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FAQ/Walkthrough by Pluvius

Version: 1.02 | Updated: 07/24/09

                           Mad Max FAQ/Walkthrough
                    by Rob Browning (pluvius3 @ gmail.com)
                        v1.02 (Written July 24, 2009)


       1.  Road War 1
       2.  Arena 1
       3.  Road War 2
       4.  Arena 2
       5.  Road War 3
       6.  Arena 3
       7.  Final Battle


This FAQ is copyright 2009 Rob Browning, all rights reserved.  All trademarks
and copyrights contained in this document are owned by their respective
trademark and copyright holders.  Redistribution for profit is prohibited.
Free distribution is allowed provided that this FAQ is left intact and
unchanged, with credit given to the author, and that any sites distributing
this FAQ update it regularly.  Personal, private use of this FAQ is allowed
with no restrictions.


v1.02 (07-24-09):  Changed contact email address.

v1.01 (02-25-07):  Changed contact email address; added acknowledgement to
                   Neoseeker hosting the FAQ.

v1.00 (05-25-05):  First release.


Q.  What is this FAQ for?
A.  This FAQ is meant to help people play through Mad Max, a video game
published by Mindscape for the Nintendo Entertainment System.  This game is
pretty simple if you know what you're doing, but if you don't have a manual,
that's not entirely clear.  Mad Max is reminiscent of another NES game
published by Mindscape called Infiltrator in that both games have similar stage
select and password systems.  Both games also have six levels that alternate
between two types of level, but while Infiltrator has two types of level that
are very different in gameplay, Mad Max's two types of level are quite similar.

Q.  Why did you write this FAQ?
A.  I thought that since this was a simple game that has had no other FAQs
published for it to date, it would be a good first FAQ for me to write.  It
only took me a few days off-and-on to play through the game and write this FAQ,
and I don't believe I will have to update it much, so this is an easy way to
give something back to the gaming community.  One bonus is that while this game
is simple, it's not entirely obvious where you have to go or what you have to
do, which keeps this FAQ from being completely pointless.

Q.  How does the game play?
A.  For the most part, there are two types of levels; the "Road War" levels and
the "Arena" levels.  Both of them involve simple top-down driving a la the
first two Grand Theft Auto games (though certainly not nearly as good), with
the road war levels adding some top-down shooting to the mix.  In both types of
levels, you have to destroy or avoid enemies and obstacles; in the road war
levels you get dynamite to help you with this task.  The objective of every
level in the game is to find and unlock the exit; the method of unlocking the
exit differs between road war levels and arena levels.  Road war levels are
beaten by finding supplies in caves, buying an arena pass, and entering the
arena.  Arena levels are beaten by destroying all of the enemy cars and finding
the exit.  You have an unlimited number of tries to make it through the road
war levels, but you have to start from the beginning of the level each time you
die, losing any supplies you may have gotten.  On the arena levels you don't
have to destroy the enemies again when you die, but if you die three times,
you're sent back to the beginning of the arena's corresponding road war level
(not a big problem in the first few levels if you wrote down the arena's
password).  The last level (which is technically part of the last arena level)
is somewhat different from the rest of the game, but I won't spoil it here.

Q.  What's the backstory for this game?
A.  If you've seen any of the Mad Max movies, you should already know the
story, but here is the blurb taken from the game's introductory sequence:

"To understand you must go back, to when the world was powered by the black
fuel.  For reasons long forgotten, two mighty tribes went to war and touched
off a blaze which engulfed them all.

"Without fuel they were nothing.  Man began to feed on man.  The gangs took
over the highways, ready to wage war over a tank of gas.

"In this maelstrom of decay ordinary men were smashed... men like Max.  A man
who wandered out into the wasteland.  And it was there, in that blighted place,
that he learned to live again..."

Basically, Mad Max is the quintessential post-apocalyptic world that has
descended into savagery, where people kill each other for material goods, for
dispute settlement, and for sheer entertainment.

Q.  What is the point behind the levels of this game?
A.  As far as I can tell, there are no missions or motives or anything like
that behind Max's journey through the game.  The ultimate objective appears to
be merely to survive.  This unfortunately makes the game kind of boring, since
after you've been through the first two levels, most of the rest of the game is
just going through the motions.


D-Pad:  Move car in direction pressed
Select:  Show/hide status screen
Start:  N/A
B:  Brake
A:  Throw dynamite

D-Pad:  Move in direction pressed
Select:  Show/hide status screen
Start:  N/A
B:  Shoot gun
A:  Shoot gun

D-Pad Left/Right:  Move hand left/right
Select:  Show/hide status screen
Start:  N/A
B:  Select menu item
A:  Select menu item

Final Battle
D-Pad:  Move in direction pressed
Select:  N/A
Start:  N/A
B+Up:  Jump
B+Down:  Duck
A:  Shoot crossbow

Status Screen
Fuel:  Number of gallons of fuel (max 8)
Food:  Number of units of food (max 8)
Water:  Number of units of water (max 8)
Damage:  Units of damage your car has taken (car crumples at 4, explodes at 8)
Dynamite:  Number of units of dynamite (max 8)
Health:  Number of units of health Max has (max 8)
Ammo:  Number of boxes of ammo for Max's gun (max 8)
Keys:  Number of keys (max shown 4, but you can hold more)
Pass:  Shows whether or not you have the arena pass

Note:  Food and water are interchangeable in this game.  E.g. you can pay for a
full tank of gas with six food, six water, three food and three water, or any
other combination that adds up to six units.

Fuel:  One gallon = 2 units of food and/or water
       Two gallons = 3 units of food and/or water
       Full tank = 6 units of food and/or water

Repairs:  Tune-up = 1 unit of food and/or water (1 unit of damage fixed)
          Body Work = 2 units of food and/or water (2 units of damage fixed)
          Overhaul = 4 units of food and/or water (8 units of damage fixed)

Goods:  Ammo case = 1 unit of food and/or water (1 unit of ammo added)
        Dynamite = 1 unit of food and/or water (1 unit of ammo added)
        Arena Pass = 7 units of food and/or water


-Conserve ammo.  This is especially important with dynamite, since you only
start with one unit of it (about 16 charges) and you need it to blow up
barriers.  You can usually dodge your way around cars, towers, and people
without destroying them.

-Keep moving when in your car.  Your car uses the same amount of fuel sitting
still as it does moving, so you obviously don't want to waste too much time
sitting around.

-You can sometimes fake out guard towers by turning or braking at the last
moment.  They throw dynamite at the position they expect you to be when the
dynamite hits the ground.

-Caves only appear in certain places.  Even before you've played through the
game and discovered where all the caves are, it becomes pretty easy to predict
where a cave may or may not be based on certain patterns.  Caves are only found
on the west-facing cliffs, for example, and there are only four caves in each

-Always buy the arena pass before anything else.  You absolutely have to have
it to proceed, and there's a finite amount of food and water in each level, so
if you waste it all on ammo or something, you'll have to restart the level.

-On the other hand, you don't get to take any food or water with you to the
next road war level, so once you've gotten the arena pass, get whatever you
want at the shop.  Food and water have no use other than trading (i.e. Max
can't die of starvation).

-In the arena, find the exit before doing anything else.  The cars are easy to
destroy (and end up destroying themselves more often than not) so you'll end up
using most of your fuel looking for the exit (which is always in one of the
corners of the arena.  If you destroy all of your enemies without knowing where
the exit is, you're liable to run out of fuel before making it out.  Also note
that a place that looks like an exit might be the entrance; remember which
corner you start at.

-Of course, if you're sure that you won't run out of lives, you can destroy all
of the enemies on one life, then die to refill your tank.  The enemies will
stay dead.


1.  Road War 1

Upon starting the game, you'll find your car sitting in a little hollow with
the exit blocked by some tires.  Blow the tires up with your dynamite and drive
north along the nearby road.  Take a left at the first fork and continue along,
dodging obstacles and blowing up the roadblock.  When you get to the first turn
to the south, you should see a covered entrance into the plateau to the right
side of the road; enter it.

Cave 1
Contents:  1 fuel
           2 food
           5 water
           1 dynamite
           5 ammo
           3 keys

You'll find yourself in the first of many caves in this game.  These caves
contain supplies that are essential to proceeding to the next level, so take a
look around.  Watch out for the enemies wandering around; the gray ones take
three shots to kill and the beige ones about twice that, but fortunately they
have no ranged attack, so try to dodge around them.  Make sure you don't fall
into any of the rectangular black holes strewn around either; they mean instant
death.  Most of the supplies are in the big room with lots of intersections,
but the gallon of fuel can be found in a small room in the upper-right, and a
key in the room below that.  There are three locked rooms to the south but I
wouldn't bother with any of them; the left contains a key (which is obviously
pointless), the middle contains nothing, and the right contains two boxes of
ammo.  Leave through the corridor to the left when you're finished.

After that cave, you should have enough supplies to get the arena pass and some
fuel at the shop (the broken-down building at the first intersection) and go
straight to the arena, but there are other caves in this level that you can
visit if you want.  This walkthrough visits all of the caves, but you can skip
them and just exit the level by going E, S, S, N, N, W at each respective
intersection from the first intersection and entering the opening in the cave
wall.  If you want to see all the caves, you should fill up your tank at the
shop instead.

Back at the first intersection, go right this time.  Go north at the next
intersection, then west at the third.  After the road curves to the east, you
should see a canyon to the south.  Enter it and you'll eventually reach the
next cave.

Cave 2
Contents:  1 fuel
           3 food
           3 health
           6 ammo
           6 keys

This cave is quite complicated compared to the others, with locked rooms to the
north and south and a bunch of rooms in the middle.  The left locked room to
the south contains nothing, but the right locked room contains a cache of five
ammo boxes as well as a key to replace the one you used.  There's another door
at the lower-left corner but it's pointless to open as you can just go around
to the right and enter the room from behind.  The left locked room to the north
contains two keys, while the right locked room contains a medkit for your
health.  The locked room in the center-right requires two keys to enter, but
contains two foods and a health.  There's also a key and an ammo in the upper-
left, a key in the room just to the southeast of the entrance, a key and a fuel
in the lower-left, and a food in the room above the entrance.

Now go back to the second intersection and go south instead of north.  Go east
at the next intersection and north at the intersection after that.  When the
road curves south, go off the road to the east and enter the next cave.

Cave 3
Contents:  1 fuel
           3 food
           1 dynamite
           2 health
           9 ammo
           3 keys

The big room next to the entrance has a health, while the room above that has a
key.  The top locked room to the east has a key and a dynamite, while the
bottom locked room contains 5 ammo.  The middle locked room (locked on both
sides, don't waste your keys on both) contains the rest of the supplies.

Now go back to the third intersection (the one you went east at that doesn't
have a shop) and go south.  Then west at the next intersection and east at the
one after that.  When the road curves to the north, you should see a wrecked
bus to the southeast.  Go towards and past this bus and you should see a cave
to the east.

Cave 4
Contents:  2 fuel
           3 food
           2 keys

The big room to the right contains nothing, but the room in the southeast
corner contains the fuel and food, while the little rooms north of that contain
the keys.  The locked rooms have nothing.

Drive north.  At the first intersection, you'll see another shop.  If you don't
have the arena pass already, get it and leave.

Go north at the intersection, then west at the next one.  Right after that
intersection, you should see a big opening in the rock wall to the north.
Enter it and you will have finished the first level.

2.  Arena 1

The object of each of the arenas in this game is to destroy all of the other
cars, then drive through the exit.  Your dynamite has been taken away, but you
have a full fuel tank and any damage you may have had from the first level has
been repaired.  Destroying the cars is relatively easy; just ram them into the
pits.  They will even destroy themselves quite often.  What you should do in
this arena and all of the others is look for the exit first, then take care of
the cars.  In this arena, the exit is in the upper-left corner; you'll
recognize it as a little room blocked off by stones.  When you destroy the 30
cars in this arena, the stones will disappear and you can leave.

3.  Road War 2

This level starts off much like the first Road War level did, with the same
amounts of supplies and a similar-looking starting location, but you'll soon
notice that the cars require two shots to destroy.  Once out of the niche, go
west along the road, go past the intersection, and at the next turn, go south
to the first cave.

Cave 1
Contents:  1 fuel
           2 food
           3 water
           1 dynamite
           1 health
           3 ammo
           1 key

This cave is cut into top and bottom halves, both of which are pretty straight-
forward.  There's no need to open the door in the top half as you can just loop
around to it.  The bottom half requires the key you get in the top half,

Go north, then go up at the first intersection you reach.  Eventually you'll
reach an intersection with a shop; go ahead and buy a full tank of gas.  Go
east here, then north at the next intersection that allows it.  You'll reach a
four-way intersection.  Go south, then east at the intersection after that.
Soon you'll get to a westward curve that has a wrecked bus near it, which has a
cave near it just like in the first level.

Cave 2
Contents:  1 fuel
           8 food
           2 ammo
           3 keys

You start at the upper-left corner of this cave.  The first couple of rooms you
pass have keys; the locked door in the second room is pointless.  The locked
room to the west contains a food and an ammo.  The rooms behind the locked door
to the south contain the rest of the supplies.

Now go back to the four-way intersection.  Go east, then go west at the next
intersection.  After you jump the gap in the road, you'll find a canyon to the
south with a cave in it.

Cave 3
Contents:  2 food
           1 water
           3 health
           4 ammo

Another complicated cave.  The room to the north of the entrance contains a
health, a food, and a water, while the room above that contains an ammo box.
The room right of that has a food.  Southeast of there is an ammo, and a health
is to the north of that (and to the east of the food).  Finally, you'll find a
health and the remaining ammos in the southwest corner.

Go west from the cave and you'll reach another intersection with a shop.  Buy
an arena pass here as well as repairs if you need them, then go west.  Go west
again at the next intersection, then south at another one, and you'll see yet
another wrecked-bus cave.

Cave 4
Contents:  2 fuel
           2 food
           1 dynamite
           2 health
           3 ammo
           4 keys

The giant room contains a key.  The series of rooms to the north contains food
and ammo, while the series above that contains a key and a health.  The locked
room in the upper-left contains a fuel, a dynamite, and a key.  The series of
rooms to the south has a key, while the two locked rooms down there have an
ammo and a health and fuel, respectively.

Go west.  At the next intersection, go north, then keep going north at the
intersection after that.  You'll soon reach the arena entrance in a similar
area as the one at the end of the first level.

4.  Arena 2

This arena contains 40 enemies, and the exit isn't in the upper-left corner
this time, but in the upper-right.  The easiest way to get there is just to
drive south and take the first right, then go up whenever you have a choice.
Kill the enemies and leave.

5.  Road War 3

This should be familiar to you at this point; the starting position is similar
and the enemies are even stronger.  Get on the road (either direction is fine)
and go north at the intersection.  At the four-way intersection, go either
north or east (again, either is fine) and you'll find a cave at the west-south

Cave 1
Contents:  Crossbow
           2 fuel
           1 dynamite
           2 health
           5 keys

You start out at the southwest corner.  In the giant room in which you start,
there's a key, with another key in the hall beside of it.  The locked room
further to the right contains a crossbow, a health, and a key.  The crossbow is
required to beat the game, and you need at least one or perhaps two (though
getting all four, one for each cave, will give you maximum ammo).  The fact
that you need a crossbow means that you can't use the last password to beat the
game because that password doesn't give you a crossbow.  (I'll explain this in
greater detail in the last part of the walkthrough.)  Thanks, Mindscape!  Back
to the cave:  Up north, you'll find a key.  Behind a locked door to the east is
a dynamite, while a locked door to the west eventually leads to a key, a
health, and fuel.  The locked rooms below the fuel room contain nothing.

Go back to the four-way and head west.  Go west again at the next intersection,
then east at the one after to reach the next cave (behind the wrecked bus).

Cave 2
Contents:  Crossbow
           2 fuel
           5 food
           2 water
           1 health
           1 ammo
           7 keys

Go all the way north on the corridor you start in and you'll get three keys.
To the south of that area, you'll find a key all the way to the right, a bunch
of supplies behind the locked door farthest to the right, and ammo, fuel, and
food behind the only locked door on the north side.  Going south on the first
corridor, you'll find another crossbow.  On the first corridor to the right,
the locked room farthest to the right contains a food and a water.  The other
southern corridor has a locked room close by that contains a food.  The other
locked rooms contain nothing.

Go back to the last intersection and go north this time.  After a long journey,
you'll finally reach an intersection.  The other two caves are out of the way;
if you don't want to go to them, take a right, buy an arena pass at the shop at
the next intersection, then follow my instructions below starting with the
paragraph marked with an asterisk (*).  As I said earlier, however, getting the
other two crossbows is to your advantage.

To get to the caves, take a left instead.  Take a right at the next
intersection then either direction at the one after that to get to the third

Cave 3
Contents:  Crossbow
           3 fuel
           3 food
           3 water
           2 health
           5 ammo
           5 keys

As you enter, there will be a water right in front of you.  The locked rooms
just north contain a water, a fuel, and a key.  The other northern section you
can reach from here contains a fuel behind two doors.  The humongous room to
the south contains a lot of different supplies, while the branch off of it
contains a lot more (including behind the locked door).

To get to the last cave, go back to the intersection before last and go north
this time.  After a bit of a drive, you'll eventually find a canyon to the
south with a cave in it.

Cave 4
Contents:  Crossbow
           1 fuel
           4 food
           1 water
           1 dynamite
           1 health
           3 ammo
           2 keys

The room in the upper-right corner contains a food and a water.  The room below
that contains a key, while the room to the left of that contains a fuel.  The
big rooms south of those contain an ammo and food.  The south-west corner
contains a dynamite and ammo, while the south-east (go around the door) has the
ubiquitous crossbow, a health, and a key.

Drive east.  To get back to the shop intersection and get the pass, go west at
the next two intersections.  (Alternately, if you have the pass already, go
straight to the arena by going south from the first intersection, then east and
north respectively at the intersections afterwards.)

(*) There are several ways to get to the arena from the shop.  The quickest way
is S, E, E, N at each respective intersection.  The arena is pretty easy to
spot even though it's in a different place from the other two; it's in a little
outcrop on a west-south curve.

6.  Arena 3

This final arena contains 50 enemies, and the exit is again in the upper-right.
I'm not going to give precise directions since the arena levels are so simple,
but the easiest way to get there is to draw a rough 'N' shape:  Make it up to
the upper-left corner, then go most of the way down to the lower-right, then go
right and up to the exit.  The last car is a super-car and the pits on the path
stop opening when it comes out, but you shouldn't have too much difficulty
handling it the same way you've handled all the others.  You'll almost
certainly need more than one life to complete both arena objectives, but that's
OK since you have three.  Go through the exit for the final battle!

7.  Final Battle

Now you finally get to fight an arena combatant man-to-man.  First, a note
about the crossbow; if you came here without picking up any of the crossbows in
Road War 3, you'll only get about 48 shots for it, which isn't enough to kill
your enemy.  Game over!  Each of the crossbows gives you another 48 shots,
allowing for a maximum of approximately 240 shots, which is just plain over-
kill.  Getting two crossbows in Road War 3 should be plenty.

Anyway, this isn't too hard; just shoot him with your crossbow while dodging
his own shots, and make sure not to fall off the edges or waste ammo.  You can
hold B and press Up to jump or Down to duck.  If you die, you'll end up back at
the main menu and have to do Road War 3 and Arena 3 again (groan).  If you win,
you've beaten the game!  Enjoy the incredibly poor one-screen ending!


I created one cheat for this game, but here are the passwords first:

Arena 1:  MMAX
Road War 2:  WAST
Arena 2:  BLAS
Road War 3:  MAEL
Arena 3:  HUMU (useless unless you cheat; see Road War 3, Cave 1 for details)

The cheat I created will give you unlimited ammo for your crossbow, which will
allow you to skip getting the crossbows in Road War 3 and use the last password
with no problems.  Unfortunately, I can't figure out how to create Game Genie
codes, so the only cheat I can give is the address and value for emulators like
FCEUltra that can directly hack memory:


Most of you are probably playing this game on emulators, so hopefully this will
still be of help.


Thanks to:

Mindscape, for publishing (and developing?) this game.

Warner Brothers, for the license this game was based on.

CJayC and everyone else at GameFAQs, for their excellent resource (as well as
giving me a place to host this FAQ).  This FAQ can also be found at Neoseeker.

The folks behind FCEUltra, for creating the best NES emulator out there.

Nintendo, for creating the NES and giving me so many hours of enjoyment both
yesterday and today.

And, of course, you for reading.

Questions, comments, and criticisms can be sent to pluvius3 @ gmail.com
(without the spaces obviously).  Please put "Mad Max FAQ" or something similar
in the subject line so I will know what the email is about.  If you mention
something that I feel should be in this FAQ, I will insert it in a future
update and give you credit.

Copyright 2009 Rob Browning, all rights reserved.

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