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Guide and Walkthrough by briaryos

Version: 1.0 | Updated: 04/17/2007

Silent Service

Silent Service came out for the NES in the late 80s.  It’s a 
submarine simulation that – admittedly – never ranked among 
the best games of the era, but it’s good for wasting an hour or  
two of your time and, for those interested in the genre, it’s 
wasn’t too bad.

There are three scenarios that can be played:  Torpedo/Gun Practice,
Convoy Practice, and War Patrols.  In Torpedo/Gun Practice, you 
sink four stationary, unarmed ships.  In Convoy Practice, you 
choose from six historical convoy actions.  In War Patrol, you 
choose from five historical submarines and sink as many ships 
as possible.

There are seven difficulty options; by toggling more options on, 
the tonnage you sink gets multiplied by a greater number when 
calculating your final rank.  

Press Select to choose from among the five views:

1.	Quartermaster’s Log – Tells you what you’ve sunk.

2.	View Gauges – Mostly useless, but it tells you how much of 
	your arsenal is left.

3.	Check Damage – Less useless, it will tell you if you have a 
	leakage problem, or if any of your equipment is damaged.

4.	Check maps – Tells you where you are, as well as the enemy. 
	It’s also good for telling you exactly how many ships are 
	in the immediate area, which can be difficult in periscope 
	view if there’s a big mass.  The attack plot is most useful 
	when positioning for attack with an aft torpedo.

5.	Use Periscope – the bread and butter view.  It won’t be 
	available when you’re at a depth greater than 42, or when 
	you’re submerged at night (though there’s a trick with 
	this one). To turn the periscope (or binoculars) around, 
	press and hold A on the handles of the periscope (or the 
	“straps” of the binoculars), either right or left.  
	This will allow you to use your aft torpedos. 
	   When you have a ship lined up in your sights, click on 
	the Target ID space; it will tell you what kind of ship it 
	is as well as its tonnage.  To select a view, move the 
	cursor arrow over the corresponding area and press A.  To 
	resign (in convoy actions), or get back to the war patrol 
	map, move the cursor to the down and left.

In all but the Quartermaster’s log, you can control the sub:

1.	Speed – On the surface, the four speeds will get you 
	4,10,15, 20 [ft] per second.  Under water, you get half. 
	Going in reverse will cut it in half again.

2.	Rudder and Dive planes – Up, Down, Left, Right.  Going in 
	reverse flips the L/R controls (like a 	normal sub). 
	Interestingly, you can turn the sub even if you’re 
	completely still.

3.	Deck gun and torpedo – Move the cursor arrow over the 
	armament you want to fire and press A.

4.	Periscope up or down – Keep it up all the time.  I can’t 
	think of any advantage to having it down (except that 
	you might look like a dork when you’re on the surface). 
	In fact, the only thing I thing this control is really 
	seful for is after an aft torpedo attack; when in the 
	view-choosing screen, toggle it down, then back up. When 
	you go to periscope view it’ll reset to the direction 
	you’re heading in.

5.	Time control – Clicking on F will speed up time by 2, 4, 
	or 8 times.  Clicking N will set it back to normal.

The difficulty settings are a little different than in other games. 
By toggling any of the seven difficulty options, the overall 
difficulty rating goes up.  They are:

1.	[Un]Limited Visibility – With limited visibility, ships will 
	appear as periodically flashing blips on your tactical 
	display map.  With unlimited, you’ll see the ships on 
	your radar continuously.

2.	[No] Convoy Zig-Zags – When on, ships will try to avoid you.

3.	[No] Dud Torpedos – When on, some (maybe 10%?) of your 
	torpedos will fail to detonate on impact.

4.	Repairs Under Fire/Port Repairs Only – More relevant in the 
	War Patrol scenario, it allows your engineers to fix damage. 
	With Port Repairs Only, any equipment damage (sonar, deck 
	gun, etc.) affects you for the rest of the tour.

5.	Expert/Standard Destroyers – I’m not sure exactly what this 
	is.  Supposedly, expert destroyers are tougher, but I don’t 
	see how.

6.	Close convoys/Convoy search – with close convoys, you’ll 
	start battles within sight of a convoy.  With convoy 
	search, things are ever so slightly more difficult – you’ll 
	have to continue on the heading you’re given to find the enemy.

7.	Rank – either Midshipman, Lieutenant, Commander, or Captain. 
	The higher the rank, the greater the multiplier, but things 
	don’t really seem all that much more difficult.

So if you turn them all on and select Captain, that’s difficulty 
level nine.  If you turn them all off and select Midshipman, that’s 
level one.  Personally, I say crank them up.  The various settings 
don’t really change things much.  Plus, the real limiting factor 
to how much tonnage you can sink is your armament, and in every case 
you get 14 forward torpedos, 10 aft torpedos, and 80 deck gun shells.

Here you can try out your combat tactics:

1.	Plunder in the Inland Sea.  Day submerged attack.  You go up 
	against a Kai Bokan (1kt) and a Cargo Ship (4kt).  My advice: 
	stay submerged, and play chicken with the Kai Bokan.  As it 
	gets within 1000 [feet?], hit it with two torpedos.  After 
	it sinks, surface and sink the Cargo ship.

2.	Wahoo v. Convoy.  Day surface attack.  You start within 
	striking range of a cargo ship (~4kt), a troop ship (10+kt), 
	and two tankers (7 & 6 kt).  A short while later, a destroyer 
	will pop up out of the north.  My advice: submerge and wait 
	for the destoyer.  Fire on it as it comes within 1000 [feet] 
	with your aft torpedos.  Then surface and take out the four 

3.	Hammerhead at Borneo.  Night raider attack.  You start within 
	striking range of a kai bokan (750t), a tanker (4kt), and 
	three cargo ships (2,4+, and 5+kt).  Put the scope up, then 
	submerge.  Like in Patrol #1, sink the kai bokan first, then 
	go after the others.  Note:  because it’s night, and 
	therefore “too dark” to use the periscope, the game won’t 
	let you move to that view if you’re submerged.  However, if 
	you submerge after you put the scope up in the Periscope 
	View, the game won’t kick you out of the “bridge” view until 
	you’re more than 42 [ft] below.

4.	Sea Raven at Toagel Mlingui.  End around attack.  Two kai 
	bokans (1250t & 1500t) come toward you from the northwest.  
	Take out the one on the port side first, then the other. 
	Then chase down the three cargo ships (~3kt each) to the north.

5.	Tautog in the Sea of Japan.  Night visual attack.  It’s not 
	the Sea of Japan – it’s the Pacific coast of Japan.  Take a 
	heading east and speed up to overtake the attack ships.  A 
	kai bokan (750t) will come after you.  Sink it, then go the 
	10,000 [ft] north and take care of the troop ship (7+kt) and 
	three tankers (6+ kt each).

6.	Grayback in the China Sea.  Submerged radar attack.  This 
	one’s pretty tricky because you have two destroyers and a kai 
	bokan coming after you immediately after you start.  As soon 
	as the battle starts, throw the engine into reverse, full 
	power.  Surface from 42 to 20.  Rudder right so you spin 
	around to the left (because you’re going in reverse).  Fire 
	two or three two torpedos at the destoyer the furthest to 
	your left when it pulls within 	1000 [ft].  If it doesn’t 
	sink, that’s OK – as long as you’re able to back away from it. 
	Rudder left (so you wheel to the right).  Fire two more at 
	the second destroyer.  Save one last torpedo for the kai 
	bokan.  Surface and take out the warships, then the troop 
	ship (7.5+kt) and the tanker (4.5+kt).

There are five War Patrols, but among them the only difference is 
the starting location.  In all cases, the trick with war patrols is 
to make the most out of your weaponry.  I recommend saving your bow 
torpedos for destroyers (two for each) and kai bokan (one + a few 
deck gun shots).  Use your aft torpedos and deck gun shells on the 
merchant ships.

You start off with nearly 60 days of fuel.  Venture out into the 
unknown, and when the screen flashes red with the”Enemy Sighted” 
warning, press A to enter the tactical map.  Proceed with 
caution, as you won’t know how many ships there will be or their 
make-up.  In any case, it won’t be any more difficult than the 
above-described tactical actions.

Using the aft torpedos is kind of tricky.  Surface and move at 
flank speed to approach the vessel.  Using the map on “Attack Plot” 
level, try to get into this position (assuming both are heading due 

	You>	/\
	       /  \
	       \  /
		      /\	< Enemy ship
		     /  \
		     \  /

Ships will try to turn away from you, but you can go more than 
twice as fast, so with patience it’s possible.  When you’re in 
position, kill the engines and turn left.  Spin the binoculars 
all the way behind you.  Once the enemy ship is perpendicular 
to yours, fire a torpedo, and then finish off the ship with the 
deck gun.

Once your out of ammo, head back to one of the bases.  You can’t 
refuel or reload, so just press A and finish the game.

I don’t care about copyrighting this.  Geez, the games almost twenty
years old, so who even plays it any more?  Use this any way you want. 
Just be nice and give me credit as your source if you happen to use 
it somewhere else.

That about does it for the walkthrough.  Happy hunting!


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