on any other web site or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited and a violation of copyright. Contents -------- Introduction Chapter 1: Background Chapter 2: Play Modes Chapter 3: The Glitch Chapter 4: Techniques Chapter 5: Know Your Enemy Chapter 6: Right to Bear Arms Chapter 7: Accessories and Other Treasures Chapter 8: The Map Chapter 9: Walkthrough Chapter 10: Credits Chapter 11: Colophon Chapter 12: Version History Introduction ------------ My motivations in writing this guide are two-fold. First, at the time of this writing, there still wasn't a complete walkthrough for the game. So, I decided to change the situation. My other motivation is my experience with the glitch that has plagued some of the production cycles for this game. I read about the glitch from disjoint sources such as game reviews and a web site or two. But, there wasn't any information I considered comprehensive. Since I had the pleasure of dealing with the problem first hand, I'm probably as knowledgeable as anyone else is and I'm sure other people would appreciate my efforts to document my findings. And, yes, finally a workaround to the glitch has been discovered, thanks to RollingSkull. The intention of the walkthrough in this guide is to provide high level notes about each stage instead of being completely comprehensive. The walkthrough should be enough to get you through a stage with a minimum of fuss while not missing any cool items. I try to avoid using micro-managing directions because they tend to be overly verbose and a pain to comprehend. Instead, I've tried to include ASCII diagrams as much as possible for tricky spots. I have also bothered to include a summary of the controls. Personally, I find it annoying in guides (especially for games that have an in-game tutorial) but I recognise that intact instruction booklets are far and few between for used cartridge-based games these days. Chapter 1: Background --------------------- Bionic Commando: Elite Forces was released in 2000 for Game Boy Color. The game was developed jointly by Capcom and Nintendo Software Technology Corporation (NSTC). Elite Forces offers an alternate universe to the original NES mission. Super Joe is still being held prisoner behind enemy lines and the evil forces are trying to raise the Albatross, but the similarities in plot end there. There are quite a few notable features to the game: the option of a male or female soldier, very fluid animations, and detailed stage backgrounds (and foregrounds!). The game also features some actual voice cues. Although a bit crunchy and digitised, it's about as good as it gets on Game Boy Color. For those familiar with the NES classic, here are some differences: * drop down (see Techniques section) * bionic eye (see Techniques section) * charging (see Techniques section) * limited map movement (see The Map section) * no neutral zones * switch weapon and communicator at comm rooms * secret comm rooms * sniper mode * more bosses instead of cores * armor protects you from all hits, not just bullets. * saving the game (on leaving an area and at comm rooms) * choice between male or female commando Areas 6 and 9 differ depending on which commando you choose. In terms of game play, the only significant difference I've found between the male and female commando is the way they fall off of an edge. The female seems to drop straight down, whereas the male commando will do a slight air walk on the way down, thus adding a tiny bit of horizontal travel. * no "stun down" for rocket troopers In the NES version, there were blue gyro troopers that would fire a taser- like weapon downward while moving horizontally. You could goose these guys with the bionic arm and they would drop down a bit, thus coming into range of the wide cannon. In Elite Forces, the gyros have been replaced with rocket boosters and goosing the troopers doesn't seem to do anything. Fortunately, the rocket troopers aren't nearly as annoying. * no "box bounce" The box bounce is a glitchy move in the NES version that makes the infamous Area Six a bit easier to deal with. It comes into play when a platform overhead has boxes on top of it. Thus, you can swing from the platform, but you cannot climb up. To box bounce, get the bionic arm attached at a 45 degree angle as high as possible to the side of a platform: [no] [yes] XXXXXXXX XXXXXXXX X is a box ======== /======== = is a platform / / & & & ^ ^ ^ is your commando ===== ===== Start your swing and your body will go up through the platform. Once this happens, continuously extend the bionic arm to "bounce" up through the platform and boxes. Now that I've spent all this effort explaining the box bounce, just know that you can't really pull this off in Elite Forces. Chapter 2: Play Modes --------------------- There are four modes of play in the game: * Overworld map (see The Map section) * Standard This is the side-scrolling mode. No jumping allowed! * Commando style This is an overhead mode of play exactly like Commando for NES. This mode is used for the brief stages upon meeting an enemy truck on the map. The end of the stage is always up and the purpose, aside from being a minor annoyance, is to collect 1-Ups. In this mode, the bionic arm will swing in a circle as the ultimate "back off" maneuver. I do not recommend using this technique because it has the nasty habit of swinging enemies back in front of you after you've gotten past them. There are four flavours of the overhead stage: jungle, city, desert, and secret base. The desert stage is the best because it offers two 1-Ups instead of one. There are only three types of enemies you have to deal with: guards, cannons, and tanks. * Sniper mode A la Metal Gear Solid, jitters and all. Certain locations in the side- scrolling stages offer opportunities to snipe. These locations appear as unique structures in the background. A distinctive tone will sound along with a symbol when you have reached a sniper area. Press up to enter sniper mode. You have limited time to make three hits. If you succeed, a care package will drop from the skies. If you don't, you will be ambushed by lots of enemies in side-scrolling mode. My technique is to lead the mark with the crosshairs and let the mark walk into the kill zone. Part of the challenge is actually finding the three marks. Sniper mode only appears in Areas 1, 5, and 11. Chapter 3: The Glitch --------------------- Yes, there appears to have been a problem in the production of many of the cartridges. In a specific situation, the game will freeze. First, a description of "the glitch": 1. Save the game after completing an area. 2. Run into an enemy truck on the map. 3. Complete the brief, Commando-style stage. Picking up 1-Up items doesn't matter. 4. Enter an area. 5. Select your weapon. 6. The game will now hang briefly, then display a garbled Item screen. The game will not respond to any button input. Note: You may have to progress through the game a bit. The glitch will most likely show its ugly head after completing Area Five, but sometimes before and sometimes after. There seems to be different severities of glitchy-ness between cartridges. Even my "good" cartridge will glitch after Area 9 sometimes. Apparently some people have it even worse. From RollingSkull: "For the record, my cart would get the save glitch without fail if I loaded a savegame done with ANY progress in the game and then attacked a top-down level and tried to enter a normal level." In my experience, the system doesn't matter. The glitch will arise on Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, and the Game Boy Player attachment for the Game Cube. Without further ado, the glitch workaround, courtesy of RollingSkull: "What you must do before you load your saved game is to start a new game with a new character, and then go and get yourself killed, getting a game over, preferably in the first top-down stage. After getting the game over, then you go back to the main menu and load your save game. Voila. No more problems with the loadout screen borking after a top-down level." In my testing, I found that getting the game over screen to appear would do the trick, regardless of the circumstances. However, the game over screen must occur from a brand-new game. The enemy truck battle seems to take the least amount of time to accomplish this. I'm not certain that this will work for every cartridge out there, so I've retained my original strategies for dealing with the glitch. Now, a good topic for debate is whether this glitch makes the game unplayable. My answer is no. The game can be completed even with the glitch, but with so much extra challenge and potential frustration that it can quickly sour your enthusiasm. The game is definitely much easier without the glitch when you can stock up on nine lives before attempting each area. Ways to deal with the glitch: * Never save the game: pretend it's the NES version and play it straight through in a marathon session, which takes me about an hour and a half. * Stock up early: build up the maximum number of lives and hit points very early then avoid all enemy trucks for the duration of the game. This is challenging because, unlike the NES version, the available paths to areas are severely limited until the areas are completed. If you decide to try this route, be sure to utilise all three save slots to avoid getting "too" stuck. * Hybrid approach: try making it through the game without saving until you've picked up both promotions, then stock up on 1-Ups and start saving throughout the rest of the game. If you do choose to save as you go, here are some general tips: * Think ahead on the map: Don't focus simply on reaching the next area while dodging enemy trucks. Think about what would happen when you do complete that level. Is the enemy too close? Will you end up cornering yourself? If so, do a bit of pointless backtracking to give yourself some breathing room down the road. This should usually be an option: I've never been put into a "squeeze play" by the enemy trucks. * Don't save immediately after completing a level. Instead, progress to the next area and try to enter it. If the game doesn't freeze, bail out of the area and then save. If it does freeze, go back to a previous save file (remember, you should be using all of them!) and stock up on 1-Ups, then go from there. Again, this is a strategy for when the workaround doesn't work for your cartridge. Otherwise, always save after completing a level. In my experience, there really isn't much recourse if you happen to be one of the many unlucky individuals with a glitched cartridge and you want to get it fixed. Here's what I've tried so far: I called Nintendo of America's customer service line. First of all, the person did mention that my complaint was not the first time they had heard about this problem. She suggested I try to get a refund from the online auction seller. When that didn't fly, I called back and a second person informed me about repair options. She gave me a repair order number and told me to ship the cartridge, $10, and a note describing the problem to the authorised repair facility in New York State. After a week, I got my cartridge back accompanied by a note from the repair facility saying they wouldn't fix my game because it was a licensee product, meaning Capcom made it and they wouldn't fix Capcom's stuff (I felt like Ralphie after decoding Annie's secret message in "A Christmas Story"). All they did was clean the cartridge. To their credit, cleaning a cartridge will fix typical problems nine out of ten times. But, it didn't work in my case, thus boosting my suspicion of an actual production glitch. I did not get a refund until later because the repair facility ships all the checks to Nintendo for processing. Then I called Capcom and was told that Nintendo was in charge of the actual production. So both companies are pointing the finger at each other and I'm stuck in the crosshairs. Regardless of who actually made the cartridge, the fact that it is no longer produced actually dashes any hope for repair. With the Game Boy cartridges, pulling chips off the motherboard simply isn't worth the time nor effort. So, when a Game Boy cartridge does get "repaired" it is first cleaned. If that doesn't solve the problem, they replace the battery, if applicable. If it still doesn't work, they simply replace the whole cartridge. Since I'm a casual, occasional gamer now and have no need for additional headaches, I simply bought another copy (this works out pretty good for me, because now I can include solid glitched-game information in this guide). Again, even my "good" cartridge will freeze on me, but it just seems to happen later in the game (like after Area 9). If you're looking for another copy or are looking to buy the game for the first time, here are my suggestions: * As of this writing, the game is out of production so it will not be at your local department store. Try dedicated video game shops, especially if they deal with used games. * Try before you buy. Try to make it past Area 5, saving and running into enemy trucks all the while. * If you're buying online, ask, ask, and ask again before buying/bidding. State that some copies of the game freeze after saving and ask if this cartridge is one of them. Even if the seller says that he/she has never had a problem, ask if the seller will refund the price and shipping if you discover the glitch. * Try to avoid online auctions with flimsy refund policies or that try to shove you off onto third-party resolution/moderator outfits when you have a complaint. Using escrow would be great because you can try the game out, then either give the okay to send payment or return the cartridge. Other services that charge a credit card on the seller's behalf would be worth a try since the service controls the purse strings, not the seller. Basically, avoid putting money in the seller's pocket before you have a chance to try the cartridge. * One thing I've noticed in comparing my two cartridges is a difference on the motherboard inside. The cartridge is made of clear plastic and here's an approximation of what the back of the motherboard looks like in my glitched cartridge: _____________________________ | c1998 Nintendo | Unless otherwise noted, all lettering is | '99 | printed on the motherboard in gold. | 1+-+-+7 | | | | | | | +-+-+ | | | |.| | The . is a hole in the gold rectangle. | 6+-+-+12 | | cm | The cm has a small circle around it. |3 | | ()| The ()'s are labeled TP1, TP2, TP3, TP4. | ()| | ()| | @ ()| The @ is the screw. |...........................| ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| Pins on this row. +---------------------------+ On my "good" cartridge, the 3 (middle, left side) is actually a 6. I have no idea what this means. If someone does know the significance of this number, I'd love to know. You've been warned. Good luck. Chapter 4: Techniques --------------------- Basic movements: * left, right run, aim bionic arm to the side * up aim bionic arm up, enter sniper mode * down crouch * B fire weapon (weapon cannot be aimed) * A use bionic arm (defaults to 45 degrees). Notes: The bionic arm can be used to pick up distant items. * start status screen, pauses game * select use item * select + A + B exit the current stage Interesting commands: * bionic eye hold up or down (pans the screen up or down). Notes: The screen seems to pan quicker if you continue to hold up after climbing up onto a ledge or hold down after dropping down from a ledge. * drop down quickly press down twice Notes: you will pass through the platform and hang underneath. This is a bit glitchy and doesn't work if any part of the commando sprite is "in" a barrel or wall while crouching. In other words, don't stand right next to a barrel or wall and try this. * bionic goose hit an enemy with the bionic arm for a stun effect. Notes: not all enemies are affected. * charging shot press and hold B. Release B to fire. Notes: I never bother to use this because it's so slow. Chances are good that you'll completely forget about being able to do this. Swinging technique: * bionic slide Attach the bionic arm to a wall or barrel in front of the commando and press A to reel it in, thus sliding across the ground. This is usually performed while crouching. This is a close cousin of the electric slide, but less complicated, so try it at your next line dance. * pendulum Consider this situation: X X is a fixture / = is a platform X/ / & & ^ ^ is your commando ========== There just isn't enough room on the left to grab the lower fixture and get started. The solution is simple, but easy to miss in the heat of battle. X X is a fixture = is a platform X \ & & ^ ^ is your commando ========== Grab like this, then start the swing by pressing left, but allow yourself to swing back to the right and make your attempt for the next fixture. * short swing Sometimes two fixtures are just too close together to make an easy swing. For example: X | | is a wall X | X is a fixture / | = is a platform / | & | & ^ | ^ is your commando == | From this position, pressing right to start the swing will put you too far out to make a grab for the second fixture. You could make a mid-air turn- around and grab the second fixture from the right. This is a rather spectacular maneuver and I use it when I can. But sometimes there isn't enough room, like the situation above. So, initiate the swing by pressing A. This will start the swing and also start to reel in the bionic arm, making the horizontal travel less. A variation of the short swing is to start the swing by pressing left or right, then start reeling in the bionic arm. The short swing mostly comes into play in the boss room of Area 14. * drop start You will be using this one a lot. This technique is useful when you must travel along a ceiling but it is too high to reach diagonally. Instead, aim the bionic arm straight up and reel yourself up to the ceiling. Then, drop from the ceiling and immediately make a diagonal grab. You're on your way. Chapter 5: Know Your Enemy -------------------------- * Guard Walks back and forth, pausing to fire at you if you're on the same platform. The instruction booklet calls them infantry. * Squatter Crouches (usually behind barrels), then stands to fire. The instruction booklet calls them infantry. * Rat Man It will rush your commando if you are on the same platform. It looks like an oversized, anthropomorphic rat or armadillo. Stun it first with a bionic goose if you're in tight quarters. * Sniper Stands still and aims in any direction to fire at you. Tan uniform. * Paratrooper Uses a parachute to drop on your head. Very annoying, but also rare. * Rocket Trooper Hovers in midair and will try to collide with you. Can also fire horizontally. Can travel up, down, and sideways. * Ceiling Cannon Will pivot to fire at you. Can fire downward, diagonally, and horizontally. * Alien Probably a larger dinosaur or reptile, but looks strikingly similar to the efficient killing machine of Hollywood fame. * Incendiary This trooper walks back and forth and attacks with a flame thrower. Crouch to avoid his fire. Red uniform. Perhaps the strongest enemy. His fuel tank will explode the first time you hit him, causing him to rush you. Your best bet is to fire at him when he is just off screen. (I had some trouble giving this guy a name. "Flame thrower" is a natural, but it doesn't work well with a search function since it's the name of a weapon, too. I thought "fire bug" would be cool, but it's totally non- descriptive and a bit misleading: I can imagine frustrated gamers out there on the look-out for fire-breathing stink bugs. I considered calling him a "burner", like the boss from Parasite Eve II, but then people would get confused with the rocket booster burners of the Albatross, even if I only referred to them as rocket boosters. "Pyro" doesn't fit at all: he's a soldier with a flame thrower, not a psycho. And "flamer", well... let's just forget about that one, shall we?) Obstacles * Sewer Sludge Just like a young schoolgirl with a crush, you can literally be swept off your feet by the sludge. Sludge emerges from openings in the background and immediately seeks out lower ground. If you become stuck in the sludge, grab the ceiling or a nearby platform to pull yourself out. Can be very annoying. * Spikes Covers sections of the floor in most stages. Also covers some ceilings in the later stages of the game. * Elevators Elevators are under your control. Just get on top and push up or down. * Lifts These are automatic elevators that go horizontal, vertical, or diagonal. Time your movements carefully. Getting off of horizontal ones can be tricky, especially when traveling to the right. * Burners / Rocket Boosters They appear on the floor and ceilings of Area 18. Forces you to make progress while staying between flames. Adds much challenge to the area. * Hot Air Vents / Trampolines These are the closest you'll ever come to jumping. Gives a boost up into the air in the direction you're facing. I'll say that again: You will bounce in the direction you are facing, not necessarily the direction you are going. * Trap Doors Very easy to spot. Will open if you run onto them. Sometimes they hide shortcuts, and other times they are an expressway to disaster. * Skull and Bones This is more of a helpful background feature than an obstacle. Their presence indicates a deadly edge to a platform. In other words, if you run off the edge and cannot grab something on the way down, you'll either be dead or in a world of hurt. Chapter 6: Right to Bear Arms ----------------------------- * Particle Gun (female) / Assault Rifle (male) Standard issue at the start of the game. I can't see any difference between the two weapons so, since I always use the femme fatale, I will only refer to the particle gun for the rest of the guide, except in the case of the male-specific stages. Pro: Long range, quick firing. Con: A bit weak. * Wide Gun Acquired: Area 6 Fires three bullets at once: straight ahead and up and down at 45 degrees. Pro: Wide area of fire; great for rocket troopers. Penetrates barrels. Con: Short range. A bit weak. * Laser Acquired: Area 10. Fires one beam straight ahead. Leave this one at home. Pro: A somewhat powerful weapon. Con: Very slow rate of fire. * Pulse Cannon Acquired: Area 11. Equivalent of the NES version's rocket launcher. Pro: A stronger weapon. Penetrates barrels. Con: Shell must leave the screen before another one can be fired. * Flame Thrower Acquired: Area 14. Fires a burst of flame. Pro: Strongest weapon. Decent rate of fire. Con: Doesn't penetrate barrels. Chapter 7: Accessories and Other Treasures ------------------------------------------ Tools: * Energy Pills Acquired: Area 1. Refills your entire health bar, but can only be used once per stage per life. Unless circumstances dictate otherwise, don't leave home without them. * Key Card Acquired: Area 2. Required for taking more than three steps in Area 5. This only serves to force you to complete the stage without energy pills. * Quick Charge Acquired: Area 5. Charging a shot takes significantly less time. * Steel Boots Acquired: Area 7. Defeat enemies by kicking them as you swing. * Rapid Fire Device Acquired: Area 13. The name is a bit of a misnomer. Equipping this tool will result in a burst of three rounds coming from your weapon at once. This basically makes each discharge three times as strong. Armor: * Helmet Acquired: Area 3. Allows you to take one hit without sustaining damage. This applies to bullets, spikes, or colliding with enemies. * Vest Acquired: Area 8. Allows you to take two hits without sustaining damage. This applies to bullets, spikes, or colliding with enemies. * Body Armor Acquired: Area 15. Allows you to take three hits without sustaining damage. This applies to bullets, spikes, or colliding with enemies. Communicators: * Red Available at the start. Areas 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. * Green Acquired: Area 4. Areas 6, 7, 8, 9. * Blue Acquired: Area 9. Areas 10, 11, 12. * Yellow Acquired: Area 12. Areas 13, 14, 15, 18. Pick Ups: * Capsule Like the NES classic, you can level up by collecting capsules dropped by defeated enemies. Leveling up increases your health meter. To increase your level, you must collect roughly double the capsules you already have: Level | Capsules ------+--------- 3 | zero 4 | 15 5 | 31 6 | 63 7 | 127 8 | 255 * Super Capsule It looks like a larger, red version of the blue capsules that enemies drop. It is worth ten regular capsules. * 1-Up It looks like a red winged disc or heart. It allows you to start over at the nearest door if you die. You can collect a maximum of nine lives (touche, pussycat). These are easily obtained by completing the Commando- style levels by colliding with enemy trucks on the map. Unfortunately, this is a recipe for disaster if your cartridge is glitched and the workaround doesn't fly. If this is the case, stock up on lives very early in the game, restart a level if you die in a silly manner, and be sure to pick up the occasional 1-Up scattered throughout the stages. * Med Kit It looks like a white bag with a red cross. I call it a nurse purse. Tops up your health meter. * Promotion Found at the end of the secret Areas 16 and 17. It changes the colour of your uniform. * Care Package While not a specific item per se, it is an air-dropped bundle that appears in predictable locations in some stages. The contents might be a Med Kit, Super Capsule, or 1-Up. A care package resulting from a sniper opportunity will always contain a Med Kit. Chapter 8: The Map ------------------ For those familiar with the NES version, this map may seem somewhat familiar. 3 4~~16 15--18 | /|\ 10 \ | |/ | \ | \ \ | 2 5--6 | \ 14 (~~ denotes a path with a secret base) | | | 9---12 | | | | /| / \ | | | |/ | / \ | 1 7--8 11~~17 13 Unlike the NES classic, there are no neutral zones. Also, navigating the map is very restricted because areas will only open up by completing previous areas, thereby forcing a very sequential order of play. Completed areas show as red and unfinished areas show as blue. Highlighting accessible areas will display flashing green lights in the lower control panel along with a green, rapid wavy line. Areas that are still off-limits will cause red lights and a green flat-liner. The game won't even allow a "just passing by" movement to an off-limits area, as opposed to simply prohibiting you from descending into the area. This can cause heaps of headaches for a glitched cartridge because of the necessity to avoid enemy trucks for most of the game. Secret bases exist between Areas 4 and 16, and Areas 11 and 17. A secret base is another type of Commando-style stage. Think of these as stationary enemy trucks. Finishing Areas 16 and 17 isn't necessary to completing the game and is not recommended for a glitched cartridge, unless the workaround is in play. There are four enemy trucks patrolling the map. Each truck's beat is a very predictable loop: Truck 1: 4 -> 2 -> 3 -> 2 -> 4 repeat Truck 2: 5 -> 7 -> 8 -> 6 -> 5 repeat Truck 3: 9 -> 10 -> 12 -> 11 -> 9 repeat Truck 4: 13 -> 14 -> 18 -> 15 -> 18 -> 14 -> 13 repeat The following is a listing of how to open a particular area along with the item won for finishing the area. Area | Treasure | How to open --------+---------------+----------------- Area 1 | Energy Pills | start a new game Area 2 | Key Card | start a new game Area 3 | Helmet | start a new game Area 4 | Green Comm | start a new game Area 5 | Quick Charge | start a new game (get Key Card in Area 2 first) Area 6 | Wide Gun | complete Areas 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Area 7 | Steel Boots | complete Areas 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Area 8 | Vest | complete Areas 6, 7 Area 9 | Blue Comm | complete Area 8 Area 10 | Laser | complete Area 9 Area 11 | Pulse Cannon | complete Area 9 Area 12 | Yellow Comm | complete Areas 10 and 11 Area 13 | Rapid Fire | complete Area 12 Area 14 | Flame Thrower | complete Area 13 Area 15 | Body Armor | complete Area 13 Area 16 | Promotion | find secret comm room in Area 4 Area 17 | Promotion | find secret comm room in Area 11 Area 18 | Ending Credits| complete Areas 14 and 15 Chapter 9: Walkthrough ---------------------- * Area 1 Terrain: jungle Enemies: guard, squatter Recommended Equipment: particle gun, red communicator (it's all you've got!) Boss: rocket launcher Reward: energy recovery pills At A Glance: One main area and the boss room. One comm room. One care package. One sniper opportunity. One 1-Up. Progress is up and to the right. Details: This stage is a decent place to build up your health meter to the forth level, at the least. A good place to do this is the tree trunk with windows. To make the guards reappear, duck in and out of the comm room. You land next to a wrecked chopper, possibly Super Joe's. Run to the right along the ground, up and over the barrel. Keep going until you reach a silver metal column and climb up a platform or two to overcome the rise in the ground level. Continue to the right until you reach the tree trunk with windows. Climb to the top to reach the comm room. The separate platform to the left of the comm room holds a 1-Up. Just to the right of the comm room is a sniper opportunity. Continue to the right and climb the platforms supported by monkey totem poles. Watch for squatters in this area. A care package will drop on the top platform just after the third monkey totem pole. Fall off the right edge of this platform to reach the door to the boss. Boss: rocket launcher This room consists of two platforms and a rocket launcher attached to the top of a wall on the right side. Just under the rocket launcher is a red and yellow plate; presumably its guidance systems. Climb up to the right platform, crouch at the right edge and fire on the plate. After the first couple hits, the rocket launcher will tilt towards you and begin to fire. At your position you should be safe. A slower tactic is to fire from the right platform and use the drop down technique to dodge the rockets, then climb up and fire some more. * Area 2 Terrain: jungle Enemies: guard, squatter Recommended Equipment: particle gun, energy pills, red communicator Boss: alpha platoon Reward: key card At A Glance: One outside area, one inside area, and the boss room. Two comm rooms. One care package. One super capsule. Progress is as follows: Outside area: to the right, then up the tower. Inside area: to the right with a progression of down, up, down, up. Details: Keep close to the ground while outside in the jungle. Make your way across the first spike pit. There is a secret tunnel on the right side of the second spike pit that runs underneath the comm room. The easiest way to get there is to drop down from the platform to the left of the comm room and grab the ceiling of the tunnel before hitting the spikes. Once inside the tunnel, do a couple bionic slides to pick up the super capsule. Then, continue to the right to leave the tunnel and double back to the comm room. From there, proceed to up and to the right to enter the door on top of a tower. Once inside, go down the shaft and then use the elevator to the bottom. After going right for a bit, work your way back up to the top. After going right through a slightly descending staggered floor, you will reach an elevator. Skip it in favor of the second elevator. Go down one level and head to the right for a care package. Get back on the elevator to the bottom floor. The next comm room is all the way to the left on the ground floor. Once your communications are done, proceed to the right along the ground floor, then work your way up to the boss room. Boss: alpha platoon This boss room will be very familiar for veterans of the NES version. A reactor core sits on the right side of the room and wave after wave of guards will do their best to give you headaches. The core also has two mounted guns that give a beep before firing. Proceed right at ground level taking out guards until you reach the core. Climb up to the lower platform and situate yourself at the X in the diagram: =========================== ________ = is platform | | ____ | big | | | The core is |screen| +--+ over here. +------+ |||| X =========================== The left box represents the big screen TV and the right box looks like some sort of hypnotic control panel. Crouching at the X will keep you safe from the core's cannons. However, the guards on the platform above have a tendency to drop down on your head, so stay on your toes. The guards are about ready to jump when they start looking around after pacing a few steps. At this spot, all but a sliver of the core will be just off screen but you'll still be registering hits on it. If you see flashes when your bullets go off screen, you're doing it right. Keep dodging guards, ducking bullets and chipping away at the core until it's history. You can also fire at the core from the edge of the platform, then run to the safe spot before the core's cannons blast. * Area 3 Terrain: jungle Enemies: guard, squatter, rat man Recommended Equipment: particle gun, energy pills, red communicator Boss: phalanx (shield guard) Reward: helmet At A Glance: One main area and the boss room. One comm room. One 1-Up. Progress is the high road to the right. Details: This is a somewhat convoluted stage that is, fortunately, easy to navigate. Start by climbing up, up, up over the green cliff. Watch out for the snappy rat men. Stay on the high road and proceed to the right until you see the tops of some pillars or columns in the shape of sitting felines. Between the pillars is the comm room. From the comm room, stay on the high road past the first satellite dish. A high platform after the satellite dish will hold a 1-Up. To the right is the second satellite dish and a tower with two yellowish-red spotlights. Use the spotlight to swing over to an alcove in a cliff. Take out the squatter behind the barrel and enter the boss room. Boss: phalanx (shield guard) This room is a standard core room, except you must defeat the soldier instead of popping a reactor. The phalanx can shoot horizontally and vertically but is not very fleet of foot, probably because he's carrying a massive shield that will deflect all bullets. The strategy involves literally running circles around the earthbound phalanx, although an infinity symbol is more descriptive. From the door, proceed to the right until you meet the phalanx. As with most bosses, he'll give some blow-hard speech about your supposed immanent death. Retreat to the left until you are to the left of the opening in the lower platforms, around point X in the diagram: ============== =============== _______ _______ = is platform | | | | M is floor | @ | | @ | +-----+ +-----+ ||| X Y ||| MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM Climb up to the platform and stay put until the phalanx is almost directly underneath. Then start running right in order to drop through the opening in the platform. He should pause to fire two shots upwards but he'll be underneath the platform. Blast him while he is exposed, then repeat the process on the other side by climbing up around point Y. * Area 4 Terrain: jungle, waterfall Enemies: guard, squatter, paratrooper, sniper Recommended Equipment: particle gun, energy pills, helmet, red communicator (To open Area 16, use the green communicator at the secret comm room) Boss: beta platoon Reward: green communicator At A Glance: One main area and the boss room. Two comm rooms. One meeting room. One care package. Progress is to the right along the high road, then down to ground level for the comm room, then up, then down, then up the waterfall on the right-hand side, then left along the high road to the boss. Details: This level continues the general trend of an up, down, up, down, up stage flow. This level also introduces the use of skull and crossbones icons at the edge of certain platforms to indicate deadly ledges. In other words, don't jump down! Start by going up and to the right, dodging the annoying paratroopers. Then, after crossing the high, long platform, begin making your way back down to ground level to reach the comm room. The easiest way to do this is to simply drop off the right hand edge of any platforms. This will lead right to the comm room. After the comm room, make your way up (and slightly left) to the high road. Up here, there are two shacks like the ones you've already seen in this level. Run to the left side of the left shack to get a care package. The right shack has an open door. Inside is a meeting room where you speak with the other commando. Savor the moment: it's the closest you'll come to an NES neutral zone. After the meeting room, work your way down the platforms and to the right to arrive at the base of the waterfall. Hop down the staggered ground and climb up onto to the closest platform. This is the Feline Hall because this level of platforms has five feline pillars. Continue to the right and then work your way up. Take out the sniper on the top platform, then swing your way to the left on the high road to the boss room. Boss: beta platoon The strategy is exactly the same as for the alpha platoon of Area 2. Secret Comm Room: To open Area 16, return to this level with the green communicator, which you get for beating this level. Now you need to find the secret comm room. Proceed to the base of the waterfall and climb up to the Feline Hall (see my description above). The fourth feline pillar actually sits on a platform. Take out the guard then climb down and hang from the platform. From here, get yourself moving to the right with a drop start and make another swing from the roof of the tunnel. Here's an idea of the layout: start ==========MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM = is platform MMMM MM M is wall MMMM MM +--+ MM +--+ | | MM | | death MMMM | | MM | | is the door waits MMMMMMMMMMMMMMM here! MMMMMMMMMMMMMMM When making your communications, be sure to wire tap too, although it's not necessary to open Area 16. I find both transmissions to be funny, although only the wire tap was intentionally that way. Your superior officer does a pretty good impression of Mr. Obvious in the standard communication. Once you're done communicating, you can complete the stage again or quickly exit with select+A+B. * Area 5 Terrain: mountain Enemies: guard, squatter Recommended Equipment: particle gun, key card, helmet, red communicator Boss: sprinter Reward: quick charge At A Glance: One main area and the boss room. One comm room. One care package. One sniper opportunity. Progress is to the right with a progression of up, over bridge, down, over spikes, then up again. Details: Up, down, up. This level is very straight forward without much exploratory frustration. The helpful surveillance system, always on the look out for intruders, instructs you on the proper use of the key card. Head into the mountain and go up. Take the first opportunity to go left and stop at the satellite dish to get a care package (be careful: it's possible to run off the edge and end up back at the start). Continue to the right and over the bridge. After the bridge, take the elevator down. Head to the right under the vertical wall and back up to the comm room. After the comm room, make your way to the ground floor. A few steps to the right is a sniper opportunity. After the sniper op, cross the gap and make your way across the pit of spikes under another satellite dish by swinging from the roof. Then, make your way up to the ceiling of the base. Use the drop start technique to swing from the ceiling to the right and on to the boss room. Boss: sprinter "Faster than 10 fast men," the sprinter has a simple strategy. Just stun him with a bionic goose, get off about 10 rounds, back up a bit, and repeat. This fight can be a little frustrating until you get the timing down. Remember, you don't have your energy pills. * Area 6 female Terrain: cavern Enemies: guard, squatter, sniper Recommended Equipment: particle gun, energy pills, helmet, red communicator Boss: wide gunner Reward: wide gun At A Glance: Two main areas and the boss room. One comm room. Progress is as follows: First area: to the right (there's both a high and low road). Second area: up and to the right. Details: From the landing site, go through the door on the right to enter the caverns. The first area is a rather large area and presents the first opportunity in the game to get a bit lost. In general, progress is to the right, but there's a high road and a low road to take. Both involve crossing floors covered with spikes. The high road is suggested because it is more forgiving and simpler. For those adventurous types, feel free to take the low road, but I'm not going to bother describing it here. Make your way to the right and up over the right hand wall. To continue going up, you'll have to swing left for a bit. Continue up until you make it to the top of the stage. From there, make your way right via the ceiling until it forces you to come down. After coming down from the ceiling and going to the right a bit, you'll find a squatter behind a box. Take him out and you'll see a door on the other side of a short wall, like this: MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM M is wall M M = is platform M === ==== M ^ is spiky floor M == M @ is a box M M M=== MM^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ M +-+ MM +-+ M | | is the door @ MM | | M MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM^^^^^^^^MMMMMM Once through the door, the sailing is a bit smoother. This area makes steady progress up and to the right. Most of the floor will be covered with spikes. Make your way across the first set of spikes to the nearby comm room. From there, go up to reach the ceiling. Use the ceiling and high platforms to make your way to the boss room. Boss: wide gunner The wide gunner stays on the ground floor and marches after you firing the wide gun at predictable intervals. There are two strategies: quick and dirty or long and graceful. Quick and dirty: After his speech, run to the left wall and crouch in the corner. Just keep shooting him, even when he runs into you. He will always retreat then turn around and come back. A five-level health bar and energy pills will get you through. Long and graceful: Run to the right of the boss room to meet the wide gunner. After chatting, run away from him to the left to outrun his bullets. The wide gun's range isn't very big. Immediately after the bullet fades, rush the gunner, firing all the way. Stop right in front of him and he should stop and try to sledge hammer you with the gun (if he fires instead, you were too slow). Get out of the way by running away from him again. He will pursue and fire again. You might be able to repeat this process twice before you run out of room. In this sequence, I can never get him to just try to hammer me. The sequence (if my timing is good) seems to be fire, hammer, fire, hammer, etc. When you run out of room, you must get on the other side of the gunner. The easy and painful way is to run through him and take the hit. A more graceful way to the other side is involved and hard to explain, but here goes: Let's say you run out of room on the left side of the screen. Climb up to the overhead platform while the gunner is approaching from the right. He'll fire to the right. Wait at the gap to the right in the platform. The gunner will turn around and fire to the right, then pass under you, turn around, and fire to the left. As soon as you see the fire to the left, cross the gap, run a bit, and drop down. Then repeat the attack sequence. The reason for waiting at the gap is to give you plenty of room on the ground floor. The graceful way will take some practice because you can't see the wide gunner from the middle platform. * Area 6 male Terrain: base Enemies: guard, squatter, sniper, ceiling cannon Recommended Equipment: assault rifle, energy pills, helmet, red communicator Boss: wide gunner Reward: wide gun At A Glance: Two main areas and the boss room. One comm room. One Med Kit. One 1-Up. Progress is as follows: First area, part 1: down and then to the left using lifts. Second area: up and right, then left, up, and right using lifts. First area, part 2: left along ceiling. Details: From the landing site, go through the door on the right to enter the base. Upon entering the base, you'll see another closed door just to the lower left. You'll be coming out of this door later. In other words, reaching this door is not your immediate goal. Make your way down using the elevator, then to the left a bit across the spikes. Continue to go down to the ground floor. This will be your first encounter with the lifts. Here's an very approximate diagram of the lift area: \ \ / \ / MM------MM\ M M is wall MM / MM MM \ [start]M = is platform / K MM MM MMM\ /========M K is Med Kit === MMM \--------/ M  is door  X M \-/ is lift path MMMMM MMMM MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM X is reference point These lifts drive me crazy. One technique to make things easier is to "hang five" while standing on a lift. This way, you only have to press left or right a little bit to make it onto a platform. There is also a shortcut to avoid some of the lift sequence. Stand at the X on the diagram facing to the right with the bionic arm attached to the ceiling at an angle. When the diagonal lift reaches the top, swing to the right and you should land on top. Ride the rest of the lifts over to the door. I recommend not going for the Med Kit unless you really need it since it forces you to start over. Of course, if you botch dropping down from the upward diagonal lift to the downward diagonal lift, you'll have easy access. Once through the door and in the second area, make your way to the right a bit, then climb up the two platforms to a ceiling. Use the ceiling to swing to the right to a higher platform. Then make your way to the left all the way to the wall. The comm room is on the platform. After the comm room, make your way up three more platforms. A lift will take you to the right. Now there is a sequence of four vertical lifts side by side. Make your way to the right across the lifts. The platform can be reached from the third lift, so don't bother trying to get on the fourth lift. After this, there are two vertical lifts side by side but, again, the platform can be reached from the first one. Now, again, are two vertical lifts side by side. In this case, wait for the vertical lift to rise to the top so you can drop off the platform. There is a second set of double vertical lifts under the first. From the second lift, you'll see a ceiling to the right. From here, make your way to the right hand wall. Drop down two platforms. You'll reach the skull and crossbones on this third platform. Drop down but hang from this platform. Drop start to the left and keep swing to reach a 1-Up. Come back the way you came and keep going up. Make your way to the door. A-ha! Now we've reached that mysterious door in the first area. From here, cross four gaps by swinging from the ceiling. Two ceiling cannons will discourage you from swinging the whole way non-stop. Enter the door to take on the boss. Boss: wide gunner See the strategy in the female version of Area 6 above. * Area 7 Terrain: cavern Enemies: guard, rocket trooper, ceiling cannon Recommended Equipment: wide gun, energy pills, helmet, green communicator Boss: artillery cannons Reward: steel boots At A Glance: One main area and one boss area. One comm room. One Super Capsule. Progress is up and up. Details: Time to do some rock climbing. The whole stage consists of climbing up. From the floor of the cavern, start your climb on the right hand side of the cave for a couple of platforms. From there, continue to climb on the left side since there are more forgiving platforms here. Eventually you'll reach the comm room. From the comm room, do some more upward climbing favouring the left side. Soon you'll reach a small purple structure sitting on a platform. It's probably a futuristic-looking mine cart but it looks like a weird UFO: ^ ( ) \-----------/ \_________/ / \ ( )---( ) For some reason this reminds me of Earthbound (what a weird game that was). Anyway, it means you're close to the Super Capsule: MMM 2 MM V =====MMMMMMMMMM M is wall MMMMMMMMMM V is stalactite S 1 MMMMMMMMMM U is UFO mine cart MMM =====M MMMMMMM S is super capsule MMM M MMMMMMM MMM U MMMMMMM MMM ====MMMMMMMMMMMM Make your way up to platform 1 then do a drop start heading left from the bottom of platform 2. You'll probably be able to make it to the super capsule on outcropping with this momentum, but you can always grab the stalactite for more travel. Use the stalactite to get back to the right without having to fall. Make your way up a few more platforms and you will reach a small hall with an elevator guarded by two ceiling cannons. Ride the elevator up to the boss area. Boss: artillery cannons This can be one of the more frustrating experiences in the game. Your job is to destroy the 12 control panels at various locations on the three cannons. Meanwhile, rocket troopers will be doing their best to stop you. These cannons are big! In fact, they are so big that their recoil measures on the Richter scale. What this means is that you must be standing on solid ground when they fire or you will lose your grip and fall. You must also wait for the recoil to end before using your bionic arm again. Each of the three cannons, situated at a 45 degree angle, have four control panels. Two shots will destroy a panel and change its colour. To avoid the very frustrating experience of missing a panel, be sure to climb all the way to the top of each cannon. Pop all 12 panels to finish the area. I suggest you always take out any threatening rocket troopers before doing any climbing. * Area 8 Terrain: suburban base Enemies: guard, ceiling cannon Recommended Equipment: particle gun, energy pills, helmet, green communicator Boss: delta platoon Reward: vest At A Glance: One main area and one boss area. One comm room. Progress is right, down, right, up, and left. Details: This stage is very straight forward. Go along the ground floor across a pit. Then head down some S-shaped shafts to reach the ground floor. From here there is a low road across the spike pits to the right hand wall. The high road is easier; just use the platforms and ceiling. Soon you'll reach the comm room. From the comm room, go up. From there you'll make some Tarzan swings to the left, then right, above a spike pit. Once you reach the top, continue to the left to the final part, which looks like this: MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM M MM M @ MM start M is wall MMMMMMMM=====MM=====MM=====MMM = is platform M M MM MM MMM M  M MM MM MMM  is the door MMMM===M=====MM=====MM=====MMM M M MM MMM M @ @ MM MMM @ is a box MMMMMMMMMMMMMMM^^^^^^^^^^^^MMM ^ is spiky floor Boss: delta platoon The strategy is exactly the same as for the Alpha Platoon of Area 2. * Area 9 female Terrain: city and sewers Enemies: guard, squatter, rat man, alien, rocket trooper Recommended Equipment: particle gun, energy pills, vest, green communicator Boss: main security officer Reward: blue communicator At A Glance: Four main areas and one boss area. The main areas alternate between sewers and city. One comm room. One care package. Progress is as follows: Sewer 1: Down to ground level, then right. Then up, left, up, right. City 1: To the right at various levels of the five buildings. Sewer 2: Down to ground level. Then right with an up, down, up progression. City 2: To the right, then up to the top of the third, grey building. Details: This is a long stage and can try your patience the first time through. First of all, welcome to the sewers. Fans of the NES version will instantly recognise the round holes in the walls. These are the sources of the green sewer sludge, which can easily sweep you into deadly pits. Follow the passage's Z-shaped flow to reach the ground level. Swing over the small pit and keep swinging from the roof of the lower level, noting the lovely graffiti (What does it say? Pain? Rain?) until you reach a platform on the right hand wall. Now go to the left and swing on the roof of the middle level until you reach a point where you must do a bionic slide. After that, reach for the left platform, then follow the ceiling to the right to reach the door in the upper right corner. Welcome to the big city. It's a bit of a mess. Anyway, your goal is to reach the front door of the fifth building to the right. The problem is that there are stacks of boxes between each building, so you have to climb each and then make it over the boxes. You will have to make use of tiny fixtures like lights and exhaust fans to make progress. The third building is the motel and you'll have to make an S-shaped climb through the halls within. One of the tougher swings is to clear the boxes between the fourth and fifth building. From the top platform of the fourth building, you must swing from a light, then an exhaust fan, and then grab a light on the fifth building. The trick is to still have plenty of swing radius when you grab the exhaust fan. Otherwise, you simply can't make it far enough to reach the second light. Aside from a couple of guards the area is completely safe, so keep trying if you're having trouble. Now it's time for the second sewer. Jump down to the ground level by grabbing the ceilings of lower levels as you fall. Then go right and up to the platform with a rat man. Use the ceiling to make your way right to the comm room. From the comm room, go right, using the ceiling to reach another platform attached to the right hand wall. Drop down and cross the fire pit (Whoops. Someone must have lit a match!) then climb up to the door. The last main area is another happy trot down Main Street. You're goal is to get inside the third building, a tall grey structure, and get to the top. Getting over the stacks of boxes on the ground level is a simple matter. The door to the grey building is on the ground level so if you reach the grey building on an upper level, the game won't let you keep going to the right. It's a bit mysterious until you realise you have to be "inside" the building. There is also a care package on top of the second building. Work your way up to the middle of the building by using the hallway, then swing from the four lights to reach a very high platform. Stand on the left side of the platform for the care package to drop. Here's the layout: G X G X is where to stand for care package ======G = is platform G L is light L G G is left side of grey building L G M is a wall G L G G L G G MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM===== There's a bit of climbing to do once you're inside the grey building. A few lonely rocket troopers will also try to change your mind. Here's a layout of the ascent: D D is the door === = is platform L L is light L M is ground floor L L === L L ==== L L ==== L ==== ====== MMMMMMMMMMMM Boss: main security officer He's fairly agile and can jump up onto platforms. He will shoot horizontally and diagonally. Parts of the floor and some of the platforms are electrified and sparks will travel along them at regular intervals. The quick and dirty strategy for the wide gunner (Area 6) can be applied here, too. I'm not going to bother finding a graceful strategy. Just plug him! * Area 9 male Terrain: sewer Enemies: rat man, alien Recommended Equipment: assault rifle, energy pills, vest, green communicator Boss: main security officer Reward: blue communicator At A Glance: One main area and one boss area. One comm room. One Med Kit. Progress is up, then left. Details: This is the shortest stage in the game and can be beaten in just under one minute (no kidding). In the drop area, climb up the platform and go in the door. Once inside the door, note the Med Kit on the left side of the wall. Now forget you ever saw it because it's quite out of the way and there will be no need to get it. From the door, use the ceiling to swing to the right. Climb up two platforms. Cross over the right hand hot air vent, then turn around and approach it from the right. In mid-air, climb up to the high platform. Climb up two more platforms and defeat the alien. Use the ceiling to swing to the left and grab the high platform with a huge spider web in the background. Continue to the left to reach the comm room. From the comm room, drop off the left side of the platform, bounce on the hot air vent and use the ceiling to make progress to the left. Once you reach a wall, allow yourself to fall to a lower level on the left. Drop down from the platform to reach another lower level. Run to the left to reach the boss. Boss: main security officer See the strategy for Area 9 female above. * Area 10 Terrain: city Enemies: guard, squatter, rocket trooper Recommended Equipment: particle gun, energy pills, vest, blue communicator Boss: laser security system Reward: laser At A Glance: One main area and one boss area. One comm room. One Super Capsule. Progress is up. Details: This stage is a wild and crazy climb. Don't expect to do much walking. This stage is my favourite because it requires some creative maneuvers but is relatively safe. Start by making a little bit of progress to the right by swinging on three lights in a row. From the next platform, swing on another light, then make your way through the hall. It's all upward from here. Here's the first part of the climb up to the comm room: [comm] ======= L L is light L F is exhaust fan L ==== = is platform H-->[bridge] H --> is hallway == M is brick wall F ==== L L F ===== MMMMM L MMMMM === F @@@ @ is a box ======= L F L [start] MMMMMMMMM== After the comm room, use the light to climb up to the next platform. From here, swing left on the four lights in a row. You'll land on a platform under a larger brick wall. Note that below the platform is a light and an exhaust fan. Drop down between the two to land on the Super Capsule. To climb back up, use a drop start from the exhaust to the light and back up to the platform. Use a couple drop starts on the overhead bricks to go left and up to the next platform. There's still quite a bit of climbing to do: [door] ======== L L L L L L L L L ===== L L L L L @ ===== L MMMMMMMMMM====== @ is a box = is platform L M is brick wall L is a light == L L === L == L ==== @@@@ F ==== [start] ===MMMMMMMMMMMMM MMMMMMMMMMMMM MMMMMMM MMMMMMM Boss: laser security system Instead of defeating a boss, your goal is to make it out alive. Make your way up along the platforms and lifts on the sides of the walls. These lifts are actually wall-mounted lasers. They will pause and fire at you once they reach the same horizontal level as your head. The only way to progress through parts of this area is to ride on top of the laser lifts. There are two ways to avoid the laser fire from a descending lift. One way is to stand with your toes just over the edge of a platform and wait for the lift to reach head level. When it pauses, crouch. The laser will miss you and the lift will continue to descend. You will "catch" the lift with your toe and automatically wind up on top of it. I like this way the best. The other way to avoid fire is to wait for the lifts by hanging on the underside of platforms until it's safe to hop up and onto the lift. However, some of the lifts towards the top will stop below the level of a platform, so they can still hit you. Plus, this technique is a bit more involved and slow to boot. In general, have your energy pills ready, use the technique above for getting on the lifts, and don't assume you have to ride every lift just to make it all the way up. The last three or four platforms are well within reach of your bionic arm. * Area 11 Terrain: city base Enemies: guard, squatter, sniper Recommended Equipment: particle gun, energy pills, vest, blue communicator (To open Area 17, use the yellow communicator at the secret comm room) Boss: rocket general Reward: pulse cannon At A Glance: Three main areas and one boss area. One comm room. One sniper opportunity. Progress is as follows: First area: up and to the right. Second area: to the right, with an up-down sequence at the end. Third area: up, alternating a general right, then left, pattern. Details: This stage is rather straight forward with lots of swinging from the ceilings. The second area of this stage also conceals the hidden comm room to Area 17. The first area is a very short city setting. Here's the entire layout: L L ============ [snipe] L ==== MM =============  L MM MMMMM MM MMMMM @@@ MM MMMMM === ===MM @@@ MM M is wall === MM L is light @@@@ MM  is door ==== MM = is platform H MM @ is box MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM H is happy garbage bin Notice that the first three platforms all have boxes on top. The way to make it to the fourth platform is to perform a series of drop start techniques, starting at the location marked as H, which is the garbage bin in the background at ground level that looks like it's smiling. From the fourth platform it's pretty simple to make it to the sniper opportunity, marked as [snipe] on the diagram. The target is a tall grey building with a chunk missing from its right side on the left edge of the long platform. The final swing to the door is made by horizontally grabbing the light and doing a bionic slide that turns into a swing as you fall off the platform. On to the second area. Unless you're trying to make it to the secret comm room (described below), this area is very straight forward. Cross the first gap using the light. The strategically placed barrels force you to use a drop start to climb up onto the platform. From there, drop into the opening (yes, there's a light just above, but it's only there to make you go crazy). Once at ground floor, use the art deco lights to cross the pits. To cross the third pit you'll have to swing from the final art deco light and use the ceiling the rest of the way. From here, simply make your way to the top of the stage, go a little bit to the right, then make your way back down to ground level. The door is a little to the left. The third area provides quite a bit more opportunity for explorations, but I'll only describe the direct path to the boss. You start at ground level (note the spikes overhead! You'll be swinging above them very soon). Make your way to the right. Climb up one level, then use the ceilings to make your way to the left. Climb up a few platforms until you can continue to go left. Once you hit a wall, climb down a few platforms, go left a little bit, then go back up. Once you've reached the ceiling here the comm room is just overhead. Make your way all the way to the right, then climb up one level and make your way to the comm room using the ceiling. After the comm room, go back the way you came by going right, then up a few more platforms. From here, the door should be in sight. Here's a high-level diagram of the layout: MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM M  M  is door M---- MMMMMMMMMM M M is wall M-- MMMMMMMMMM---M - is platform M M MMMMMMMMMMMMM-- MMMM The layout will tempt you to climb up on the right side, but you'll soon discover that there is no way to climb up to the level of the door. So go the long way around. Boss: rocket general This boss is the leader of the rocket troopers, but, fortunately, he will only fly up and down. He pops off standard rounds like a hail storm and will occasionally fire a heat-seeking missile. This boss absolutely slaughtered me in my every attempt until I discovered my cheap strategy. Run to the right for introductions, then immediately retreat until the rocket general is off screen. Climb to the top platform. Up here, your goal is to be able to hit the rocket general with your bullets while still keeping him off screen. This should be in the middle of the top platform and you'll have to use the audio cues to know if you're hitting him. Since he's off screen, he will not fire his standard rounds at you. He will still fire missiles, but they should (mostly) fall into your line of fire because you're on the top platform. This is why I don't recommend the laser for this stage; its rate of fire is horrible. I consider this strategy to be very cheap because it takes advantage of the fact that this is a video game; in other words, a computer program. The shortcoming of the program is that the rocket general will not fire at you if he is off screen. But, I also consider the rocket general's AI to be very cheap; he simply lights you up with his standard rounds. So, I think my cheap tactics aren't amiss against a cheap boss. Secret Comm Room: To open Area 17, return to this level with the yellow communicator, which you get for beating Area 12. Now you need to find the secret comm room. Proceed to the second stage of this area. Go ahead and drop down to ground level; the hall with the art deco lights. The comm room is above this hall. Make your way across the gaps using the art deco lights until you have to use the ceiling to keep going right. Instead, climb the ceiling to make progress to the upper-left. After two or three swings you'll make it to a platform with a guard on it. Climb up to the next platform with a barrel. Here's a diagram of the remaining terrain: S S L M S is enemy sniper ===== ===== L L ===M L is light @ M M is wall == == == == MMMMMMMMM M = is platform @ MM M @ is barrel MM MMMMMM MMMMMMMM X @ M  is door MM MMMMMMMM==== M X is a reference point MM  M MMMMMMMM MMMMMM MMMMMMMMM MMMM==== MMMMMM [ art deco light hallway ] X marks your location on the platform with the barrel. You'll have to use the ceiling to swing to the right and make a vertical grab for the high platform. From there, make your way to the left and down into the alcove to enter the secret comm room. Like the first secret comm room in Area 4, the game developers tried to have some fun with the wiretap transmission. Unfortunately, they overplay an already weak idea, which makes for a spectacularly unfunny moment. It's not even funny in a bad way. Anyway, once you're done communicating, you can complete the stage again or quickly exit with select+A+B. * Area 12 Terrain: city, sewer, base Enemies: guard, squatter, rat man, alien, ceiling cannon, rocket trooper Recommended Equipment: particle gun, energy pills, vest, blue communicator Boss: helicopter Reward: yellow communicator At A Glance: Three main areas and one boss area. One comm room. One care package. One 1- Up. Progress is as follows: City: to the right. Sewer: down to ground floor, then right and upward. Base: upward in a zigzag pattern using lifts. Details: If you're playing as the female commando, this will be your not-so-gentle introduction to hot air vents and lifts. This stage can be a real challenge the first couple of times through. The first area is the city. Make your way right, then use the light on a horizontal string to cross over to the next building. Take the high road and use the sequence of three lights to make it to a grey building. Once you are "inside" the grey building, run off the platform to drop down one level. Keep going right on this level until you are out of the grey building. Now there are two small platforms with boxes on top of them. Use these two platforms and then the light to make it to the purple building. If you want the care package, make your way to the high platform above the two box-covered platforms. Once in front of the purple building, you'll see two lights next to each other. Perform a drop start from the left light to keep making progress to the right. From here keep making your way to the right using lights and platforms to reach the door. There seems to be a high, middle, and low road here, so if you start high and fall, you should be able to grab something on the way down and then keep going right. Welcome to the final sewer (unless you're planning on completing Area 17). Run to the right and drop off the edge. While falling, face to the left and grab the ceiling of the third level (the first level being the one you just fell from). If you don't make the grab, you'll land on spikes. Anyway, make your way to the left, fall off the edge to the ground level, and go right. Use the hot air vent to bounce up and use the ceiling to go right. Then use a bionic slide to prevent the hot air vent in the floor from blowing you up into the spiked ceiling. From here, use the sequence of two hot air vents and immediately grab upward to a platform. Use the ceiling to go right and grab the next platform. From here, face to the right and climb up to the hot air vent. In mid-air, grab upward to reach the platform and the comm room. After the comm room, hang from underneath the middle of the platform you just climbed up. Don't drop down! Hanging from the middle will give you enough room to perform a drop start to the right. Use the ceiling, then a hot air vent, then the ceiling to keep going right to the door. Bye bye, sewers. Welcome to the Lifts of Insanity (my apologies to The Princess Bride). There are 12 lifts with platforms strewn between that you'll have to negotiate. Here's an approximate diagram of the entire area: [end up here] MMMMMM MM M MMMMMM MM M MMMMMM M M is wall MMMMMM 4 ---MMMM = is platform MMMMMM \ M  is door MMMMMM \ M \-/| is lift path MMMMMM \ M U is 1-Up MMMMMM \ M MMMMMM \ M 1,2,3,4 are reference points MMMMMM \ M MMMMMM =====\M M 3 M M|MM ------ M M|MM 2 M M|MM ==== M M| / M MM= / -----===M M M M / M M===---------==/ M M M M--------====\ M M U \===M M = M M /M M  1 / M MMMMM-------MMM/ M MMMMM MMM M [start down here] Before I get started, I'd like to reiterate a maneuver explained in Area 9 male, which is the "hang five" technique of getting onto lifts. Position the commando so that the front foot is hanging off the edge of the platform or floor and you'll automatically end up on top of a platform when it comes by. Things get frustrating right from the start at Point 1. The first lift goes horizontally very fast. The frustration comes in trying to step off of the lift onto the right hand section of floor. The game play mechanics really stink here and you have to start running for the platform the split-second the floor comes into view. Once going up the diagonal lift, you'll make your way back to the left. The 1-Up sitting on the very small platform can only be reached from above and collecting it will make you start from the beginning again. Progress shouldn't be too terribly frustrating until you reach Point 2. You'll have to actually fall off of the platform and land on the lift. This proved so difficult for me that I discovered another technique: let the lift come up and go back down. Then run off the left side of the platform, turn around in mid-air and grab it, pendulum swing right then back to the left and fly out to the left. You'll end up on the platform. Most times I won't even need to use the diagonal lift: I'll make it out so far that I can grab the chunk of wall to the right of the vertical lift. It's just a short ride to Point 3, where you'll have to do some mini drop starts along the ceiling and then drop down to the horizontal lift under foot. The timing is a bit difficult at first. If you're all the way to the right edge of the ceiling, drop down as the lift is going left and the right edge of the lift is under your feet. Point 4 is a similar situation, except this time the turn-around point for the lift is directly under foot, so you'll have to drop before the lift is under your feet. You might have to try this a couple of times. Boss: helicopter This battle, while not very similar, reminds me of the awesome missile- riding stage in Contra III: The Alien Wars. Anyway, run to the right and climb up onto the helicopter. Make your way to the right until you reach the door to the cockpit. Keep shooting the door. The hit detection isn't all that great, but will turn red when you hit it. Defend yourself from the oncoming waves of rocket troopers. This battle is the reason I don't recommend using the newly-won pulse cannon: it's rate of fire will leave you defenseless against all the rocket troopers. Once the cockpit door has taken enough damage--and it's considerable, around 50 shots--it will flash red and then open. Go inside to finish the area. * Area 13 Terrain: desert Enemies: guard, squatter, sniper, ceiling cannon, incendiary Recommended Equipment: particle gun, energy pills, vest, yellow communicator Boss: executioner Reward: rapid fire device At A Glance: Four main areas and one boss area. One comm room. One care package. Progress is as follows: First area: to the right at ground level, then up the pharaoh statue. Second area: down, then left, then up. Third area: to the right, then down, then right. Fourth area: to the right. Details: It's finally time to rescue Super Joe. This first of the desert stages is also your introduction to the incendiary trooper. This guy in a red uniform wields a nasty flame thrower and is incredibly resilient to your attacks. It takes three shots from the pulse cannon to take him down; two from the flame thrower. I still recommend the particle gun because of the boss, but feel free to start with the pulse cannon and switch to the particle gun at the comm room. The first area is outside. Make your way right along ground level. The easiest way to deal with incendiaries is to keep them just off screen and shoot them (yeah, take advantage of the glitchy programming). Having a barrel between you and the incendiary also works pretty good, especially when armed with the pulse cannon since it penetrates barrels. Once you're all the way to the right of the stage, climb the pharaoh statue. Towards the top, use the pharaoh's nose to swing across the final gap. The second area begins with a drop down a four-level shaft. Be prepared to grab the ceiling to the left and make your way across the spike pit. Once across the spikes, the area turns into a three-level hallway. Stay in the middle level until you run into a vertical wall, then drop down to the lower level. Take out the ceiling cannon, then swing out to catch a high platform and climb up the rest of the way to the door. The third area starts with an incendiary almost right on top of you. Get rid of him quick. I have always taken a hit in this situation. Anyway, the weird-looking section of floor is a trap door. Run on top of it and grab the underside of the floor as you fall. Hesitate a bit on the platform here to get a care package (probably to make up for the mandatory hit from the incendiary). Climb back up to top level and prepare to drop down the next trap door. Again, you'll start to fall, but grab the sequence of two ceilings to the right as you fall. From here you'll have to use four small blocks to cross a wide gap to the comm room. From the comm room, proceed to the right. Drop down through the trap door and swing from the overhead platforms over the spikes. Once you start seeing sarcophagi along the walls, it's safe to drop down. Now, you should see a sarcophagus that is not blinking (second from the left on the bottom level). This is a secret door that you must take to complete the stage. Press up to enter the next area. The final area starts off in a very similar manner to Area 14 of the NES version; you must use the ascending ceiling to go to the right over a wide expanse of flames, all the while dealing with three ceiling cannons. There are horizontal lifts just above the flames but their purpose is to take you back to the start if you fall. Once across the fire pit you'll have to get up and over a wall, so zigzag up and then zigzag down again. Then climb up the platforms to ceiling level. Here begins one of the most challenging swing sequences in the game. From the platform, grab the ceiling block to the right and then swing out into the void. You'll have to catch the ceiling at a lower level. Now begins the infamous Viper Pit, so named because of the huge snake painting in the background. The Viper Pit is a sequence of five stalactites and then a short vertical wall of which you must grab the bottom of. Here's a layout: 1 2 3 4 5 MMMMMMM M M M M M MMMMMMMMMM M is wall MMMMMMM V V M V M MMMM M V is stalactite tip MMMMMMM V V MM MMMM = is platform MM== MMMM  is door [start] M MMMMMMM [the viper pit] M This sequence even starts out tough because you must use the ceiling of the hallway to swing yourself out into this madness. The swing to Stalactite 1 is easy enough. The difficult part is the swing from Stalactite 1 to Stalactite 2. It's just a long way. Then to get to Stalactite 3, you must allow yourself to drop into range. The swings between Stalactites 3, 4, and 5 are very quick. Then grab for the underside of the wall and climb up the platform. From here the door is so very close. Perform a small drop start to the right, grab directly overhead to the ceiling, then do another small drop start to reach the door. Boss: executioner This guy is fast and can jump to any level within the boss room. Only Arturus is more agile than the executioner. In general, he will deflect your shots with his axe, but he must stop running to do so. This is good to know in case you need a bit of breathing room to climb up a platform. This is the reason I recommend the particle gun; using the pulse cannon could leave you defenseless at the moment you need to stop him. Anyway, the strategy is to obviously stay away from him, but only just out of reach. After running a bit, the executioner will take a swipe at you. That axe must be heavy because he has to stop and bend over to catch his breath afterwards. This is the only time he is vulnerable, so get off as many rounds as possible. Some may bounce off but a lot should connect. After a few seconds the executioner will give chase again. Keep up this routine until you start to run out of room, then climb up a level at the first opportunity. The executioner will jump up, too. Then repeat the process, dropping down to ground level when you reach the first gap. Hooray, Super Joe is saved! Oddly, he congratulates you instead of thanking you, as if he intentionally got captured and was hanging out behind bars just to see if you were up to snuff. It must be a weird kind of brotherhood in the Elite Forces. * Area 14 Terrain: desert Enemies: guard, squatter, incendiary, rocket trooper Recommended Equipment: pulse cannon, energy pills, vest, yellow communicator Boss: fuel room Reward: flame thrower At A Glance: Three main areas and one boss area. One comm room. One care package. Progress is as follows: First area: to the right at ground level, then up through central path. Second area: down in a big zigzag, then up in a zigzag, then down and left. Third area: to the right. Details: This mission involves infiltrating the fuel depot. With the exception of Area 18, I find this area to be the most difficult because of its length and its rigorous swinging sequences. This stage is definitely easier to handle with some extra lives on hand. So, if you've suffered through the game with a glitched cartridge and have arrived here clutching to your last life, I hope you enjoy maddening, twitch-response challenges in which one mistake means replaying the entire level. In all seriousness, if you are a casual gamer just looking to have a bit of fun (like me) I suggest you restart the game and make your way back to this point with at least four lives in tow. You start outside and must climb a tower. Go all the way to the right along the ground. Then, climb up until you reach the two-layer or "stacked" platform above the incendiary. Take out the incendiary and make your way to the left under the stacked platform. A short expanse of a single platform is toward the center of the stage. Climb up and make your way back to the extreme right for a care package. From here, climb up to reach the sequence of trampolines. They act exactly like the hot air vents. As you bounce, reach directly up for the next trampoline. Remember, you will bounce the way you are facing, not necessarily the way you are going. Rocket troopers will be flying about to make things interesting. All the way at the top is the door. Once inside, go right to the third and final vertical lift and take the sequence of three lifts to the bottom. From here, work your way to the left until you reach the skull and crossbones. You task is now to fall off the ledge, turn around (face right) in mid-air, and swing from the bottom of the ground you were just standing on. Keep swinging to the right to reach the comm room. After the comm room, use the ceiling to take the high road up to a very big display screen. There are two incendiaries on this level. Work your way to the right, climb up to the barrel-covered platform, and drop start to the left and make your way up. On the top level, use the ceiling until you reach the right hand wall. From here, drop down three platforms. The third will have a skull and crossbones. Don't fall! Just hang on. Now drop start to the left and swing from the ceiling until you reach the door. Now things get tricky. First up is a sequence of three fixtures. You really have to have some momentum going to make the swing from the second to third fixture. Start by attaching as far up and left on the first fixture as possible and swing out to the right. Now, aim for the bottom of the second fixture in order to have enough swing radius to reach the third fixture. After the third fixture is a platform. So far, so good. From this platform is another fixture. When you swing out you'll reach a wall in mid-air and start to fall. Be prepared to grab the ceiling to the right. Here's a diagram of the wall because it's a little weird: & MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM ^ MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM M is wall M MMMMMMMMMMMMMMM U is attachment point U MMMMMMMMMMMMMMM MMMMMMMM & MMMMMMMM ^ is your falling commando MMMMMMMMMMMMMMM MMMMMMMMMMMMMMM M MMMMMMMMMMMMM U MMMMMMMMMMMMM MMMMMM MMMMMM MMMMMMMMMMMMM MMMMMMMMMMMMM M MMMMMMMMMMM U MMMMMMMMMMM [hallway] MMMMMMMMMMM MMMMMMMMMMM You will be approaching this wall in mid-air from the upper left. You must grab the blue semi-circular shapes (represented by U's in the diagram) hanging from the wall, which will swing you into a small alcove. Then, drop from the alcove and repeat it again and again. After this free-flying experience there is a gradually ascending hallway filled with troops. There is also a small gap to cross. Use the ceiling and grab the platform to continue. After this is a bit more hallway. After the hallway drops a level you'll see an incendiary. Take him out. Just to the right is another gap. This one is a little tricky, but not very dangerous. Here's a diagram: [end] MMMMM MM==== M is wall MMMMM = is platform MMMMM X X is fixture MMMMM X X X [start] MMMMM=== ===MMMMM MMMMM MMMMM Okay, start by swinging out on the fixture. You must grab the next fixture instead of landing on the platform/ground. Then make your way up to the platform. If you mess up, you have to start at the beginning on the left side of the gap. How do you get back across? You have to hang from the right hand platform and drop start to the left and grab the left hand platform. Once you've reached the high platform, climb up another platform, and the door is to the left. You made it! Boss: fuel room Like the laser lifts in Area 10, there really is no boss: just get out alive. Unlike Area 10, the screen will scroll up automatically, just like those annoying stages in Super Mario Bros 3. And, there's a lot of tricky climbing to do with flames licking the soles of your bionic boots. Yeah, flames. The party starts when you destroy the fuel depot's control panel and the petrol gets poppin'. In short, this makes a hard stage even more difficult. Here's a diagram of the entire climb: [safe] ============ X X X 2 ==== MMMMM ===== X X X M is wall X = is platform X X is fixture X ^ is spike 1 ~~~ is trap door ==== ^^ 1,2 are reference points ^^MM MMMM ^^^^ MMMM ==== ===== MMMM MMMM~~~==== MMMMM====== [start] MMMMM~~~MMM Yeah, it's a long climb. Most of the ascent will put your drop start technique to task. Things usually go relatively smoothly until Point 1. These fixtures are really close together but are situated just so a drop start cannot get things started. Instead, attach to the lowest fixture at an angle and press right to start a pendulum swing. But, once the right side of the swing is reached, press A to start reeling in the arm. Swing out by holding left, then turn mid-air to the right just in time to grab the second fixture. From there the swing radius is sufficiently short for the rest of the climb. This is pretty difficult. Most times I get a lucky bounce off of the flames and am able to pull myself up without taking heaps of punishment. From here it's one more drop start then three final fixtures. If you haven't had to use the energy pills yet then you're pretty much home free. Attach to the lowest fixture from the left side. Start the swing by pressing A (the short swing technique) and swing out the to right for the next fixture. Grab for the third fixture on the way back to the left and the final platform should come into view. You're done! * Area 15 Terrain: desert Enemies: guard, squatter, incendiary, ceiling cannon, Recommended Equipment: flame thrower, energy pills, vest, yellow communicator Boss: omega platoon Reward: body armor At A Glance: Two main areas and the boss room. One comm room. One Med Kit. Progress is as follows: Outside: up in a right, left manner. Inside: to the right, but the door is in the middle of the area. Details: I find this area to be much easier than its predecessor because the terrain is less demanding and the boss is a cake walk. When you land, take out the two incendiaries. Two pops from the flame thrower will level them. Now, notice the three rectangles on the columns that get progressively higher as you go from right to left. You're supposed to climb all of these to get up to a sniper nest, but, being a casual gamer, I only use the first two. Here's how: attach the bionic arm to the lowest rectangle from the left side, not the right. Notice that you can attach on the side of the rectangle. Get the hook as high as it will go. Now, pendulum swing from right to left and grab the second rectangle high. From here you should be able to skip the third rectangle entirely and simply grab upward for the sniper nest. From the sniper nest, go right and drop off the ledge. Take out the incendiary and start taking the high road. After climbing up a few platforms you'll notice a Med Kit sitting on some barrels. Grab it with the bionic arm and continue to the right, and then up. Now there is a sequence of platforms leading to the left. All of them have barrels on them to some degree. Some are completely covered and some only have one or two. Anyway, swing from the bottom of these platforms until you reach the door. Once inside, drop off the right hand side of the platform and grab the small fixture to the right on the way down. Swing out right for another fixture and then a platform. If you mess up, you should be able to make your way back to the left hand wall and up to the door again. From the platform, swing right on two more fixtures and then on the ceiling. You'll reach an elevator. Go up on level and run to the left for the comm room. After the comm room, run left, get back on the elevator and go up one level to the top. Go to the right and drop off the ledge. Keep going right and you'll reach a spot that looks like this: MMMM MMMM==== ===== M is wall = is platform & ^ MM & MMMMMMMMMMMM====== ^ is your commando Your goal is to get across the small lip at the edge and hang under the platform just beyond. Using the above platforms should do the trick. Now that your hanging from the platform, perform a drop start to the left and keep swinging from the ceiling until you reach the door. Boss: omega platoon The strategy is exactly the same as for the alpha platoon of Area 2, except the core's rate of fire is very fast. * Area 16 (secret) Terrain: jungle Enemies: none Recommended Equipment: doesn't matter in the slightest Boss: none Reward: promotion At A Glance: One main area. Progress is up and right along fixtures. Details: Time to sharpen up your Tarzan skills. Once past the initial swing fest, the ol' obstacle course is a safe place to have a bit of fun. First up is a sequence of eight fixtures that cross a river. If you fall, you die. The fixtures are very lenient since you can grab their sides and their bottoms. It's even possible to overshoot a fixture but catch it on the recoil. Here's the sequence: @ safe! @ @ @ x ===== @ x @ start @, x are fixtures ===== = is platform The sixth and seventh fixtures (marked by x instead of @) are not located exactly as depicted, due to the limits of ASCII art. The first x is slightly higher than the fixture, and the second x is slightly lower. In all, the progression of the last half of the sequence is a slightly descending. The most dangerous bit is done. Now, work your way up a couple of platforms. To the right is another gap with only two fixtures, then a platform. After this, make your way to the left along the ascending ceiling and climb up the platform. Finally, you're completely safe. Just one more daring sequence. Up here are seven feline pillars, each supporting a bit of ground (well, it's a green block) that become progressively higher as they go right. The blocks aren't as forgiving as the previous fixtures because you can only grab the bottoms. Get a start on the first block in the middle and keep swinging and grabbing until you make it to the platform above the head statue. On the platform is your promotion and the way out. This area serves as a decent preview of the type of maneuvers necessary to complete the later areas of the game. If you thought this was a simple walk in the woods, just wait a bit. You'll get some better challenges in Areas 14, 15, and 18. * Area 17 (secret) Terrain: sewer Enemies: rat man, alien Recommended Equipment: best gun, energy pills, best armor, comm not needed Boss: none Reward: promotion At A Glance: One main area. Progress is so topsy-turvy that I made a very high-level map: MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM MMMMM 2 3 M 5 M M is wall, flames, pits, etc. MMMMM MMMMMMMMMMM M M M [s] is starting door. MMMMM MMMMMMMMMMM M M M [e] is ending door. MMMMM MMMMMM M M M 1,2,3... are reference points. MMMMM MMMMMM MMMMMMM M M M[s] 1 MMMMMM 4 M M MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM M MMMMMMMMMMMM[e] M MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM[ pit ]M Details: The main challenges of this stage are negotiating the plentiful hot air vents and taking out the enemies in close quarters. Point 1: From the door, use the two hot air vents to go right and grab for the overhang. From here, grab the double hot air vent and start making your way up the hot air vent shaft. Here's a diagram: MMMMMMMMMMM M M===MMMMMMM M M M V M M is wall M V V M V is hot air vent M V M = is platform M V V M ^ is flame M V M M V M M V M M M M M M V M M M M M M VV M M M ^^^^^^^^^^M MMMMMMMMMMM From the double vent, climb up the next, and then the one after that. From here, you should be able to simply bounce, bounce, bounce your way up. Point 2: Once you reach the platform, an alien will attack immediately. I get hit about half the time. Keep going right and climb up the platform with the rat man on top. Then use the overhang to swing out to the right to land on a descending floor with sludge coming out on it. Fall off the right edge of this floor and catch the small platform to the right. Swing to the right to land on the floor. From here, cross the small flame pit using the two hot air vents. Point 3: From here you'll have to drop down two levels while fighting off rat men in very tight quarters. Then run to the left while taking out the alien. Then drop down one level and take out the rat man. Under this platform is a double hot air vent. Be sure to use your bionic eye to see where you need to drop. Face right before dropping down onto the hot air vents. Point 4: From the double hot air vent, make your way to the right along the ceiling. Soon you'll come a hot air vent in another vertical shaft: MMMMMMMMMMM M M=========M M M M M M V M M is wall M M = is platform M M ^ is flame M V M V is hot air vent M M M M M V M M M M ^^^^^^^^^^M MMMMMMMMMMM After bouncing from a hot air vent, you'll have to make a vertical grab for the next. Climb to the platform and go right. Point 5: Time to go back down: MMMMMMMMM M M======M M M M======M M is wall M o M = is platform M=== M o is sludge pipe M o M M ===M M o M M=== M M o M M ===M M o M M=== M M o M MM ===M M M [ pit ] M At the bottom of the shaft is a bottomless pit, so be sure to make your way to the left along the descending ceiling once you get to the bottom. Keep going right and you'll see the floor and an alien. Just beyond is the promotion and the exit door. * Area 18 Terrain: albatross Enemies: guard, squatter, rocket trooper Recommended Equipment: flame thrower, energy pills, body armor, any comm. Boss: arturus Reward: end credits At A Glance: Four main areas. One care package. Progress is as follows: First area: to the upper right. Second area: from upper right to lower left in big zigzag. Third area: down in right, left, right; then right, up, and left. Fourth area: right, then up. Details: Welcome to the Albatross. Like the NES version, the final stage has a curious lack of enemies: there's only a few. Unlike the classic, the Albatross is huge and you will have to make your way through it. This stage is the ultimate obstacle course and, in my opinion, is much more difficult than anything in the NES version. But, with some know-how and a little practice (and a couple extra lives for good measure), it can be done. Also, please note that there is no comm room and therefore no way to save your game halfway through the area. You land on top of the Albatross and must find a way inside. Run to the right and slowly make your way across the series of eight rocket boosters in the floor. The burn will last for a few seconds, then shift to the next booster. There will always be a gap of three boosters that will not be firing. Now climb up the platform and continue to the right. Make your way across the gap using the sequence of three blue lights. They are all the same height. Now you must make a short climb using small fixtures and tiny platforms. Here's a diagram: [end] ====MM MM ==MM M is wall X MM = is platform MM X is fixture == MM X MM MM ==MM [start] MM MMMMMMMMMMMMM There are also sparks running along set paths, so avoid them. After this small climb, run to the right to find another climb of five fixtures. A care package (usually a Super Capsule) will drop when you are still on the ground floor. Here's a diagram: [end] =========== X MMMMM ? MMMMM M is wall X MMMMM = is platform MMMMM X is fixture X MMMMM ? is reference point MMMMM X MMMMM MMMMM X MMMMM MMMMM X MMMMM MMMMM X MMMMM MMMMM [start] MMMMM MMMMMMM MMMMM On the way up, a rocket trooper will most likely drop down at Point ?. The smooth way to handle this is to proceed as normal, shoot him in mid-air, and then make the grab for the fifth fixture. You must be very quick to pull this off. Once you finish this climb, run to the right and negotiate the sequence of five rocket boosters. Then there is a small sequence of three rocket boosters with the door just overhead. Now you're inside the Albatross. Make your way to the left until you reach a trap door. From here you can take the high road or the low road. To take the high road, swing over the trap door and continue to make your way left (highly recommended). The low road is thrust upon you if you fall through the trap door. Down here you'll have to make a difficult swing to the left on a sequence of four fixtures. If you took the high road, you'll come across a series of hot air vents along the floor and ceiling, except they're not! They are actually rocket boosters, as you'll quickly discover. Anyway, keep going left, then drop down the platforms until you reach a strange hallway full of reactors or diodes. It looks like the hall is filled with yellow Christmas trees. Make your way to the right and take out the solitary guard. At this point the high and low roads reach the same point. Fall off the right edge of the platform and immediately grab for the lower platform to the right. Climb up. From here you must swing from a sequence of four red lights. They are all the same height. After the fourth red light, drop down a few platforms to the floor, then make your way to the left. Run off the left edge of the platform to land on a lower, longer platform. From here you must swing from a sequence of three fixtures then continue along the ceiling. The fixtures are easy to see because all three of them are at the center of some sort of turbine or gear. Anyway, it looks like a big grey-and-black sunflower. Again, after the third fixture, you must travel along the ceiling. This transition throws me off quite often. Follow the ceiling to the door. Now it's on to the third area. Here's a diagram of the start: MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM M M M is wall M ^^^^^^^^^^^^^ M = is platform MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM M  is door MvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvMM M ^,v are spikes M MM M - is lift path M ? M ? is reference point M===MMMMM------ ==MMM M MMMMM^^^^^^^^^MMM M===MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM M MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM Make you're way right across the spikes using the ceiling. Now you'll reach Point ? in the diagram. Note that the horizontal lift doesn't make it all the way to the right. In other words, you must swing out and land on it. There is a sure-fire way to stick the landing. Position your commando as such: MMM M / M & M ^ M -- ===MMMM ^^^^^^^^MMMM Your commando will be facing to the right (away from the lift) and the bionic arm will be attached to the overhang. You'll have to slightly "hang five" off of the platform to do this. Being positioned this way allows you to see the lift. Now, wait for the lift to appear into view, then disappear off to the left again. Once it disappears, start a double pendulum swing and then swing out to the left. You should land on the lift as it approaches. In other words, once the lift goes out of view, start the swing and go right, swing left, swing right, then swing left and out to the lift. The first pendulum swing serves as an easy way to eat a bit of time. Once on the lift, get off on the left ground, go left, then drop down the three platforms. Run to the right, take out the guard, and fall off the right edge of the platform to reach a lower, longer platform. Take the diagonal lift and grab the overhang at the top. Now, this is tricky. You have to reel in the bionic arm to a dead stop. Then, drop start to the right and get ready to grab a fixture on the way down. Make your way right using two more fixtures and then grab the platform. Climb up to the ceiling and make your way to the left along it. However, progress will be very slow and meticulous because there is a sequence of six rocket boosters in the ceiling, and then another sequence of four. You will have to make a series of very short drop starts to get to the door. Yes, this is difficult, but at least the ceiling is level (for now). Once you reach the door you're back outside and underneath the Albatross. Aside from the small stretch for the door, there is no ground whatsoever in this part of the area. You'll have to deal with a ceiling of varying height and rocket boosters. Here's a complete diagram of the area: MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM^M^M^M^M^M^MMMMMM MM M MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM^^^MM ! ! ! ! ! ! MM== MM M MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM !!! MM MM MMMMM MMM^M^M^M^M^M^MMM [----2----] MM== MM MMMMM ! ! ! ! ! ! 1 [start] [end] ^ ! is rocket booster (note: they are not all on at the same time) M is wall = is platform  is door 1, [--2--] are reference areas This area is very slow going. Use drop starts every step of the way to make progress to the right. The first six rocket boosters follow the normal sequence: one burns for a few seconds, then the next one fires up, leaving three clear boosters between the flames. The three boosters at Point 1 follow this pattern too, except they are all off when the non-existent "fourth" booster is supposed to be firing. The final six boosters at Point 2 behave slightly differently. Two boosters will fire at the same time, then the next two, then the next two. Here's a diagram of the sequence: M^M^M^M^M^M^M --> M^M^M^M^M^M^M --> M^M^M^M^M^M^M --> repeat ! ! ! ! ! ! Once you make it through all this, you'll have to let yourself drop and catch the underside of the wall. Climb up to the door and prepare for a tough boss battle. Boss: arturus Super agile and quick, Arturus runs the show for a reason. He has two forms. Arturus will harness the power of the Albatross and transform into an invincible green monster. The other form is his normal human form, double Uzis and all. He can jump to any level and can fire his Uzis at you at 45 degree angles as well as horizontally. After Arturus' explain-all-before-the-big-fight monologue, he will transform into the angry green giant. The giant doesn't shoot anything; he'll just try to run into you. Avoid him but try to stay near a wall. After a while he will turn back into the human Arturus. The best thing to do is to duck into a corner and keep shooting him while taking his punishment. One more cycle of giant/human should be enough for you to take him down. Chapter 10: Credits ------------------- Title ASCII art based on a concept by Christopher Johnson. www.chris.com/ascii This guide copyright 2004 Ted J Schrader Only gamefaqs.com has been authorised to host this document. This may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal, private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed publicly without advance written permission. Use of this guide on any other web site or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited and a violation of copyright. Chapter 11: Colophon -------------------- This document was created using Microsoft Word 97 per the suggestions of the Composing Guide found on gamefaqs.com, except that the horizontal width is a maximum of 78 characters instead of 79. I did this so the guide is displayed in Notepad on my ancient Windows 95 machine without an annoying horizontal scrollbar. I wrote a simple QBasic program to remove trailing spaces from the end of lines (this seems to save around 1Kb per 80Kb). Colophon Credits: Thanks to www.qbasic.com for some helpful tips. Chapter 12: Version History --------------------------- 1.0 30 MAY 2004 Initial full walkthrough. 1.1 6 AUG 2005 Added glitch workaround (thanks to RollingSkull). Corrected various typos.