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Guide and Walkthrough by ASchultz

Version: 1.0.0 | Updated: 03/28/2005

Thexder(NES) FAQ
Version 1.0.0 copyright 2005 by Andrew Schultz schultza@earthlink.net

Please do not reproduce this FAQ for profit without my prior consent. However, 
if you write a polite e-mail to me referring to me(and this FAQ) by name, 
then I will probably say OK. But if I ignore you that means no--and I am bad 
about answering e-mail. Sorry.

**** AD SPACE: ****
My home page: http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Exhibit/2762 

================================

           OUTLINE

  1. INTRODUCTION

  2. CONTROLS AND STRATEGIES

  3. ENEMIES/POINTS

  4. LEVEL 1 WALKTHROUGH

  5. LEVEL 2 WALKTHROUGH

  6. LEVEL 3 WALKTHROUGH

  7. LEVEL 4 WALKTHROUGH

  8. LEVEL 5 WALKTHROUGH

  9. ET CETERA

    9-1. LEVELS 6-10 AND SO FORTH

    9-2. CHEATING/SAVE STATES

  10. VERSIONS

  11. CREDITS

================================

  1. INTRODUCTION

Thexder is a semi-maze, semi-shooter game where you control a robot that can 
transform into a ship. Your robot can fire bullets directly at enemies, but 
your ship can move faster, sneak through certain areas, and fire straight 
ahead. The ostensible object is to get to the end of the level, and though 
you may have small fast missiles following you if you take too long, you also 
need, realistically, to find bonus energy pods and powerbots to shoot in 
order to bunker your energy/hit points/number in the corner that tells how 
close you are to death.

You can lose all your initial 200 hit points at the very start, if you just 
sit there and let an enemy rip you apart. And in later levels they do so with 
astounding vigor. But you also have the option of using a shield, which costs 
30 energy points. Doing so at the right time makes areas nearly impossible by 
brute force much easier. Although most of the time you'll have to make 
diagonal swerves and fake out the monsters, which are slower than you, into 
going one direction. Then you go the other. You'll be using the sides a lot, 
but you can't go that way right away.

The mazes themselves are several screens wide by two screens high, and after 
the relative simplicity of the first level's maze, you'll have one where you 
have to pull back to the left, another tight-quarters one with monsters to 
fight, a brief respite, and the final level, a bigger maze with tons of 
monsters. The game then repeats itself. Along the way you'll have some split-
second choices to make, including where to enter a certain area(top/bottom) 
or how to fake monsters out or whether you should switch from robot to ship. 
Sometimes you'll be able to find a niche where you can shoot monsters.

With all these factors, not to mention the lack of a displayed score, it's 
little surprise Thexder can get very frustrating in a hurry. There's always a 
small way to mess up, and the strategies to get past certain monsters are 
just--weird. Running into walls, for instance. Then once you get to a later 
level, quick wipeouts are very possible. I imagine people who didn't look 
into the dump image to find the map could get very frustrated with all this. 
Heck, I had trouble getting through things after pumping up my energy left.

I first played Thexder on the Apple IIgs, where the graphics were a bit 
better than the NES version, which has white, blue, red, grey and black. 
That's worse than the Apple IIe. This dulness makes the "Transformers" bit 
where you change shape(a big draw, especially to those of us who knew 
Transformers were seen as sissy by the obnoxious stupid quasi-police force 
that was the in-crowd in Junior High, but computers were respected, 
especially expensive ones) more of a "Go-Bots" sort of thing. And the sound 
is a notch down too. Still it's a challenging game that you'll probably need 
to sleep on to win, and there are legitimate strategies with some of the 
swoops getting very fun when executed successfully. But you'll probably do 
something niggling and wrong, which is why I am grateful for save states.

If you have the endurance/focus/inability to find something better to 
do/knowledge of save state editing, you'll find the nuttiness peters out at 
level 99. Instead of seeing a new level you get some weird doll with a dress.

In the FAQ I'll refer to your two shapes as robot and ship. I'll also 
occasionally shorthand up/down/left/right as u/d/l/r and combine them 
diagonally.

I've also created an image to go with this guide. It should help get a feel 
for the map that text could not give. Look it up on GameFAQs and if you're 
using an emulator, such as FCEU, keep FCEU in one window and the map in 
another. It tells where all the energy boosts are, along with the maze bits. 
I made it before I was any good at the game because the rom was pretty easy 
to read. As a general note the maps are built of 128x60 icons(4 different 
colors, so 1 byte = 4 rowsx1column) making for an intricate enough map.

  2. CONTROLS AND STRATEGIES

START pauses the game. B creates a shield for a while that drains more 
quickly in robot form. You lose 30 energy points for creating a shield. But 
if enemies are swarming, that and firing and holding down may be your only 
chance.

SELECT does nothing.

A fires. When you are a ship, it fires up to three shots straight ahead. When 
you are a robot, it tries to fire at all enemies on the screen, to the side 
that you are facing. This can work to your advantage, if you know there's 
only one monster, or to your detriment, if there are many around. In any case, 
you probably want to hold A down, as when one bullet's off the next gets 
fired. You can also locate yourself in a bunker and fire away if you're 
patient, in order to pick off a sentry guarding where you want to go.

As a robot, pushing up jumps. You can only go 2/3 of a screen high, but you 
can float left/right in the air as you please. Pushing down turns you into a 
ship. There's no way to speed up your descent or dive--you just have to let 
gravity have its way.

As a ship, the first time an enemy touches you, it turns you into a robot. 
Then damage is done. You can turn back into a robot on your own by pushing in 
the opposite direction you're moving, unless you're in too narrow quarters. 
Note that your ship is 2 blocks tall and your robot is 3, but your ship can 
also shoot through a 1-block tall passage if your ship and the passage are 
next to the ground. Your ship also goes a bit faster than you as a robot.

To turn around while in your ship, you may want to point it at a 135 degree 
angle from where it is, then go the full 180. For instance if you are going 
right, push UL and then left. You can also turn into a robot by running into 
a wall. Sometimes this is a useful thing to do as enemies get stuck to a wall.

If your ship is in a tight maze, you can move diagonally to anticipate the 
next way to move. And if you get in a tight spot and hit a wall and turn into 
a ship, you'll need to push down and quickly in the next direction you need 
to go--here changing to a diagonal-up direction or even moving away from the 
direction to go and back diagonal-up(i.e. right and up/up-right) works.

One thing to watch for is that if your ship changes to a robot and unfolds 
into anything other than a wall, you can lose energy points very quickly.

Most of the time you'll want to avoid enemies, although you can run into 
power-ups when you are gunning them down, and you can poke enemies from 
behind. You won't have time to shoot them all without missiles coming by 
later. So you will want to avoid the smaller craftier ones.

When up against a wall you can jump when spider bots come at you.

When at the bottom of a thin tunnel you can face left/right to fire up to 
knock out missiles. And popping up for missiles to see you lets you snooker 
them into going somewhere they don't want or into showing you their patterns.

If you have a phalanx of enemies ahead and know where they are, perhaps it is 
best to run to the opposite side you wish to pass them on at first.

   A           B
---------   --------
            .
.           .
 .           .
  .......     .
               .....
---------   --------

B gives you more room to outrun the enemies, assuming they've flocked to 
equal where you are. You can also move diagonally up and cut sharply down. 
Note that diagonal movement is technically quicker than straight movement--if 
you move diagonally you go up and right in the same direction as if you'd 
gone up or right individually. But sometimes that'll run you at enemies too 
quickly. The important thing: the farther away you start from where you want 
to be, the longer the chase will be, and that favors the faster party(you.)

You can often make a diagonal cut between missiles. Those who have done it 
are pretty good and those who see/do it consistently are masters. Though when 
in doubt, a conservative loop and a shield are best.

Use the shield to get through tough parts you haven't mastered yet. Even 
using it several times beats several enemies ravaging you while you're 
trapped in place.

Better a safe fire where you can pick something off after a few seconds than 
a riskier quicker one.

Try to wedge diagonal movers along the edge, in ridges where there's a short 
outcropping, i.e.

xxxxxx <-right here.
xxxxxxx Anything trying to go UL is frozen.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx Get near it and kill it at will.

  3. ENEMIES/POINTS

energy barriers (30 points)
--these just get in your way. If you run into one while in ship form, you 
switch to robot form. This can be disastrous when you have a lump of energy 
barriers together, because when you switch to robot form you land on a 
barrier and thus lose health. In other cases energy barriers can fall on you 
if you nail one beneath it. However if you fly at one and continually fire, 
you can wipe it out.

grey/red (50 points)
--for lack of imagination, or anything better, these are grey squares with a 
red inside that move diagonally when they "see" you. However their chase 
strategy is flawed. They will not move if they cannot move diagonally towards 
you, or if that would necessitate running into a wall. They also can't change 
direction until they hit an edge. Therefore if you hit a wall, they may too, 
above you. And you can just pick them off by shooting. You can also sometimes 
get them stuck where it seems they can go diagonally on a slope up, but they 
can't.

red crosses(30 points)
--these seem tougher than the grey/reds. They find a direction to go 
diagonally in, to run at you, but if they can't, they just cling to a wall. 
These can be trapped on a diagonal too. They don't require many hits and 
don't do much damage, but they're a bit more persistent than the grey/reds.

spiderbots(40 points)
--these walk back and forth and change direction when they run into something. 
If you have a ship then you can blast two of them in a row if you know they 
are off the screen and you run in at them. But often you can fly over them. 
It's possible to stay against a wall and jump and then fire at them once they 
go the other way.

energy pods(40 points, +16 energy)
--little cylindrical looking things. These stay in one place and usually come 
in groups of 3-4. Shoot them several times and they increase your energy. You 
can bounce into them from below or the sides as you shoot with no damage to 
you. However, if you switch from robot to ship and get tangled up with them, 
they'll cost you energy just as standard enemies would. Immobile but usually 
airborne.

power bots(90 points, +14 energy)
--these come in clumps of 3 or 4 and often you can just strafe them. You can 
bounce off them from any side and shoot them down in close range. These are 
the power boosters you'll see most of. Immobile and usually found at the ends 
of hallways.

orbs(50 points)
--these go in rough circles, but given that they aren't as easily predictable 
as other monsters, I try to avoid them. You can do so and still get through 
the game.

missiles(60 points)
--these generally circle around you and come in. They are tricky because they 
can stay one unit above your line of fire, even in tunnels. I generally try 
to make them the only item on the board and fire at them. In some mazy areas 
it's possible to distract them, too. They appear if you take too long. The 
best way to go at them is to run diagonally at them and fake them out with a 
swerve.

blue crosses(40 points)
--found in the mazes of level 3, these guys will move along the maze and, at 
an intersection, take the right branch from the way they are facing. You can 
sneak up behind them and even run into them and blast them from behind. 
Unlike the spiderbots they can navigate up/down. They can also get out into 
clear space, where they're usually disastrously easy to pick off.

blue/red balls(60 points)
--found behind an energy pod on level 4, the best way to kill these is to 
wait under and just fire. You'll knock them all off. They drop and go rolling 
along the floor.

small blue/red balls(50 points)
--found in the maze in level 4, these have patterns that are easy to guess. 
So just fire away when you're close, but out of the way, and they'll be easy 
to bag.

arrowy thingamabobs(100 points, +20 energy)
--there are only two of these, on level 4. You just wait for them to align 
with you and shoot them. They move around but can't get you.

big grey/red squares(60 points)
--these take the same hits as smaller squares but just block you all the way 
on level 5. Your best bet is to get them tangled with each other or pick them 
off one by one. You also have to be careful about them switching on the 
rebound. They don't seem to need to hit a wall to chase you. They may be 
bigger targets, but with your guided missiles and their bounciness, that's 
not really a big deal.

chip of the big structure(90 points)
--just get near the big structure and turn to a robot and fire away. Some 
pieces of the structure may get stuck in the ceiling and it's worthwhile to 
search them out and try to shoot them up.

As a final note I want to point out that it's possible to get up to 999 on 
the health meter, but the game won't go higher. Cheating things above 999 
lets you get a bit more, but once you get to 000 the game scrolls to 999 and 
forgets what the thousands digit should have been.

  4. LEVEL 1 WALKTHROUGH

If you want to get far without cheats, you probably need to get through level 
1 unscathed. And having collected all the bonuses. You've got a lot of space 
to work with, and the dead ends are obvious enough.

The game starts with you going right into an open room. I like to go down to 
the bottom and, when monsters appear, turn up and circle around to get past 
the grey/reds. The next monsters will be red crosses that you can circle down 
from the top and right to get past. Then there will be a wall to the right, 
and you'll have a bunch of grey/reds. When they move towards you, go up--
because the top ones went diagonally DL, you can now fly over them to the 
right wall. Here you can circle around a bit to get the grey/reds to chase 
you a bit more and make things easier later, as they'll be trapped on top. 
But beware the trailer that will force you to swerve left as you go down. Go 
near the bottom and turn left and start shooting. Knock down the barriers and 
go left. If you don't do it as a ship, simply jump up when an enemy walks by 
and keep firing. I actually like to leave one barrier, because I can turn 
right and shoot the enemies as insurance for the way back.

On this bottom stretch it is not too hard to kill your enemies. Fire away and 
you should get the first. You may need to loop around to kill another, or you 
can just fly over them and go back to the bottom after the fourth enemy 
passed/killed. You'll see your first rechargers. You can knock out the bottom 
one as a ship. I would recommend flying right as a ship to kill enemies, 
looping back if they get too close. Then you'll have all day to face left as 
a robot while under the remaining energy pods. All your shots wil go nearly 
straight up, and none will be wasted. This is your first example of strategic 
positioning to shoot well as a robot.

Now you need to go back right and, if there are any bad guys at the bottom, 
loop around to kill them. There'll be two barriers up and to the right, and 
you need to get through them to continue. But you probably can't shoot them 
directly. I recommend going up to them and letting the squares chase you down. 
Try to pick them off individually--as a robot if their diagonal trajectories 
are obvious, or you can back into the bottom grotto. A very handy trick here 
is to run into the walls to the right. The grey/reds will stay against them 
and you can face into the wall and fire. But you need to press up against the 
wall for this. Once you go back up to the barriers and no enemies can 
obstruct you, fire right to bust through. I recommend jumping up at first, as 
the robot, then flying up and tapping down when enemies are visible. Don't 
wait too long(they'll catch you) or hold the button down(you'll keep 
transforming uselessly.)

Change to a ship, detour to the very top and head right. There's a spiral 
passage ahead. Move diagonally, or try to, in the passage to lead the next 
way you want to go. This helps you move quicker and not transform back to a 
robot. At the end of the spiral you have three power-bots to shoot. You can 
change to a robot here or push into them and hold right and fire as a ship. 
If you get changed back to a robot here, you'll need to push down and up 
quickly to start your way out of the maze. Same for anywhere you can go 
up/down.

Go all the way down, but turn right before the dead end. You can just hold 
right here to take out three more powerbots. Head down as a ship and go right. 
You now have a small waiting game to play. Run into the wall to become a 
robot. Now jump up so you can "see" the red diamonds and release the up 
button when you're over the top. You should be holding the fire controls down 
all through this. You may only hit enemies 20% of the time but it's risk free 
to nail them.

Past this, turn into robot, fall to the right and start shooting until you've 
busted one barrier. Then you can head up as a ship and to the right and 
though it will be a close call, you'll make it to the mini-maze in the end.

D, R, U, L, U, R, R at the intersection, and follow that pasage to level 2.

Maximum health available here is 348.

  5. LEVEL 2 WALKTHROUGH

This is a bit more convoluted than level 1. You have a long way(potentially 
more health) and a short way. I'll mark the long way detour when we come to 
it. One problem with the long way, along with having more risks, is that a 
time limit comes into play: little red firecrackers go around searching for 
you, and their size means big trouble. They generally loop around a bit 
better than the big ships that go chasing you, as well. You'll need to hide 
behind something or line them up in a narrow corridor to loop and shoot them 
down.

When you enter level 2 you will need to take immediate action. Head your 
plane up, right and down to swerve around the red crosses and then you can 
head right, one square above the top, to be safe. If you want to shoot the 
enemies, you can get two at one swoop and loop for the third. Or shoot them 
from behind as a robot. The passage will bend back left. Fall down and blast 
the barrier to the right. Now you can sneak under the lower left bit as a 
ship and loop back right when spiderbots come at you. Jump over the spider 
bot and fire right as a robot--you'll have to hit them. Repeat until the 
spiderbots are cleared.

****DETOUR FOR MORE CHALLENGE AND HEALTH****

As a ship, head to the right past the energy guard you blasted. There'll be 
grey/reds to get past, in groups of 3. At some point you may have to cut UR 
and DR, but it shouldn't be too hard to judge when. Then take the upper 
passage to the right. There'll be some blue blocks above. You'll have some 
grey/reds in a narrow passage and what you'll want to do is to fly up and 
head into the right wall. That will trap one of them, and you can just fire 
away. For the other you may need to jump up and fire left until it's picked 
off. When none are close to your chute up, change into a ship and go up to 
the top and left. You can muck around to shoot the grey/reds and spiders if 
you want, but the less time you spend here, the more rockets you'll avoid 
later.

With the ship, go left and fire until you manage to hit the energy barriers. 
But don't get too close--instead loop clockwise and come back and do it again. 
If you just charge forward you get stuck in the DR of the energy fields and 
lose a lot of hit points. The rest is not too bad. You'll have one spiderbot, 
but you can duck down to take out one before going over the second. Behind 
you'll have two energy pods. Then you can turn right and blast the spiderbots 
you couldn't get the first time.

There's a second group of energy boosts here. The passage down next to where 
the energy blocks were--just drop down it as a ship but be careful to tap up 
if a spiderbot is right under. You can fire right at will--again looping with 
your ship--or shooting with your robot--and you have the space to fly over 
the spiderbots further down. At the right edge are three powerbots to shoot. 
Now return--fly left and up to the top, then right and down.

****EXTRA TOUGH SMALL DETOUR****

If you exit level 2 normally you may see some powerbots in the UL as you make 
your final turn. They're guarded by a bunch of small missiles, and they're 
not easy to take out. Still, if you want to try(and if you have save states,) 
head to the right. Turn into a ship and push up. Then push down to turn into 
a robot. Fire and face right--it's important to face this way, as the 
missiles tend to go along that wall for whatever reason. You may need to 
provoke the missiles by jumping and having one track you. But don't jump too 
high. One will probably be left in the UL but you can kill it just by jumping 
into the main area and firing away. After killing off five of them you can 
take out the pods at will(approach as a ship.) Then go down and left as a 
ship.

****END EXTRA TOUGH SMALL DETOUR****

Fly back left as far as you can--on the way back the grey-reds may be a 
problem, so when the corridor widens fly in the center and see which way they 
go. Then down and right--spiderbots you can fly by or shoot as a robot--and 
there'll be a small hole to the bottom. Fly over it to avoid the next detour.

****RELATIVELY EASY DETOUR, IF YOU HAVEN'T TAKEN THE OTHER TWO****

If you have, there may be rockets floating around. They make things tricky 
and you may need to swerve in tight areas.

Best to wait to jump if a robot is passing below. You can shoot it from 
behind. Then fire at it. To the left, be a ship and fire away. Spiderbot or 
two  and two energy barriers. Now when there's a passage up, take it and go 
sharply right and all the way to the top. Go left and fire at the three 
powerbots. Retreat as you came.

****END DETOUR****

Now go right and here you may want to go past the chute down(which you'll 
eventually want to take) and kill the enemies, so they do not distract you 
later. You can drop down and proceed as before, firing at the spiderbots. You 
may have to sucker the grey/reds to come up the chute and then fly over it 
'til a grey/red is near the top, where you can shoot it without risk. There 
also may be rockets at the bottom. You should be able to fire and jump to 
take care of them. A very trying process, but if you have to you can just 
sucker the rockets up top and fire at them as a ship. Or you can use a shield 
to get past the last few barriers. There'll be two energy barriers past this. 
Then you can go up the next chute and in an up/right direction in general to 
the next level, turning into a ship at the end.

  6. LEVEL 3 WALKTHROUGH

This level consists of a tricky maze on the bottom and a set of missiles at 
the top. The missile bit at the top is very touchy--basically, you need to 
circle around and kill them one by one--and missiles appear behind. There's 
so much tracking back and forth, and all for 42 extra hit points, that I just 
go into the maze directly, although it is possible to sucker the small 
missiles into your starting area by turning down immediately(which you should 
do in any case) and heading right as a plane. Then go along the bottom and 
fire right and loop around a few times to knock out a powerbot.

The straightforward(relatively) way through is to go down the tunnel, right 
to the edge, down, left and when the coast is clear, turn into a ship quickly 
and go up/left/down to the bottom of the level. Here it's a bit tricky 
because many enemies will be passing underfoot. I can generally jump to avoid 
them once I'm on the bottom, but I wait until the spiders are going right and 
then blast what I can and turn around. You can probably jump over the blue 
cross that comes from the other direction, and you may have to make a few 
jumps. But it's less risky than spinning around with your plane a bunch. You 
also need to watch out for a blue cross that eventually comes in from above. 
You can clear the rest of the maze area if you'd like(locate hallways, fire 
across them and retreat) just to be sure. But I've found I can move quickly 
and follow the blue cross in my path and either kill it or jump in behind it 
and wipe out the two spiders and go right quickly. I've even stood on top of 
a clump of several monsters and fired.

You can then take the passage all the way right or go in for a detour.

****DETOUR 1****

Go up when you can, then right, then down right after that. The passage will 
eventually lead out. It should be early enough that you don't have to deal 
with rockets and you can just blast the four powerbots. In fact with some 
fancy flying you can blast the one you can see but not reach, but it's not 
worth the annoyance. Note that there may be a couple blue crosses blocking 
your way through this--back up into a long hallway and shoot them from a 
distance.

****END DETOUR 1****

Heading right along the bottom, just hold UR 'til you get to the top of the 
maze. Then when you are going right there will be a path down. Take it, or 
you may want to check out the low-risk detour on the right.

****DETOUR 2****

This one isn't too tough as long as you wait for a blue cross to pass at the 
first T-intersection. Then go left and drop down. Fire right to take out the 
grey/red although you may want to wait for a blue cross to bump into it if 
one is near. Then follow the rest of the passages--the crosses may leak out 
into the open area and it isn't too hard to kill them as a robot then. Walk 
up to the powerbots and shoot them and go back to the T on the left.

****END DETOUR 2****

Go right all the way and head up. There's a bend to navigate. This is the 
tricky part, to describe and to do--I've found that if you take a path to the 
right and loop back left, you get a lot of enemies to follow you. The next 
part is tough as you seem to have to bend UR and then back UL once the 
missiles at the top start following you. Then you can loop UR/DR/R and shoot 
at the energy field. If you take it out then you should try to make it 
through the top and fire away there. From the next batch of barricades it's 
not too hard to steer DR(or, if you quickly judge a clockwise loop would be 
better, do that, but I can usually cut in quickly) and then DL to get to the 
rightmost part of the maze.

The rest seems to be cleanup but there may be some problems: first, blowing 
up the energy pod in your way isn't too bad. Jump from the right of it as a 
robot onto the single block and fire left. You'll kill it. Then there's a 
spider at the bottom part. You will want to drop right and fire right 
continually. You may have to jump as it comes back. Finally there.s a blue 
cross which you may have to shoot from a distance. But it's easy enough as a 
robot. Stay at the bottom and back up--first U/L and then to where you shot 
the energy pod. The path through is pretty clear as you can see all the dead 
ends along the way. But to be precise, it is, from the entry:

D L U shoot pod L D L D R to edge D shoot spider shoot blue cross R U R U L 
U-R-D-R-U-R-U to level 4

  7. LEVEL 4 WALKTHROUGH

This has a few weird tricks and some fancy steering, but other than that I 
find it to be a good deal easier than level 3. You just have to avoid getting 
caught, and if you're good at maneuvering, that should not be a problem. The 
main point of level 4 seems to be to get you a bit of extra protection for 
the hideously difficult level 5. You will want to "ace" this level. There are 
a few barriers it's possible to fall into when you change from ship to robot, 
but fortunately you have some simple ways to avoid this.

Start by going right and looping back clockwise when the missiles appear. Go 
under the first block you saw and be prepared to duck one more missile. You 
should see a checkerboard in the upper right. Keep it in view. You'll have a 
few red crosses to dodge, but when you see the passage up through the 
checkerboard, you'll want to take it. Go up alnd left and fire away. The 
three powerbots should give you plenty of points, but a missile may follow 
you up there. If it does, and you can't get rid of it by shooting and 
looping(or there are reinforcements, or it comes in at you,) use a shield to 
get out.

Try to be a ship as you're flying out, and head towards the bottom bit you'll 
see, at a DR diagonal. Red crosses may appear and you may need to loop over 
them, but keep low and you can skate along right a good way until you hit a 
bump at the bottom. Then you must go up and right over the red crosses and 
navigate a couple more missiles.

Once you've escaped the main bit, you can go left. Fire away to the left and 
when you can make it to the left, you have two ways to kill the remaining 
obstructions. Push down, up and down and fire down, or go right/down/right 
and fire left. You can't hold and fire left after the right of the two 
barriers collapses, because then the barriers above will drop on you. But you 
can go left and right, firing all the time, and things will collapse soon 
enough.

Now you can proceed on, up and to the left and there'll be an energy pod 
above. You can just turn into a robot, fire up, and when the pod bursts, turn 
into a ship and go left, up around the big block, and left to get by the 
ships. Follow the corridor and hold left and blast through. A desultory maze 
is ahead. The enemies are pretty silly, too.

Hit the left side of the maze and fall down before the entrance. As the robot, 
fire left until you hit the two blue eyeball things. Turn into a ship and go 
left to the wall and U-L-D. Now the tough part here is timing when to pop up 
through the small hole to the left. Once you do, just ram the ship into the 
ceiling and fire. When a blue/red passes above, your shots will connect. U-L-
D-L-U-L-D. Now there's a small peephole to the left. You might as well pick 
up the points here if you have the patience. The shiny flashy things take 
forever to come down, but once they do, they circle helplessly. It's an easy 
40 points for you. Then go right for a pair of powerbot triads and you should 
have a nice chunk of health to start level 5 with. You'll need it.

  8. LEVEL 5 WALKTHROUGH

You'll want to get through this level quickly, because first, it really is 
that obnoxious, and second, if missiles appear at random, they do so by the 
end tunnel, and that is not cool. Nevertheless there are a few detours worth 
taking and others you may want to consider. If you are slick enough early on, 
you can just bull through the final bit using shields.

A large-scale map of the rooms is below--the very top part consists of two 
dead ends, so don't worry about that. Follow the numbers for the quickest way 
through.

1--2--3  6---7  10--11--12 17--18  21--22
      |  |   |   |      |   |   |   |
4b-4a-4--5   8---9--9a  13 16  19--20 15d
         |              |   |           |
5d-5c-5b-5a 14c-14b-14a-14-15-15a-15b-15c

Head UR to start and then go DL/D/L wen the grey-reds appear. Head down.

Now you can loop around a bit and get the enemies from the left to follow you. 
Then sneak under then and head into the left wall. If you do things right 
there won't be any enemies as you go to shoot the three energy pods. If 
things go wrong there's always the shield, and you still have a net gain. 
Looping back should be no problem in any case.

Once in room 5 you can go down for another detour to build things up. This is 
recommended and not too tough because if you head down and left there should 
be no problem getting enemies to disappear from view before hitting the wall. 
Then just turn right and fire.

To go up to room 6 you may want to start on the left and zigzag UR/R only 
when you see the grey/reds. For room 7 you'll want to hug the right side and 
swoop down. This lets the big grey/reds see where you are and chase you. 
They'll go up, which is important, because you'll want to go D/DR/R to the 
right edge and then fire away in room 9a for some recharges. You can also 
immediately loop back up to room 10. If you go into 9a remember you may have 
to let a grey/red in and also you may have to take off quickly, U/UL. Also as 
you tap left you may want to see if the grey/reds are stuck and if so you may 
not want to shoot them.

There'll be a few more weaves as you go up, right and down, and then you can 
outrun enemies going left from 14 to 14c into the wall. Turn right and fire 
to pick up some more protection.

You can also head right, but if you do so, start at the top and pull a sharp 
DR/D/R when you see the big grey/red squares. The rest is clear sailing to 
15d, where you can run into the left wall, turn around, and fire.

Back at 16 you'll have missiles to avoid. You'll need to run another "banana" 
and here it's not a bad place to burn a few shields if you have to. Right, 
down and right you'll have more big grey/red squares which are packed in 
tightly enough that you may not be able to deal with them one at a time. You 
might not need to take them all out and if you can circle around and get a 
few, do it. But remember that rockets may come out at any time, and now is a 
good time to use all the shields you've built up. Just hold down and push the 
A button til shields get low. Then hold the B.

There's a small winding passage after that and then some weird altar that 
vaguely looks like something out of Rygar. Don't fly into it as a ship--it's 
like energy barriers in that the robot can get trapped in it. Stay a bit away 
and shoot it all.

You get 72 hit points for blowing away the structure that separates you from 
your goal of completing level 5. I also say, don't worry about the last bit. 
If you have any shields left over, it's still a bad idea, because you may 
take long enough to risk tripping the rockets off, and it's tough to complete 
without turning back into a robot and dissolving the shield. The enemy is too 
unpredictable here as well-- the orbs lurching in circles aren't as easy to 
handle as the ships that move more diagonally and turn less frequently. It's 
a last ditch appeal to your greed--don't take it.

  9. ET CETERA

    9-1. LEVELS 6-10 AND SO FORTH

Levels 6-10 appear a bit tougher than 1-5 in that they are faster and your 
shields dissolve quicker. The monsters are also all new. I think they revert 
to the originals in level 11 with the same speed--I'm using AdamL's cheat(see 
below) where you can adjust the level.

    9-2. CHEATING/SAVE STATES

First, if you want to try out any level, go to NES:Cheats in FCEU and set 
address 0074 to value [whichever]. The value is in decimal. IF you set it to 
99 near the end of the level, you can get the weird little end screen.

With FCEU you can get the following bytes in the save state:

0x128 = low byte of score/10
0x129 = high byte of score/10
[Note: this rolls over at the slightly odd score of 655360.]
0x12c = low byte of current health
0x12d = high byte of current health
0x12e = low byte of health to get to
0x12f = high byte of health to get to
[note: if these are set to make health > 1000 it only lets you loop down once. 
You probably want to set 12c/d=12e/f but the discrepancy is--12c is what's 
shown on the screen. 12e is what the little number increases to.]

================================

  10. VERSIONS

1.0.0 sent to GameFAQs 3/28/2005 complete, more or less.

  11. CREDITS

CJayC for creating GameFAQs.
The folks on the FAQ board who brought my NES FAQ completion topic to 500-- 
and Devin Morgan's continuation of it to 200+ as of this writing. You guys 
are very cool.
The FCEU folks for creating such a good emulator. The save states helped 
immensely.
Thanks to AdamL on GameFAQs for trying this out and pointing me to(among 
other ideas) the cheat codes on FCEU. I had never used one, and it helped me 
isolate other stuff, too. Oh, and the encouragement and positive response to 
my image, too.
The usual GameFAQs gang. They know who they are, and you should, too, because 
they get some SERIOUS writing done. Good people too--bloomer, falsehead, 
lisanne, Masters, RetroFreak, Sashanan, Snow Dragon/Brui5ed Ego, ZoopSoul, 
and others I forgot.
Atarihq.com which had the manual describing the different game variations and 
objectives.

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Old school guide/map writer. Also the author of text adventures Ailihphilia, Shuffling Around/A Roiling Original (anagrams,) Very Vile Fairy File, Quite Queer Night Near, The Problems Compound, Threediopolis and Fourdiopolis.